Jacques S. Zaneveld

As a youngster, Jacques Zaneveld, the late professor emeritus of oceanography, often combed the beach in Lilliput, Holland, his birthplace. When he arrived in Norfolk in 1959 to join Old Dominion’s biology department, he felt right at home, noting that the “marine station in the Netherlands was also located in such a naval area.”

When the Institute of Oceanography was founded in 1965, Zaneveld served as its first director until his retirement in 1975. Authorized in 1968 to offer a master’s degree in oceanography, the institute was the forerunner of the university’s nationally distinguished oceanography program.

In an interview recorded in 1976, Zaneveld said, “The idea (when coming to ODU) was to develop good teaching” and “to introduce research and especially subsidized research.” He obtained National Science Foundation funding for ecological research in the Chesapeake Bay, for studying Eastern Shore marine algae and for three Antarctic expeditions to study algae as part of the government’s “Operation Deep Freeze” project. Zaneveld, an avid supporter of the Boy Scouts, credited his scout training with helping “tremendously to live under primitive circumstances.”

The recipient of numerous awards, Zaneveld called it “a cool honor” when an Antarctic glacier was named for him. A naturalized U.S. citizen, he was knighted in 1997 by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands in recognition of his distinguished scientific career.


Quest Fall 2005 • Volume 8 Issue 2