In the years between 1940 and 1955, American oceanography experienced considerable change. Nowhere was that more true than at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. There Roger Revelle (1909–1991) played a major role in transforming a small, seaside laboratory into one of the leading oceanographic centers in the world. This paper explores the impact that World War II had on oceanography and his career. Through an analysis of his activities as a naval officer responsible for promoting oceanography in the navy and wartime civilian laboratories, this article examines his understanding of the relationship between military patronage and scientific research and the impact that this relationship had on disciplinary and institutional developments at Scripps.

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