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The inventive Dr. Athelstan Spilhaus created the idea for a National Sea Grant Program in 1963. Three years and 33 days later, Congress passed the National Sea Grant College Program Act of 1966. At the time, he was the Dean of the University of Minnesota's Institute of Technology.

Known affectionately as Spilly to some and Athel to others, he was adept at making impacts with both words and deeds. His accomplishments are legion and his life's story is astounding.

Online resources relevant to Spilhaus's story:

PowerPoint Presentation



  • Cape to Cairo Documentary
    An account of Athel and Mary's fascinating drive from Cape Town, South Africa, to Alexandria, Egypt, in 1936. The video includes interviews with Dr. Spilhaus and was produced by Louise S. O'Connor, Texas. (27 minutes, 1990).
  • Sea Grant
    Athelstan gives the inaugural lecture for the MIT Sea Grant Program, September 27, 1972. Intros by Alfred Kiel (Dean of Engineering at MIT) and Robert Abel (Director of the National Sea Grant Program). MIT Museum.

The Minnesota Experimental City (MXC):


The Roswell Incidence:

  • McAndrew, 1st Lt. James. 1995. Report on Project MOGUL, Synopsis of Balloon Research Findings. 1995, USAFR.

Our New Age:

The Minnesota Experimental City (MXC):

  • Wildermuth, Todd. 2008. Yesterday's City of Tomorrow: The Minnesota Experimental City and Green Urbanism. Dissertation. Department of Natural Resource and Environmental Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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