George G. Shor Papers, 1950 - 2009 (SMC 33)

Restrictions: Original sound recordings are restricted. Listening copies may be available for researchers.

Extent: 11 Linear feet (11 cartons, 1 map case folder), + .058 GB of digital files

Digital Content

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.

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.

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. She wrote Scripps Institution of Oceanography: Probing the Oceans, 1936-1976 for the Institution's 75th anniversary, and accompanied her husband on many research expeditions.

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.


Container List


Box 1 Folder 1
Biographies, ca. 1950-1966
Box 1 Folder 2
Certificates, 1970, 1974
Box 1 Folder 3
Retirement party, 1991 February 22
Box 11 Folder 24
Sound recording - Shor retirement party speeches, 1991

Audiocassette, time 01:23:54. Recording of speeches made during Shor's retirement celebration at SIO. Speakers include Frederick H. Fisher, Fred N. Spiess, Robert H. Kieckhefer, Alexander ("Sandy") Shor and Jim Williams.

Digital file 1
Sound recording - Memorial service, 2009 September 7

Digital sound file, time 00:39:47. Entitled "Bombs, Boats and Bamboo," held at the Martin Johnson House at SIO. Speakers include Sandy Shor, Donald Shor, Robert L. Fisher, Robert Knox, David Wirth and Roy Wiersma.


Scope and Content of Series

Series 2) CORRESPONDENCE: Includes general correspondence, arranged chronologically. Also included is the correspondence of Delpha McGowan, a female refraction technician who accompanied many expeditions of which Shor was chief scientist.

Box 1 Folder 4-49
General correspondence, 1951-1970 August
Box 2 Folder 1-50
General correspondence, 1970 September-1981
Box 3 Folder 1-16
General correspondence, 1982-1991
Box 3 Folder 17
Delpha McGowan correspondence, 1971-1982

McGowan was a SIO refraction technician, who served on many expeditions with Shor.


Scope and Content of Series

Series 3) TEACHING: Includes classroom handouts, lecture notes and scripts, correspondence and class announcements and exam master copies, arranged according to class number.

Box 3 Folder 18-22
ES 103 - Introduction to Geophysics, 1978-1982
Box 3 Folder 23
SIO 220 - Observations of Large-Scale Ocean Circulation, 1968
Box 3 Folder 24-31
SIO 226A - Introduction to Marine Geophysics, 1969-1981
Box 3 Folder 32
SIO 239 - Radar and Sonar Interferometry, 1974
Box 3 Folder 33
SIO 244 - Shape and Structure of the Ocean Floor, 1970
Box 3 Folder 34
SIO 248 - Evolution of Earth's Biosphere, 1973
Box 3 Folder 35
Unidentified class notes, undated


Scope and Content of Series

Series 4) GROUPS AND ASSOCIATIONS: Correspondence, memoranda and notes from various scientific professional groups and committees, arranged alphabetically.

Box 3 Folder 36
Alpine Geophysical Associates, Inc., 1967-1968
Box 3 Folder 37
California Sea Grant Committee, 1983-1989
Box 3 Folder 38
Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) Steering Committee, 1968-1980
Box 3 Folder 39
Indian Ocean Marine Affairs Co-operation, 1988
Box 3 Folder 40
Institute of Marine Research (IMR), 1973-1980
Box 3 Folder 41-43
Joint Oceanographic Institutions Incorporated (JOI, Inc.), 1976-1977
Box 3 Folder 44-45
Joint Oceanographic Institutions Deep Earth Studies (JOIDES), 1969-1975
Box 3 Folder 46
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sea Grant Program, 1979-1980
Box 3 Folder 47
Naval Ocean Research and Development Activity (NORDA), 1978-1980
Box 3 Folder 48-50
Office of Naval Research (ONR), 1962-1981

Proposal ratings, UCSD-ONR contracts, and investigators.

Box 4 Folder 1
ONR, 1962-1981
Box 4 Folder 2
Society of Exploration Geophysicists, 1964-1987
Box 4 Folder 3-9
University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS), 1971-1979
Box 4 Folder 10
WHOI Visiting Committee, 1974-1976


Box 4 Folder 11-16
Explosives purchase orders and inventories, 1954-1981
Box 4 Folder 17
Explosive use data from expeditions, 1969-1981
Box 4 Folder 18
Handouts and equations from explosives classes, 1962-1974
Box 4 Folder 19
Explosives storage aboard ships, 1972-1976
Box 4 Folder 20
Notices to the Navy of planned underwater detonation, 1970, 1974
Box 4 Folder 21-26
Explosives suppliers, 1961-1980

Files from E.I. Du Pont De Nemours & Company, Hercules Incorporated, Aerex Explosives, United Geophysical Corporation, Kinetics International and EG&G Geometrics Inc.

Box 4 Folder 27
Air guns, 1979
Box 4 Folder 28
Computer programs for seismic refraction, 1977-1978
Box 4 Folder 29
Cruise data stations, ca. 1975
Box 4 Folder 30
Hydrophones, ca. 1965
Box 4 Folder 31-33
Multi Channel Seismic System, 1977-1980
Box 4 Folder 34
Reflection streamers, ca. 1965
Box 4 Folder 35
Sea floor hydrophones, 1978-1979
Box 4 Folder 36
Sonobuoys, 1978
Box 4 Folder 37
Notes on Fortran, undated
Box 4 Folder 38
Notes on source depth and sinking rates, 1963-1974
Box 4 Folder 39
Notes on data collection aboard research ships, undated
Box 4 Folder 40
Notes on marine seismic refraction exploration for book, undated


Box 4 Folder 41-42
Bahia Sabastian Vizcaino seismic refraction studies, 1962

Project Mohole

Box 4 Folder 43
Correspondence, 1961-1964
Box 4 Folder 44
Notes, 1963
Box 5 Folder 1
Proposal to the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences for a Seismic Survey at St. Paul's Rocks, Western Geophysical Company of America, 1962
Box 5 Folder 2
Final Report to Brown & Root, Inc. Mohole Project, Western Geophysical Company of America, 1963
Oversize Annex MC-007-08
Hawaiian Islands data plots and "A Line" refraction map, 1963
Box 5 Folder 3-4
Marine Seismic Refraction: Anisotropy and Structural Studies, 1970-1973
Box 5 Folder 5
Circum-Pacific Map Project, AAPG, 1974-1976
Box 5 Folder 6-7
International Phase of Ocean Drilling (IPOD), 1974-1977
Box 5 Folder 8
Refraction Studies on the Fiji Plateau, 1976-1977
Box 5 Folder 9
Proposed Marine Sanctuary for the Southern California Bight, 1978
Box 5 Folder 10
Acoustic Properties of Finely Layered Sediments, 1979
Box 5 Folder 11
Multichannel Seismic Reflection and Refraction Survey in the Bay of Bengal, 1979


Scope and Content of Series

Series 7) INTERNATIONAL DECADE OF OCEAN EXPLORATION (IDOE): Includes correspondence, meeting materials and memoranda for two prominent IDOE projects, the Studies of East Asia Tectonics and Resources project (SEATAR) and the Committee for Coordination of Joint Prospecting for Mineral Resources in Asian Offshore Areas (CCOP).

Box 5 Folder 12-14
CCOP/SOPAC 1st, 4th and 8th sessions in Suva, Fiji, 1973
Box 5 Folder 15-16
CCOP 10th and 12th sessions in Seoul, Korea, 1974
Box 5 Folder 17
CCOP 13th session in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1976
Box 5 Folder 18
CCOP 14th session in Manila, Philippines, 1977
Box 5 Folder 19
CCOP 15th session, 1978
Box 5 Folder 20
CCOP 16th session in Bandung, Indonesia, 1979
Box 5 Folder 21
CCOP 17th session in Bangkok, Thailand, 1980
Box 5 Folder 22
CCOP Correspondence C.Y. Li, 1979-1981
Box 5 Folder 23
CCOP Visiting scientists and trainees, 1974-1979
Box 5 Folder 24
CCOP miscellaneous, 1979-1981
Box 5 Folder 25
TAG 9th session, 1973
Box 5 Folder 26
TAG 15th session, 1979
Box 5 Folder 27-38
SEATAR, 1973-1980
Box 5 Folder 39
SEATAR Steering Committee, 1978-1981
Box 5 Folder 40-41
SEATAR research proposals, 1976
Box 6 Folder 1
CCOP Circum Pacific Energy and Mineral Resources Conference, 1974
Box 6 Folder 2
CCOP/IOC Working Group on East Asian Transects 1st Session, 1975
Box 6 Folder 3
CCOP/SEATAR Circum Pacific Conference, 1978
Box 6 Folder 4
CCOP-IOC/SEATAR Workshop, 1978
Box 6 Folder 5
Manganese Nodule Program, 1973
Box 6 Folder 6
Oriental Surveyor, 1974
Box 6 Folder 7
Ocean sediment data bank, 1975
Box 6 Folder 8
Snellius II Expedition, 1978-1979
Box 6 Folder 9-10
Transect projects, 1978-1981
Box 6 Folder 11
Naval Postgraduate School, 1979-1980


Scope and Content of Series

Series 8) SCRIPPS INSTITUTION OF OCEANOGRAPHY (SIO). Arranged in seven subseries: A) Birch Aquarium, B) Ships and Expeditions, C) Marine Operations Committee (MOC), D) Marine Physical Laboratory (MPL), E) Marine Sciences Physical Planning Committee (MSPPC), F) Old Scripps Building and G) Miscellaneous.

A) Birch Aquarium: Correspondence, memoranda, publicity materials, notes and maps regarding the planning and construction of the Birch Aquarium during the late 1980s.

B) Ships and Expeditions: Correspondence, memoranda, cruise reports, ship schedules and other SIO fleet operations files.

C) Marine Operations Committee (MOC): Correspondence, memoranda, notes and meeting minutes. Shor's personal MOC files and designated chairman's files are separated in accordance with original filing order. Subject of note include fleet management and female crewmembers.

D) Marine Physical Laboratory (MPL): Correspondence, memoranda and reports.

E) Marine Sciences Physical Planning Committee (MSPPC): Correspondence and memoranda regarding SIO campus planning and expansion.

F) Old Scripps Building: Memoranda, correspondence, notes and publicity material regarding the historic preservation of the Old Scripps Building (George H. Scripps Memorial Marine Biological Laboratory). Includes copies of photographs of the original construction, and notes on objects housed inside the building, including the Zarh H. Pritchard underwater paintings.

G) Miscellaneous: Memoranda, correspondence and memorabilia from various SIO groups, committees and events.

Birch Aquarium

Box 6 Folder 12-17
Planning and design, ca. 1980
Box 6 Folder 18-23
Aquarium and Ocean Science Center Building Advisory Committee, 1984-1991
Box 6 Folder 24
Aquarium fundraising, 1985-1988
Box 6 Folder 25
Attendance projections and reports, 1980s
Box 6 Folder 26
Community concerns and complaints, 1985
Box 6 Folder 27-28
Draft Environmental Impact Reports, 1985-1986
Box 6 Folder 29
Public Hearing on Draft EIR Report for the Proposed Scripps Aquarium and Oceanside Center, 1985 October 2
Box 6 Folder 30
Environmental impact report (EIR) compliance, 1988
Box 6 Folder 31
Site parking and roads, 1986-1988
Box 6 Folder 32
Public relations, 1980s

Flyers and brochures for community meetings.

Oversize Annex MC-007-08
Hand-drawn map of aquarium site, 1985 December
Box 7 Folder 1
Photographs and slides, ca. 1980

Photographs and figures of site planning and survey.

Ships and Expeditions

Box 7 Folder 2-8
Correspondence and memoranda, 1968-1993

Cruise reports

Box 7 Folder 9-11
R/V Dolphin reports, 1967-1975
Box 7 Folder 12
R/V Alexander Agassiz Gulf of California reports, 1974
Box 7 Folder 13-14
R/V Alexander Agassiz reports, 1975-1976
Box 7 Folder 15-17
R/V Alpha Helix reports, 1975-1979
Box 7 Folder 18
SIO cruise index, 1984


Box 7 Folder 19
National Science Board cruise, R/V Melville , 1975
Box 7 Folder 20
INDOPAC Expedition slides, 1976-1977

45 35mm color slides taken by Elizabeth Shor during the INDOPAC Expedition. Images include photographs of participants Bob Kieckhefer, Keifher Lowden, Russell Raitt, Elizabeth Shor, Gary Sullivan and Alex Velasco. Ports photographed include Guam, Keelung, Taipei, Port Moresby and Papua New Guinea. Slides have been digitized and can be viewed on the UC San Diego Library Digital Collections website by searching the phrase, "George G. Shor papers."

Box 7 Folder 21
Scuba Baja, Charter ship Sand Dollar , 1977 August 14-19
Box 7 Folder 22
Mariana Expedition Leg 11, 1979 July 2-August 1
Box 7 Folder 23
RAMA Expedition, 1979-1980
Box 7 Folder 24
Popcorn Ridge cruise, 1984
Box 7 Folder 25-26
Ship schedules, 1968-1974
Box 7 Folder 27
Instructions for marine technicians, 1968-1974
Box 7 Folder 28-29
Seismic equipment manuals, ca. 1965
Box 7 Folder 30
Rescue and salvage ships (ARS) conversion, 1973-1974
Box 7 Folder 31
Air gun installation, 1974
Box 7 Folder 32
Award contracts, 1975-1976
Box 7 Folder 33
Master charter party, 1969-1971
Box 7 Folder 34-38
R/V Melville ship scheduling, repairs and refit, 1968-1976
Box 7 Folder 39
R/V Melville notes on ship condition, 1992
Box 7 Folder 40
R/V Thomas Washington ship scheduling, 1968-1976
Box 7 Folder 41-42
R/V Thomas Washington refit, 1968-1983
Box 8 Folder 1
Ship fitting with multi-channel seismic reflection systems, 1975-1976
Box 8 Folder 2
Mooring of R/V Thomas Washington , 1976
Box 8 Folder 3
R/V Horizon replacement, 1973
Box 8 Folder 4
R/V Horizon equipment notebook, undated
Oversize Annex MC-007-08
Proposed Research Vessel (165') Modelled After Offshore Supply Boat Form blueprints, 1968 March
Box 8 Folder 5
Notes on ship equipment, ca. 1965
Box 8 Folder 6-7
Ship costs, 1971-1981
Box 8 Folder 8-10
Quarterly fiscal reports, 1983-1984
Box 8 Folder 11
NSF ship operations, 1980-1981
Box 8 Folder 12-14
UC ship funds, 1983-1985
Box 8 Folder 15-16
UNOLS fleet, ca. 1980

Marine Operations Committee (MOC)

Box 8 Folder 17-24
Shor personal files, 1970-1980

General information, correspondence and memoranda, originally filed separately from "Chairman's files."

Box 8 Folder 25-30
Chairman's files, 1955-1964

General information, correspondence and memoranda, originally filed separately from "Personal files."

Box 9 Folder 1-20
Chairman's files, 1955-1973
Box 9 Folder 21-22
Meeting minutes, 1963-1968
Box 9 Folder 23-24
Budget, ca. 1965
Box 9 Folder 25
Navigation systems, 1960-1970
Box 9 Folder 26
Feasibility study for "boat truck", 1966
Box 9 Folder 27
Hydro Lab on R/V Melville , 1970-1971
Box 9 Folder 28
Ship use proposals, 1970-1971
Box 9 Folder 29
Proposal to NSF for designation as Operator Institution for new oceanographic ship, 1974
Box 9 Folder 30
Research Vessel Operators' Council, 1965-1966
Box 9 Folder 31
Personnel, 1964-1967
Box 9 Folder 32
IDOE, 1980-1981
Box 9 Folder 33
Female crewmembers, 1972-1982

As MOC chairman, Shor advocated for equal opportunity for female scientists and crewmembers. This file includes correspondence and memoranda regarding the inclusion of women in seagoing operations.

Marine Physical Laboratory (MPL)

Box 9 Folder 34
Memoranda and correspondence, 1978
Box 9 Folder 35
Quarterly project reports, 1958-1965
Box 9 Folder 36
Grants and budget, 1975-1976

Marine Sciences Physical Planning Committee (MSPPC)

Box 9 Folder 37-41
General correspondence and memoranda, 1973-1982
Box 10 Folder 1-14
General correspondence and memoranda, 1983-1992
Box 10 Folder 15-19
SIO campus planning, 1985-1988
Box 10 Folder 20-21
Park Committee, 1989-1992
Box 10 Folder 22
Addition to staff of Naval Architect, 1966
Box 10 Folder 23-24
R/V New Horizon new ship construction, 1971-1981
Box 10 Folder 25
SIO parking and traffic flow, 1973-1979
Box 10 Folder 26
Natural Reserves, 1980-1989
Box 10 Folder 27
Open Spaces Task Force, 1986-1988

Old Scripps Building

Box 10 Folder 28-29
Memoranda and correspondence, 1977-1989
Box 10 Folder 30
Notes, 1977-1993

Included are notes on historical objects inside of the Old Scripps Building.

Box 10 Folder 31
Carl Hubbs Room, 1983

Notations by Betty Shor.

Box 10 Folder 32
National Register of Historic Places, 1984

Completed nomination form with annotations by Betty Shor.

Box 10 Folder 33
Script for visitor tour groups, 1993
Box 10 Folder 34
Photographs, 1910

Includes a photo of William E. Ritter sitting in an armchair inside of the Old Scripps Building, and images of the building's construction.

Box 10 Folder 35-39
Zarh H. Pritchard, 1981-2012

Papers on artist Zarh H. Pritchard (1866-1956), a British-American artist known for painting ocean landscapes while underwater, using a diving suit and waterproof materials. Includes descriptions and photographs of Pritchard paintings displayed in the Old Scripps Building, background materials, and Shor's biography of Pritchard (Betty Shor was asked to create a manuscript about him for a proposed exhibit at the Musee Oceanographique at Monaco). SIO has three of Pritchard's underwater paintings, a gift from Ellen B. Scripps.


Box 10 Folder 40-41
Space Advisory Committee, 1970-1980
Box 11 Folder 1-2
Space Advisory Committee, 1970-1980
Box 11 Folder 3
Geological Data Center, 1972-1981
Box 11 Folder 4
Committee on Research, 1975-1976
Box 11 Folder 5
Geological Sciences Curricular Group, 1978-1980
Box 11 Folder 6
Long Range Planning Committee, 1979-1986
Box 11 Folder 7-9
Scripps Industrial Associates (SIA) Steering Committee, 1981-1986
Box 11 Folder 10
SIO Computer (shipboard) Committee, 1982-1986
Box 11 Folder 11-15
Campus/Community Planning Committee (C/CPC), 1985-1989

Memoranda and correspondence regarding Shor's involvement in SIO campus planning, including roads and the aquarium.

Box 11 Folder 16
SIO Fundraising Committee, 1985-1989
Box 11 Folder 17
Pier Ground Breaking Committee, 1987
Box 11 Folder 18
UC Geologic Overview Investigation of SIO campus, 1988
Box 11 Folder 19-20
Scripps Heritage Committee, 1988-1996

Includes correspondence between Deborah Day and Betty Shor, with a significant amount of materials regarding the Old Scripps Building.

Box 11 Folder 21
Papers on the bronze bust of Roger Revelle, 1977

The bust was a gift to SIO by the Shors.

Box 11 Folder 22
Frautschy Day Symposium, 1982
Box 11 Folder 23
SIO commemorative belt buckles, 1984

Two belt buckles. Engraving of R/V Melville and writing which states: "Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 1903."

Box 11 Folder 25
Nail from original Scripps Pier mounted on wood, 1988