Papers of engineer and oceanographer Willard Bascom, including his correspondence, research files, writings, photographs and
films, along with materials from his company, Ocean Science and Engineering, Inc.
Willard Bascom was a research engineer and oceanographer who pioneered a number of deep sea drilling and salvage projects.
Bascom attended the Colorado School of Mines where he studied engineering and geology and worked as a mining engineer from
1941-1945. He then served as Research Engineer for the UC Berkeley WAVES Project, where he directed a field party studying
waves and shorelines between 1945 and 1951. He joined the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 1951 as a Research Engineer
studying weapons effects at nuclear test sites in the Pacific Proving Grounds. While at SIO he worked as adjunct professor
and accompanied the 1953 Capricorn Expedition as Senior Scientist in charge of pressure measurements throughout the cruise.
In 1954 he joined the staff at the National Science Foundation, where he spearheaded the preliminary phases of Project Mohole,
the first proposed attempt to drill through the earth's crust. As Director of Project Mohole between 1959 and 1962 Bascom
helped develop dynamic positioning techniques for holding ships in place during drilling processes. In 1961, test drilling
took place at a groundbreaking depth of 11,700 feet, however the project lost congressional support and was ultimately abandoned.
13 Linear feet
(13 records center cartons, 1 map case folder, 11 films, and digital files)
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. ALLOW ONE WEEK FOR RETRIEVAL OF MATERIALS.