The Untold History of Mary Sears and the Marine Scientists Who Helped Win World War II | American Blue Economy Podcast

October 18, 2022

The story of how the USN found its first Oceanographer!

In this episode of the American Blue Economy Podcast, our host Rear Admiral, Tim Gallaudet, PhD, US Navy (ret) interviews Dr. Kate Musemeche to discuss her book Lethal Tides: Mary Sears and the Marine Scientists Who Helped Win World War II. Drawing on prior episodes that explored the influence of the U.S. Navy and oceanography on the blue economy, we examine how ocean science and blue tech have helped the U.S. Navy, and that many spinoffs from this contribute to our ocean and coastal economies. This is a special show in that Rear Admiral Gallaudet, as a former Oceanographer of the Navy, uncovers in Dr. Musemech's book the story of the very first Oceanographer of the Navy in modern times, a Navy WAVE Lieutenant Junior Grade named Mary Sears. The show also highlights the wartime contributions of Scripps Institute of Oceanography and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, whose representatives have been on several prior episodes. If you want to see how the marine science that supports the blue economy also contributes to national security, check it out!

Show Transcription
This transcription was generated by a computer. Please excuse any errors.
Adm. Tim Gallaudet

Rear Admiral Gallaudet, PhD, USN (ret) is the CEO of Ocean STL Consulting. From 2017-2021, he served as the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere / Deputy NOAA Administrator, and from 2017-2019 he also served as the Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere / NOAA Administrator. As Acting Administrator, he led the agency comprised of 20,000 federal employees and contractors managing the nation’s fisheries, coastal resources and waterways, weather satellites, weather services, and environmental research, overseeing a $6B annual budget and daily operations of 18 environmental satellites, 16 oceanographic ships, 9 aircraft, 450 boats, and 400 technical divers, 6 supercomputers, over a dozen laboratories, and several hundred field sites across the country. As the Deputy Administrator, he led NOAA’s Blue Economy activities that advance marine transportation, sustainable seafood, ocean exploration and mapping, marine tourism and recreation, and coastal resilience. Prior to NOAA, Rear Admiral Gallaudet served for 32 years in the US Navy, completing his career as the Oceanographer of the Navy. He has a Bachelor’s degree from the US Naval Academy, and Master’s and Doctoral degrees from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, all in oceanography.