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WHOI Scientist Selected 2017 Recipient of Walter Munk Award

Andone Lavery Andone Lavery, an associate scientist with tenure in the WHOI Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering department, was selected the 2017 recipient of the Walter Munk Award for Distinguished Research in Oceanography Related to Sound and the Sea. Photo by: Jayne Doucette, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

August 10, 2017

Andone Lavery, an associate scientist with tenure in the Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering (AOPE) at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), has been selected by the Oceanography Society as the 2017 recipient of the Walter Munk Award for Distinguished Research in Oceanography Related to Sound and the Sea.

The citation that will be included on the certificate signed by the Secretary of the U.S. Navy and the president of The Oceanography Society reads as follows:

Through discrimination between the scattering by zooplankton and physical microstructure using broadband acoustic measurement methods and models, Andone Lavery has quantified important biological and physical parameters leading to new understanding of both ocean physical processes and marine biology.

An excerpt from the nomination letter written by WHOI colleague James Lynch, a scientist emeritus in the AOPE department, states that “Andone’s work has been very much in the spirit of acoustical oceanography and the Walter Munk Award’s stated criteria for acoustics, ocean science, and instrumentation development. Her Artic oil spill work also has a fine scale echo of Walter’s ATOC work, where he was concerned with measuring ocean warming due to anthropogenic activity. Both pieces of research have a deep societal motivation.”

Lavery will receive the Munk Award during the 174th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in New Orleans, Louisiana (December 4 – 8, 2017), and she will also be recognized during the Ocean Sciences Meeting in Portland, Oregon (February 11–16, 2018). She will give presentations at both meetings.

About the Award

The Walter Munk Award is granted jointly by The Oceanography Society, the Office of Naval Research and the Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy. Recipients are selected based on their:

  • Significant original contributions to the understanding of physical ocean processes related to sound in the sea
  • Significant original contributions to the application of acoustic methods to that understanding
  • Outstanding service that fosters research in ocean science and instrumentation contributing to the above

The award consists of a medal designed by Judith Munk, a commemorative lapel pin, and a certificate bearing the signatures of the Secretary of the Navy and the President of The Oceanography Society.

Lavery, the first female scientist selected for the honor, joins the list of distinguished prior recipients of the Walter Munk Award:

2015: Carl Wunsch, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University

2013: Steven Holbrook, University of Wyoming

2011: William Kuperman, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA

2009: James F. Lynch, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA

2006: Peter F. Worcester, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA

2003: H. Thomas Rossby, Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, USA

2001: Robert C. Spindel, Applied Physics Laboratory of the University of Washington, USA

1999: Robert Pinkel, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA

1997: Stephen A. Thorpe, Southampton Oceanography Centre, UK

1996: Leonid M. Brekhovskikh, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Russia

1994: David M. Farmer, Institute of Ocean Sciences, Canada

1993: Walter Munk, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA


The Oceanography Society (TOS) was founded in 1988 to advance oceanographic research, technology, and education, and to disseminate knowledge of oceanography and its application through research and education. TOS promotes the broad understanding of oceanography, facilitates consensus building across all the disciplines of the field, and informs the public about ocean research, innovative technology, and educational opportunities throughout the spectrum of oceanographic inquiry. TOS welcomes members from all nations. Any individual, business, or organization interested in ocean sciences is encouraged to join and to participate in the activities and benefits of the society.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, non-profit organization on Cape Cod, Mass., dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education. Established in 1930 on a recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences, its primary mission is to understand the ocean and its interaction with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate a basic understanding of the ocean’s role in the changing global environment. For more information, please visit