In an interdisciplinary atmosphere that nurtures discovery, WHOI scientists, engineers, and students collaborate to explore the frontiers of knowledge about planet Earth. They develop theories, test ideas, build seagoing instruments, and collect data in diverse marine environments. Working in all the world’s oceans, their broad research agenda includes: geological activity deep within the earth; plant, animal, and microbial populations and their interactions in the ocean; coastal erosion; ocean circulation; ocean pollution; and global climate change.
Ships operated by WHOI carry research scientists throughout the world’s oceans. The WHOI fleet includes three large research vessels (R/V Atlantis, R/V Knorr, and R/V Oceanus), coastal craft including R/V Tioga, the deep-diving human-occupied submersible Alvin, the tethered, remotely-operated vehicle Jason/Medea, and autonomous underwater vehicles such as the Autonomous Benthic Explorer (ABE) and SeaBED.
WHOI offers graduate and post-graduate studies in nearly all areas of marine science. There are several fellowship and traineeship programs, and graduate degrees are awarded through a joint program with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) or by the Institution itself. WHOI also offers other outreach programs and informal public education through its Exhibit Center and summer tours The Institution has a volunteer program and a membership program, WHOI Associates
In 1927, a National Academy of Sciences committee concluded that it was time to "consider the share of the United States of America in a worldwide program of oceanographic research." The committee's recommendation for establishing a permanent independent research laboratory on the East Coast to "prosecute oceanography in all its branches" led to the founding in 1930 of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
A $3 million grant from the Rockefeller Foundation supported the summer work of a dozen scientists, construction of a laboratory building and commissioning of a research vessel, the 142-foot ketch Atlantis, whose profile still forms the Institution's logo.
WHOI grew substantially to support significant defense-related research during World War II, and later began a steady growth in staff, research fleet, and scientific stature. Over the years, WHOI scientists have made seminal discoveries about the ocean that have contributed to improving US commerce, health, national security, and quality of life.
In February 2008, Dr. Susan K. Avery became the new president and director of the institution. Avery, an atmospheric physicist, is the ninth director in WHOI's 77-year history, and the first woman to hold the position.
WHOI also shares with MBL a large library of marine-related works
Six Woods Hole Science Institutions Refocus Diversity Efforts, Renew Agreement to Create 'Pathways of Opportunity'
Jun 26, 2012; Woods Hole, MA -- The following information was released by the Northeast Fisheries Science Center: The leaders of the six...
Woods Hole sees profit in the seas Renowned research institution moves to commercialize marine technology in order to stabilize its funding stream
Jan 01, 2007; WOODS HOLE - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has primarily focused on basic research over the years, with a simple goal of...
Foreword and acknowledgments: Woods Hole Laboratory centennial. (The Woods Hole Laboratory, 1885-1985: a Century of Service)
Sep 22, 1988; The year 1985 was one of celebration for the Woods Hole Laboratory of the National Marine Fisheries Service's Northeast Fisheries...