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- "Some he taught how to think, others how to see or hear... Children on the beach he taught how to look for and find beautiful animals in worlds they had not suspected were there at all."
- John Steinbeck, foreword to The Log from the Sea of Cortez (1951).
- "Ricketts was a remarkable scientist and a remarkable character who probably invented modern marine ecology."
- Stuart Thompson, professor of biological sciences at Hopkins Marine Station. 
- "The first director of Hopkins didn’t get along with him so Ricketts would have to wait until he was out of town to sneak into the library with the help of some sympathetic professor."
- Mark Denny, DeNault Professor in Marine Science/Biomechanics.