My professional career has largely revolved around developing and operating Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) for ocean science. It has proven immensely gratifying; there are very few other enterprises that offer a similar combination of interesting people, tough intellectual problems, opportunity to work in the most remote and beautiful parts of the planet, and the satisfaction of contributing to an important endeavor. This article tracks my research and development activity, starting with early technology exploration when research funding was thin, to my first field programs, to leadership of larger enterprises where AUVs became elements of integrated observation-modeling systems. Not all of the activity was in the laboratory; as the platforms matured, and applications become better defined, commercialization activity became the dominant vector of AUV capability to the larger community. Most recently, my AUV work has focused on a new generation of long-range AUVs and the biological investigations they are designed to enable. Today AUVs are accepted oceanographic tools, and science users are increasingly sophisticated. However, in the late 80s, when I started, it was not at all clear how oceanographers would employ AUVs, or what operational AUVs would look like.