David Au
AT2, VP2 1957-59.
Transferred VP50 to VP2 1957; Crew 6.  Discharged  VP2 1959.  

1960-64.  Enrolled at University of Hawaii, as few prospects for radio/radar expertise, and thinking about marine biology, especially having viewed Marshall Island atolls during VP TransPacs and contemplating Darwin’s explanation.  Married co-ed Eunice, 1964 from Entomology Dept.  Studied  larval fish in Pearl Harbor (and nearly run over by nuke sub).  University employment at Eniwetok Marine Lab, and for measuring phytoplankton from Navy ships.

1963-70.  Oceanographic Technician for Fish and Wildlife Honolulu, Marine Division. Continuing months at sea carrying out world’s first large scale, long time series study of oceanic flows using venerable but obsolescent Nansen bottles and reversing thermometers – and so the last of such studies.  Then off to Oregon State University for more formal studies in oceanography and population biology, especially of coho salmon.
1970-75. With PhD ticket (for professional level work) in hand, arrived at the U.S. Marine Fisheries Laboratory (new name for marine Fish and Wildlife) at Woods Hole MA, my professional career thus beginning at Nation’s first and oldest marine lab.  Soon surveying fishing grounds from the Gulf of Maine to Cape Hatteras with Bongo net and otter trawl, often cooperatively with Russian, Polish, etc. scientists and ships.

1975–85.  Transferred to La Jolla CA laboratory in 1975 to work on “porpoise problem.” California tuna fishermen had perfected the technique of catching tuna by purse seining up large dolphin schools beneath which tuna swim, killing tens of thousands of dolphins yearly in the process, and igniting a national political firestorm.  Led cruises to eastern tropical Pacific to assess abundance of  the dolphin and whale species, experiencing tropical seas and animals known/seen by very few, if at all.  

1985-03.  Continuing studies on tunas in the tropical Pacific and Atlantic, Pacific billfishes, tropical seabirds, and squids. Last project was working out methodology for comparing productivity potentials of different shark species.  Retired in 2003.

My 37 years of sea sampling/surveying and scientific writing include memorable experiences, and much boring interludes too (like VP Oscars).  Memorables like swimming among “killer clams” and sharks at Eniwetok; shipboard collecting in snowstorm or hurricane seas on Georges Bank off New England; ship crossings of the gill-greening Alenuihaha Channel (HI); sweating out  hydrocasts to 10000 ft with groaning winch; chasing down dolphins and whales by ship and by helicopter; fishing ink-spitting Humboldt squids off Peru; fighting for scientific missions against bureaucrats, ship captains, and foreign officers; being one of many fired by Ronald Reagan for determining harm by San Diego tunamen; swimming among captured tuna and dolphins; exploring the Galapagos and Cocos Islands and neotropical forests of Panama and Costa Rica.  And having two grown daughters, two grandsons, and a granddaughter on the way.