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Arts & Culture

Spirit Of Discovery

Mobula Munkiana in Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park, east coast of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula.
Photo by Octavio Aburto
Mobula Munkiana in Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park, east coast of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula.

Airs Wednesday, June 19, 2019 at 11 p.m. & Sunday, June 23 at 1 p.m. on KPBS TV + June 23 at 8 p.m. on KPBS 2

Walter Munk, referred to as the "Einstein of the Oceans" by the New York Times, has advocated daring exploration, without fear of failure, throughout his 80-year career.

His work on wave predictions in World War II led to the first successful Allied offensive of the war and, ultimately, the landings in Normandy on D-Day.

He helped us understand ocean currents, tides and deep ocean mixing, wind waves, tsunamis and seismic waves, and rotation of the Earth.

His pioneering work in acoustic tomography made it possible to measure ocean temperature and currents.

Walter Munk in Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park with Explorers Club flag in background, east coast of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula.
Photo by Octavio Aburto
Walter Munk in Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park with Explorers Club flag in background, east coast of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula.

He would, however, be the first to remind you that each success was preceded by frequent failures.

At age 96, Munk is about to embark on yet another expedition.

The goal is to study the behavior of his namesake, Mobula Munkiana (Munk's Devil Ray), discovered in the early '80s. He has never seen them.

Spirit of Discovery: Trailer

A group of scientists accompanied him on the expedition to Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park anticipating the opportunity to study an aggregation of thousands of Mobula Munkiana's...but they weren't there!

What went wrong? Follow their journey on "Spirit Of Discovery."

Team at the expedition in Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park, east coast of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula.
Photo by Octavio Aburto
Team at the expedition in Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park, east coast of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula.

Join The Conversation:

"Spirit Of Discovery" is on Facebook.

Credits:

Director: Eliana Alvarez Martinez. Executive Producers: Patty Elkus and Rick Elkus. Producers: Eliana Alvarez Martinez and Octavio Aburto. Main Participants: Walter Munk and Giuseppe Notarbartolo.

Walter Munk and Giuseppe Notarbartolo in Cabo Pulmo, east coast of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula.
By Eliana Alvarez
Walter Munk and Giuseppe Notarbartolo in Cabo Pulmo, east coast of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula.