Soundings and Crossings
Anderson, Katharine, and Helen M. Rozwadowski, eds.
The scale, dynamism and inaccessibility of the ocean have always made it a challenging object of knowledge. But until the very recent era, the study of ocean phenomena required human observers to set off to sea, in a direct encounter with those challenges. The histories collected in this volume focus on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, analyzing the wide range of practices, tools and disciplinary questions that shaped how the ocean developed as a site of scientific research. They show how the work of biologists, hydrographers, geologists and others interacted with innovative technologies, with old and new patterns of exploration, with practices of maritime labor, and with economic and governmental regimes. The questions and experiences of these men (and sometimes women) reveal how scientific knowledge grows from, and builds anew, our powerful imaginative engagement with the sea.