The John Lyman book awards are named in honor of John R. Lyman – oceanographer, maritime historian, and a founder of NASOH. He was a friend and inspiration to many in the Society. These prestigious awards are given annually by the Society in six categories: Canadian naval and maritime history; U.S. naval history; U.S. maritime history; science and technology; reference works and published primary sources; and biography and autobiography.
John Rowen Lyman was a distinguished scientist, oceanographer, naval officer, university professor, and maritime historian. He was born November 28, 1915 in Berkeley, California. He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of California at Berkeley in 1936. He served in the US Navy as an officer during WW II, much of it at the Dahlgren Proving Ground in Virginia. He continued service in the Reserves and retired in 1975 at the rank of Captain.
In 1946 he became director of oceanography at the Navy Hydrographic Office in Washington, DC. Later he was director of oceanography at the National Science Foundation, then chief advisor for oceanographic research at the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries, and worked at the Office of Naval Research. He completed a MS degree, and in 1958 a PhD at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California.
Lyman moved to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1968 as professor of Environmental Chemistry and director of the Office of Marine Sciences. He retired in 1973, partly to devote more time to his avocation--maritime historical research. Lyman used his research and statistical skills to compile records of ships and their sailings from the National Archives and other repositories. His primary interest was Pacific coast shipping. By the 1940s he was recognized as a major contributor to the field. Several of his compilations were published by Marine Digest, and bound for use by the San Francisco Maritime Museum (later to become the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park). He regularly contributed to Mariner’s Mirror, and other journals, including The American Neptune, where he served on the editorial board. He began his own publication, Log Chips, in 1946 with a borrowed duplicating machine and the help of this wife Mitchell, a poet, and mother of their sons John and Richard. Lyman was a founding trustee of the National Maritime Historical Society. He was a founder and served on the council of the North American Society for Oceanic History.
John Lyman died in Chapel Hill, North Carolina at the age of 62 on November 17, 1977.
The John Lyman Book Awards are given annually by the Society in the following six categories: Canadian naval and maritime history; U.S. naval history; U.S. maritime history; science and technology; reference works and published primary sources; and biography and autobiography. Books published during the previous year or bearing a copyright date of the previous year qualify for consideration. The closing date for submissions is March 1, 2023.
For further information contact the Awards Committee chair, Paul Fontenoy at email@example.com.
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