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betty bunce on chain

At sea with a pioneer

Elizabeth ("Betty") Bunce waits for a sediment core to come up, aboard R/V Chain circa 1958. One of the first woman oceanographers, Bunce (1915-2003) was kind and loyal as well as forthright and tough, according to those who knew her—and famous for using a punching bag on research cruises. A geophysicist interested in tectonics and seismic studies, she was the first WHOI female oceanographer to go to sea for more than a day, be chief scientist on a WHOI ship, or serve as Department Chair. She received the 1995 Women Pioneers in Oceanography Award, and geologist colleagues honored her by naming a deep-sea fault after her.
(Photo courtesy of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Archives)


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