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La Jolla will host the first annual Celebrate our Oceans day on Oct. 15

Walter Munk was nicknamed the "Einstein of the Oceans."
(Hayne Palmour IV/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

The free inaugural public festival will be held at Kellogg Park in La Jolla Shores and include presentations geared toward children

La Jolla will host the first annual Celebrate our Oceans day Saturday in memory of Walter Munk, the late UC San Diego scientist whose discoveries earned him the nickname “Einstein of the Oceans.”

The free public festival — which is tailored for children — will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Kellogg Park in La Jolla Shores and will feature underwater robots and an exhibit on the sequencing of fish genes.

He could stay home in La Jolla, whiling away the hours above Black’s Beach, where the ocean seems to fan out toward infinity.

The event will be sponsored by the Walter Munk Foundation for the Oceans and will include a presentation about Mobula munkiana, a species of devil ray that was named after Munk, who spent most of his career at UCSD’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Early in his career, Munk developed new techniques for forecasting ocean waves, work that helped Allied forces safely land at Normandy during the D-Day invasion in World War II.

He went on to do everything from refine science’s understanding of the size and role of ocean currents to lead grand oceanic expeditions, especially in the 1950s and ‘60s. He was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1983.

Munk died in 2019 at the age of 101.


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