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Ritter Memorial Fellowship

The Ritter Memorial Fellowship is an international research fellowship that encourages scholarship in the history of marine science.

This award is presented biennially by Scripps Institution of Oceanography to historians, scientists, or other scholars whose research enlarges and deepens the understanding of the history of earth, ocean, and atmospheric sciences.

This fellowship was created to honor the memory of the founder and first director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, William E. Ritter, and his wife, Mary Bennett Ritter.

The establishment of Scripps is often attributed to the courage and determination of Ritter, whose motto was "Neglect nothing." A professor of zoology at the Berkeley campus of the University of California when he established Scripps in 1903, Ritter professed a balanced and holistic view of nature, based on a deep interest in philosophy as well as biology, physical science, and mathematics. He was inspired by, in his words, "the vast scale on which things are done in the ocean, and the literally infinite complexity of cause and law there in operation."

The Ritter Memorial Fellowship consists of research funds for the further pursuit of academic excellence and an honorarium.  During a recipient's tenure he or she interacts with Scripps scientists and historians, and presents lectures to the academic community and the public.


  • 2019 Aitor Anduaga
  • 2018 Joshua Howe
  • 2017 Rodolfo John Alaniz
  • 2015 Katharine Anderson
  • 2013 Alistair Sponsel
  • 2008 Daniel Alexandrov
  • 2006 Sean Cadigan
  • 2004 Ronald Rainger
  • 2003 James Fleming
  • 2002 John Cloud
  • 2001 Helen M. Rozwadowski
  • 1999 Norman J.W. Thrower
  • 1997 Margaret Deacon
  • 1994 Naomi Oreskes
  • 1992 Robert M. Friedman
  • 1990 Eric L. Mills