Ben Oostdam's
Autobiography:

1960-1963


page 47

back at SIO, late 1962

I finished the previous page a week ago and spent part of Christmas 2002, forty years later - to systematically go through background documents which - for personal reasons to be stated later- I had kept locked up for 40 years. That was a bit of revelation, since my actual memories as stated on p.46, had become rather vague. Now, by contrast, I have compiled almost a case history of the predicaments of many if not all graduate students. Since this may not be of interest to most readers, I will summarize my findings and refer interested spectators (and soap-opera lovers...) to the documents tabulated here.
While Herb and I left Hawaii for Scripps in July, Drs. Shepard and Inman went on a Hawaiian research cruise aboard the R.V. "Baird" on which they also invited Dr. Moberly and some of his assistants. Doug Inman, incidentally (which reminds me suddenly of another quibble I had with Fran sometime in June, when I answered one of his remarks prefaced with his usual "incidentally", with my preface "indecentally"...) was involved with Wendel Gayman and Doak Cox producing their excellent paper on "Littoral Processes on a subtropical high island: Kauai", while Doak and Fran had coauthored a paper on the 1946 Tsunami (!) more than a dozen years earlier. While Doug Inman and Ted Chamberlain were ardent enemies now, Fran and Ted had done some cooperative work on the "Japanyon" results at the time Ted was working in Japan. This is relevant because in one of his letters to Shepard- my thesis advisor - Ralph suggested to add Ted to my Ph.D. thesis committee, which apparently Fran had disconsidered so as not to antagonize Doug. Thus parts of the problems I experienced in early 1963 had their origin here, and were partly resolved when Dr. Fager, Department Chair of Oceanography at SIO, put Doak Cox on my committee by the end of February, 1963. One can imagine, however, how Ted must have felt at that time.
I also 'suffered" from Fran's easy going attitude in October, 1962, belittling possible problems with operating the relatively new Sonoprobe...and I actually intercepted a letter from him to Ralph which, in retrospect, saved the latter from a lot of potential headaches and problems at quite some cost to my own project. I am glad I did not venture to take the Sonoprobe to Hawaii at that time and under those circumstances - having learned from our OSESA experiences with the "Lizard" in 1964 how much time, expertise and expense are required.
Fran's resentment cost me in my first qualifying exam, early October, when Inman "shot down" the use of Sonoprobe for use of determining sand thicknesses at the end of reef-channels because he "proved" there would be no sediments in those locations. The day after that exam, when the decision was made that I should have a more detailed follow up exam in December, I went around and asked each of my 5 committee members if they would mind allowing me to go to Hawaii (Maui) to perform and write up a pilot study of La Perouse Bay. Although they all agreed -Inman and Goldberg reluctantly - Inman called a meeting of the committee the next day which resulted in the rather nasty letter from Shepard in mid October, and no pilot study in fall 1962....[Radio in background: "Shepard on the Rock"...] So let's leave him and further problems behind us and proceed to 1963 and the Hawaiian Islands!


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