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Soundings

The Story of the Remarkable Woman Who Mapped the Ocean Floor

Felt, Hali

(Book - 2012)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Soundings
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"Until Marie Tharp's ground-breaking work in the 1950s, the floor of the ocean was a mystery--then, as now, we knew less about the ocean than we did about outer space. In a time when women in the scientific community were routinely dismissed, Marie's work changed our understanding of the earth's geologic evolution. While her partner, Bruce Heezen, went on expeditions to collect soundings (records of sonar pings measuring the ocean's depth across its entire expanse), Marie turned this data into beautiful and controversial maps that laid the groundwork for proving the theory of continental drift. Marie's maps for the first time showed that the continents were moving, had always been moving and what had happened over eons under the sea was as "visible" now as looking at the same phenomenon on land. Her maps have been called some of "the most remarkable achievements in modern cartography" and yet no one knows her name. Brilliant young writer Hali Felt captures the romance of scientific discovery, and brings to vivid life this pioneering scientist who changed the way we view the earth"--Provided by publisher. "A compelling portrait of one of the most interesting "forgotten" women of the twentieth century, the scientist who mapped, for the first time, the ocean floor. Until Marie Tharp's groundbreaking work in the 1950s, the floor of the ocean was a mystery--then, as now, we knew less about the ocean than we did about outer space. In a time when women in the scientific community were routinely dismissed, Tharp's work changed our understanding of the earth's geologic evolution. While her partner, Bruce Heezen, went on expeditions to collect soundings (records of sonar pings measuring the ocean's depth across its entire expanse), Tharp turned this data into beautiful and controversial maps that laid the groundwork for proving the theory of continental drift. Tharp's maps showed for the first time that the continents were moving and had always been moving and that what had happened over eons under the sea was as "visible" now as looking at the same phenomenon on land. Her maps have been called some of "the most remarkable achievements in modern cartography" and yet no one knows her name. The brilliant young writer Hali Felt captures the romance of scientific discovery and brings to vivid life this pioneering scientist who changed the way we view the earth"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Henry Holt and Co., 2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 0805092153
9780805092158
Branch Call Number: B-Th3296f 2012
Characteristics: 340 p., [8] p. of plates :,ill. (some col.) ;,25 cm

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A compelling portrait of one of the most interesting "forgotten" women of the twentieth century, the scientist who mapped, for the first time, the ocean floor.

Until Marie Tharp's groundbreaking work in the 1950s, the floor of the ocean was a mystery--then, as now, we knew less about the ocean than we did about outer space. In a time when women in the scientific community were routinely dismissed, Tharp's work changed our understanding of the earth's ge... Read More »

A compelling portrait of one of the most interesting "forgotten" women of the twentieth century, the scientist who mapped, for the first time, the ocean floor.


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Jun 27, 2013
  • thomd rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Five stars for the subject matter - the story of Marie Tharpe needs to be told, and besides I've always loved the ocean floor and plate tectonics. Three stars for the somewhat unusual biographical format, which features the author as much as the subject. Would have preferred a straight up biography or a straight up historical fiction to this hybrid. (Jun 14-27)

"A portrait of the enigmatic 20th-century geologist who was the first person to map the ocean floor describes her gender battles at male-dominated, mid-20th-century Columbia University, the artistry and science that informed her work and her contributions to the establishment of the Lamont Geological Observatory." From Next Reads Biography & Memoir October 2012 newsletter http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=559052

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