Compilation of these atlases would not have been possible without the hard work of many individuals. Firstly, there are those who made up the scientific complement of the cruises, collected the continuous CTD profile data together with individual water samples and who analysed them both at sea and on shore.

Secondly, there are those who worked at or with the WOCE Hydrographic Programme Offices, both Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (under the direction of Dr. Terrence Joyce) and later at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (under the direction of Dr. James Swift). They obtained the data from the originating principal investigators, ensured that they were in a common format and then examined the final data to ensure that the high standards established for the programme were maintained throughout the many cruises. The process of compiling these atlases provided an additional level of quality control and incentive for timely acquisition and merging of the data. Those who worked at the WHP Special Analysis Centre (WHP-SAC) in Hamburg, Germany, served to collate the WHP data set in association with the Hydrographic Programme Office.

Thirdly, an informal WOCE Atlas Committee consisting of members of the WOCE International Project Office (WOCE IPO), the WOCE Scientific Steering Group, the WOCE Data Products Committee and the atlas Principal Investigators was set up to provide guidance and support.

There were many funding agencies from participating countries that provided the resources to allow the sampling and analysis to take place and in several cases funded the refitting of research vessels to enable them to have the increased endurance and larger scientific parties that the WHP required.
We also appreciate the contribution made by the officers and crews of the research ships. The investigators responsible for collecting and quality controlling the individual samples from each line are listed in Table 1. The international WOCE Science Steering Group and the WOCE Atlas Committee are extremely grateful to all these individuals and agencies for their support.

The Southern Ocean Atlas compilation was funded by NSF Ocean Sciences division grant 9811481 to Orsi and Whitworth. Publication was generously supported by BP. Thanks must go to Frank Sronce and Tao Yu for their assistance with programming, data acquisition and data merging, and especially to Mithali Shetty and Don Johnson for their years of effort in producing and hand-editing the final figures. Mithali Shetty received some support to do this from the Office of Naval Research. The atlas editors are also grateful to Valery Detemmerman of the WCRP Joint Planning Staff in Geneva for her help with various logistical issues and Jean Haynes for administrative support in the WOCE IPO.

Finally we are grateful to the WCRP and its sponsors, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).