Scope and Content
Title: Wheeler J. North Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1959-1999
Collection number: 10177MS
Creator: North, Wheeler J. 1922-2002
29 linear feet
California Institute of Technology. Caltech Archives
Pasadena, California 91125
Abstract: The papers of Wheeler J. North, Caltech alumnus (BS, biology, 1950; BS, electrical engineering, 1944) and Professor of Environmental
Engineering, 1963-1992. The papers include correspondence and memos, data books, proposals and reports, and miscellaneous
printed matter and media relating to his career in marine biology and ecology, with emphasis on the kelp beds of California.
Physical location: Archives, California Institute of Technology.
Languages represented in the collection: English
The collection is open for research. Researchers must apply in writing for access.
Copyright may not have been assigned to the California Institute of Technology Archives. All requests for permission to publish
or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Caltech Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf
of the California Institute of Technology Archives as the owner of the physical items and, unless explicitly stated otherwise,
is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
[Identification of item], Wheeler J. North Papers, 10177MS, Caltech Archives, California Institute of Technology.
Wheeler J. North donated his papers to the Caltech Archives in 1998 and 1999.
Wheeler J. North, Caltech alumnus and Professor of Environmental Engineering, 1963-1992, was a marine biologist and ecologist
as well as a pioneer in scientific SCUBA diving. He was born in 1922 in San Francisco and spent his childhood in Mexico and
La Jolla, California. After attending Caltech as an undergraduate (BS, engineering, 1944), he joined the army for the US occupation
of Japan, during which time he became interested in biology. After returning to Caltech for a second degree (BS, biology,
1950), he entered graduate school at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where he received his PhD in 1953. In the following
years he remained at Scripps, beginning a long-term study of giant kelp and becoming an expert SCUBA diver. He became an authority
on kelp and the renewal of kelp beds of the California coast, as well as on marine resources and biomass. In 1963 he was appointed
professor at Caltech, where he taught marine ecology and continued his kelp studies. Wheeler North died in 2002.
Scope and Content
The North papers are organized in six series: correspondence and memos; grants and proposals, including kelp and biomass projects;
data books and research materials; publications and printed matter (including oversize); audio-video material; and biographical
material. The video material is notable for including an early example of underwater footage taken by Wheeler North in 1959:
Rivers of Sand, which analyzes the formation of the Pacific submarine canyon projecting from Cabo San Lucas, Baja California,
The collection is organized into the following series:
- Series 1. Correspondence
- Series 2. Grants and proposals
- Series 3. Research materials
- Series 4. Publications
- Series 5. Audiovisual material
- Series 6. Biographical material
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
California Institute of Technology
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Genres and Forms