Tech

Google honors American geologist Marie Tharp with an interactive doodle

Google is today celebrating the life of Marie Tharp, an American geologist, and oceanographic cartographer, with a special and interactive doodle.

The doodle highlights Tharp's crucial work in the field of ocean science and geology spaces that are traditionally male-dominated.

On this day in 1998, the US Library of Congress named Marie Tharp one of the greatest cartographers of the 20th century.

The interactive on Google Doodle features a narration on Tharp’s life and work in various slides. Three women, Caitlyn Larsen, Rebecca Nesel, and Dr. Tiara Moore, who are following Tharp’s footsteps, have lent their voices to the narration.

According to Google's post, Born on July 30, 1920, in Michigan, Tharp was an only child of a German and Latin teacher mother and her father who was a soil surveyor for the United States Department of Agriculture.

She was first introduced to mapmaking during her trips with her father on his fieldwork.

Tharp is an English and music graduate from Ohio University. She attended the University of Michigan for her master’s degree in petroleum geology – this was particularly impressive given so few women worked in science during this period.

Tharp was one of the first women to work at the Lamont Geological Observatory in New York City. It is here that she met geologist Bruce Heezen. The two worked together extensively. He had once dismissed her findings as “girl talk”.

In 1957, Tharp and Heezen co-published the first map of the ocean floor in the North Atlantic.

Twenty years later, National Geographic published the first world map of the entire ocean floor penned by Tharp and Heezen, titled “The World Ocean Floor.” Tharp died in August 2006 in New York, at the age of 86.

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