Professor Walter Munk opens the new National Oceanographic Library

Prof Walter Munk rings the bell from RRS Charles Darwin

The National Oceanographic Library was officially opened today by renowned oceanographer Professor Walter Munk, at an event at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton.

NOCS has recently completed a major refurbishment of the National Oceanographic Library, the UK’s most extensive collection of oceanographic literature and one of the largest marine science libraries in Europe. The building project created a mezzanine floor on a new level that incorporates five additional study rooms for meetings or group work and an open research space available for all users of the National Oceanography Centre.

The project was funded primarily by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and a Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) grant to the University of Southampton, with additional funding from the University Student Centredness Fund and Ocean and Earth Science alumni gifts helping to purchase a new plasma screen for one of the new meeting rooms in the library. The new mobile screen gives students greater flexibility for studying and for delivering presentations. Gifts donated by our alumni were also used to purchase a range of new textbooks for student use in the library.

Head of Library and Information Services, Jane Stephenson says “The recent refurbishment of the library has made it an extremely welcoming and contemporary working space for our students and researchers. The improvements mean we offer much more than a traditional library ­ our students benefit from daily access to specialist resources that are second to none.”

Professor Rachel Mills, Associate Dean for the Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences says “The way that the library is being used has been transformed and is incredibly impressive. Feedback from students so far is very positive and they are enjoying utilising the new, improved space.”

Staff, students and friends of the National Oceanography Centre attended the launch event to see Professor Munk officially open the new facilities, and present a lecture in the morning. The Scripps Institution of Oceanography Emeritus Research Professor of Geophysics, Munk’s pioneering research and experimental work has had a major impact on the development of oceanography and geophysics into the science it is today.

Professor Ed Hill, Executive Director of the National Oceanography Centre, comments “We are delighted to welcome Professor Munk to NOC today and grateful to him for opening our rejuvenated library facility. As one of the founding fathers of modern oceanography, his ideas have been hugely influential for many researchers over his long and distinguished career – during his visit here today he has shared his enthusiasm for tackling difficult scientific problems and has been an inspiration to us all, particularly our students here at the Centre.”

Professor Walter Munk: