Home Page | The Navigator's Newsletter | Membership Benefits | Board Members | Activities

Foundation Activities Past and Present

You may already know of Foundation accomplishments...

• Davies NAO Sight Reduction Tables
If you have ever used the very convenient "NAO Sight Reduction Tables" from the back of the Nautical Almanac (included in joint US and British edition since 1989), then you have seen some of the Foundation's work in action. These tables were developed by Admiral Thomas Davies, founder and then Director of the Navigation Foundation, in collaboration with Dr. Paul Janiczek, former Head of the Astronomical Applications Department of the US Naval Observatory. Admiral Davies donated his work on this project to the Nautical Almanac Office in the name of the Navigation Foundation for the benefit of all mariners. The work was originally called the Davies Concise Tables, and these 20-some small pages remains an excellent means of sight reduction, especially valuable to those using calculator or computer solutions who wish to have a backup printed solution but not an extra set of large, heavy tables, such as Pub 229 or 249. They are used as the primary sight reduction method of the US Power Squadrons, as well as the Royal Yachting Association.

• Peary Report
You may also have heard of the controversy about whether or not Robert Peary had in fact made it to the North Pole in 1909, or had he wilfully misrepresented his accomplishment. Even the National Geographic Society, an original supporter of Peary's work, had begun to express doubts. The Navigation Foundation was then commissioned by the National Geographic Society to carry out what is now considered the definitive answer to this question. The conclusion, after much diverse research and analysis, was that Peary did indeed make it to the Pole, and that there was no viable evidence that he had misrepresented his work. The Foundation study under the direction of Admiral Thomas Davies was published as The Peary Report, in 1990. Present directors Douglas R Davies, Roger Jones and Terry Carraway took part in that research. The report will be published again and available to the public in early 2010.

• Consultation for Educators using Navigation in their Curricula
Throughout the years, the Foundation has consulted with many agencies and individuals on the role of celestial navigation in the history of science and geography. Our goal is to extend this support, including more direct contact with teachers who are building curricula around the theme of navigation and early exploration. Members who are teachers will share their experiences and we will offer specific suggestions for class materials and offer some level of coordination between different school programs.

• Celestial Navigation from the Journal of the Institute of Navigation
The Navigation Foundation is pleased to announce that the Institute of Navigation (ION) now has available to the public on a single CD their complete set of research papers on celestial navigation dating back to 1946 (view full list of articles).

Work on the article selections, electronic indexing, and CD production has been donated to the ION by the Navigation Foundation in keeping with our goal of promoting the history, science, and practice of celestial navigation and related topics. We are grateful to the Institute of Navigation for sharing our vision of the value of this project and for making this compilation of 279 articles available at a single low cost of $50. The CD can be purchased at the ION Online Publications order page.

• Annual awards for excellence in navigation
Dutton Award, Davies Award.
To be added: a list of past recipients and descriptions of the awards.

• 2013 Made full archive of past newsletters open to the public.