WHOI  WHOI People  

Hovey Clifford

Research support, shipboard scientific services, dock master, volunteer

Hovey grew up harassing snails and fiddler crabs and building sandcastles along the shores of Buttermilk Bay during school vacations. On the advice of WHOI’s Mary Sears, he pursued an undergraduate degree in zoology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a master’s degree in marine biology at Scripps.

Returning to New England, he began his WHOI career in 1969, in the Biology Department, working first for Stanley Watson on the electron microscope, and then for Gilbert Rowe, with whom he did extensive diving in Buzzards Bay and off the coasts of Africa and Peru. In the early 1980s, Hovey moved to the Chemistry Department, where he worked for Vaughan Bowen and John Farrington on large volume water analyses and the Mussel Watch program.

Hovey completed his career at WHOI as a shipboard scientific services technician and as dockmaster, retiring in 1999. Known affectionately as one who never found a committee on which he didn’t want to serve, he also enjoyed playing on WHOI’s volleyball and softball teams.

Upon retirement, Hovey has found his second calling as an enthusiastic volunteer tour guide, and he continues to teach CPR and First Aid. One of Hov’s favorite WHOI moments was being included, along with Judy McDowell and Dick Colburn, in the group of employees to receive the first Vetlesen Awards, in 1989.

Note: This profile of Hovey was provided by his daughter, Sheila Clifford, who is an administrative associate in the Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department.

Originally published: January 1, 2005