The ADVANCE Program awards several Marie Tharp Fellowships each year to women scientists on their way to becoming the best in their fields.
The fellowship is named after Marie Tharp, who was the first to map details of the ocean floor on a global scale. She published the pivotal interpretation of mid-ocean ridges that was crucial to the eventual acceptance of the theories of plate tectonics and continental drift. Tharp based her work on data from sonar readings obtained by Maurice Ewing and his team. Piecing together data from the late 1940s and early 1950s, she and colleague Bruce Heezen discovered a 40,000-mile underwater ridge girdling the globe and established the foundation for the conclusion that the sea floor spreads from central ridges and that the continents are in motion with respect to one another—a revolutionary geological theory at the time. Years later, satellite images proved Tharp’s maps to be accurate. Tharp came to Columbia in 1948. She then moved to the Lamont Geological Observatory (now the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory), where she began work on mapping the ocean floor. In recent years, she has been honored for her scientific contributions by the Library of Congress, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Her map of the ocean floor is still the foundation for research and education in the ocean sciences.
The application for the 2009-2010 academic year was open from November 27, 2008 to January 16, 2009. Application instructions