Professor emeritus of marine studies Franklin C. Daiber (1919-2003) and his wife Joanne Currier Daiber (1927-2007) were two of the first marine scientists hired by the University of Delaware in the 1950s.
In 1951, the University of Delaware biology department established a marine lab in Lewes, Delaware, to address growing concern over the decline in the state's fish populations. Joanne Currier was the first woman marine scientist hired by the University of Delaware to participate in the program's first funded research project to sample and analyze plankton populations of the Delaware estuary. She earned her B.A. in biology from Bates College in 1949, where she completed her senior thesis on a disorder found in the shells of lobsters. She received a master's degree in biology from Vassar College in 1951.
Dr. Franklin C. Daiber joined the University of Delaware in 1952 as the first faculty member to teach marine science and played a significant role in establishing the College of Marine Studies (now the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment), creating a program in icthyology and fisheries with an emphasis on graduate studies. Dr. Daiber retired from the University of Delaware in 1987; the Franklin C. Daiber Residence Complex in Lewes was named in his honor. In 2000, Dr. Daiber established a fellowship at the University of Delaware in recognition of his wife's pioneering work in marine studies: the Joanne Currier Daiber Fellowship is awarded to a woman graduate student in the Marine Biology-Biochemistry Program. In addition, the university's College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment named the coastal research vessel R/V Joanne Daiber "in honor of the devotion Mrs. Daiber had for the University of Delaware marine program and the professional sacrifices she made in her early career."
Dr. and Mrs. Daiber published a two-volume memoir of the early days of the marine studies program in Lewes and their work and life together in Lewes and Newark titled Salty Memoirs: Adventures in Marine Science (2000). The publication was designed by their son Steven Daiber, proprietor of the Red Trillium Press.
University of Delaware College of Earth, Ocean, & Environment. "R/V Joanne Daiber." Accessed January 15, 2015. https://www.ceoe.udel.edu/schools-departments/school-of-marine-science-and-policy/marine-operations/r-v-joanne-daiber.
"In Memoriam Franklin C. Daiber." UDaily. Accessed January 15, 2015. http://www.udel.edu/PR/UDaily/2003/fdaiber.html
"Obituaries." Bates Magazine. Accessed January 15, 2015. http://www.bates.edu/magazine/back-issues/y2007/summer07/departments/vital-statistics/obituaries-4/.
Additional biographical information derived from collection.
The Franklin C. Daiber botanical slides comprise hundreds of images of various flower and plant specimens photographed by Dr. Daiber in the mid-Atlantic region from 1975-1999. The collection reflects Dr. Daiber's longtime interest in both photography and the study of natural phenomena. The original 35mm slides are arranged alphabetically by name of species. Digital surrogates of many of the slides can be accessed via the University of Delaware Library's digital collections.