New Member Spotlight: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Founded in 1930 and located in Woods Holes, Massachusetts, The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is the world’s leading, independent non-profit research organization dedicated to ocean research, exploration, and education. WHOI was born out of a 1927 National Academy of Sciences Committee, which recommended “that a well-equipped oceanographic institution be established on the East Coast.” This recommendation was carried out with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation to establish WHOI.

Research by scientists at WHOI has led to a number of key discoveries over the years, including the revolutionary discovery of hydrothermal vents in 1977, which has fundamentally changed the understanding of marine life. Also, after many failed attempts by other groups, researchers at WHOI led an expedition to the discovery of the Titanic wreck site in 1985.

Today, WHOI employs 950 people, 500 of whom are scientists, engineers, ship’s crew and technicians. WHOI also operates two research vessels and multiple underwater vehicles, and houses three national facilities. WHOI’s six research departments, four interdisciplinary institutes, and more than 40 centers and labs all work to advance research and education about the ocean and its interaction with the Earth system, and “to communicate this understanding for the benefit of society.”

The New England Council welcomes the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and looks forward to their active involvement in our activities.

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