Mark Hickey grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., playing ball on concrete stoops and traveling in crowded, noisy, dirty subways. At 20, he visited his brother on the Cape. “Now this feels like a place a person can actually live,” he thought. “No constant ambulance sirens, no brakes shrieking, or people screaming.” He decided to move to Falmouth, working a series of odd jobs until 1976, when he joined WHOI as a printers’ apprentice.
In those pre-computer days, WHOI’s Reproduction Department had five people and only one Xerox machine. Several presses made copies of everything from stockroom forms and stationery to Ph.D. dissertations, scientific reports, and funding proposals. “We had a, nasty-smelling ammonia-developing machine that copied blueprints and engineering drawings,” he said. “Our automatic collator was my index finger with rubber padding on it.”
In 1983, Mark became Supervisor of Reproduction Services. Since then, he has been instrumental in keeping WHOI abreast of new technology that has streamlined the department to a team of two, Mark and Steve Allsop (who came ashore 21 years ago after working on WHOI ships). Today, they work with three copy machines, including a large-volume Xerox DocuTech. A wide-bed Xerox machine handles engineering drawings, and most collating is done by the copy machines themselves. Mark also manages the system of more than 50 copiers/printers/fax machines placed throughout Institution buildings. In 2004, the copying volume from all the machines totaled four million sheets of paper.
“ The people I work with in the Graphic Services group are great,” Mark said. “They are a microcosm of the WHOI community. They are extremely good at what they do and make each other’s jobs easier through cheerful cooperation.”
After work, Mark treasures a walk on the beach, watching a sunset, gardening in his WHOI plot, or playing softball in the WHOI interdepartmental league—on grass, not concrete.
Originally published: April 1, 2005