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Ben Weiss

Growing up, I dreamed of a career that would enable me to work on mitigating the impacts of climate change. At the time, I had no idea that the ocean could serve as a key in addressing so many different climate-related issues. Here at WHOI, I get to collaborate with amazing researchers, working on technologies which aim to make our world– and our oceans– a better place. From kelp-farming robots to deep sea sampling systems, ocean robotics have the potential to help us not only understand our changing climate, but to do something about it.⁠

Recently, in collaboration with #MIT_WHOI joint program student Nadege Aoki and WHOI marine ecologist Aran Mooney, I built a solar-powered underwater speaker system that plays the sounds of healthy reef ecosystems, which may help rehabilitate degraded coral reefs. Getting to design this system from scratch, test it in the lab, and then deploy it in the field was an amazing experience.⁠

As Pride month draws to a close, I'm reflecting on how grateful I am to be embraced by the Woods Hole community, not just in my capacities as an engineer and ocean enthusiast, but also for who I am as a person. Working in an accepting and diverse environment has been shown over and over again to help drive innovation. Developing solutions to climate change and its impact on our oceans requires this kind of collaboration.⁠