The collection consists of papers and photographs documenting the life and career of marine biologist Easter Ellen Cupp, including
her graduate studies and research at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Marine biologist Easter Ellen Cupp (1904-1999) was born in Neola, Iowa. Her family moved to Whittier, California in 1910.
Cupp attended Whittier College (A.B. 1926) and earned a master's degree in zoology from the University of California, Berkeley
in 1928. In 1934, Cupp became the first woman in North America to receive a PhD in oceanography when she was awarded her doctorate
from the University of California for research on plankton completed at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Cupp remained
at Scripps and worked initially as an associate oceanographer, then instructor, from 1934-1939, but departed in 1940 when
a faculty position proved elusive. During this period she completed work on her book,
Marine Plankton Diatoms of the West Coast of North America, published in 1943. Cupp became an assistant biologist for the Naval Biological Laboratory from 1940-1943; when that assignment
ended, she taught English and science at Woodrow Wilson Junior High School in San Diego until her retirement in 1967. She
passed away in San Diego at the age of 95.