The Crest of the Wave: Adventures in Oceanography

Willard Bascom, Author HarperCollins Publishers $19.95 (318p) ISBN 978-0-06-015927-6
Trained as a mining engineer but lacking a degree, Bascom joined the engineering department at UC Berkeley in the mid-1940s; his first assignment was to study waves on the Pacific coast. Ocean science was in its infancy, and the author became one of its distinguished pioneers. He took part in a project that measured the effects of nuclear explosions and was involved in the first major geophysical exploration of the Pacific Basin and the first deep-ocean drilling (MOHOLE). He has searched for offshore diamonds and minerals, worked on oceanic environmental studies and, because of a personal interest in archeology, sought sunken treasure. Here are tales of exotic places and colorful characters. Such life was not without hazard: in the early days, scientific teams drove old World War II amphibiansDUKWsthrough the pounding surf; there were narrow escapes by divers; and the sea could be rough for any vessel. It appears that Bascom and his colleagues could solve almost any engineering problem; his accounts of designing and modifying equipment are wondrous. In addition to the lure of adventure, the book offers an engaging history of modern oceanography. (July)
Reviewed on: 08/05/1988
Release date: 08/01/1988

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Paperback - 318 pages - 978-0-385-26633-8
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