Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of Connecticut, Professor of History and Maritime Studies
Website URL
history of oceanography, history of marine sciences, ocean history, maritime history, maritime studies, blue humanities, environmental humanities
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Helen M. Rozwadowski is Professor of History & Maritime Studies at the University of Connecticut and founder of the University of Connecticut’s Maritime Studies program. She teaches environmental history, history of science, and public history, and has recently developed a course, History of the Oceans, that explores environmental, geopolitical, and cultural history of the ocean from evolutionary time to the present.

Her recent book, Vast Expanses: A History of the Oceans (2018), is published by Reaktion Books, an independent publisher of innovative nonfiction. She was awarded the History of Science Society’s Davis Prize for best book directed to a wide public audience for Fathoming the Ocean: The Discovery and Exploration of the Deep Sea (2005).  In The Sea Knows No Boundaries she explores the history of 20th-century marine sciences that supported international fisheries management.

She has also co-edited three volumes that have helped establish the field of history of oceanography: Soundings and Crossings: Doing Science at Sea 1800-1970 (2017), The Machine in Neptune’s Garden: Perspectives on Technology and the Marine Environment (2004), and Extremes: Oceanography’s Adventures at the Poles (2007).

She has been awarded the William E. & Mary B. Ritter Fellowship of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and has received grants and fellowships from the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society (Munich, Germany), the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Science Foundation, and Smithsonian Institution.

Recent Publications

Recent Books/Edited Volumes

Vast Expanses: A History of the Oceans. Reaktion Press, Ltd., 2018.

Co-editor, with Katharine Anderson:  Soundings and Crossings:  Doing Science at Sea 1800-1970.  Sagamore Beach, MA: Science History Publications/USA, 2016.

Co-editor, with Anita Guerrini: Oceans and Origins: Oregon State University and Oceanography in the Twentieth Century. ScholarsArchive@OSU, 2019. Co-authored “Introduction.” Available at:

Guest editor, “Focus: Knowing the Ocean: A Role for the History of Science,” Isis 105(2014): 335-391.

Fathoming the Ocean: The Discovery and Exploration of the Deep Sea. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005. Paperback in 2008.

Recent articles and chapters

“From Danger Zone to World of Wonder:  The 1950s Transformation of the Ocean’s Depths,” Coriolis: Interdisciplinary Journal of Maritime Studies 4(1)(2013): 1-20.

“The Development of ICES,” in Jürgen and Martina Elvert, eds., Agenten, Akteure, Abenteurer: Beiträge zur Ausstellung “Europa und das Meer” am Deutschen Historischen Museum Berlin (Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 2018), pp. 475-480.

“Scientists Writing and Knowing the Ocean,” in Steve Mentz and Martha Elena Rojas, eds., The Sea and Nineteenth-Century Anglophone Literary Culture (London: Routledge Publishing, 2016), pp. 29-46. 

Reconsidering Matthew Fontaine Maury,” introduction to Forum in International Journal of Maritime History 28(2)(2016): 388-393.

Co-authored with Michael S. Reidy: “The Spaces in Between: Science, Ocean, Empire,” Isis 105 (2)(2014): 338-351.
“Arthur C. Clarke and the Limitations of the Ocean as a Frontier,” Environmental History, 17 (3)(2012): 578-602.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Ocean, U.S., Northern Europe, International
Expertise by Geography
Atlantic, Pacific, United States
Expertise by Chronology
5, 7, 8, 9
Expertise by Topic
Environment, Public History, Science, Technology