nicknamed PATHFINDER of the SEAS and FATHER of modern Oceanography and
Naval Meteorology and later Scientist of the Seas, due to the
publication of his extensive works
in books, especially Physical Geography of the Sea 1855, the first
and comprehensive book on oceanography published. Maury made many
new contributions to charting winds and ocean currents, including
for ships at sea.
His hard work on and love of plotting the
oceans paid off when he became superintendant of the Department of
Charts and Instruments in 1842, mostly due to his articles on United
States Naval reform published in newspapers. Upon the establishment of
the Untited States Naval Observatory in 1844 thatnks to President John
Q. Adams in his last months of office, Lieutenant
Maury became its first superintendant,
holding that position until his resignation in April 1861.
Lieutenant Maury published his Wind and Current Chart of the North
Atlantic, which showed sailors how to use the ocean's currents
and winds to their
advantage and drastically reduce the length of ocean voyages; his Sailing Directions and Physical Geography
of the Seas and its Meterology remain standard. Maury's uniform
system of recording synoptic oceanographic data was adopted by the
Navies and merchant marines around the world and was used to develop
charts for all major trade routes.
Thus the United States Navy created and built
surveying ships to carry on the work of Maury. To chart wind currents,
temperatures and underwater obsticles to produce the many maps and
used today by the Navy and Merchant Marine.
Information compliled from