In the Mercury-News Paul Rogers has placed a story that can only exemplify what operators of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, or MBARI, can regard as good press. It's a staple sort of story for regional press, about an institution founded by a local, wealthy, famous late person and kept going by the family. But Rogers has the advantage of writing about a place that, unless I am terribly mistaken, deserves good press. The founder is David Packard, tech-pioneer of the Hewlett-Packard electronics industrial edifice in Silicon Valley. The prime family member who keeps nourishing the better-known Monterey Bay Aquarium - of which she is exec. dir. - and its science sibling MBARI is his daughter Julie.
For its 25th anniversary the place is having an open house. Rogers goes beyond saying that it's a nifty opportunity to get behind the scenes of good science. He engagingly recounts its history. This includes a sketch of the abysmal ignorance, as in not knowing diddly about the abyss just offshore, that existed when it started operation, and the world-class exploration by research submersibles and other nice equipment since then that MBARI has used to fill in the blanks. Rogers at one point goes over-effusive, one humbly thinks, when he writes "MBARI is often mentioned in the same breath as the elite Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts." That has to be literally true. It's a great place. But surely, not quite to be ranked with those others.
Here's a real plus. If a reader does not mind an intrusive poll-questionnaire that pops up every now and then, the gallery of MBARI photos linkes to the story is superb. Don't miss it. That luminous fellow top right, who comes up late in the gallery, is a barreleye. Its head is transparent. One can tell what's happening inside. Too bad we don't have more Presidential candidates with those.
Grist for the Mill: MBARI Media Page;
- Charlie Petit