This is a tribute page for Walter Munk, world-renowned oceanographer and revered scientist, who passed away Feb. 8, 2019, at his home in La Jolla, Calif. He was 101. You can read his full obituary here.
Those wishing to express condolences are invited to submit messages for web posting to email@example.com.
Tributes to Walter Munk
Walter Munk’s contributions to science and society were vast. Perhaps the greatest of these was the inspiration he provided to scientists, citizens, and leaders at every level in academia, the government, and the military. I first met Walter when I began my career in the U.S. Navy at Scripps three decades ago. The role model he was for me guided every action I took in pursuit of science and public service. Most prominently, it was Walter who set the standard for scientific and personal integrity that I followed in positions of national leadership, including my service as the Oceanographer of the Navy and now as the acting Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Scripps, the U.S. Navy, and our great nation are global leaders because of this remarkable man. We will miss him dearly.
Tim Gallaudet, Ph.D., Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.)
Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere / Deputy NOAA Administrator,
Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere / NOAA Administrator
Walter was a true hero and a legend in Science. I had the privilege of knowing him during the last five years. I was seated next to him inside the Vatican in 2014 at a climate change meeting. During dinner we were talking about climate change and ways to solve it. In his characteristic style, Walter declared presciently: It is going to take a miracle to solve the climate change problem. Few years later, Walter and I met His Holiness the Dalai Lama during His Holiness’ 80th birthday behind the podium. His Holiness laughingly hugged Walter and told him, "I am an old man, 80 years old"; Walter laughed and replied, "You are just a baby compared to me."
What a privilege to have worked with him and known him.
Distinguished Professor of Climate Sciences
University of California San Diego
I got to know Walter and Judy over the years and was fortunate to serve as a Navy advisor with him as we were both Secretary of the Navy Chairs. The obituary is well done. However, it seemed to underplay what I liked most about Walter. Despite his prominence, he was one of the kindest and gentlest people I have ever met. When Judy was bound to a wheel chair at their advanced ages, I often observed Walter with a big smile wheeling her onto airplanes and away they went all around the world. They were amazing spirits serving as examples to people of all ages. Walter will be greatly missed. It was a great honor to know him.
After marveling at Walter's research during my studies in oceanography at the Naval Postgraduate School, I met him in 1996, when he expressed interest in my dissertation on internal tides in Monterey Submarine Canyon. It was around this time that he had been collaborating with Carl Wunsch to estimate global dissipation rates of internal tide energy. I was starstruck when I met him in his lab to discuss my research, but his warmth and kindness immediately put me at ease. He invited me to join him and Judy for dinner at his beautiful home, and we enjoyed a perfect Pacific sunset as Walter shared some amusing tales, including one about his trip in a Land Rover from Finland to Odessa to meet with a Soviet scientist during the Cuban Missile Crisis (he was accompanied by 3 guards, with rifles drawn, during a stop to relieve himself in the woods). During my 12 years as a military professor of oceanography at the U. S. Naval Academy, I ensured that the students in my Waves and Tides course were aware of Walter's support to the Navy and his contributions to wave forecasting and our understanding of ocean tides and internal wave mixing. I have attached an original work of digital art, "Internal Waves #8", created as a tribute to Walter. His endless curiosity, interdisciplinary brilliance, intellectual humility, and visionary leadership have left a very broad wake indeed.
Emil Petruncio, Ph.D.
Captain, USN (Retired)
Walter was without question one of the most amazing men I have ever known. He was kind, he was brilliant, he was funny, he was a true gentleman, and he made our world a better place. I adored him from the first day I met him…when I first arrived at Scripps in 1980, I ran into him my first few days there. I was shy and unsure starting a new job but his smile and his welcoming attitude made me feel great. He was like that to everyone!
Over the years I had the honor to do all the events at his house for Judith and Walter, all the events that were held at IGPP, and Judith’s touching memorial service. He made a concerted effort to lovingly dry my tears after I’d been laid off in the 2008 recession declaring that I’d do just fine and “even better” the next chapter of my life. We formed a wonderful friendship and bond, and every time he would see me after I had left Scripps he would greet me with a warm hug and a huge loud happy “Hello, Jill! How are you?”
We came to know and love Mary for her gentle care of him. When I went to visit a few years ago I took him a golf shirt from the USS Midway Museum where I now work. He was so comfortable in those shirts that Mary ordered one for every day of the week in different colors! He loved them! In fact he has one on in the documentary about the Munk rays!
Walter was my dear dear friend and I am so glad we got to visit just a few months ago at his glorious house where so many memories and happy times with wonderful people took place. Rest in peace you dear dear man…And if there are oceans in Heaven, I am sure Walter is making plans, wondering about this phenomenon or that, and bringing together other heavenly brilliant souls to solve the questions of the Universe...
Director of Membership
I would like to express my condolences and appreciation for the many years that I have personally known and worked with Walter as his ONR Program Officer. He remained dedicated, insightful, and very pleasant to deal with for the entire duration. He will be greatly missed.
Robert H. Headrick
Office of Naval Research
Prof. John F. Dewey FRS, M.R.I.A., FAA, Mem. Acad. Eur., Mem.
US Nat. Acad. Sci., Distinguished Emeritus Professor University of California, Emeritus Professor and Supernumerary Fellow, University College Oxford
I am truly sorry to learn that Walter has passed away. He was an intellectual giant and a wonderful person all rolled up into one. Those of us who were lucky enough to consider Walter a friend and to work with him even a little bit over the years will now have to be content with pleasant memories, topped by many years of Independence Day parties at his home in La Jolla and many important discussions on topics of national interest wherever they were held. Walter will be sorely missed by all of us who had the opportunity to know him.
With sincere sympathy to all of his family and close friends,
I’m grateful to have known Walter through a number of channels including Medea and as one of the SECNAV/CNO Chairs, but also as early as the 1970s when he visited Dalhousie University where I was a graduate student. Yes, he was a remarkable oceanographer throughout his entire life. But he was also a gentleman, extremely loyal, a great and patient mentor and a generous host. He taught me many things through discussions but mostly by example. And I loved his stories of the early days, of atom bomb tests and working out data problems while developing the wave prediction methods. These are our roots, spoken by the grandfather of much of oceanography.
We are all better people for having known Walter. He will be missed.
SECNAV/CNO Chair in Oceanography
Oregon State University
The world has lost one of its best. Walter was an explorer, a scientist, a family man, a husband, a great American and yes, he was a world-renowned oceanographer......but he was also my friend....and a true friend to many, many people. His love for the unknown, love for exploration, love for country and love for his fellow man was unquestionable. His accomplishments are to numerous to list but each of them, in their own way, changed the world, literally. I had the distinct privilege to meet Walter when I was the Chief of Naval Research. He was a spry 95 years old and still moving to the music and making positive waves for his Scripps colleagues, everyday. He made me wonder deeper, he made me think more critically, he made me extend beyond my perceived limits.....he made me a better Naval Officer, better leader and a better man. Walter, I thank God that I had the unique opportunity to meet and get to know you over these short five years. Thank you for all you have done to make our world a more knowledgeable, exploratory and scientifically relevant place. May you glide with the sea life you so adamantly loved and when able, soar with the eagles on God's golden wings. Rest In Peace, my friend.
VADM Mat Winter, US Navy
To all the family of Walter, I send my true heartfelt condolences. I could never imagine the loss you feel of such a dear man. With all his achievements and huge legacy, which we must all vow to help preserve, I met a man a few years ago who brought such joy and kindness to my life. He loved nothing more than a good conversation. His quality as a friend was huge. Loyalty expressed itself through boundless generosity, in spirit and in kind. I will always remember him through his love of country, both Austria and America which adopted him, and his passion for his work. he never stopped, ever, and the endless dinners that he loved to throw for his friends when we came to visit him. His spontaneous nature kept him young at heart. As my daughter Gloria just said a day before he passed away, "it felt like he was a young man trapped in an old body!" Nothing more true could have been said about Walter. His external curiosity, desire to challenge traditional knowledge systems, and his love of humanity, especially his friends, was tangible. He was always very clear and concise until the very end, affectionate, and was never the first to leave a party! We miss you already Walter. Thank you for the call yesterday. It was so wonderful to hear your voice! It resonated in my soul and in that you planted a seed of ocean in my heart that will forever grow. I love you my dear friend. I hope your journey was smooth, on the crest of wave of peace and love.
Much love, Francesca
Late in 1955, when the Fall Semester at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) was already half-over, the U.S. Navy released me from active duty on a ship based in Long Beach, CA. What was I to do before going on for a doctorate in the History of Science? My college classmate Bob Rex, a student at SIO, encouraged me to enroll, and the rules were so flexible that I could jump in to the required first-year courses for an M.S. in Oceanography and finish them the following year. That would give me more of the science whose history I intended to reveal. That's how I came to meet Walter Munk. Though I never took a course he taught, he became one of my teachers and a lifelong friend.
His introduction of me to Carl Eckart, to help with Carl's current project and maybe be diverted to science itself, did not lead anywhere. So I left La Jolla in June 1957 with my M.S. in Oceanography from UCLA and became a historian, including being the Historian of the U.S. Geological Survey. (When that position was abolished, I became a patent and trademark attorney. Now that I've retired from the law, I'm back doing the history of science.)
I returned to La Jolla a few times into the 1980s, saw Walter in Woods Hole occasionally (mostly with Judy and once with their daughter Kendall), and tried to keep up with his ever-growing achievements in science. I shall always treasure his capacity for friendship and encouragement beyond the subjects that engaged his formidable intellect.
Harold L. Burstyn, Ph.D., J.D.
Very sad to hear that Walter has passed away. I met Walter at a NATO summer school in London in 1963, when I was a student, and was taken under his wings, not because it was me, but because I was Norwegian. It was a pay back to his mentor, the famous Norwegian Oceanographer Harald Ulrik Sverdrup. Walter has inspired me my whole scientific life, he was very helpful to get the huge international Marginal Ice Zone Experiments started in the early 1980s. He visited us in Bergen many, many times before and after we started the Nansen Center in 1987, giving talks and always inspired us. The last time he was in Norway was in August last year, when the Polar ship Maud, where Sverdrup was the Chief Scientist, was brought back to Oslo from the Canadian Arctic. Walter was in the center of this celebration giving a talk about Sverdrup. Last time I talked with Walter on the phone was few days before he passed away, his brain was clear, but his voice was weak. We talked about science so he was still active. Walter, you will be missed.
PEACE OVER YOUR MEMORY
Ola M. Johannessen
Nansen Scientific Society
Below is a short story of how I was touched by Dr. Munk as a student at Scripps. When I arrived in La Jolla in August 13, 1997, in my second day at the UCSD International Center I met this distinguished older gentleman. I started talking about how excited I was to begin my studies in oceanography and even tried to explain to him things about the ocean—he was so kind, warm and inclusive—only later I discovered that it was the Walter Munk! That was the first of many encounters that I will continue to cherish in my life together with my love for the ocean. Thank you Walter for all the dreams you have inspired in so many generations.
Emanuele Di Lorenzo, Professor
Director, Program in Ocean Science & Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology
The Munks have always been open, gracious people, not only to colleagues and leaders from various walks of life, but also to children of those who were part of the Scripps community. Shortly after the new year, my son, Armand Barilotti, and I were at Seiche enjoying Walter and Mary’s hospitality. Armand recalled the times when as a boy he had come to parties hosted by Walter and Judith, and Walter had showed him how to use the “Admiral’s” binoculars. Walter asked what he was doing now, and was glad that Armand became a marine biologist and is part of a group that is helping to restore nearshore habitats and species harmed by pollution. Walter enjoyed meeting children and always had time to talk to them and encourage them in their future pursuits.
Walter will be sorely missed by all!
Dear Mrs. Coakley-Munk and family of Professor Walter Munk,
When we, the postdocs at IGPP, decided to pursue a research career at IGPP, we took this decision based on the high reputation and research history of the institute. And Prof. Walter Munk is without doubt one of the key contributors to the institute’s success. Most of us did not have the opportunity to meet Prof. Munk personally, but his outstanding career in Geophysics and Oceanography serves as an inspiration and motivation for our present and future scientific endeavors. His vision in shaping the culture at SIO and particularly IGPP has had a profound influence on all of us. As young scientists, we take on the responsibility of continuing Walter Munk’s work - to steer science in new and exciting directions over the next few decades.
We would like to send to the family and friends our deepest condolences for the loss of our distinguished Professor. At the same time, though, we are proud to be the recipients of the extraordinary Walter Munk’s legacy here at IGPP.
With deep gratitude,
The postdocs of the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
University of California San Diego
The Historical Oceanography Society, President Emeritus Federico De Strobel and Chaiman Giuseppe Manzella express their heartfelt condolences for the loss of Walter Munk. We have a vivid memory of his visit to Lucca, Italy, as part of the International Conference on Data Management. Words can never express our sadness at the disappearance of a person we have admired as a man and as a scientist. We can simply express our pain for our loss.
Giuseppe M.R. Manzella
The Historical Oceanography Society Chair
ESSD Topical Editor
During Walter’s 100th birthday science symposium in 2017, he spoke very generously about his life and accomplishments. As he talked about his many experiences, one thing became exceedingly clear to me: Walter pursued joy and happiness alongside all of his accomplishments. He lived life to its fullest. I saved a quote he made about his time on the ski team at Cal Tech. It encapsulated his humor, mirth, mischievousness, and vibrant spirit:
I was the president of the ski club. Mother was very disappointed. We had a wonderful time.
Walter’s sense of adventure has already influenced my career as an oceanographer and inspired me to find the joy in my scientific pursuits. I will miss him and send love to his family during this sad time.
To the original Wave Hero—
Your contributions have inspired the way we understand our oceans, the way we learn about oceanography, and the way we talk about ocean science to the global audience. You have touched many generations of students around the world.
Oregon State University Coastal and Ocean Faculty and Students
I would like to express our most sincere condolences for the death of Prof. Walter Munk. His love for science in general, and oceanography in particular, was a true inspiration for all of us.
Director of the Oceanology Division of CICESE
Walter Munk, a true giant who defined the field of physical oceanography. His insatiable scientific curiosity and unwavering optimism have inspired generations of oceanographers. May his memory continue to inspire discoveries in science and smiles on our faces.
Walter Munk was a very good friend indeed of the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology in Moscow. He visited the Institute many times. The lectures he presented here on tides and internal waves were attended by so many scientists that there was not enough room in the conference hall to keep them from spilling out. These talks left a huge imprint that lasted long after he left and meant a great deal to all of us. His death is a loss to oceanography and global science. Words seem inadequate to express our sadness that such a brilliant scientist passed away. We may say that he led a truly inspirational and long life.
On behalf of all colleagues from the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, RAS, we express our deepest condolences to Professor Munk's widow Mary and his daughters Edie and Kendall and to all colleagues at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and all American oceanographers.
Dr. Alexey Sokov
Acting Director, Shirshov Institute of Oceanology
It is with great sadness that the IAPSO community learned of Walter’s passing on 8th February, 2019. Not only was he an eminent scientist, but also a friend and colleague to many of us and a great supporter of IAPSO. Over more than 70 years he pioneered physical oceanography, giving us new understanding of the oceans across a wide field of oceanographic themes including waves, acoustics, internal waves and mixing, to name just a few.
In 2001, during the joint IAPSO/IABO assembly in Mar del Plata, Argentina, IAPSO awarded Walter its inaugural Prince Albert I medal. There was little doubt that Walter was one of the ‘fathers of oceanography’ and nobody was more deserving than him to receive the award. Many of us well remember the occasion when he gave a wonderful lecture entitled ‘The evolution of physical oceanography in the last hundred years’, which not only covered the science, but also many anecdotes from his scientific career. For many of us in IAPSO this was the first time that we were able to meet and talk to the ‘great man’, and throughout the Assembly he was often seen exuberantly chatting away to younger scientists and more mature colleagues.
Despite his advancing years, he continued to support IAPSO and in 2015, at the age of 98, he was invited to give two talks, one on acoustics and the other on internal waves, at the IUGG/IAPSO Assembly in Prague. It is a mark of the esteem in which he was held, that Walter attracted a large audience, many from the other disciplines of the IUGG family.
We were proud to listen to his presentations and delighted when he cited our works or mentioned them in his talks. His breadth of knowledge of colleague’s work was outstanding and we are sad that we will no longer be able to listen to his brilliant talks except through historical recordings. His passing is a great loss to oceanography, but he was and will continue to be an inspiration to young and old. We feel blessed that as members of the IAPSO community we were able to meet and interact with this ‘Einstein of the oceans’; scientific discussions with Walter were always of great value. The IAPSO community extend their deepest condolences to his widow Mary and daughters Edie and Kendall.
President of the International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Oceans
We at the Provisional Technical Secretariat (PTS) of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) would like to express our sincerest condolences to the family and loved ones of Prof. Munk.
Walter Munk has been a teacher and an inspiration to generations of scientists, including our Hydroacoustics staff, monitoring the world’s oceans for signs of nuclear explosions. In 2015, we had the pleasure and the privilege of having Prof. Munk visit the CTBTO’s Vienna headquarters for very interesting and stimulating discussions on the partnership between natural and social sciences in support of a sustainable environment.
It has been an honor to get to know Prof. Munk – he will be missed.
With sincere affection and gratitude,
CTBTO - PTS staff
Walter will forever be an inspiration for us. He never stopped. Last June on a 40-day road trip in Europe, he came to a meeting at Davos to discuss smart cables to support ocean and earth observations in the Arctic. Then in Paris, after receiving the Legion of Honor, he gave the Roger Revelle Memorial Lecture at the IOC Executive Council meeting - characteristically precise and to the point, concluding optimistically (using WWII as precedent) that we, all of us, are up to confronting and dealing with the climate challenge. As we all know, Walter understood the need to connect and bind people together socially, whether with gala events or just Mary, Walter and a few gathering for a quiet dinner under the Hau Tree by Kaimana Beach. On a very personal level, the wedding reception at Seiche way back in 1984 was a wonderful way for us to begin our marriage. Mary, our thoughts are with you.
Bruce and Fawn Howe
My experience of meeting Prof. Walter Munk at San Diego on Memorial Day May 1988 are described in the attached article as a tribute to his greatness. Million parting salutes to the world's most renowned scientist oceanographer...the entire scientific community would miss his innovative research. I recall my visit to his wonderful house where young researchers coming to UCSD were given the opportunity to interact with him. Both Walter Munk and Judith Munk welcomed and provided warmest hospitality. This was in May 1998. May his soul rest in eternal peace.
The community of CICESE sends its most sincere condolences for the loss of Dr. Walter Munk, to his family, friends and the entire Scripps community.
Having volunteered on the Host Committee of the Kyoto Prize Symposium since 2004, it was a real honor and a privilege to get to know Walter over the past 2 decades. Such a brilliant and fascinating gentleman with a great joy for life. I will treasure the times and the memories. Also, I remember the Shakespeare Festival in their amphitheater. My heartfelt condolences, thoughts and prayers for the entire Munk family.
Please accept our deepest condolences for the loss. Doug Webb and I remember Walter as a very bright scientist and acoustician. We remember our collaboration at the ocean acoustic instruments, it was a great time. We will keep memories about Walter as a treasure.
Doug Webb and Andrey Morozov
I feel so lost when I heard the news. Mr. Walter Munk was the nicest person I ever met. He was so kind, generous, modest and humble. He was a real gentleman. When he came to my shop, some time he closed his eyes to rest. But as soon as I asked a question or talked to him, he opened his eyes & gave me a big smile first. His face showed the eager listening to whatever I wanted to share. He showed me how kind a person could be to another through all the time I took care of him. It seemed like he had no enemies through all his life. We love you, Walter! We will miss your kindness and generosity of spirit, your good humor, your love of life, and your brilliant mind.
To the Munk Family,
We are deeply saddened by the news of Walter's passing. Please accept our sincere condolences.
Thinking of you,
Helen and Louisa Diana Brunner
We all thought he was immortal, because Walter had done so many astonishing things, well, why not? He also was hospitable, genuinely interested, kind, loving, and told great true stories. And he listened, though none of our stories had the other-worldly drama of his. And so many close friends, many of him dying before he did.
Please accept my condolences about the loss of Mr. Walter Munk. With caring thoughts at this moment my heart goes to Mrs. Munk and their Family. Mr. Munk was was a very inspiring and charismatic scientific who meant so much for my late husband Jean-François Fels who worked at the IGPP from 1985-2004 under the Direction of Jon Berger team. During our stay in San Diego we shared joyful happy family moments during potlucks at his beautiful garden and at the IGPP family gatherings. We met personally Mr. Munk. His memory, legacy and wisdom will be always alive with us. With all my respect and admiration to a wonderful man who inspired generations to a scientific community.
I send my condolences to Walter's family and colleagues. And my gratitude to an inspirational extraordinary altruist human being. An encounter we cannot forget, he came to the 5th Coastal Altimetry Workshop in San Diego in 2011 at age 94. A Legend!
A sentence I like most in the UCSD Press Release:
"An ethos he expressed throughout his career was for scientists to take risks, pursue new directions, and embrace the educational value of failure."
Dr. Jérôme Benveniste
Senior Advisor - European Space Agency (ESA-ESRIN)
Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes
I got to know Walter best when he accepted my invitation to give a seminar at the University of British Columbia in the early 1980s. When he and Judy left they were rushing through the older Vancouver airport and Walter hit a bump and Judy fell on the floor. Judy was in the hospital a couple of days before she could head home and Walter was a very gracious guest at our house. As a former student of Klaus Wyrtki I and Walter had a number of acquaintances in common and it was great to just visit with this very kind and friendly person. It was an experience I will never forget.
Bill Emery, Emeritus Professor, University of Colorado at Boulder
I am so privileged to have had a chance to share a meal with Walter Munk in his last year. In his 101st year, his charisma, warmth, intelligence and sense of humor were in full display and made the evening memorable. Walter gave me a renewed sense of meaning for the work that we do at UC San Diego. I am very grateful to Mary for hosting that night and I hold her in my thoughts.
Vice-Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer
UC San Diego
Going to college as a freshman, where people like Walter Munk taught, would make me feel proud and honored every single day. Science has lost one of its fathers.
My sincerest condolences to the people who were loved him the most.
Walter and Judy were good friends with my mom Josie since the 60s. My brother was good friends with Kendall, their youngest. OK, Rick might say they "dated" but things like that are ill-defined at Muirlands Jr. High. Anyways, the Munks' place is perched on a canyon rim between Scripps Pier and our surfing mecca, Black's Beach. I think Black's powerful surf is generated by a gnarly submarine canyon Walter could monitor from most rooms in the house. As a kid and even much later, the feel of the Munks' place was like a majestic, seaside cottage straight out of J.R.R. Tolkien. There were gatherings at the Munks' place and I can still hear Sam Hinton strumming Apples & Banay-nays in the living room. Walter and Judy fed off the joy they created.
A few years ago, my wife met Walter and still can't get over his kindness, grace and those baby blues. His boyishness and curiosity never faded. I never knew his humor could turn delightfully dark until a tsunami (of questionable size) was scheduled to wash up on La Jolla beaches a decade or two ago. I knew that Walter knew something about it and I emailed him some question or another. In the exchange he said if the wave was large enough, it might wipe out the curious and the bold who brave the shoreline while sparing the lives of the timid who run to higher ground! A Darwinian quandary to be sure.
Rightfully, people will speak of Walter's giant list of professional distinctions. He wore one of his "award jackets" to our wedding and the man has his name on a building for crying' out loud. But I hope people also remember Walter died at 101 with a boyish curiosity and a twinkle in his eyes.
I am personally grateful to Walter for allowing me and my husband to get married in the garden at IGPP (UCSD) in 1970. Although we only saw him a dozen times since, he always remembered us and asked us what we were currently doing. His generosity of hosting multiple charitable organizations and political discussions over the years at his beautiful home (which he designed) should not be ignored. He cared deeply about the welfare of the environment and about people. He was a brilliant scientist and mentor of many graduate and post graduate students. I will remember him for his support of humanitarian, educational, environmental and support for politicians who shared those values.
Carolyn Byrnes Woodbury
Lifelong Environmental Activist
Walter was an outstanding scientist, a continuous creative force and a gentleman, who opened his home to the UCSD Community for many events. He was warm-hearted and was interested in the views, the work and the ideas of those he met with. We are inspired by him to continue UCSD’s wide contributions. He will be sorely missed.
Julian Schroeder and Marion Spors
Walter's creativity, generosity, and enthusiasm for life have been an example to us all. I shall miss him, but remember him and try in my feeble way to follow his example. I extend my sympathy to his wife Mary, to the rest of his family, to his colleagues at Scripps, and to the people of La Jolla. You have lost a great man, but not the memory of his life and example.
Jim Ledwell, WHOI
It was with a great sense of loss when we heard about the death of Dr. Walter Munk. Words can never express our sadness when someone who was admired as a scientist has passed away.
Dr. Walter Munk was one of the most celebrated oceanographers of his era — a visionary scientist who devoted nearly eight decades to unraveling numerous questions asked over time in different branches of oceanography.
I would like to express on behalf of the Chilean Navy Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service and the National Oceanographic Committee of Chile, our deepest and heartfelt condolences.
Chilean Navy Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service
My name is Peisen Tan, an undergraduate student from Ocean University of China whose major is Physical Oceanography. I am also an applicant for PhD program in SIO, UCSD for Fall 2019. The reason I chose SIO is that, Dr. Munk has always been my idol and I wanted to follow his footsteps. He is a great Oceanographer, a life-lover and also a freedom fighter in the WW2. His theory of Ocean Circulation, Garrett-Munk Spectrum etc. have been and will forever be a great treasure for mankind. And his spirit toward life and family is another that keeps encouraging me. Thank you, Dr. Munk, for guiding me even if I haven't met you in person. I will try to be someone like you in my life. God bless you, Dr. Munk.
College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences
Ocean University of China
Our heartfelt condolences. End of an era. It was great occasion to meet renowned oceanographer, who did path-breaking research on waves, tidal energy etc. Still remember my maiden visit to Prof. Munk's home, with my family, on Memorial Day in 2001, during my tenure as Visiting Scientist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. If I recall correctly, it was a yearly affair, he used to call all young scientists and scholars of SIO to visit his house for pot-luck lunch. He and his wife Judith warmly welcomed all of us and had introduction with all assembled there. It was a memorable day meeting with one of the great oceanographers, whose well cited papers we read earlier in our career and still referred. RIP.
Dr. Raj Kumar
My condolences to Munk's familiy. Here the Brazilian oceanographers felt so much his passage.
Michael Nova MD PhD
I express the most sincere condolences to Walter's pass. He was a great personality and a great scientist.
RIP Dr. Munk.
Regards from Hal Batchelder, now with the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES)
A great and unique oceanographer who pursued his research even after completing his 100th birthday!
“Fair winds and following seas”
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