Marine Biology History Timeline


U.S. Coast Survey


President Thomas Jefferson signs a bill authorizing the United States Coast Survey.

Coral Atolls Explained


Charles Darwin publishes a paper suggesting that coral atolls are the final stage in the subsidence and erosion of volcanic islands.

Undersea Canyons


James Alden discovers the first known submarine valley, California's Monterey Canyon.

Life in the Deep Sea


Charles Wyuille Thomson, dredging from the HMS Lighting, finds sea at 4,389 meters (14,400 feet) shattering previous theories that the sea was lifeless below 549 meters (1,800 meters)

Marine Research and Oceanography

1872 - 1876

H.M.S. Challenger circles the globe conducting research for the Royal society for London, laying the groundwork for modern oceanography.

Early Marine Survey of the Americas


Naturalist Louis Agassiz steams from the U.S. East Coast to it's west coast around South America, collecting some 30,000 marine specimens.

The First Oceanography Research Vessel


The U.S. fisheries commission steamer albatross begins operations 2014 the first ship built to serve as an oceanography research vessel.

Marine survey of the South Pacifics

1899 - 1905

Alexander Agassiz makes long research voyages to the south pacific, collecting data and speciement from remote ocean regions.