Do you remember Mosaic, the rudimentary web browser that started the public fascination with the internet? The ASLO website was initiated when Mosaic was the state of the art in web browsing, the first version of Netscape had not yet been released, and web surfing was done at modem speeds of 9600 and 14400 baud. While the first draft of an ASLO website was being created, the number of internet web servers skyrocketed from a few tens of thousands to four million, the first macro virus was discovered in a Microsoft Word document, and the word "internet" was formally defined by the Federal Networking Council. In short, we go back a long way!
C. Susan Weiler, the Executive Director of ASLO at the time, issued the following request in the Fall 1994 issue of the ASLO Bulletin:
AN ASLO HOME PAGE???
If you know what that means, read on-I need your help! And if you don't know, plan to attend the ASLO '95 meeting in Reno and learn about Mosaic and electronic data bases! Having used Mosaic once, I know just enough to see that a home page could be very useful to ASLO members. For example, we could use it to transmit through the ether:
- Member names and e-mail addresses
- Job listings
- ASLO (and other) news
- Meeting announcements
- Educational information
- Aquatic science resources
- General information and exchange of ideas
- Other-please let me know what you'd like.
While the system is not yet up and running, we hope to have something operational before June-so we can demonstrate its use at the ASLO '95 meeting in Reno. If you have some experience with Mosaic and Home Pages, and would be willing to apply your talents to the development of an ASLO Home Page, please let me know.
The first ASLO website was housed on a server of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, with the help of David M. Anderson of NOAA's paleoclimatology group in Boulder, CO. The first draft was created by Alan Schussman, then a student at Whitman College, and Paul Kemp, then a Research Oceanographer at Brookhaven National Laboratory. In May 1995, Paul Kemp took over the task of operating the ASLO website with assistance from Alan Schussman.
The first ASLO web page contained many of the same elements as it does today. In the very next issue of the ASLO Bulletin, Sue Weiler wrote:
As of this writing, the ASLO Home Page contains the following:
- Society information
- ASLO meeting information
- Limnology and Oceanography information, including instructions for authors and reviewers
- Bulletin Board for posting items of interest to the aquatic science community
- Job announcements
- Calendar section, with announcements of ASLO and other meetings and courses
- DIALOG Program information and Ph.D. Dissertation citations and abstracts
- Pointers to other WWW aquatic science and job resources, and to other Home Pages
The first version of the website contained a few dozen pages. Since that start, the ASLO website has grown enormously and now contains over 85,000 files. In 2012, the website received more than 15 million hits from more than 800,000 different users. It is likely that more people have been introduced to ASLO via its website than by any other means.
If you would like to see what the front page of the ASLO website looked like in the past, click on the links below (warning: only the front page is shown; links are not functional).
Websites have evolved, of course, and the ASLO website has been redesigned several times. The latest design happened in 2013. If you would like to view previous versions of the website, click on the links below.