Cameron, William Maxwell

William Maxwell Cameron, physical oceanographer (b at Battleford, Sask 24 July 1914; d at Vancouver, 4 July 2008). Educated at the University of British Columbia, he was a biologist at the Fisheries Research Board, Pacific Biological Station 1938-41, when he moved to the Meteorological Service as a forecaster at Western Air Command Headquarters, Vancouver. In 1944 he joined the Royal Canadian Navy and became involved in antisubmarine warfare research. After World War II he studied under Dr H.U. Sverdrup at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California. He joined the Defence Research Board of Canada (1949) and played a major role in establishing the Institute of Oceanography (later the Department of Oceanography, now the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences) at the University of British Columbia in 1949.

He carried out extensive arctic research and hydrographic surveys as chief scientist of the Canada/US Joint Beaufort Sea Expeditions 1949-54. He moved to the Department of Mines and Technical Surveys (later the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources, now Natural Resources Canada) 1960 and was director of Marine Sciences Branch 1962 to 1971 when he retired from permanent service. Cameron's initiative in establishing the BEDFORD INSTITUTE OF OCEANOGRAPHY and his theoretical studies of estuarine circulation and ocean modelling are of international significance. William M. Cameron was awarded the Order in Canada in 2004 for his work in oceanographic science and for establishing research centres on oceanography in Canada.