The Allan Hancock Foundation Archive

Foundation Scientists

The research trips sponsored by the Hancock Foundation were manned by a number of scientists on the faculty of the University of Southern California, or affiliated with the Foundation. Among them were Professors John Garth, Maurice Nelles, Irene McCulloch, and Waldo Schmitt. Every trip included a photographer and/or cameraman. 

One of the more interesting members of many of the Foundation's trips was Professor John Garth. Garth began his affiliation with the Foundation's research trips while an undergraduate at USC, where he was a music major. He was selected to accompany the first trip in 1931 as a musician, but soon began working as a research assistant, and as a result ended up pursuing a doctorate in marine biology and a lifelong affiliation with USC.

One of the important innovations made by Foundation scientists was the benthograph. These devices (manned and unmanned) were used to film along the ocean floor, specifically off the California coast, and in and around Santa Catalina Island.

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