New Book on History of Scripps Institution of Oceanography to be Published

Images of America: Scripps Institution of Oceanography showcases history of one of world's most important research institutions

A new book on the history of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego hits bookstore shelves and online sites June 7. Images of America: Scripps Institution of Oceanography joins many others in this popular photobook series that highlights historical points of interest across the country.

“This is really the first comprehensive publication of Scripps Oceanography history in several decades,” said Robert Monroe, author of the book and communications officer at Scripps. “I hope the book allows readers to appreciate one of the world’s greatest research centers in an approachable way.”

Though the Images of America series is primarily local in focus, the book covers the history of a research center with a global reputation. The present-day definition of oceanography is derived from the holistic view of the oceans articulated by Scripps scientists in the 1940s, a view that considered biology, chemistry, and physics as interrelated systems. In later years, the original University of California outpost devoted to marine biology would launch the modern era of climate change research, creating iconic records such as the Keeling Curve and championing the value of long-term study of all Earth systems. 

“This delightful book is an opportunity for everyone to realize how much science history was made at Scripps Oceanography," said Margaret Leinen, Director of Scripps Oceanography and Vice Chancellor for Marine Sciences at UC San Diego. "I hope that all who have played a role at Scripps and all who have assisted us along the way will regard us with pride as they flip through the pages. This new volume shows that Scripps continues to make history in the current era with global ocean observation technology, advances to climate science, and groundbreaking discoveries, while pursuing its ongoing mission to understand and protect the planet.”

With its nearly 120 years of history, Scripps Oceanography drew the attention of Arcadia Publishing Co., which reached out to the institution in 2019 about creating a book devoted to Scripps. Monroe worked with communications officials, library experts, and historians from UC San Diego and beyond to compile the best images to showcase Scripps’ transformative history.

“This book rides on the shoulders of some of the great historians associated with Scripps,” said Monroe. “We’re fortunate to have individuals like them who are dedicated to preserving the past.”

The 127-page book features more than 200 photographs spanning the period from Scripps’ founding in 1903 to 21st century research on climate change and other hazards to society and natural systems, the achievements of groundbreaking alumni, and technological advances in the institution’s second century of research. Included are images from the days when Scripps was a small marine lab, the construction of the original Scripps Pier, research expeditions on the institution’s long line of ships, groundbreaking scientific discoveries, many of the notable scientists and students that made these key discoveries, and much more. 

Proceeds from sale of the book benefit UC San Diego and Scripps Oceanography. The book is available at the UC San Diego Bookstore and its online site, through retail sites such as Amazon and, and in most major bookstores in the San Diego area. 

About Scripps Oceanography

Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego is one of the world’s most important centers for global earth science research and education. In its second century of discovery, Scripps scientists work to understand and protect the planet, and investigate our oceans, Earth, and atmosphere to find solutions to our greatest environmental challenges. Scripps offers unparalleled education and training for the next generation of scientific and environmental leaders through its undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs. The institution also operates a fleet of four oceanographic research vessels, and is home to Birch Aquarium at Scripps, the public exploration center that welcomes 500,000 visitors each year.

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