January 2, 2005
An Outline Autobiography by

Robert M Cunningham (Fogseeker)

Front page article from The Boston Globe 8/5/01

Obituary from The Boston Globe 5/1/08

Service on Kent Island 7/28/08: The Quoddy Tides

Kent Island Historic Weather Data

Current Kent Island Weather

1. First event: Birth July 1,1919 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

2. First word: I'm told I used to stand holding on to the windowsill, watching the morning street activities below. One of the first notable events was the approach of the horse drawn wagon selling the refrigeration supplies of the day. The driver was stopping at most of the houses yelling ICE. So my first word was the unconventional word "ICE". A proper start for a Cloud Physicist / Meteorologist.

3. At age 10 I started taking weather observations twice a day, a habit that continues to this day. My other hobby that developed early was carpentry - In the first grade in Shady Hill school each member of the class built their own house, full scale for our size (6' by 4' by 4'), I remember it lasted in the backyard for over a year. Later I built the house in Lincoln, Massachusetts where I raised my family and have lived for nearly 60 years.

4. I remember in high school at Cambridge School of Weston, Bill Gross discussing Bowdoin's new summer bird experimental station on Kent Island in the Bay of Fundy. He was suggesting that high school students could be very helpful to the college students doing specific bird studies. I was entranced by the prospect and suggested I could run a background project for all by recording weather information. I spent the next three summers on the Island; the second and third summers I paid my board and room by milking a cow as well as doing the weather and collecting fog water. The founding of the Bowdoin Kent Island Scientific Station is well recorded in a book by Keith Ingersoll, "Wings over the Sea". #1. The establishment of the Kent Island weather station is documented by John Conover in a book entitled "The Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory: The First 100 Years-1885-1985 (see p209). Ref. 2.

With the beginning of the Canadian WW11 Bowdoin was considering closing the Kent Island Station. I and two other MIT freshman, Fred Sargent and Charles Ruckstuhl, had plans to be on Kent Island part of the summer of 1939. We traveled to Bowdoin and had a meeting with the President to discus these plans. We convinced him to let us continue our work on Kent for at least another summer, The MIT summer.
I continued the wx observations and fog water sampling, while Fred ran a project comparing the effect of cold fronts on human chances of caching a cold. This was a repeat investigation of a study he made in Exeter Acd where the cold front brought in cold air but on Kent Island in the summer the reverse happens. We arranged for a Med Doc to do the blood testing. Charley was very active with all the amateur radio equipment that included broadcasts that were setup with a Portland Maine commercial station. .

5. In 1938 -1942, my undergraduate years at MIT, I took on as a side-line the chemical analysis of two years of fog water collection on Kent Island. A paper on this subject was published in the Bulletin of the AMS dated April 1941. Cunningham R.M., "The Chloride Content of Fog Water in Relation to Air Trajectory."

6. In the summer of 1940 I again worked for Professor Houghton, this time on Mt. Washington collecting fog (cloud) water samples with his large tunnel-type collector (see picture).

Perhaps my call to public fame came from this job. My activities were reported in the local tourist paper that was published on the mountaintop. Dahl, a famous Boston cartoonist, caught the spirit of the endeavor in a cartoon in the Boston Herald, the leading Boston paper at the time.

7. After graduating in 1942 from MIT I joined the aircraft-icing project in the meteorology department and expanded my interest and knowledge in cloud physics. The group at first was composed of Jim Dotson, Bernie Vonnegut, Robert Katz, and myself. We had an unfortunate casualty early on when the pilot and Jim Dotson, head of the group, were killed in a crash of a Lockheed Electra aircraft (the same model used by Amelia Erhardt). We were trying out the feasibility of using this aircraft for icing research. Bernie Vonnegut and myself had a check flight on this aircraft just the day before. Bernie is later known as being the first to use silver iodide to seed clouds. Bernie became the group leader and we continued to do icing research at MIT and aircraft icing research and testing. I spent several winters in Minneapolis flying on military aircraft, mostly a B-25, developmenting hot wing de-icing systems - hot air from the engine was piped to sensitive areas in the wings.

8. Bernie invented an instrument to measure icing rate. This instrument got me involved with an effort by the Air Force weather reconnaissance squadron in Manchester, NH. Spending part of a summer at Gander, Newfoundland, we instrumented a B-17 reconnaissance aircraft with our new instrument to measure the rate of icing. We flew at both 400’ and 10,000’ in this aircraft across to Iceland to support the huge fleet of aircraft returning from Europe at the end of WW II..


9. This icing project got me involved again with Mt Washington
, this time in mid winter. In those days one hiked up and down the mountain’s eight mile road with crampons or, at the lower levels, skies. One of the trips down was in pretty bad weather, we waited several days for the wind to die down to 30mph, but after we set out, the winds went back up to 80mph with below zero temperatures. I remember crawling on the ground.

Following WWII I was part of a four-man group at the Meteorology Dept. at MIT working on A/C icing problems for an Army Air force contract out of Wright Field. The men were Jim Dotson, Bernie Vonnegut, Bob Katz and myself. I carried out the instrumental operation and aircraft flight cloud measurements out of Minneapolis. NW Airlines had a separate contract with the Army Air Force (AAF) to fly the military aircraft. At the same time and place Langmuir and Schaefer were studying the electrical charging of aircraft by precipitation and searching for means of minimizing precipitation static (also on an AAF contract). The problems involved overlapped so that when Langmuir needed data from my in-flight rotating cylinder measurements (see use in above report) and I needed to improve my analysis methods it was simple to exchange information. I remember a visit to see Langmuir at GE where I was shown the Analog Differential Analyzer at work, an impressive machine full of gears and shafts filling a good-sized room. I also remember vividly the flights where we operated probably the first airborne rotating cylinder device for obtaining water content and drop size. I would handle the cylinder covers from the cockpit open back door while a sergeant would be out in the open bomb bay of the B25 bomber. He would lower the rig out the bomb bay and then retrieve it a short time later. While the cylinders iced up he would often sit in the open bomb bay reading a comic book.

10. I ended my job on Mount Washington in 1940
when I suddenly lost 40 lbs in a month; I was taken as an emergency case to a hospital in New York where 11/13th of my thyroid was removed.

I hadn't been drafted at that point because I was teaching Air force cadets meteorology and doing icing research, but later when I was, I was placed in a 4F category because of my thyroid operation. This was a somewhat puzzling decision since I had a long history of flying with the Air force and had even experienced being in the target area of fighters as they strafed the ground. I was on Kent Island in the spring, when British fighters being trained in Penfield, N.B.flew up and down the island practicing their shooting skills. I don’t know whether they saw us in the fields but they came much too close!! The fishermen spoke of how they would do the same in front of lobster boats out at sea.

Kent Island from British fighters point of view


11. On one of my early Christmas trips to Kent Island I was awarded my first Doctor's Degree by Carrie Chase, Ernest Joy's housekeeper, this was well ahead of my MIT degree in 1952,. I'm not sure which one I appreciate more. When I arrived on the island Carrie was suffering from a badly infected toe which I examined carefully. The nails were thick and distorted and no scissors could be used, so we finally found a new crosscut metal saw blade that I applied with some success. After soaking in hot water and cutting the other nails with a hacksaw straight across the top and adding disinfectant, we declared the job well done. No fee of course. Ever after, she addressed me as "Doctor".

Ernest Joy tells a true tall tale to his sheep on Kent Island (1940's)

12. In 1948 I took an interesting private sidetrip with my boss Alan Bemis of the MIT weather Radar Project. He had a seaplane for travel up to his second home in Brooklyn, Maine. Alan was always interested in the letters I was getting from Ernest Joy with all the local stories. He was also showing them to his Maine friends working in Wahington DC who were in high positions in the war effort). He asked me one day in November if I would like to take a flying visit to Kent Island. I of course said, "YES". We flew to Maine, then next day up to Grand Harbour, Grand Manan. Myhron and Lester Tate were on the beach on Ingalls Head doing the messy job of tarring the weir twine for nets. Lester agreed to join us to guide us for a proper landing in the Three Island Harbour (Myhron was too well covered with tar) although neither had ever seen an airplane land on water!. We succeeded in landing and tied up on Planks Beach. Met a much surprised Ernest at the Warden's House. We had a much too short chat with Ernest, who at that time was all alone as Carrie had died the year before. Alan Bemis took a few pictures one of which shows Lester, Ernest, and myself holding a replacement anamometer I had brought up. The tide was on its way out so we had to leave quickly; we taxied to Crocket's point and backed up to the beach, then took off out the harbour entrance, we did not lift off until we were launched off a full oncoming ocean swell. Back to Grand Harbour to let Lester off and on to the Marine Terminal at Eastport. I didn't know at that time that he was having trouble with his airplane; we waded up to our waists in the cold November ocean water to fix a tail problem caused by the takeoff in the ocean swell. Then off to Bar Harbour to let me off, it was dark then but the moon was full, the airport operator would not put the landing lights on, so Alan says, "What the Hell, we'll land in the moonlight", which he decided to do. The operator seeing that we were serious, turned the lights on just as we touched down. Alan then flew back to Brooklyn, Maine and I waited a few hours for a bus back to Boston still half wet.


13. At the end of WW II the aircraft icing programs at MIT ended and the program was shifted to Cleveland under NACA (predecessor to NASA) where a huge refrigerated icing tunnel was built to simulate aircraft icing conditions. The Minneapolis group also expanded the icing research on Mt. Washington. The radar and weather radar development and detection also ended with the closing of the Radiation Lab at MIT. The MIT meteorology department could then explore the uses of weather radar. A new weather radar program was started at MIT after the Radlab closed down. It started to explore this new tool for observing weather in three dimensions, in particular, looking aloft. The department started the weather radar group and expanded rapidly; it shortly obtained an Air force B-17 for taking cloud physics measurements (for a short time after the war there were extra airplanes and pilots to give to crazy meteorologists).

Bob atop instrumented cloud physics B-17 ~1946

I was in charge of the cloud physics portion, Alan Bemis was the head of entire weather radar program. With both an airplane and powerful (at that time) ground radar, we explored jointly the ice crystal, snow, and rain areas of New England storms. Several papers were published including one by myself explaining, the so-called “bright band” for the first time with in-situ observational backup and theoretical considerations of its existence.



14. My personal life changed for the better in 1945 when I married
Claire Steinhardt, a chemist working for Arthur D Little. The well-known minister of the Riverside Church in NYC, the Rev. Harry Emerson Fosdick, married us. He had been very helpful in getting Claire admitted to the United States. Our honeymoon was spent in Acadia National Park, as close as we could get to Grand Manan and Kent Island (Canada) as Claire was not yet a US citizen; she was originally an Austrian citizen (Vienna) and left for the US from Switzerland.

Bob and Claire in Deep Cove, 1946 Claire's Cambridge apartment during courtship.

She had a career in chemistry, taught high school math in two schools, and brought up the three boys. Claire may have had second thoughts about the marriage vows, as shortly after returning from our honeymoon, I was asked to make another long aircraft fieldtrip. She probably had Ernest Joy’s reaction when he wrote from Kent Island, “For heaven’s sake write to tell me if you are alive or dead!” (My letters from Ernest are now in the Grand Manan museum).

15. The family grew rapidly from ’47 – ‘53

Standing: my Mother, myself, Claire, my Father.
Sitting: My Grandmother holding Peter and my Grandfather on the “farm” in Conn. 1947

Claire, Jim, and Peter at the grave of John Kent on Kent Island

Bob's son with Bob's parents on the farm in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.

Peter begins his career as an athlete under the guidence of his father.

In 1952 driving on Kent Island and later holding two big cod. Coming out of the fog and catching up to the Cavalier is Paul Tate’s lobster boat.



Bill Cunningham with Claire Jim, Eva, and Judy Clift.

From the MIT weather radar group Ed Willams, Herb Ligda myself and our wives built three houses ourselves in 1947 & 1948 in Lincoln. Claire and I also bought an old house (vintage ~1830’s) in Grand Manan in 1961, which of course, supplied me with more house building challenges.

16. One of the problems with living longer
than most is that your families and friends drop out before you. My father Bill, a Boston high school English teacher, died in 1950. My brother Bill, the Dean of the University of Maryland Law School, died in 1976. My mother, a research sociologist, died in 1987. My best Grand Manan friend, Myhron Tate a lobster fisherman as well as Kent Island warden for many years, died last year (2003).

Bill Cunningahm, Bill Cunningham, and Mildred "Minkie" Pilpel Cunningham


I came very near to joining this list in June 2001; after a long trip to Grand Manan I fell asleep early then less than half awake, started down the old stairs, then fell and rolled most of the way down these narrow old stairs bashing my body severely and knocking me cold and bloody. The ambulance rescue people had a hard time getting me out of the small hall without bending my neck. In the hospital in the middle of the night Dr Dapena put twelve stiches in my head but luckily found no broken bones. I was sent back home (Ingalls Head) in four days, but considerably worse for wear. I didn't really recover from this accident until this year after it was discovered that my kidneys were not working well. I was put on dialysis for four hours three days a week in January and this will continue the rest of my life. Mentally and physically I feel back to normal for the first time since the accident. I hope one day to be able to get dialysis done on Grand Manan, but currently I must travel overnight to Eastport for dialysis two times a week.

17. Now back to the 1940’s and the technical history. The B-17 flights and ground radar support data produced enough unique data that I was able to write a doctoral thesis which, besides describing the structure of the storm, allowed me to divide the storm into three different precipitation growth structures, and compute different precipitation histories for each one. Surprisingly most of the precipitation growth occurs in the lowest layer below the frontal surfaces in two out of three of these structural regions.

18. After obtaining the Doctor of Science degree in 1952, I started to work for the Air force Cambridge Research Labs (AFCRL). After a few years, I became the head of the expanding cloud physics group. For the next 28 years I had an interesting and challenging time. We had a large aircraft, a C-130 (3133), for our exclusive use in which we traveled all over the world doing both basic and applied research in cloud physics and radar propagation. We developed many of the cloud physics instruments which subsequently became generally available.

Bob C. in co-pilots seat of “our” B29 about 1952.............B29 crew along with Fred Spatola showing our crew’s artistry; this lasted only one day after the base General had one look at it.

The instruments included most of the standard meteorological sensors of those days plus some unique ones, in particular a 3cm refractometer mounted to avoid hygrometeors (cloud, rain and ice (snow) particles). This highly sensitive device in a small fraction of a second could measure the vapor pressure changes later corrected for small changes in temperature and pressure. This was an ideal sensor for studying the structures of clouds many of whose boundaries were found to be very abrupt. Because we had this instrument and because of the way it was mounted on the C-130, we became involved in a number of projects concerned with high frequency radio propagation. We explored the possibilities of long distance propagation due to large changes of refractive index at the top of large areas of cloud sheets, and we explored the electronic “noise” created in systems which used two paths to measure distance. There was a problem when the two paths intersected different cloud configurations.

19. An early project, just before the advent of the satellite era, took us to Recife, Brazil, and on across the tropical Atlantic to Ascension Island, (with a farm on top of a lone mountain, but the rest a bleak no mans land). The east again to a few miles west of the Congolese African coast, were we took a sounding from clear weather down through 10 thousand feet of solid cloud to 400 feet above the ocean. These flights were made to explore the possibility that the sharp refractive index changes across the cloud tops were consistent enough to permit microwave frequency radio transmissions across the tropical Atlantic from blimps at the top of the moist layer. Other flights involved support for early flights of the Mercury project at Cape Canaveral where there were problems with the guidence systems due to abrupt changes in the refractive index patterns at the border between clouds and clear air. A short time after these measurements these same rockets carried men beyond the earthly atmosphere.

20. Several weather modification test programs were pursued. I ran a field effort of a joint Navy, Army, and Air Force project in New Mexico to study the effect of silver iodide seeding on cumulus clouds that formed over the Desert Mountains. “My” C-130 plus two small aircraft and ground cameras were used to follow precisely the cloud region seeded. The lack of this ability has been a major reason that cumulus-seeding projects had been unable to give definitive results, at least to the satisfaction of critical scientists. This project was not allowed to continue long enough to arrive at definitive results. During this period I conducted a critique of a Navy Vietnam seeding project, coming to the conclusion that it was ineffective for military purposes.

21. One of the interesting side trips (I think in the '60's) was to Germany with a German cloud physicist employed by the US Signal Corps (Dr. Aufenkampf) We were to demonstrate the clearing that might be possible in winter stratus or stratocumulus clouds north of the Alps, These types of clouds make this area of Germany particularly dark and cold during the winter. We seeded the undercast (clouds as seen from above) with dry ice pellets. We were calmly following the cleared hole, probably several miles wide, when the communication with the ground became very active, we were apparently getting close to the Russian controlled area, i.e. GET OUT! We had to circle and follow the hole from a distance as it disappeared from view into the East. One obvious problem with this scheme was that the winter winds above ground are usually very fast moving, so for people on the ground the seeding provides only a momentary glipse of the sun.

22. I also recall a meeting in Washington on what the federal government should be doing in the weather modification field (also in the 60's?). This was an informal meeting of about 6 people including science administrators and scientists, principally from the defense science branches and the National Science Foundation. I was surprised when Dr Edward Teller walked into the room. He was invited just because he was interested in weather modification; perhaps he was looking for an area that could explode with world interest as had his previous project. I was, however, disappointed with what he said; he followed Langmuir's belief that simply burning a torch with a silver iodide solution in the fuel could change the whole world's weather. He had no appreciation of the vastly different scale over which weather systems occur.

23. I worked on a snow/ice crystal erosion project jointly with the weather radar branch of AFCRL. This project was centered at the NASA Wallops Island test range, where they were interested in what happens to missiles when they re-enter the atmosphere (the demands of applied research for years had been crowding out the previous priority of basic scientific research). We flew in the altostratus/cirrostratus cloud altitudes measuring particle type and size distribution while large surface weather radar measured the particles' return signal. A short time later the test rocket passed through this region and was eroded by these particles while the weather radar continued to take measurements. The relations found during the aircraft passes (radar signal versus particle properties) were applied to the radar measurements at the time of the rocket track to obtain an estimate of the destructive properties of clouds on rockets.

24. Later in the ‘70’s we were heavily involved with a different test site that ended across the international dateline in the central Pacific’s large Kwajalein atoll. Here we made high altitude flights measuring refractive index and the cloud/ice crystal through which rockets made their descent. These flights gave small refractive index changes, but showed some turbulent regions and particles of important sizes.

25. Except for the application type projects above, the purely cloud physics investigations centered on cumulus cloud dynamics and particle growth studies. Here also there were applied fields of weather modification and flight safety. There were several summers where the aircraft made measurements in the growing New Mexico mountain clouds while several large cameras pictured the region from nearby hilltops. A similar project was run along the east coast of Florida where the aircraft probed the line of sea breeze Cumulus-Congestus and Cumulo-Nimbus. The cameras kept track of the cloud growth from the offshore islands.

26. We carried out an amusing performance over Cocoa Beach in Florida. We formed an inline flight formation utilizing all the aircraft we had in our project. First in line were a U2, then two fighters (a T33 and an F100), then my C130, and then a small, private aircraft. We flew at low altitude (about 500 ft) on the approach to Patrick AFB, over the beach in front of the apartments where we were living, over my wife and the pilot’s wives playing bridge outside; they were startled to say the least. We were able to stay for a while in a close formation, a great salute!


Our C-130 #133 and Bob: ready to go flying in Oklahoma on project “Rough Rider”

27. Violent spring storms in Oklahoma were studied from the C-130 largely from the outside, while Project Rough Rider from Wright Field penetrated some of the storms. We also had ground guidance from NOAA’s severe storm group. My picture from the C-130 (a 9x9 camera) appeared a a double page spead in Life Magazine:

Life Magazine. Aug. 17 1962


28. I retired from AFCRL in 1979


29. I joined a new enterprise of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO part of the UN). I had a four-year, part time association with WMO as the field director of PEP, (Precipitation Enhancement Project). This was certainly a new experience for me; the WMO was being flooded with requests from various countries of the world for information on the reality of useful rainfall from weather modification projects. These were projects being proposed by a number of commercial enterprises. Countries that contributed scientists and equipment to PEP were Canada (radar measuring devices), France (radar, Satellite pictures, & an aircraft), Spain (site support, & radiosonde), USA (aircraft – Univ. of Wyoming), USSR (a large radar), Switzerland (disdrometer - raindrop spectrum), Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia. This project continued for several winters in the field in the Duero river valley in the region of Castile Spain and then in Geneva for the analysis phase.

30. After I retired from my full time job with AFCL and finished with my WMO/UN job and some consulting work with Weather Services Inc I finally was able to spend full time on my non-paying work on Grand Manan and Kent Island. Peter Summers and I decided it would be interesting to compare the acid and SO4 values obtained in fog water in 1938 and 1939 with some new measurements to be taken in1983 & 1984 See ref. 2. I met Peter while he was on loan to project PEP from the Canadian AES.

Myself (on pipe) holding several wind instruments on the warden's house on Kent Island. - - photograph by Jim Cunningham

31. By 1988 I had strong support for a number of years, equipment and chemical analysis, from Prof. Dick Jagels and Jobie Carlisle of the University of Maine (Orono) as the eastern most station in their string of stations along the Maine coast. They were tackling the effect of acid fog on red spruce. I was a coauthor of several published papers from this group. I continued my work on acid fog with the help of Roger Cox of the Canadian Forestry Service who was studying the effect of acid fog on birch trees. One season I contributed to a large project on North Atlantic pollution as part of the contribution of Stephen Beauchamp from Environment Canada in Bedford N.S. Much of the work on fog statistics and on fog chemistry was published in the Vancouver fog conference procceedings.

Fog data results for one case of a marked change in pH of fog water along with mass of water collected. The last map shows the results of a calculation of the air trajectory for the mid-time of the case.


The host organization, The Bowdoin Kent Island Scientific Station (BKISS) has always been very helpful. The operation of the general weather observation program has been my responsibility since 1937. Ernest Joy was the observer all year round from1937 –1948. Myhron Tate took observations from 1960 on. During the winter he would normally take observations on Ingalls Head (6 miles north) in addition to when he was “storm stayed” on Kent Island. During the active season he took the weather with the help of Staff and students. Later from the’70’s on, the staff, students, and myself, when I was there, took the detailed observations twice a day from June-August. The data logger recorded a number of standard measurements every 10 minutes plus fog pH and fog flow rate for a number of years since 1991.During the summer of the year 2000 in spite of the low fog frequncy, the fog sampling rate was greatly improved by using a grant from Roger Cox of the Canadian Forest service to hire Anna Myers (a student) to operate all the equipment in my absence during fog spells. In this fashion data was collected, when fog was present, from June 16th to September 16th.
The observations and summaries of the observations are on file at Bowdoin College and in Lincoln, MA. A short summary of the notable features of the weather each summer is included in the annual report in some of the 1940’s and from 1987 on. Some 15 variables have been tabulated from1938 – 1946 and 1960 – the present for June, July and August. They included the max and min temperatures, the highest and lowest temperature, precipitation and fog frequency.

32. In August of 2001, a reporter and photographer came up to Kent Island to do a small article on Chuck Huntington and myself. About a week later we were quite surprised to see a long article in the Boston Sunday Globe, on page ONE, top of the fold, with a picture of the fog collector and myself on the front page.


Russell Ingalls and Chuck Huntington

On one of our Christmas trips we experienced a non-fog related meteorological occurrence, a wild and unusual winter storm. The analysis of this storm, based in large part on the Kent Island Hygrothermograph record kept going on the island by Myhron Tate was published in the Monthly Weather Review. See ref 5.


33. People involved in my Kent Island/Grand Manan life:

Professor Dr. Alfred O Gross took the concept of a biological field station to its reality, by first arranging to have Bowdoin College accept a grant of the Island from Sterling Rockefeller and for his son to be the first field director.
Director Bill Gross was the original Kent Island field director. He persuaded me to take my first trip to Kent Island. My first jobs in the first two years were to set up the weather equipment and take the observations. I also assisted Lester Tate with the house building and milked the cow.

Eva and Lester Tate hold grandson Bobby, sister Mary on right. Claire Cunningham holds Billy with Jimmy and Peter ~1954.
Lester and Eva Tate and their family hosted me and then Claire in the early years in their home in Ingalls Head. In the early ‘50s we invited Lester and Eva Tate to visit us in Lincoln for several weeks to keep house and help me finish the house building. Claire was going to school to earn her teaching degree and therefore needed somebody to take care of the house keeping. . They traveled down by train. This worked fine until they got a call from home telling them that there youngest son; Thurland (A navigator) had been killed in an aircraft accident near Gander field. (for more on summers in Grand Manan see below****)
Myhron Tate and Eunice Tate, our best friends since the ‘40’s. Myhron was also Warden on Kent Island from ’61 to ‘82’

Professor Charles Huntington, Bowdoin College, who was the Kent Island director from 1953 to 1988, and thereafter an active director emeritus; his lifelong project is a study of the Leaches Petrel. Peter Cannell relieved Chuck as director for two years in the late ‘70’s. Chuck’s major project over all these years was the study of the Leach’s Storm Petrel, he’s now the world expert on the subject
Professor Nathaniel T. Wheelwright, Bowdoin College, Kent Island director from 1989 to 2003. The greatest expansion of Kent Island facilities occurred during these years.
Professor Robert M. Mauck, Kenyon College, Field director ’00 –‘03 and Director 2004.
Russell Ingalls, Grand Manan fisherman and year round Warden for the Island. He uses his 40+ foot fishing boat “Island Bound” for groups of people and supplies from Seal Cove to the Island and back.


In Three Island Harbour with Nat Wheelwright and Russell Ingalls, current Kent Island Warden, who runs large loads on the "Island Bound"

Mark Murray summer Associate Warden. Bowdoin College. He builds boats and buildings and keeps the Island ship shape. He pilots the Island's 20+ foot “Ernest Joy" for local trips and for limited loads to Seal Cove and back.

Ernest Joy and Claire with the Kent Island weather houses

Claire holds Peter with Ernest Joy and ..... (~1950)

34. Immediate relatives
My wife, Claire and father, mother and brother are listed above in items 15, 16 & 17
My son Peter (a photographer) and his wife Lisa (a musician) live in New York City, my son Jim is an electrical engineer, and my third son Bill is a landscape gardener.


35. Professional associates:
Professor H.G. Houghton. My mentor in my graduate years at MIT and my degree supervisor.Dr Bernie Vonnegut. Head of the MIT Icing research project in the 1940’s. Later discovered the use of silver iodide as the most appropiate seeding agent for weather modification of supercooled clouds.
Alan Bemis, the head of the weather radar project in the meteorology dept.
Maj. (in those years) Jim Church my second “in command” in my cloud physics group at the AFCRL.

Rumen Bojkow, Bulgarian. Head of Atmospheric Physics in UN/WMO in Geneva.
Jack Warner Australian cloud physics. Head of proj.PEP from UN/WMO in Geneva.
Prof. Dick Jagels and Jobie Carlile. University of Maine, Orono, Forestry. Supported the Kent Island fog proj. for a number of years with chemical analysis and equipment.
Peter Summers, Canadian Atmospheric Environment Service, Project PEP and Kent Island fog experiments in ’83 &; 84,
Roger Cox, Canadian Forest Service, Fredericton N.B, Supported the KI fog experiments in recent years with chemical analysis and in year 2000 with a grant.


36. I am a member of a number of scientific organizations:
Fellow of the American Meteorological Society.
Member of the Royal Meteorological Society
Member of the Canadian Meteorological Society.
Member of the American Geophysics Union.
Member of Sigma Xi
Member of the Mt Washington Observatory

37. References
Ingersoll, I. K. “Wings over the Sea” Goose Lane Editions. Fredericton, N. B. 1991
Daily, Beth. Boston Sunday Globe, August 5, 2001
Conover, J. H. The Blue Hill Observatory, The First 100 Years. 1885 – 1985, page 209. American Meteorological Society. (AMS). Boston MA. 1990.
Cunningham R.M. “Diary, 24June – 14 July 1937.” The first weeks on Kent Island
Cunningham R.M. “Diary, 13 August – 2 September 1947” Logbook for Claire
Cunningham, R. M. “Chloride content of fog water in relation to air trajectory”. Bull. AMS 22,17-20. 1941.
Dahl. F. W. “A cartoon” The Boston Herald, xxxxxx 19XX. Also in “Dahl’s Cartoons” Ralph T. Hale & Company 1943
Cunningham R. M. “Fog Studies In The Bay Of Fundy Over A Span Of 60 Years.” In R.S. Schemenauer (Environment, Canada) and H. Bridgman (Univ, of Newcastle, Australia) Eds. Proc. International Conference On Fog And Fog Collection. Page 153 1998 ***
Cunningham R.M. F. Sanders, “Into the Teeth of the Gale: The Remarkable Advance of a Cold Front at Grand Manan.” AMS Monthly Weather Review, Oct 1987
Cunningham R. M, D. Atlas “Growth of Hydrometers as Calculated from Aircraft and Radar Observations” In the Toronto Meteorological Conference 1953, AMS & Royal met Soc. 1953 p276-289

***These proceedings can be obtained from: Conference on Fog and Fog Collection
P.O.Box 81541 1057 Steeles Avenue West North York, Ontario, M2R 2x1 Canada



            During the first summer on Kent Island Lester Tate invited me to spend a weekend with his family on Ingalls Head Grand Manan.  Little did I know that weekend would be the beginning of my adoption of a second family, the Tates, for a lifetime?  The Tates were a typical family on Grand Manan.  They were fishermen - farmers with little money but a house, a cow, and a lobster boat.  Fishing for lobsters was the major cash crop, little as it was. Lester for the first two summers I spent on Kent Island was a carpenter for the Island building two houses, the station’s radio shack (with my help) and the shop as well as fixing most of the others...In the summer, his son, Myhron, went fishing usually for a good catch, but very little cash in return. Later occasionally with a boy or two, I would go fishing with Lester and Myhron then Myhron and Mervin. These would be trips for hand-lining. Lobster fishing, scallop dragging, and netting, the kids and I would learn a bit of each type of fishing.
            In the early years Grand Manan had very few amenities.  There were no paved roads, so travel was difficult in winter and particularly difficult in the spring.  Walking was the typical means of travel.  Cars were few, even travel up and down the Island was often done by boat.  The Kent Island crowd was picked up by boat at Lubec and went directly to Kent Island for the summer. Living in the Tate house was like living almost like in the 1800’. No running water – a water pail on the kitchen sink, an outhouse and no central heating. The large kitchen stove heated two rooms on the first floor. Particularly in winter, the second floor was cold. (The pee pot often froze in winter).
            But I greatly enjoyed the whole family life.  In fact in one of the early years I traveled by train to near Eastport, crossed to Campbello where I was drafted to play Santa Claus. The next day I took the old ferry to Grand Manan, bummed a ride to Ingalls Head to the Tate’s house for a Christmas vacation. Went skating with Lester’s daughter, Virginia.  That evening we all sat around the dining room table telling stories. This was one of the only two rooms in the house that were really warm.  Virginia’s boy friend walked in and she and her boy friend lay on the couch in the dining room covered with a blanket. All of this seemed unusual to me, but the family was not protesting..
            The next day, the one good day of the week, I went lobster fishing with Lester and Myhron.. I was useful as a third man, and rewarded, while the tide was the strongest and we were anchored in the lee of a rock, by a recently caught short lobster freshly boiled on the small stove in the cuddy.( In those days there was accounting of the catch only in shore.) .
             After I was marred to Claire we spent several memorable Christmas vacations with the Tate’s.  Later with the boys and later in a house we rented from Grovenor Ingalls next to the Tate’s.  In 1962 we bought a house from Ret Ingalls. This house is also next to the Tate’s and we still live there for part of the time.  This house is similar to the Tate’s but it has a complete cellar with a furnace to heat the first floor.  The house was one of the oldest on Ingalls Head, built in the 1830;s but the cellar was added in the1930”s.  The house has been considerably improved since 1962, the first major improvement came after the outhouse was pushed over as a Halloween prank in,1975 when we found it frozen to the ground on one of our winter trips.  We made a indoor bathroom out of our oversized pantry This worked out fine.  Adam Tate and Richard Foster fixed up a small closet upstairs for even a second bathroom in 2002.  Finally? Two years ago we replaced the old furnace with a hot air ducted furnace instead of the single one duct in the front hall.  The house was well repainted this last fall.  We now have a fairly modern house.
            We continued to make trips to Grand Manan and Kent Island sometimes with Peter and often with Claire and two or three boys, in winter and summer, mostly summer in recent years, There were summers where I would have a vacation of only two weeks but Claire would spend most of the summer with the kids on the Island,
            A 12’ skiff   was obtained from Robert Ingalls shop and I purchased a 7HP outboard for sea travel. We made a number of trips to Kent Island with this boat in suitable weather, but not often in recent years. 
            There were only a few summers we never got to the Island. On one we took most of the summer using a large tent we had to travel across the US in combination with my field trips.  We stayed with Roscoe Braham in Chicago. Then on to Portland Oregon to visit Claire’s parents, then down the coast to a fog project in Arcadia Calf. Then on down to and through Yosemite then over the Sierra Nevada mountains down to Las Vegas and then camped out on a beach on Lake Mead where we were overwhelmed by ants. We then crossed Boulder Dam, and on to Flagstaff.  There, I ran the main project of the summer for three weeks  .We camped in our large tent while during the day I ran our cloud project, We had several cameras on the surrounding hills pointed at the main mountain.  I was flying with our crew in the C130.often over our campsite.  My family was accusing me of seeding the clouds and getting them all wet.  Which was not true. The crew in the airplane got back to Hanscome in a day but it took us about another week, camping out each night, to get back.
            There was one more summer when we camped out with, the same tent, and explored much of the Canadian Rockies from Banff to Jasper. Near Jasper, Claire at the campsite, got into trouble with a husky bear while the kids and I where in town. She wone!
            All the other summers or part of the summer we spent on Grand Manan