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

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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

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

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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...

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Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

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Woods Hole oceanographic institution

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Revelle, Roger, 1909-1991

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

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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.

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Green, Cecil Howard, 1900-2003

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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 ...

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Eckart, Carl, 1902-1973

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