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:



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

Dr. Martini (156 Posts)

Kim is a Senior Oceanographer at Sea-Bird Scientific. She received her Ph.D. in Physical Oceanography 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 has used 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). Her current mission is to make your oceanographic data be the best data it can be.

4 Replies to “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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