LJSA honors renowned oceanographer, Walter Munk
Published - 02/26/17 - 10:14 AM | 3183 views | 0 0 comments | 42 42 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Highlights of La Jolla Shores Association's February meeting included notice of dedication of the Shores boardwalk in honor of an iconic scientist, a presentation by a UCSD official and discussion of community opposition to DecoBike expanding into La Jolla.

LJSA board member Terry Kraszewski had a special announcement to make.

“I remember asking Walter Munk a few months ago when La Jolla Shores Boardwalk was built and he told me 1939,” Kraszewski said adding, “This year is our world-renowned oceanographer's 100th birthday.”

Walter Heinrich Munk, referred to by some as the “Einstein of the oceans,” was born on Oct. 19, 1917. He is a physical oceanographer and professor of geophysics emeritus at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla.

One of the world's foremost authorities on winds, waves and other projects, Munk has a distinguished list of accomplishments. Those include: being the first person to show why one side of the moon always faces the Earth; pioneering research on the relationship between winds and ocean circulation; investigating irregularities in the Earth's rotation and their impacts on the planet; description of ocean wave behavior while investigating ocean tides; and furthering study of global warming via the relation between changes in ocean temperature, sea level, and the transfer of mass between continental ice and the ocean.

Noting Munk's studies of waves and swell prediction has changed the world forever (in a positive way) for surfers, Kraszewski added Munk also “discovered the grand canyons” off the coast of La Jolla Shores which she added, “have become a mecca for local divers and divers from all over the world.”

“During his illustrious career, Walter has consulted with and advised presidents, kings, prime ministers, Pope Francis and the Dali Lama,” said Kraszewski. “Considering an appropriate way to thank and honor such a remarkable and humble person, we propose the sidewalk on La Jolla Shores boardwalk be renamed 'Walter Munk Way.' ”

Of Munk, Steve Gallagher, assistant vice chancellor from UC San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography commented, “Walter Munk is a living legend who's research has made Scripps a world-class institution.”

Gallagher then gave a presentation on the proposed Marine Conservation Facility, a project involving a small addition to and repurposing of the former NOAA buildings on Scripps campus.

“We're beginning a renewal program for our facilities at Scripps, including project renovation and expansion of existing facilities,” Gallagher said citing the former NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center as one example. “We want to make it a world-class facility pumping in seawater from the end of Scripps Pier to be used in laboratories there,” he said.

Gallagher pointed out the creation of new wet labs in the former NOAA building will “allow hands-on teaching for students, and create a new 100-person classroom where we can conduct research seminars and hold events.”

Noting Safdie Rabines Architects is doing design work on the NOAA conversion project, Gallagher added, “Actual construction drawings will be finished in June, and our plan is to award the contract in September and begin construction in October for the facility to be occupied in fall 2018.”

LJSA reiterated its staunch opposition, along with other La Jolla civic groups, to the expansion of DecoBike's bike share program north from Pacific Beach into La Jolla.

“We do not want them to come into La Jolla Shores,” noted board member Angie Preisendorfer adding “Not one person was pro-Decobike,” at several other similar discussions she's attended at local civic groups.

“This company is taking away from our businesses,” concurred Kraszewski. “We don't want an outside group that doesn't benefit our community at all.”

LJSA meets every 2nd Wednesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Scripps Institution of Oceanography Building T-29. For more information visit www.ljsa.org or email ljsa.org@gmail.com.
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