Fleming, Richard H. (Richard Howell), 1909-1989

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Richard H. Fleming (1909-1986), was an oceanographer and chaired the University of Washington Oceanography Department from 1951 to 1967. Born in Victoria, British Columbia, Fleming received his Ph. D. from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He worked for the Division of War Research of the University of California and then served as the chief oceanographer for the U.S. Navy Hydrographic Office in Washington, D.C., 1946-1951, joining the UW faculty in 1951. Fleming was an active advocate of the development of education in oceanography and directed the expansion of oceanographic studies at the University of Washington. His research projects included military applications of oceanography, charting various bodies of water, and applications of nuclear technology to oceanographic problems. He received numerous research grants from the Office of Naval Research, the Atomic Energy Commission, the National Science Foundation, and other agencies, and he co-authored The Oceans, one of the standard works on oceanography. Fleming was also active in many professional organizations. He retired as professor emeritus in 1980.

From the description of Richard H. Fleming papers, 1924-1989 (bulk 1941-1968). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 37503684

Richard H. Fleming (1909-1989) was an oceanographer and chaired the University of Washington Oceanography Department from 1951 to 1967. He was born in Victoria, British Columbia, and attended the University of British Columbia, where he received his B.A. and an M.A. in chemistry. Afterward he pursued studies at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography of the University of California, receiving his Ph.D. in oceanography in 1935. Fleming taught at the Scripps Institution for several years and also worked for the Division of War Research of the University of California from 1941 to 1946, applying the study of oceanography to problems of undersea warfare. He continued his work in the military applications of oceanography as the chief oceanographer for the U.S. Navy Hydrographic Office in Washington, D.C. from 1946 to 1951. Dr. Fleming joined the faculty of the University of Washington in 1951 as the chairman of the Oceanography Department. He directed the expansion of the department’s programs, including the development of undergraduate studies in oceanography.

Dr. Fleming also engaged in research during his time as chairman and participated in major projects at sea. The NORPAC (Northern Pacific Survey) project (1955-1956) was the first comprehensive synoptic survey of the Northern Pacific Ocean, charting currents, tides, winds, depths, and temperatures and observing plant and animal life over a two year period. Project Chariot (1959-1962), conducted for the Atomic Energy Commission as part of Operation Plowshare, investigated the possibility of creating a harbor in Alaska by exploding nuclear devices. Dr. Fleming’s career coincided with the beginning of the nuclear age, and his work included two studies on the disposal of atomic wastes in the ocean, the first for the National Bureau of Standards and the second for the National Research Council.

Fleming belonged to numerous scientific organizations and worked on many committees. These included an organizing committee of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics and several committees of the National Research Council. He engaged in and supervised research on grant projects sponsored by the Office of Naval Research, the Atomic Energy Commission, and the National Science Foundation.

Fleming served as chairman of the Department of Oceanography until 1967 and continued as a professor of oceanography until 1980, when he retired as professor emeritus. He was particularly interested in the development of education in oceanography and worked with committees to promote the training of secondary school teachers and the publication of textbooks in the field. He was the author, with Harold Sverdrup, of The Oceans, one of the standard works on oceanography. Fleming was also a Fulbright lecturer at the University of Istanbul in Turkey from 1964 to 1965.

From the guide to the Richard H. Fleming papers, 1924-1989, 1941-1968, (University of Washington Libraries Special Collections)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Fleming, Richard. Collections. 1863-65. Tulane University, Amistad Research Center
referencedIn Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Scripps Institution of Oceanography biographical files, 1903-1981. University of California, San Diego, UC San Diego Library; UCSD Library
referencedIn Thorp, Eldon Marion, 1907-. Slides, 1938. University of California, San Diego, UC San Diego Library; UCSD Library
creatorOf Richard H. Fleming papers, 1924-1989, 1941-1968 University of Washington Libraries Special Collections
creatorOf Sverdrup, H. U. (Harald Ulrik), 1888-1957. The Oceans, their physics, chemistry, and general biology : typescript, 1941 / by Harald Ulrik Sverdrup, Martin Wiggo Johnson and Richard Howell Fleming. University of California, San Diego, UC San Diego Library; UCSD Library
creatorOf Sverdrup, H. U. (Harald Ulrik), 1888-1957. The Waters off the coast of Southern California, March-July 1937. University of California, San Diego, UC San Diego Library; UCSD Library
creatorOf Revelle, Roger, 1909-1991. Papers, 1929-1976, bulk 1946-1976. University of California, San Diego, UC San Diego Library; UCSD Library
creatorOf Sverdrup, H. U. (Harald Ulrik), 1888-1957. The Oceans, their physics, chemistry and general biology, 1941. University of California, San Diego, UC San Diego Library; UCSD Library
referencedIn Wooster, Warren S. (Warren Scriver), 1921-. Photographs, 1960-1989. University of California, San Diego, UC San Diego Library; UCSD Library
creatorOf Sverdrup, H. U. (Harald Ulrik), 1888-1957. Manuscript and papers regarding The Oceans, 1937-1943, bulk 1937-1943 / by Harald Ulrik Sverdrup, Martin Wiggo Johnson and Richard Howell Fleming. University of California, San Diego, UC San Diego Library; UCSD Library
creatorOf Fleming, Richard H. (Richard Howell), 1909-1989. Richard H. Fleming papers, 1924-1989 (bulk 1941-1968). University of Washington Libraries
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Society of Limnology and Oceanography. corporateBody
associatedWith Cardner, Sarah E. Parsons. person
associatedWith Council on Wave Research. corporateBody
associatedWith International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics. corporateBody
associatedWith National Research Council (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on Oceanography. corporateBody
associatedWith National Science Foundation (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Project Chariot. corporateBody
associatedWith Project Norpac corporateBody
associatedWith Project Norpac. corporateBody
associatedWith Revelle, Roger, 1909-1991. person
associatedWith Scripps Institution of Oceanography. corporateBody
associatedWith Southern Regional Education Board. corporateBody
associatedWith Sverdrup, H. U. (Harald Ulrik), 1888-1957. person
associatedWith Thorp, Eldon Marion, 1907- person
associatedWith United States. Hydrographic Office. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Office of Naval Research. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Washington corporateBody
associatedWith University of Washington. Dept. of Oceanography. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Washington. Graduate School. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Washington. University Archives. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Washington. Dept. of Oceanography corporateBody
associatedWith Wooster, Warren S. (Warren Scriver), 1921- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
United States
Chukchi Sea
Louisiana--New Orleans
North Pacific Ocean
Washington (State)--Seattle
Alaska
Subject
College teachers--Archives
Military
Oceanography--Research--North Pacific Ocean
Nuclear energy--Industrial applications--Alaska
Oceanography--North Pacific Ocean--Observations
Oceanographers--Archives
Photographs
Freedmen
Science
Technology
Oceanography--Societies, etc
Military oceanography
Oceanography--Research--Chukchi Sea
College teachers--Washington (State)--Seattle--Archives
Water and Water Rights
Radioactive waste disposal in the ocean
Oceanographers--Washington (State)--Seattle--Archives
Oceanography--Study and teaching (Higher)--Washington (State)--Seattle
College department heads--Archives
Nuclear energy--Industrial applications
Military oceanography--United States
Colleges and Universities
Oceanography--Study and teaching (Higher)
Departmental chairmen (Universities)--Washington (State)--Seattle--Archives
Teachers--Freedmen
Seattle
Oceanography Observations
Oceanography--Research
Oceanography--Charts, diagrams, etc
Alaska
Oceanography--Research--United States
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1909

Death 1989

Americans

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