Pioneering oceanographer Walter Munk dies of pneumonia in California
Monday, February 11, 2019
The death of pioneering oceanographer California.was announced on Friday by the . He was 101 and died of in ,
Munk was born in Austria, but he emigrated to the United States to pursue his education, before moving to California in 1939 due to a love interest in La Jolla. Although this romance failed, he remained there, taking a job at the . He served in the in World War Two, before being recalled to Scripps where he assisted in work to predict likely wave conditions during Allied landings on both Pacific and Atlantic coasts. He also researched ways to counter military submarines.
Munk's work was later used during the nuclear weapons research, observing a 1950s atomic bomb test from a raft and receiving fallout from it. Other research interests included oceanic currents and the interrelation of the sea with the planetary climate.landings. Post-war, he was involved in
Earning a post-war PhD in oceanography from University of California, Los Angeles, Munk was an early scientific adopter of equipment and in addition to physical processes was also interested in marine life. of known to leap out the water as if taking flight was named after Munk.
"Walter was the most brilliant scientist I have ever known," said University of California, San Diego's chancellor,. Khosla talked of Munk's "countless discoveries that put the university on the map as a great research institution" and "his global leadership on the great scientific issues of our time." Scripps Oceanography director said "Munk has been a world treasure for ocean science and geophysics." She described him as "a guiding force, a stimulating force, a provocative force in science for 80 years" who was "one of the most distinguished and honored scientists in the world" and "always interested in sparking a discussion about what's coming next."
His wife Mary said "We thought he would live forever. His legacy will be his passion for the ocean, which was endless."
- Gary Robbins (Walter Munk, La Jolla scientist-explorer dubbed the ‘Einstein of the Oceans,’ dies at 101" — , February 9, 2019). "
- "World-Renowned Oceanographer Walter Munk Dies at 101" — , February 8, 2019