A Celebration in Geophysics and Oceanography

The following excerpt is from “A Celebration in Geophysics and Oceanography — 1982; In Honor of Walter Munk on his 65th birthday, October 19, 1982”. The excerpt provides a good summary of the contents of the volume.

The document in its entirety can be downloaded by right-clicking (Windows) or ctrl-clicking (Mac) the link below and selecting "Save to disk" or "Download selected link to disk". Note the large file size (36.5 MB).

The document has been reproduced here and available for free download at the request of Carl Wunsch, Walter's colleague at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Download the volume [9.6 MB]


“On October 19-20, 1982, a large number of Walter Munk's friends, colleagues, students and relatives came together at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography for a celebration of his 65th birthday. Contrary to all expectations, Walter was caught completely by surprise when Bill Nierenberg inveigled him, under false pretences, into a packed Sumner Auditorium at 8:30 a.m. on his birthday, 19 October.

The main emphasis at this gathering was on activities that are suitable for any birthday party. However, as an added tribute to Walter, the parties were organized around an informal scientific meeting, a kind of intellectual party, to celebrate the many different and fascinating problems on which he has worked.

A small number of Walter's colleagues were asked to give talks, with the sole injunction that they should be both witty and profound. The presentations covered numerous oceanographic topics and many other things too, from national security to the earth's rotation to laundering statues in Venice. A certain amount of history and philosophy was also apparent, along with stories about Walter that may be based on fact. More of these stories emerged in shorter contributions that were interspersed with the main ones, or presented after dinner.

The purpose of this volume is to preserve many of these talks. Some of the material is entertaining, much is actually interesting and scientifically valuable. We want the volume to stand as a tribute to Walter, a book that he and his colleagues will enjoy reading and that will perhaps convey to students something of Walter's flair for having fun while making serious contributions to important scientific problems.”

Chris Garrett
Carl Wunsch


Source: A Celebration in Geophysics and Oceanography — 1982;
In Honor of Walter Munk on his 65th birthday, October 19, 1982.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography Reference Series 84-5, March, 1984.
Library of Congress No. 84-181943.