Weekend classic: Waves across the Pacific

Ever wonder what state-of-the-art oceanography was like in 1963?  If so, watch as an intrepid bunch of oceanographers track waves generated in the Antarctic all the way across the Pacific to Alaska in this total period piece “Waves across the Pacific.” Highlights include: Plotting by hand! Ticker tape! FLIP! Scientists smoking! A dude named Gaylord that always wears V-neck sweaters! Women in menial roles! Famous oceanographer Walter Munk in his bathing attire! Data visualizations in plexiglas!

How can you resist?

Parts 2 and 3 are here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WDbc4ENfbo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9xqXnv1zT4

And it has come to my attention that Walter Munk sounds exactly like Ludwig Van Drake.

Kim Martini (85 Posts)

Kim is a Physical Oceanographer at the Joint Institute for the Study of Atmosphere and Ocean at the University of Washington. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 2010. Her goal in life is to throw expensive s**t in the ocean. When not at sea, she uses observations from moored, satellite and land-based instruments to understand the pathways that wind and tidal energy take from large (internal tides) to small scales (turbulence).





4 comments on “Weekend classic: Waves across the Pacific
  1. The funny story I’ve heard about this was that the oceanographers were arrayed across the Pacific by seniority – poor Gaylord was a grad student & got stuck in Alaska, while the more senior scientists reclined upon tropical islands.

    Walter Munk is still an emeritus at Scripps – he’s about 90 & still occasionally gives talks. He is much beloved.

  2. Alaska, where waves go to die. Also, I love that oceanographic equipment was lowered from an outrigger canoe.

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