International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE)

The International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE) resulted from a cascade of effects. The International Geophysical Year of 1957-1958 had shown the value of coordinated multinational efforts in ocean science. This realization resulted in the International Council of Scientific Unions (now the International Council for Science) creating the Special Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR, later re-named to Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research) to continue to stimulate international cooperation in ocean sciences.  From its first annual meeting at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in 1957, SCOR identified the Indian Ocean as the greatest unknown in the global ocean and an area that could benefit from an intensive campaign of ocean observations. SCOR envisioned exploration of the Indian Ocean as its first task. The first four SCOR working groups were established to work on methodological issues to prepare for the IIOE, then were combined into SCOR WG 5.  SCOR hired a Coordinator for the IIOE, Robert G. Snider, in 1959, and he continued in this post until the end of 1962, when management of the expedition was transferred to the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.