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Bill Schevill and Bill Watkins

Eavesdropping on Whales

Bill Schevill, left, founded the field of marine mammal bioacoustics just after World War II. When Bill Watkins, right, joined him at WHOI in 1958, they began what current WHOI bioacoustician Peter Tyack calls "a 40-year collaboration that changed the face of marine mammal science." Watkins responded to the problem of how to record the animals' sounds from small vessels by building a portable tape recorder; he went on "to develop most of the scientific tools that form the basis of our field," Tyack says. (Photo courtesy of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Archives)


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