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Marine Chemistry & Geochemistry

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During a recent trip to islands of Micronesia, WHOI marine chemist Konrad Hughen and his team surveyed shallow water reefs to study the response of corals to global warming and ocean acidification. As part of the expedition, team members extracted cores from large corals using a water-powered drill. The cores contain physical and chemical clues to how the reef environment changed over the lifetime of the coral and how the corals responded to those changes. (photo by Whitney Bernstein, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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Research activities in the Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry (MC&G) Department are focused on exploring the broad spectrum of processes that influence chemical cycling and transformations in the oceans and the ocean’s interactions with the atmosphere, land, and Earth’s interior.  Critical to these efforts are considerations of how ocean chemistry influences and responds to biological activity, physical forcings, and the impact of anthropogenic activity on the marine environment.  We are a diverse group of researchers working at the interface of multiple disciplines using a combination of laboratory, field-based, and computational approaches.  Projects range in size from single investigator studies to large collaborative projects involving investigators from multiple institutions.

After WHOI established the Department of Chemistry and Geology in 1963, the Department of Chemistry became an independent entity in 1967 under the leadership of John Meacham Hunt.  In 1992, under the leadership of Geoffrey Thompson, it was renamed the Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry.

The Department consists of about 23 Ph.D. level active Scientific Staff, about 33 Technical Staff (many of whom hold Ph.D. degrees), between 10 and 15 postdoctoral scientists, five administrators, and between 20 and 25 graduate students who are enrolled in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography/Applied Ocean Sciences and Engineering.

Last updated: January 22, 2018

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