George Francis McEwen was born on June 16, 1882 in Manchester, Iowa. He attended Iowa State College. In 1905, he moved to San Diego, California, and a few years later graduated from Stanford University. He began to work as a teaching assistant there, and in 1911, earned his Ph.D. in Physics and Mathematics. He then began his long career with the Scripps Institution for Biological Research. He primarily conducted research and worked as a Professor of Physical Oceanography.
During the 1930s, McEwen supervised a largescale project conducted by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Labor and the U.S. Navy Hydrographic Office. This involved monitoring a compilation of ships’ meteorological observations that were taken between 1904 and 1934. He also researched temperature- based methods on calculating ocean currents.
World War II and Later
Manhattan Project scientists were interested in McEwen’s previous work on the dispersion of silt in the ocean. In 1944, he left the Scripps Institution to briefly work with them. During Operation Crossroads, he calculated the dispersion of radioactive material.
McEwen continued his work with mathematical models of dispersion until his retirement in 1952.
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