Name

William Ritter

Career

Science

Occupation 1

Oceanographer

Occupation 2

Scripps Oceanographic Institute

Identifier

California

Region

Pacific Ocean

Era

Age of Steam and Steel (1866-1920)

Born

1856

Died

1944

Source

ANB

Text

Naturalist, philosopher, and administrator�

Ritter's scientific research and writings ranged from anatomical to physiological and ecological work�

Ritter set himself the goal of surveying the fauna of the Pacific waters adjacent to southern California. Along with several colleagues in the Department of Zoology, he made attempts at different sites to set up a marine biological station. At each site, faculty and students conducted summer investigations. In 1903 the site was at La Jolla, near San Diego, where the newspaper magnate E. W. Scripps helped to found the San Diego Marine Biological Association and provided some financial support for the summer research. Scripps and Ritter quickly became good friends and partners in a number of ventures. Ritter took up permanent residence at La Jolla in 1906 and became the station's first director (1909-1923). Scripps provided the funding, and Ritter the scientific leadership. The initial focus of the biological station shifted: the word "marine" was dropped from its name, allowing for inclusion of other studies at the station. In 1912 the station was officially transferred to the University of California as the Scripps Institution for Biological Research. In 1925 the name was changed to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, returning the focus to the marine environment� In 1927, a year after Scripps died, Ritter retired from Scripps Institution and returned to Berkeley, where he remained until his death there�

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