Back to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's Homepage
  • Connect with WHOI:

Sara E. Pratt

Sara Pratt's love for both marine science and magazines seems to have established itself at an early age.

After studying geology at the University of Pennsylvania, with a focus on marine and coastal geology, she received a summer fellowship to work at the U.S. Geological Survey in Woods Hole, Mass. At the time, her mother reminded her that when Pratt was a child, she had vowed to go one day to Woods Hole to study the oceans—after reading about the newly discovered hydrothermal vents on the East Pacific Rise in National Geographic magazine.

After her fellowship at USGS ended, she worked in both research and communications jobs in Woods Hole, including a summer-long stint at the Marine Biological Laboratory's Arctic field station, before she enrolled in the Earth and Environmental Science Journalism program at Columbia University.

For her dual master's degrees in environmental science and in jounalism, she researched the use of ancient desert plants preserved in packrat middens as a proxy for paleo-atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, and she investigated the impact of Hudson River PCBs on urban subsistence fishing at the Columbia Jouranlism School, where she concentrated in magazine writing.

She has edited a series of children's science textbooks and has written for Discover, Geotimes, and Yankee magazines, where she recently was appointed assistant editor. Although she now lives in the woods of New Hampshire, she returns to and writes about the ocean as often as she can and continues to subscribe to too many magazines.


Sara Pratt stands atop the 400-foot sea cliff at Dyrholaey, on Iceland's southern coast, overlooking the sea arches and the North Atlantic.

Written By

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is the world's leading non-profit oceanographic research organization. Our mission is to explore and understand the ocean and to educate scientists, students, decision-makers, and the public.
© Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Online edition: ISSN 1559-1263. All rights reserved