Dr. Robert Spindel is recipient of the Walter Munk Award For Distinguished Research in Oceanography Related to Sound and the Sea

April 01, 2001

The Walter Munk Award for Distinguished Research in Oceanography Related to Sound and the Sea will be presented to Dr. Robert C. Spindel on April 2, 2001 at the Miami Beach meeting of The Oceanography Society. Named for pioneering oceanographer Walter Munk, this distinguished award honors his significant contributions to the Department of the Navy's knowledge of oceanography and its application to naval operations. Dr. Spindel will be the sixth recipient of the Munk Award, which consists of a silver medal struck for the purpose and a certificate bearing the signatures of the Secretary of the Navy and the President of The Oceanography Society. His citation reads: "In recognition of his pioneering contributions to the development and application of tomographic methods for acoustic remote sensing of the ocean interior from the mesoscale to the global scale, of his leadership in stimulating and supporting marine acoustics research, and of his important role in maintaining strong ties between the Navy and civilian ocean acoustics communities."

Dr. Spindel is currently the Director of the Applied Physics Laboratory of the University of Washington in Seattle. He continues to play a prominent role in the development of acoustical oceanography through his leadership in the design and implementation of systems for acoustical tomography. Under his guidance, several innovative technologies have become a working reality: the keeping of precise time in long-term sub-surface moorings, acoustic navigation of long-term mooring dynamics, a portable acoustic tracking range supported by the Global Positioning System, and new low frequency broadband transducers. All of these technologies, and others he developed, have made possible the design and implementation of tomography systems. Dr. Spindel's projects include the Greenland Sea Experiment, the Acoustic Mid-Ocean Dynamics Experiment, the Moving Ship Tomography Experiment, the Heard Island Feasibility Test, and the Acoustic Thermometry of Ocean Climate (ATOC) demonstration.
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The Walter Munk Award is granted jointly by The Oceanography Society, the Office of Naval Research, and the Oceanographer of the Navy. Criteria for the award include significant original contributions to understanding physical ocean processes related to sound in the sea, application of acoustic methods to advance that understanding, and/or outstanding service that fosters research in ocean science and instrumentation contributing to our understanding of sound in the sea.

The Office of Naval Research and the Oceanographer of the Navy are scientific agencies within the Department of Defense. The Oceanography Society was founded in 1988 to disseminate knowledge of oceanography and its application through research and education, to promote communication among oceanographers, and to provide a constituency for consensus-building across all the disciplines of the field.

Office of Naval Research

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