Ritter Memorial Fellowship

The Ritter Memorial Fellowship is an international research fellowship that encourages scholarship in the history of marine science.

This award is presented biennially by Scripps Institution of Oceanography to historians, scientists, or other scholars whose research enlarges and deepens the understanding of the history of earth, ocean, and atmospheric sciences.

This fellowship was created to honor the memory of the founder and first director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, William E. Ritter, and his wife, Mary Bennett Ritter.

The establishment of Scripps is often attributed to the courage and determination of Ritter, whose motto was "Neglect nothing." A professor of zoology at the Berkeley campus of the University of California when he established Scripps in 1903, Ritter professed a balanced and holistic view of nature, based on a deep interest in philosophy as well as biology, physical science, and mathematics. He was inspired by, in his words, "the vast scale on which things are done in the ocean, and the literally infinite complexity of cause and law there in operation."

The Ritter Memorial Fellowship consists of research funds for the further pursuit of academic excellence and an honorarium.  During a recipient's tenure he or she interacts with Scripps scientists and historians, and presents lectures to the academic community and the public.


  • 2020 Danielle Inkpen, Mount Allison University
  • 2019 Aitor Anduaga, University of Basque Country in Spain
  • 2018 Joshua Howe, Reed College
  • 2017 Rodolfo John Alaniz, University of California Berkeley
  • 2015 Katharine Anderson, York University in Toronto
  • 2013 Alistair Sponsel, Vanderbilt University
  • 2008 Daniel Alexandrov, European University at St. Petersburg, 
  • 2006 Sean Cadigan, Canada’s Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • 2004 Ronald Rainger, University of Arizona
  • 2003 James Fleming, Colby College in Waterville, Maine
  • 2002 John Cloud, Cornell University 
  • 2001 Helen M. Rozwadowski, University of Connecticut
  • 1999 Norman J.W. Thrower, University of California Los Angeles
  • 1997 Margaret Deacon, University of Southampton 
  • 1994 Naomi Oreskes, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire
  • 1992 Robert M. Friedman, Cornell University 
  • 1990 Eric L. Mills, Dalhousie University