Robert L. Fisher, research geologist emeritus at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, has been awarded the inaugural Drake Medal by the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO) organization. Fisher received the medal at a reception hosted by the Ocean Studies Board of the National Academies on July 7 in Woods Hole, Mass.
The Drake Medal was created specifically to honor Fisher and is a replica of the medal given to Sir Francis Drake by England’s Queen Elizabeth I in 1589 to reward his monumental circumnavigation of the globe during the previous decade, which greatly increased knowledge of world geography.
Fisher’s name has been synonymous with seafloor exploration for half a century. He received the Drake Medal particularly in recognition of his extensive and meticulous work in ocean-bottom cartography over the past six decades. During the course of his career at Scripps, he has made monumental contributions to the scientific knowledge of seafloor trenches and the composition, crustal structure and actual topography underlying the Pacific and Indian oceans. He has organized and led 16 major multiprogram, deep-sea expeditions since receiving his doctorate from Scripps in 1957.
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