In Memoriam

“Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?
Terry Pratchett


Thomas ‘Tim’ Dauphinee (1916-2017)

On February 20, 2017, the world said goodbye to an exceptional man. We celebrate Thomas ‘Tim’ Dauphinee who graced us with a century of life that included numerous ingenious scientific achievements and humanitarian contributions to a variety of causes. Winner of the Morris E. Leeds Award for scientific achievement, Tim also won countless hearts with his kind soul, generosity of spirit and exceptionally high moral code.

Tim Dauphinee was born in Vancouver, B.C., on July 3, 1916. After four years teaching public school he switched to physics, receiving his B.A. (1943), M.A. (1945, and Ph.D. (1950) from the University of British Columbia. He joined the National Research Council of Canada in 1945. He first worked in the area of solid state on measurements of thermal and electrical conductivity, specific heat and Hall effect, then transferred to the Temperature Standards Laboratory, where he was involved in the design of a number of instruments for thermometry and precision electrical measurements. His special area of interest was instrumentation for oceanographic measurements, in particular, temperature, salinity and electrical conductivity, pressure, and biological activity, including the original designs of the Guidline Instruments STD and CTD systems and laboratory salinometer “Autosal”, which is still an industrial standard in oceanography.

Dr. Dauphinee was a member of an expert panel that was established by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and the International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Ocean to redefine salinity in terms of the conductivity, temperature and pressure. These measurements, performed by Tim Dauphinee in the NRC, Ottawa, Canada, were the basis of the Practical Salinity Scale 1978, which was officially declared in 1980, is the official scale for all ocean salinity measurements today and probably for many years to come. For the years passing by, trillions of salinity data samples were collected all around the world – this is the most measurable physical-chemical parameter. The importance of work on the development of the practical salinity scale  and its measurement put Tim Dauphinee in a list of the great scientists and innovators of the 20th century. Hi is the Salt of the Earth! Thank you, Tim, from all oceanographers and from me personally. We will remember your great work and your exceptional life. Rest in Peace.