Named the “Einstein of the Oceans” by The New York Times, Dr. Walter Munk turned 100 on October 19, 2017 and to commemorate his centennial, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography named the month “Munktober” and hosted numerous celebrations. Dr. Munk joined Scripps in 1939 and his work over the last eight decades has transformed our understanding of the ocean. His early work on wave predictions in World War II, in collaboration with Harald Sverdrup, led to the first successful Allied offensive of the war in northern Africa (Oran). The predictions were used in the Pacific Theater of War and ultimately, for the landings in Normandy on D-Day.
As part of the month-long series of events, HSH Prince Albert II participated in “A Centennial Conversation with Walter Munk” where the two shared the stage. HSH Prince Albert II thanked Dr. Munk for being an incredible voice for the ocean and described his respect and admiration for him. “I remember talking to different scientists at our oceanographic museum in Monaco and they mentioned your name more than once. So, I knew from a fairly early age that you were someone very important and very special. I can see that, of course, when I come here, but I see that all over the world, where your research and your different papers and other communications were so greatly studied and appreciated.”
A video of the event can be found on the Scripps’ Munk Centennial website.
To honor Dr. Munk, the City of San Diego also named a part of the La Jolla Shores boardwalk “Walter Munk Way” and proclaimed October 19th to be “Walter Munk Day.”