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About the Institutes
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is determined to set and lead
an ambitious agenda for future ocean research to benefit society.
In 2000, we established four Ocean Institutes encompassing areas
of significant concern to the public and policymakers:
- The Ocean and Climate Change Institute
- The Coastal Ocean Institute
- The Ocean Life Institute
- The Deep Ocean Exploration Institute
The Ocean Institutes’ goals are to close gaps that hinder scientific
discoveries, and to convey discoveries expeditiously into the public
To build bridges between different scientific disciplines, the Ocean
Institutes will bring together the best minds across the full spectrum
of oceanographic and other relevant fields—to catalyze innovative
thinking and collaboration that can open up wholly new scientific
The Ocean Institutes’ concurrent mission is to shorten the lag time
between acquiring knowledge and making it accessible to decision-makers
who can use it to save lives, stimulate economic growth, and enhance
our quality of life.
And finally, the Ocean Institutes provide a necessary impetus of
private resources, over and above traditional governmental support,
to launch high-risk, high-reward research that would not otherwise
get off the ground—or in the water.
Centers for Action
The Ocean Institutes will identify and sustain research
initiatives to spur advances in ocean science. They will encourage
interdisciplinary research and technology development among scientists,
engineers, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, marine policy
experts, and visiting investigators. They will stimulate the richest
and most productive education environment for the future leaders
Focal Points to Gather Experts
The Ocean Institutes will regularly convene meetings of key scientists
and leaders from academia, government, and industry to delve into
oceanographic research issues that have significant bearing on society.
These experts will assess our current state of knowledge on the
issues, identify what we need to know and how we can best attain
that knowledge, explore the consequences of various plans of action,
and inspire necessary and promising areas of further research. The
Ocean Institutes will provide a forum for dialogue between the public
and the scientific community.
Sources for Information on the Oceans
The Ocean Institutes will dedicate resources—and vigorously pursue
emerging technologies—to convey relevant, clear, unbiased information
on the oceans to policymakers and the public in the most effective
and timely ways. Along with their goal to produce excellent, essential
research, the Institutes will take a proactive role in translating
the fruits of new knowledge and in communicating the importance
of the oceans to each person’s life and the world’s future.
Management Structure for
Ocean Institutes at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
- Institute personnel should be limited to the Institute Director
and the minimum necessary staff (Center Administrator and/or administrative
professional, technical specialists if needed for Institute facilities),
and all should have their primary appointments in a Department.
- Research support from the Institute may be in the form of various
menu items (grants, fellowships, matching funds, student & postdoc
support) but should be for research programs that fall within
the overall theme of the Institute.
- Except for Visiting Fellows, all research support from the Institute
will be for WHOI researchers. · Except for Visiting Fellows, no
appointments will be made by the Institute independently of the
- Research proposals generated within the Institute will be submitted
through normal channels involving review by one or more relevant
Institutes Oversite Council (IOC):
- Oversight of all four Institutes is the responsibility of the
Institutes Oversight Council, made up of the Department Chairs,
the MPC Director, the Director of Research, the Vice President
for Academic Affairs, and the Director of Development (9 voting
members). The Institute Directors will be ex officio, non-voting
- The Director for Research will chair the IOC.
- The Council has responsibility for recommending candidates for
Institute Directors to the WHOI Director, based on nominations
received from the Departments.
- The Council recommends approval of the annual budgets and approves
the major research foci of the Institutes, as well as long-term
educational programs or facilities acquisitions, and commitments
exceeding threshold amounts.
- The Council assures fairness in the way that resources are distributed
among and by the four Institutes, and serves as a review panel
for complaints in this area.
- The Council is the connection among the Institutes, Departments
and WHOI Directorate, and helps coordinate interactions at that
level, and with the Trustees and Corporation.
Institute Director (ID):
- The Institute Director is a member of the tenured Scientific
Staff, appointed by the WHOI Director as described above.
- Nominations for Institute Director will be solicited from each
Department. The IOC will make the final selection and recommendation
to the WHOI Director.
- The Institute Director normally serves a 4-year term, with 6
months of salary support per year. The different Institute Directors'
terms should be staggered.
- The Institute Director oversees the daily management of the
Institute, including the distribution of resources according to
decisions made with the Institute Advisory Committee.
- The Institute Director works with the Institute Advisory Committee
and the Institute Oversight Council to develop strategic directions
including research focus areas, educational programs, summer institutes,
symposia, outreach events etc.
- The Institute Director is responsible for communications concerning
the activities of the Institute and acts as the principal representative
of the Institute to WHOI and outside communities.
- The Institute Director is responsible for preparing, in consultation
with the advisory committee, an annual budget to be submitted
to the Council.
- The Institute Director will be responsible for the management
of the budget for the Institute, including reallocation of funds
as needed for cost sharing, rapid response or other opportunities
in consultation with the IAC and IOC, as appropriate.
- The Institute Director prepares an Institute annual report,
to be presented to the Institutes Oversight Council (IOC) and
included in the WHOI annual report.
Institute Advisory Committee (IAC):
- The IAC consists of appropriate departmental and disciplinary
representation, and will have 5-6 members in addition to the Institute
Director. In consultation with the Departments, the Institute
Director nominates the IAC membership for approval by the IOC.
- The Chair of the IAC is the Institute Director.
- Terms of the Committee members are normally 3 years, and are
- The Committee advises the Institute Director on yearly operations
and activities of the Institute, and makes recommendations about
research areas and distribution of resources.
- The IAC will make funding recommendations, soliciting advice
from ad hoc review panels as needed. Normal Institution Conflict
of Interest procedures will be followed.
- The Institute's education efforts will be pursued within WHOI's
Education Programs and the oversight provided by WHOI Trustee's
Charter for Education Council and Education Assembly.
- The Institute may provide full or partial support for graduate
students or Postdoctoral Scholars or Fellows who are considered
admissible by the normal process as recommended by Education Council
and Education Assembly. Students or postdocs will have their home
affiliation at WHOI in a Department.
- The Institute may organize and offer courses or summer institutes
available to WHOI students and other students.
of the Institute Advisory Committees
We are pleased to announce the membership of the Institute Advisory
Committees for the new Ocean Institutes at WHOI. We received numerous
nominations and applications for these Committees, for which we
thank everyone. With the approval of the Institute Oversight Committee,
we have selected 24 members of the Scientific and Technical Staff
to serve on the advisory committees:
Coastal Ocean Institute
- Porter Hoagland
- Rebecca J. Gast
- John Trowbridge
- Edward R. Sholkovitz
- Rob Evans
- Britt Raubenheimer
- James Lerczak
Deep Ocean and Earth Exploration Institute
- Henry Dick
- Dan Fornari
- Jack Whitehead
- Jean Whelan
- Alan Chave
- Lauren S. Mullineaux
Ocean and Climate Change Institute
- Mike McCartney
- Xin Huang
- Bernadette Sloyan
- Lloyd Keigwin
- Delia Oppo
- Scott Doney
Ocean Life Institute
- Scott Gallager
- Heidi Sosik
- Robert C. Beardsley
- John Hayes
- Jesús Pineda
- Timothy K. Stanton