Oral history interview with Walter Heinrich Munk, 1997-1998.


Munk, Walter H. (Walter Heinrich), 1917-. Oral history interview with Walter Heinrich Munk, 1997-1998.

Oral history interview with Walter Heinrich Munk, 1997-1998.

A thorough survey of the life and work of Munk. Early life and education in Austria and the United States. 1917 to the mid-1930s; undergraduate education at California Institute of Technology; becomes graduate student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography; experience in U.S. Army; extended discussion of war-time research and Munk's loss of security clearances. Completion of Ph. D. at Scripps; extensive recollections of research and social activities at Scripps, including his impressions of Harald Sverdrup, Carl Eckart, and Roger Revelle; his development with Sverdrup during World War II of methods to predict surf conditions for Allied landings in Normandy, North Africa, and Pacific islands; of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution of European oceanographic research, 1940s and 1950s; the role of the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and Navy as a patron for science; and the personality and research of Carl-Gustav Rossby. Studies geophysical phenomena associated with U.S. atomic bomb tests at Bikini Island, mid-1940s, as well as hydrogen bomb tests in the Pacific (early 1950s). Scientific work on ocean currents (including impressions of Henry Stommel), ocean wave spectra (including Waves Across the Pacific study, 1960s), and the Acoustic Thermography of Ocean Climate (ATOC) project to investigate shifts in global ocean temperatures, including intense public controversy over this experiment involving potential harm to. Undersea mammals (late 1980s-1990s). Impressions of the California loyalty oath controversy, 1950s. Detailed recollections of design and construction of Institute for Geophysics and Planetary Physics (IGPP) at Scripps, including interations with Louis Slichter and Willard F. Libby, as well as research programs at the IGPP; extensive discussion of funding practices in earth sciences research in America, Europe, and the Soviet Union, particularly the role of the National Science Foundation and the philanthropist Cecil H. Green. Impressions of the Soviet Institute of Oceanography. Collaborations with Gordon MacDonald in writing 1960 book on tides and earth rotation. Impressions of social revolution of 1960s and political views at Scripps, with descriptions of meetings with Angela Davis, Eldridge Cleaver, and Herbert Marcuse. Membership in JASONS, as well as anti-JASON protests; Lengthy recollections of Maurice Ewing and the Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory; comments on SIO and IGPP directors including William Nierenberg, Ed Friedman, Freeman Gilbert, and Fred Spiess. General remarks on the social structure of American geophysics and oceanography, as well as comparisons of American and Soviet Styles of oceanograhpic research.

22 cassettes (21.5 hr.)

Related Entities

There are 16 Entities related to this resource.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w63k43dr (corporateBody)

Munk, Walter H. (Walter Heinrich), 1917-

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6hh6mc9 (person)

Geophysicist and oceanographer. Munk received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the California Institute of Technology in 1939 and 1940 and his Ph. D. in 1947. Munk served as assistant and associate professor of geophysics at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography from 1947 to 1954 when he became professor of geophysics in the University of California Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics. Munk founded the Instittue and served as its director from 1959 to 1984. He is a member of the Nation...

Stommel, Henry M., 1920-1992

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6k64mgd (person)

Henry Melson Stommel, 1920-1992. Physical oceanographer (founder of the field of dynamical oceanography). Employed at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) from 1944-1959 (with two leaves of absence), working first with Maurice Ewing and then with Jeffreys Wyman. Appointed professor at Harvard University (1960-1963) and then Massachusetts Institute of Technology Dept. of Meteorology (1963-). Stommel returned to WHOI in 1978. From the description of Papers, 1946-1996. (Unknown)....

Doel, Ronald Edmund

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6hd7xbx (person)

Woods Hole oceanographic institution

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6wm58wz (corporateBody)

Revelle, Roger, 1909-1991

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w65m6572 (person)

Revelle (1909-1991). Research oceanographer, Scripps Institution of Oceanography. From the description of Sound recordings, 1984. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 82028116 From the description of Oral history interview with Roger Revelle: Observations on the Office of Naval Research and International Science, 1945-1960 1984 November. (University of California, San Diego). WorldCat record id: 83494102 American oceanographer. From the description of Papers, ...

Ewing, W. Maurice (William Maurice), 1906-1974

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6b27zpt (person)

W. Maurice Ewing (1906-1974) was a marine geologist, oceanographer, and geophysicist, who received his B.A., M.A., and PhD in physics and mathematics from Rice University in 1926, 192, and 1931, respectively. He taught geophysics at Lehigh University (1930-1940), the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (1940-1944), served as director of the Lamont-Doherty Geophysical Observatory of Columbia University (1949-1972), and joined the University of Texas Medical Branch as the first director of the Ea...

University of California, San Diego. Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w63r5s2n (corporateBody)

The La Jolla branch of the University of California Institute of Geophysics was established in July 1959. The institute was founded by Walter H. Munk to study the planet Earth, its atmosphere, oceans and interior, using the methods of experimental and mathematical physics. It was intended as a branch of the University of California, Los Angeles Institute of Geophysics which was established in 1946. The name of the branch was changed in 1960 to the University of California San Diego Institute of ...

Libby, Willard F.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6w95bqf (person)

Willard Frank Libby (1908-1980). From the description of Oral history interview with Willard Frank Libby, 1979 April 12 and 16. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 81866341 Libby (1908-1980). From the description of Papers, ca. 1950-1980. (American Institute of Physics). WorldCat record id: 81276740 Libby was born Dec. 17, 1908; BS (1931) and Ph. D (1933), UC Berkeley; part of the Manhattan Project, 1941-45; professor, Institute for Nuclear Studies, Univ. of ...

Green, Cecil Howard, 1900-2003

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w64t6mrx (person)

Cecil H. and Ida M. Green are best known for philanthropy. Beginning in 1950 they gave millions of dollars to various institutions and organizations, and by 1988 their donations amounted to more than $150 million. In addition to financial gifts, they served as chairpersons on various fund raising events that helped generate many more millions of dollars from other donors. The Greens were not always millionaires. They started out on a modest income, and through hard work ...

Sverdrup, H.U. (Harald Ulrik), 1888-1957

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6kh0ph8 (person)

Sverdrup, meteorologist, oceanographer, and Polar explorer, was the chief of the scientific staff on Raold Amundsen's Maud expeditions (1917-1925) and on the Wilkins-Ellsworth submarine expedition (1931) to the Arctic. From the description of Papers, 1928-1942. (Dartmouth College Library). WorldCat record id: 237352129 ...

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6qz68gv (corporateBody)

Eckart, Carl, 1902-1973

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w69k4cmm (person)

Physicist and oceanographer (quantum mechanics, atomic physics, underwater acoustics, geophysical hydrodynamics); professor of geophysics, University of California, San Diego (UCSD); first director of the UCSD Marine Physical Laboratory; director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography (1948-1950). Died 1973. From the description of Papers. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 154306129 Physicist, oceanographer, and educator. Died 1973. From the description of Papers of...

Rossby, Carl-Gustaf

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6f50tqx (person)

United States. Office of Naval Research

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6nk74nd (corporateBody)

The original "Survey of large-scale computers and computer projects" was published by the Office of Naval Research in 1947 and 1948. It was revised and updated in 1950 under the title, HIGH-SPEED COMPUTING DEVICES (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1950). This work was contracted out to the Minneapolis, Minn., firm of Engineering Research Associates and was an attempt to survey the state of computer technology at a time when the Navy was weighing the possibility of supporting the development of the electro...

Slichter, Louis B. (Louis Byrne), 1896-1978

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w62j6dbp (person)