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Dr. Fred Noel Spiess (December 25, 1919 – September 8, 2006) was a naval officer, oceanographer and marine explorer. His work created new advances in marine technology including the FLIP Floating Instrument Platform, the Deep Tow vehicle for study of the sea floor, and the use of acoustics for underwater navigation and geodetic positioning. Spiess (pronounced SPEES) was born in Oakland, California. He received an undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a master's degree from Harvard University. He received his doctorate in physics from UC Berkeley in 1951.

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  • Dr. Fred Noel Spiess (December 25, 1919 – September 8, 2006) was a naval officer, oceanographer and marine explorer. His work created new advances in marine technology including the FLIP Floating Instrument Platform, the Deep Tow vehicle for study of the sea floor, and the use of acoustics for underwater navigation and geodetic positioning. Spiess (pronounced SPEES) was born in Oakland, California. He received an undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a master's degree from Harvard University. He received his doctorate in physics from UC Berkeley in 1951.
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  • Fred Spiess
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  • Dr. Fred Noel Spiess (December 25, 1919 – September 8, 2006) was a naval officer, oceanographer and marine explorer. His work created new advances in marine technology including the FLIP Floating Instrument Platform, the Deep Tow vehicle for study of the sea floor, and the use of acoustics for underwater navigation and geodetic positioning. Spiess (pronounced SPEES) was born in Oakland, California. He received an undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a master's degree from Harvard University. He received his doctorate in physics from UC Berkeley in 1951. Spiess was awarded the John Price Wetherill Medal in 1965 and the Maurice Ewing Medal in 1983. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1985. He was a fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, and was awarded their Pioneers of Underwater Acoustics Medal in 1985 for "his leadership and insight in applying acoustics to study the ocean and the sea floor, for his many ingenious scientific and engineering contributions; for his introduction of students, scientists, and many others to underwater acoustics." After graduating in 1941 from the University of California, Berkeley, he received a commission from the US Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps. During World War II, he made a record 13 war patrols on submarines in the Pacific Ocean and was awarded Silver and Bronze Stars for gallantry in combat. He continued in the Naval Reserve from 1946–56 and retired with the rank of captain, serving as the Deputy Oceanographer of the Navy from 1969 to 1974. Spiess' method for reckoning the position of an object from successive sonar contacts is still a standard for training of US Naval Officers. Spiess joined the Marine Physical Laboratory at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 1952 and served as director of the laboratory from 1958 to 1980. He served as director of the Scripps Institution from 1964 to 1965.
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