Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 03 Issue 01

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Volume 03, No. 1
Pages 39 - 42


REVIEW AND COMMENT • Becoming an Oceanographer Forty Years Ago

Klaus Wyrtki
First Paragraph

Editor’s Note: The following is a slightly abbreviated transcript of an informal seminar given by Professor Wyrtki to oceanography graduate students in September 1988.

Meine damen und herren, ladies and gentlemen,

Today I’m going to tell you something different. Not about sea level, not about new instruments, not about a new solution of an old equation that you know more about than I do. I’m going to tell you how it was to be a student forty years ago, and you may relate your experience right now to the things I am going to tell you. I could start “once upon a time,” but I don’t want to do that because I don’t want to tell you a fairy tale. I could also tell you about the “‘good old days,” but I think the term is an illusion. The “good old days” is when you’re young and you’re vigorous, when you have a lot of energy, when you have little responsibility and few obligations. And, by the way, your “good old days” may be right now.


Wyrtki, K. 1990. Becoming an oceanographer forty years ago. Oceanography 3(1):39–42, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.1990.20.

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