Alfred H. Woodcock was born on September 7, 1905 in Atlanta, Georgia. His formal education ended very early as his father had very little regard for school and Woodcock went to work in a wide variety of jobs in the seasonal economy of the southeastern United States after dropping out of high school. After moving to Massachusetts and resuming his education at a local agricultural school, he worked on farms and did odd jobs. Woodcock heard the research vessel Atlantis was looking for hands to sign on for a research cruise under the command of Columbus Iselin. The Atlantis was the first deep-water research ship of the fledgling Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). Under the direction of Dr. Henry Bigelow of Harvard University, WHOI was formed in 1930 and funded by a Rockefeller Foundation grant of 3 million dollars. Woodcock signed on and became a valued member of the crew, rising to the position of chief scientist in 1935. Woodcock had found his calling in atmospheric research and oceanography, and he began his research into the soaring patterns of marine birds, sailing patterns of jellyfish and the ways that dolphins and porpoises ride along the bow of sailing ships. Woodcock continued to conduct experiments aboard the Atlantis until 1942.
During the Second World War, Woodcock worked with the U.S. Navy to develop smoke screens that could be used to camouflage allied vessels at sea. After the end of the war, Woodcock continued to work in conjunction with the Navy to study wind patterns at sea. Beginning in 1942 he was employed at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts, first as a research associate and then as an oceanographer. He conducted research into oceanography and atmospheric science, studying sea salt and its affect on precipitation. From 1949 to 1953 Woodcock published a series of groundbreaking scientific papers about the research he had conducted into atmospheric sea salt. In 1951, he met and began to work with one of his primary collaborators, Duncan Blanchard. Woodcock and Blanchard would collaborate on atmospheric research and carry on a long running correspondence.
In the early 1950s Woodcock was involved in Project Shower, which investigated the physics and chemistry of warm rain in Hawaii. This was a cooperative project involving WHOI and the Pineapple Research Institute and funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR). The data and final report of Project Shower was published in 1957 in the journal Tellus. Woodcock also published a paper in 1958 which dealt with the behavior of atmospheric sea salt in hurricanes. In this period Woodcock collaborated with Duncan Blanchard and also with chemist James Lodge and meteorologist E.G. "Taffy" Bowen among others. In 1961 Woodcock was awarded an honorary PhD from Long Island University as a doctor of science. It was not long after (1962) that Dr. Woodcock moved to Hawaii, where he concentrated on the study of atmospheric sea salt in Hawaii from 1962 to 1965.
From 1963 to 1972 Woodcock was a research associate in the Department of Oceanography at the University of Hawaii and a research associate at the Hawaiian Institute of Geophysics. In Hawaii, Woodcock conducted atmospheric studies at the dormant volcano Mauna Kea and also did research on Lake Waiau, an alpine lake that is near the summit of Mauna Kea. He developed a theory of "mountain breathing" where gasses entered and exited the mountain. Woodcock conducted research into the movement patterns of the Portuguese Man 'o War, Physalia, and continued research into Sargassum and studies of Hawaiian cloud physics. His primary collaborator during this period continued to be Duncan Blanchard, but he also conducted research with James Hughes of ONR, as well as researchers Jack Warner and Sean Twomey in Australia.
Woodcock was retired from the University of Hawaii in 1972, but continued to work on projects relating to atmospheric science. Woodcock became interested in fog formation and conducted research into fog in Alaska and Woods Hole, MA. He continued the research begun in the 1960s by further investigating the phenomenon of mountain breathing at Mauna Kea and did further research in Lake Waiau. Much of the funding for Woodcock's research came from the Office of Naval Research and his primary contact was James Hughes, in the Atmospheric Research department of the Office of Naval Research. Woodcock's ONR funding began with Project Shower and was terminated in 1984. In 1988, Woodcock was named Scientist Emeritus by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and in 1994 he was presented with a lifetime achievement award by the American Meteorological Society.
Chronology of Events
|1905 September 7||Born in Atlanta, GA|
|1931||Joins the research vessel Atlantis, under the command of Columbus Iselin|
|1931||1942 Technician, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute|
|1935||Sole scientist on the Atlantis' North Atlantic voyage|
|1938||Publishes a paper in The Atlantic Monthly on the flight patterns of birds|
|1940||Publishes a paper on soaring gulls in The Journal of Marine Research|
|1941||Chief scientist aboard the Atlantis|
|1941||Smoke screen project begins in conjunction with the U.S. Navy|
|1942||1946 Research Associate, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute|
|1944||Begins research into Physalia/Portuguese Man o' War|
|1946||1963 Oceanographer, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute|
|1947||Wyman/Woodcock report released on the temperature lapse rate in clouds|
|1947||1949 Woodcock studies the seaweed genus Sargassum|
|1949||Begins research into atmospheric sea salt|
|1949||1953 Publishes a series of groundbreaking papers on atmospheric sea salt.|
|1951||Begins working with Duncan Blanchard at Woods Hole|
|1954||Project Shower begins (study of the physics and chemistry of warm rain)|
|1957||Publishes results of Project Shower in Tellus|
|1958||Publishes a paper about the behavior of atmospheric sea salt in hurricanes|
|1961||Awarded honorary PhD from Long Island University|
|1962||Moves to Hawaii|
|1962||1965 Peak of Woodcock's research into atmospheric sea salt|
|1963||1972 Research affiliate, Dept. of Oceanography, University of Hawaii|
|1963||1972 Research associate, Hawaiian Institute of Geophysics|
|1974 (ca.)||Conducts research into fog formation in Alaska and Woods Hole|
|1975||Revisits gull research|
|1988||Emeritus Scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute|
|1994||Receives American Meteorological Society's Lifetime Achievement Award|
The material in this collection documents the correspondence and scientific research of Alfred H. Woodcock. Correspondence files date from 1930-1995 and consist of correspondence from the scientists that Woodcock worked and collaborated with, along with carbons of his original correspondence, as well as journal articles and a small amount of personal correspondence. Most of the correspondence is related to science and the topics that Woodcock was investigating. There is very little correspondence for the years 1930-1950. Woodcock's major collaborators were atmospheric scientist Duncan Blanchard, U.S. Navy scientist James Hughes, chemist James Lodge, and atmospheric researcher Sean Twomey. The scientific research files date from 1937-1986 and consist of original data collected by Woodcock as well as journal articles, record books, and photographs. Information about the scientists Woodcock collaborated with can be found in the correspondence files. Information about the scientific projects that Woodcock researched can be found in the scientific research files. Major projects and research covered by the collection includes the study of the soaring patterns of marine birds, 1931-1942, 1975; Woodcock's study of atmospheric sea salt, 1950-1965; Project Shower, a major study of warm rain in Hawaii, 1954-1957; the study of the alpine environment on the volcano Mauna Kea and Lake Waiau, 1956-1975. Also covered are Woodcock's study of the seaweed Sargassum, 1944-1949; and the Portuguese man 'o war Physalia, 1944-1970. Research pertaining to Woodcock's fog studies dates from 1977-1981. Note that in some files the topic can cover many years with significant gaps, and that occasionally multiple topics are covered within one folder. The dates of research are those in which the primary research was conducted; other material in the files such as journal articles and background material may predate the primary research.
The collection is organized as follows:
All items in this manuscript group were donated to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, by Alfred H. Woodcock in October, 1999.
Processed by: Timothy Niland (Fall 2000)
Collection record created by: This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on
Published: 2018-03-06 02:49:56 -0500
EAD file created, 2014
Encoded in EAD by Conversion and encoding by ArchProteus, 2015
Archival materials can be view in-person during business hours in our reading room, located on the top floor of the Science Library on the Uptown Campus.
We can also deliver digital scans for remote research for a fee.
Access to this record group is unrestricted.
The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
Preferred citation for this material is as follows:
Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Alfred H. Woodcock Papers, 1930-1995. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as [shortened name]).
|1||15||Project Shower Correspondence||1952|
(Correspondence relating to Project Shower, the study of warm rain in Hawaii).
|1||17||Project Shower correspondence||1953|
|1||20-22||Project Shower correspondence||1954|
|3||13||Correspondence with James Hughes||1964-1984|
|4||1||Soaring data - convective||1937-1938|
|4||2||Soaring data - dynamic||1937-1938|
|4||3||Porpoise bow and wave riding 1940||1948-1953, 1960|
|4||4||A theory of surface water deduced, etc||1941-1963|
|4||5||A holy smoke||1944|
|4||7-8||Final report on the behavior of smoke screens at sea||1944-1945|
|4||9||Tests on the behavior of smoke screens at sea||1944-1945|
|4||10-11||Tests on the behavior of smoke screens at sea||1944-1945|
f099f6c84a6c965270c5a29ced31fd6ca. Notebook, "Spring 1961 P-p trip data and rough log of P-p experiments in Florida"
26b8ca8a7c5bd0206f02e619cb3dec83b. a graph of observations of Physalia in the Florida Straits
1096fdcb93dacf26ca76962a5083933dc. a reprint with some penciled notes of Woodcock's publication, "Dimorphism in the Portuguese Man-Of-War", Nature, Vol 178, 253-255
|1956 August 4|
22e628b1150ad12ea6e5431e32e2d594d. a reprint of Everet C. Jones, "Tremoctopus violaceus Uses Physalia Tentacles as Weapons, Science, Vol 139, No 3556, 764-66
|1963 February 22|
eda3e8457f1686bf96d14854c3f7e22be. P-p dipping and sailing abs. notes
fe24f3464495ceee26be71796620902df. 5 three x five cards with citations and brief notes on articles
2 pages of notes
One page on ships reports, 1882-1903, one page labeled Pensacola-Santa Rosa, observations, on float lengths.
1fd5789c320bce3aa1e7114492170f9dh. a chart titled Fig 47 "Idealized Drawings of Wind-Induced Helical Motions in surface waters, with an illustration of the possible effects of asymmetrical vortices upon the drift of bottles and of physalia
833c05f8f0ff2304708e7d7c18e34e4fi. reprint of Woodcock, "A theory of surface water motion deduced from the wind-induced motion of the Physalia"Sears Foundation: Journal of Marine Research, Vol. 5, No. 3, pp. 196-205;
|1944 October 20|
0dd8e4ee26a1e393e29240462f088b30j. Map of Trinidad and Tobago
|4||13||Log book no.4 WHOL||1945-1950|
|4||15||Note on physalia symmetry||1946|
|4||16-17||Vertical motion exchange of heat and water between the air and sea||1946|
|4||18||The preparation and use of water sensitive coatings for sampling cloud particles||1946|
|4||19||Grass pond area||1946-1947|
|4||20||Marine studio experiment on porpoise density||1946, 1948-1950|
|4||21||Sargassum pressure tests Bermuda bio. station St. Georges, Bermuda||1947-1948|
|4||25||Salt spray data||1948|
|4||26||Sea and lake boundary, layer conditions, bubbles and foaming||1948, 1950, 1952, 1960|
|4||27||Wave riding dolphins||1948-1949|
|4||28||The swimming of dolphins||1948-1950, 1960|
|4||29||Subsurface sargassum manuscript||1949|
|4||30||Melting patterns in shallow ponds||1949-1950|
|4||31||Grass Pond-Long Island||1949, 1962|
|4||32||Data book impact sampling 1950, Nassau trip 1960, Woods Hole, MA, USA, 1950||1960|
|4||33||Original data June 1951, Ohan, TH||1951|
|4||34||December 1951-Summer 1954|
|4||36||Cloud paper tables||1953|
|4||37||Salt induced convection and clouds "bits and pieces"||1953, 1956|
|4||38||Bubbles from melting snow||1953, 1957, 1971, 1974|
|4||39||Project shower, Kilauea "Kapoho" eruption 1954||1960|
|5||1||Contribution to the study of the origin of nitrogen in atmospheric precipitation||1955|
|5||2||Atmospheric salt sampling||1955-1956|
|5||3||Flight and field data||1955, 1961, 1963-1965|
|5||4||2.40: Ideas for further physalia studies||1956|
0da6f84fbab92743e90372d8d02b8086a. One page titled: "Tentative suggestions for Physalia studies, emphasizing their sailing habits"
|1956 August 5|
an outline in pencil.
85476b6c705a9a6b647625fc4cf7ededb. Seven pages ripped out of a small notebook with observations
|03/24/1946, 03/26/1946, 03/31/1946, 04/06/1946|
|5||5||2.41: Dimorphism in the Portuguese Man-of-War||1956|
10e93f3ab2e1e67bd2e760eafe1671a8a. Article "Dimorphism in the Portuguese Man-of-War"
|1956 March 28|
Typescript inscribed 2nd corrected copy, of 7 pages including bib & notes, & three pages of graphs accompanying the article & two tables (one draft, on final) of observations of right and left handed Physalia seen on the surface of the open sea.
6f0cb7f0f77b29c2536d92022280db25b. Correspondence with MacMillan & Co.
re the submission, two pages, two post cards dated March 1956.
d0194e717414e9b46e760315931a399ec. A second set of the three figures which appear the same but are not numbered
39c59c1547b7469430b88a27d5ff1a63d. Three pages of penciled drafts of figure 1 & 2, and of table 1
|5||6||Salt spray in hurricanes||1956-1958, 1974|
|5||7||Factors affecting the distribution of villia - Dr. G.O. Mackie||ca. 1957|
|5||9||Atmospheric salt sampling||1957-1960|
|5||10||Plueston of the Western Pacific - A.J. Savilov||1958|
|5||11||2.47: Physalia sailing||1959-1970|
dd0ec696682259cffb20a5b044d52aaca. Robert Bieri, "Dimorphism and Size Distribution in Velelia and Physalia"Nature, 1333-1334
|1959 October 24|
d3da0519e80598c3f65e3a3176d5dee9b. Lisbeth Francis, "Design of a Small Cantilevered Sheet: The Sail of Velella velella"Pacific Science, vol. 39, no. 1, 1-15
2bb71dc41ba8d3105b606a148f90eceac. A Russian publication of A. N. Cabnob?? In cyrilic, CCCP 1958
6b973fe328a952c5a28e0eddb8675da3d. A Note to Dick Backus from A. H. Woodcock
|1961 March 1|
Marked corrected copy, Subject: "Making Observations of the Sailing Direction of Physalia on the Next Chain cruise", three pages & two incomplete drafts of same.
cc20ba03ae9e54ceeb38aa47dfd23b74e. G. O. Mackie from the Pacific Marine Station, California, titled "Factors affecting the distribution of Velella"
12 pages & 2 graphs
cddc42a20bd88f90da7963823ba9fd4df. A graph of Woodcock's labeled "Observations of Physalia physalis dipping rate as a function of wind speed, Straits of Florida, March 1961 with ink and pencil notations
d6020e9f5def49783b0e8ebb124a09beg. Reprint article, Charles E. Lane and Eleanor Dodge, "The toxicity of Physalia Nematocysts"Biological Bulletin, Vol 115, No. 2, 219-226
cf17532ec706d6a91b61b4bf3a6f3457h. Reprint article, R. V. Southcott, "Venomous Jelly Fish"Good Health, South Australia, 1-6
f0845ba09725b3ad2039476e6d5a8132i. Reprint article, C. W. Kingston and R. V. Southcott, "Skin Histopathology in Fatal Jellyfish Stinging"Transactions of the Royal Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Vol. 54, No. 4, 373-384
ec4b9c32bb3d205b0cea7f78a62ae5bcj. A Rejection letter fromNature for a mss
|1970 December 17|
ad6656f547cbfedd86508d1cf4fce973k. Reprint, J. B, Wittenberg, J. M. Noronah and M. Silverman, "Folic Acid Derivatives in the Gas Glands ofPhysalia physalis L". Biochem. J. 85, 9, 9-15
25ad192d51bfd0c1f1149265b14af6c7l. Proof with hand written corrections in pencil by Woodcock, "Note Concerning Physalia Behavior at Sea"Limnology and Oceanography, V. 16 (3), 551-552
Two drafts of the Notes (17 pages) article above (see 12) & correspondence (2 pages) with Dr. Yvette H. Edmondson, two of the letters are very amusing one from Woodcock to Edmondson explaining his difficulty in getting more data for the Note "The research vessel crew thought I was mad as it was" for spending that much time on the observations in a small boat, and Edmondson's note with reviewers comments concluding "I am amused to note that one of these referees apparently thinks of you as a meteorologist and the other as a biological oceanographer. It's always been my understanding of the legend that you're really a pomologist".
a03cdf7bcdec2426de6bedb5cad885b3n. A negative and black & white photo of Physalia probably for use as an illustration if needed in the Notes article 12 above but not dated & negatives and four color photos of Physalia again probably taken during the observations for the Notes article
42b1adab3a568d03f475d6a5f285fd09o. Article by Dorothy H. Miles, "The Left-handed Jelleyfish" Sunday Star Bulletin & Advertiser, for release Sunday
|1972 March 19|
5 pages double spaced with hand written comments in Woodcock's ??? hand.
62e414750d9e5b319e54c2a070c7e03ap. Two note cards with article citations & comments
|5||12||Comparison of isopiestic and flame photometer methods||1960|
|5||13||Photo micrographs of steam cloud sample #15||1960|
|5||14||Steam cloud samples||1960|
November 2-3, slide 4 November 3-4, 1960.
|5||15||Schults counts of particles in steam cloud||1960 November 8|
|5||16||Lab steam cloud sampling||1960 November 17|
|5||17||Particles from hot lava using saturated sea salt solution||1960|
|5||18||Comments about sustained swimming speeds of dolphins||1960|
|5||19||Volcano steam cloud study Hawaii||1960|
|5||20||Steam cloud particles photographs slide #15||1960|
|5||21||Steam cloud particles slides #1 and #19 photo micrographs||ca. 1960|
|5||22||Glacier variations and climate||1960-1962|
|5||23||Ice melt patterns||1960-1965|
|5||24||Record book no. 1||1961|
|5||25||New note about physalia||1961|
|5||26||2.62: Physalia chain observations||1961|
a32e4ebe6b8dfd43f09669aaecf39a4ca. Two note cards on Sailing of P-p
3a2c0c83979bf6f57f84b6ba5dc71909b. Chart of Chain observations (cruise 17) Dr. R. H. Backus -pencil. 1 page
08cd3221fdddab68d99a5072e17be021c. "Notes on Physalia, Chain Cruise 17 abstracted from journal of R. H. Backus
f2844dd03e18aedfedfea6c424e1cb17d. Ian A.E. Bayly to A. H. Woodcock
|1967 October 8|
Letter, discussing his research interests.
750f85b22372ee6d69b758c5fda1ba4be. Advertising flyer with notes by Woodcock forAustralian Inland Waters and their Fauna Eleven Studies Edited by A. H. Weatherly
af2e0ac50ee608e70af0fcb81d5b6ebff. Pencil equipment list and observations on sea surface and in tank
3b8914d285bede5b12bcae980df00dc2g. Pen notes titled Chain 35 St. Thomas - Recipe, Brazil (Leg #1) P.M. O'W observations R. H. Backus, 1 page
d76f59fca53c01be66e9d10675d10195h. Two note cards of citations on Edwards '66 and Savilov '67
d0a1c793b6a16cec5ff8f16530037898i. 1 page note that information about Physalia work can be found in file "Data re Papers"
60ad5fda9a55f2279b445b970ef0bb06j. Reprint, Sammy M. Ray, "Gymnodinium breve: Induction of Shellfish Poisoning in Chicks", Science, Vol 148, No. 3678, 1748-49
|1965 June 25|
6d045a748d42e513207399b0e8230b69k. 1 page double sided of notations in pencil, California, Japan, South Atl?, etc. some with totals
|1943 November 15|
With name Clara Shoemaker (American Museum of Natural History) and counts for New Zealand "1 left", between Cook and Marshall Islands at Marembold "1 left" and a few other notations.
|5||27||Rain recorder records||1961 October 22-1961 November 30|
|5||29||HDO in raindrops||1961-1962|
|5||30||Deuterium in raindrops Hawaii||1961-1962|
|5||31||Record book no. 2||1962|
|5||32||Salt induced convection and clouds||1962, 1959|
|5||33||Salt spray in hurricanes||1962-1968|
|5||34||Rain recorder paper||1963|
|5||35||Salt + Copters||1963-1965|
|5||36||Atmospheric sea salt||1963-1966|
|6||1||Smoke experiment pictures||1964|
|6||2||Salt convection, preliminary report on salt convection experiment results||1964|
|6||3||Lake sediment, radiocarbon dating||1965-1967|
|6||4||Melt patterns in ice over shallow waters||1965|
|6||5||Record book no. 3||1965-1966|
|6||6||Carbon 14 analysis proposal etc. (Waiau core)||1965-1966|
|6||7||Older Lake W. reports, etc.||1965-1967|
|6||8||L. Waiau sediment TC||1965-1967|
|6||9||Waiau Data||1965-1967, 1970|
|6||11||Waiau core, patterned ground in Waiau core, stone drift, unidentified photos||1965, 1968, 1975|
|6||12||Geochron laboratories, inc. (Waiau cores)||1966|
|6||13||Record book no. 4||1966-1967|
|6||14||Soaring flight studies||1966, 1952, 1945|
|6||15||Waiau photos||1966, 1978|
|6||16||Record book no. 5||1967-1968|
|6||17||Latest version of Waiau paper||1967-1969|
|6||18||Record book no. 6||1968-1969|
|6||19||Patterned ground MK Hawaii, drill hole, plant biology||1968-1977|
|6||20||Waiau photos||1968, 1978|
|6||21||Lichen trace mineral results, Mauna Loa Mauna Kea saddle area||1969|
|6||22||Record book no. 7||1969-1971|
|6||23||Glacier variations and climate||1969-1976|
|6||24||Lake Waiau||1969-1970, 1978, 1982|
|6||25||Glacier variations and climate||1970-1978|
|6||26||Glacier variations and climate||1970-1978|
|6||27||Record book no. 9||1971|
|6||28||Record book no. 8||1971|
|6||29||Mauna Kea Juniper news note Lake W.||1971|
|6||30||Record book no. 10||1971-1972|
|6||31||Record book no. 11||1972-1973|
|7||1||Record book no. 12||1973-1975|
|7||2||Mauna Kea "breathing"||1974, 1978|
|7||3||Snow ablation forms, "nine perritente", patterned ground||1975|
|7||4||Record book no. 13||1975-1976|
|7||5||Record book no. 14||1976|
|7||6||Mountain breathing MK, water vapor from drill hole, deuterium||1976|
|7||7||Record book no. 15||1976-1978|
|7||8||Cape Cod canal fog||1977-1982, 1959, 1962|
|7||9||Lake Waiau core photos- 1978, old photos of sargassum lines and rain showers||1978|
|7||10||Record book no. 16||1978-1982|
|7||11||Geological Society of America Bulletin, pt. 2||1979|
|7||12||Cape Cod canal fog data||1981|
|7||13||Ice melt patterns||1981-1982|
|7||14||Hawaiian telescope project- environmental impact statement||1982|
|7||15||Mauna Kea summit area, September 1982, UK drill hole temp. data||1982|
|7||16||Cape Cod Canal, Buzzards Bay, MA [record book no. 18]||1982|
|7||17||September 1982 latest "ice patterns" work Woodcock and Lucas||1982|
|7||18||Hawaiian astronomy station- environmental impact study||1982|
|7||19||U. Hawaii Mauna Kea science reserve master plan|
|8||1||MB (mountain breathing)||1966-1980|
|8||2||Mountain breathing revisited||1966-1980|
|8||3||MB (mountain breathing) [folder 2]||1967-1986|