Scope and Content of Collection
Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla 92093-0175
Title: George G. Shor Papers
Shor, George G.
Identifier/Call Number: SMC 0033
11 Linear feet
(11 cartons, 1 map case folder, and digital files)
Date (inclusive): 1950 - 2009
Abstract: Papers of marine geophysicist George Shor, including his correspondence, committee files, teaching materials and geophysics
research files. The collection also includes materials regarding the historic preservation of the Old Scripps Building.
Scope and Content of Collection
Papers of marine geophysicist George Shor, including his correspondence, committee files, teaching materials and geophysics
research files. The collection also includes materials regarding the historic preservation of the Old Scripps Building. Subjects
of note include marine geophysics, seismic refraction and reflection, Project Mohole, the International Decade of Ocean Exploration
(IDOE), SIO ship operations and the Birch Aquarium.
Arranged in eight series: 1) BIOGRAPHICAL FILES, 2) CORRESPONDENCE, 3) TEACHING, 4) GROUPS AND ASSOCIATIONS, 5) GEOPHYSICS
WORK, 6) PROJECTS, 7) INTERNATIONAL DECADE OF OCEAN EXPLORATION (IDOE) and 8) SCRIPPS INSTITUTION OF OCEANOGRAPHY.
George G. Shor (1923-2009) was a marine geophysicist who served as chief scientist on many SIO research expeditions and contributed
to the administration of the Scripps fleet and seagoing operations. His interests included marine seismic refraction and reflection,
deep sea topography, research fleet operations and SIO campus planning.
Shor received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Caltech in 1944. During World War II he joined the U.S. Navy Reserve and
served as a radar and communications officer. He returned to Caltech in 1946 and received an M.S. in Geophysics in 1948. Between
1948 and 1951 he worked for the geophysical company Seismic Explorations, Inc. as party chief of a reflection seismograph
crew before returning to Caltech for his Ph.D. in Seismology in 1951. Shor graduated in 1954, having conducted his dissertation
on the seismic reflection of the Mohorovicic discontinuity, the boundary between the earth's crust and mantle.
Shor began his career at SIO in 1953 working for the Marine Physical Laboratory as an Assistant Research Geophysicist. From
the 1960s through the 1980s Shor had a rigorous seagoing career in which he averaged over two months at sea per year. He served
as chief scientist for many expeditions, using explosives and air guns to conduct refraction and reflection studies. Shor
served as principal investigator for Project Mohole, an endeavor launched by the American Miscellaneous Society in the 1950s
which attempted to drill through the earth's crust into the Mohorovicic discontinuity. Alongside colleague Russell Raitt,
Shor participated in several Mohole committees and piloted expeditions around the Hawaiian Islands to determine the best drilling
location for the project. Project Mohole was terminated by Congress before drilling could begin. In 1960 Shor served as chief
scientist on the Monsoon Expedition, the first SIO expedition to the Indian Ocean as part of the International Indian Ocean
Expedition. His work in the Indian Ocean continued throughout his career and he was made special advisor to the Committee
for Coordination of Joint Prospecting for Mineral Resources in Asian Offshore Areas (CCOP) from 1976-1991.
Shor also served as Ship Scheduling Officer for the SIO Marine Operations Committee and was a formative participant in the
creation of the UNOLS research ship fleet. During the 1960s he helped to establish the California Sea Grant program, serving
as its manager from 1969 to 1973. From 1968 until his retirement in 1991 Shor served as Associate Director of SIO.
George Shor's spouse, Elizabeth "Betty" Noble Shor, also worked at SIO as a laboratory assistant under ichthyologist Carl
L. Hubbs. After Hubbs' death in 1979, she continued her work at Scripps, maintaining Hubbs' personal papers and library for
many years. Remembered as the unofficial historian of SIO, she gathered records and papers across the institution and established
the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Archives, and advocated for the historic preservation of the Old Scripps Building.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography: Probing the Oceans, 1936-1976 for the Institution's 75th anniversary, and accompanied her husband on many research expeditions.
George Shor Papers. SMC 33. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.
COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. ALLOW ONE WEEK FOR RETRIEVAL OF MATERIALS.
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Slides from the INDOPAC Expedition have been digitized and are available on the UC San Diego Library Digital Collections website.
One sound recording has been reformatted, and the other sound recording is a digital file only.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
International Decade of Ocean Exploration, 1970-1980
Marine geophysics -- 20th century
Oceanography -- Study and teaching
Shor, George G. -- Archives
Scripps Institution of Oceanography -- Archives
Stephen Birch Aquarium-Museum