Dr. Pinkel receives Walter Munk Award for Distinguished Research

May 24, 2000

Dr. Robert Pinkel, Professor of Oceanography at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO), University of California, San Diego, was presented with the Walter Munk Award for Distinguished Research in Oceanography Related to Sound and the Sea, in a recent SIO ceremony. He is the fifth 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.

Named in honor of Dr. Walter Munk, a pioneer researcher in acoustic oceanography, the award is designed to recognize and reward distinguished achievement related to sound and the sea. Dr. Munk has contributed greatly to the Department of the Navy's knowledge of acoustic oceanography and its application to naval operations.

Dr. Pinkel has played a central role in the development of acoustical oceanography through his pioneering contributions to acoustical Doppler methods for oceanographic measurement and his subsequent use of Doppler techniques for the study of internal waves, mixing, and related processes in the upper ocean.

His crucial role in the early stages of acoustic Doppler development had a profound influence on the future of this important technology. A particularly vital technical advance was his implementation of the sector scan sonar that is already providing an exciting new view of small scale ocean structure. His work on zooplankton migration illustrates his interdisciplinary interests and the broader possibilities of his Doppler developments. Dr. Pinkel has set a very high standard for Doppler technological development, but more importantly, he has shown how this technology can be used to gain new insights on small scale structure in the ocean.

The Walter Munk Award For Distinguished Research in Oceanography Related to Sound and the Sea is granted jointly by The Oceanography Society, the Office of Naval Research, and the Oceanographer of the Navy. The award is granted to individuals who have made significant original contributions to the understanding of physical ocean processes related to sound in the sea, the application of acoustic methods to that understanding, and/or outstanding service that fosters research in ocean science and instrumentation contributing to understanding sound in the sea.
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Office of Naval Research

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