Elizabeth Wright-Fairbanks, graduate assistant in the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, has been named the recipient of the 2021 Walter Munk Scholar Award and Commemorative Lecture, which is jointly sponsored by the Walter Munk Foundation for the Oceans and the Marine Technology Society. Established in 2019, the award honors renowned oceanographer Walter Munk for his significant contributions to the study of oceanography and underscores the great importance of ocean science and technology.
Wright-Fairbanks was selected from a highly competitive field of candidates and recognizes her achievements to date with the hope that she will continue Walter Munk’s legacy of daring exploration and discovery throughout her career.
The award was presented during the OCEANS 2021 San Diego – Porto Conference, held at the Town & Country San Diego, CA, on September 21. In addition to the physical award, Wright-Fairbanks was given the opportunity to provide a lecture via a webinar for the Marine Technology Society in early November. The topic will be the development of a novel sensor for measuring ocean acidification using an autonomous glider and insights from training a network of pH glider users.
“Congratulations to Liza! Munk is among the giants of modern oceanography and is another feather in the cap of the oceanography program here at Rutgers and our investment in our graduate students,” said Yair Rosenthal, distinguished professor in the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences. “Good luck, Liza, and we all echo the letter wishing you ‘to continue Walter Munk’s legacy throughout your career.”
“I am honored to receive the 2021 Walter Munk Scholar Award,” said Wright-Fairbanks. “This award affirms the importance of the novel technology and sensor development I have participated in throughout my Ph.D. studies at the Rutgers Center for Ocean Observing Leadership. There is so much left to learn about the ocean, and I’m excited to contribute to the cause through marine technology development and operations.”