University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

People & Oceans: From Robust Frontiers-Fragile Environments

Saturday, April 29, 2017
1:00pm – 2:00pm

Storrs Campus
Storrs Hall, Room 011

The Connecticut State Museum of Natural History at UConn presents “People and Oceans: From Robust Frontiers to Fragile Environments,” a lecture by Dr. Helen Rozwadowski, from UConn’s Department of History and Maritime Studies. The lecture will be held on Saturday, April29, 1 pm at the Biology/Physics Building, Room 130, UConn.

The Second World War involved unprecedented scientific investigation of the ocean to support undersea warfare, amphibious landings and sea-based aviation. In the wake of hostilities, the ocean emerged as a promising site for science and technology-based economic development. Inventors, entrepreneurs and officials transferred the metaphor of the American western frontier onto the sea to express their optimism for the growth potential for ocean-based industry. The scramble to claim oceanic resources led to the erosion of the centuries-long agreement regarding freedom of the seas. The 1970s concern for the great whales and the dangers posed by major oil spills drew attention seaward but did not translate into worry about the ocean itself immediately. Over time, the accessible ocean, increasingly made visible through television and movies and direct mass experience, began a process of cultural transformation from robust frontier to fragile environment. Concern for the ocean ecosystem gained traction only recently, with the belated awareness of overfishing and climate change.

The time to write ocean history is now. Recent scholarship from many fields has laid a promising foundation, revealing the underappreciated importance of the ocean and its depths in both the past and the present.

This program is free and advanced registration is not required. To contact the Museum, visit or call 860-486-4460.


Natural History Museum - 860.486.4460

Connecticut State Museum of Natural History (primary), History Department, Maritime Studies, Office of Public Engagement, UConn Master Calendar

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