Skip to content

Two WHOI Scientists Named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

December 17, 2009

John Farrington and David Gallo of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as a fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.

Farrington, a scientist emeritus in the Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department at WHOI, was elected as an AAAS Fellow for his distinguished contributions to the field of biogeochemistry and organic geochemistry of the oceans and for leadership in graduate education in oceanography.
Gallo, director of special projects at WHOI, was elected as an AAAS Fellow for his distinguished communication to teachers, students and the public about scientific exploration and discovery, and for contributions to ocean exploration.

“John Farrington has long been a leader in both science and education, and Dave Gallo has worked tirelessly to communicate the joy of exploration and discovery to audiences ranging from elementary school children to heads of global corporations,” said WHOI President and Director Susan Avery.  “Each of them brings credit to oceanography and to the Institution, and this is well-deserved recognition of their efforts.”

Farrington and Gallo are among 531 members this year who have been awarded the distinction of AAAS Fellow to honor their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. The new fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue rosette pin on Saturday, February 20 from 8 to 10 a.m. at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the 2010 AAAS Annual Meeting in San Diego.

John Farrington
Following completion of bachelors and masters degrees at Southeastern Massachusetts University and a doctorate at the University of Rhode Island, Farrington joined the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in 1971 as a postdoctoral investigator.  He held successive positions in the Chemistry Department for 17 years, and simultaneously served for six years as director of the WHOI Coastal Research Center. In 1988 he was appointed Michael P. Walsh Professor and Director of the Environmental Sciences Program at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. In 1990, he returned to WHOI to become associate director for Education and Dean of Graduate Studies in 1990. In 2002, Farrington was named vice president for Academic Programs and Dean.

“I am very honored by the election as Fellow of the AAAS. I have been fortunate in my career to be involved with exciting fundamental science as well as socially relevant science as a scientist at WHOI,” Farrington said.

“Add to that the wonderful opportunity to be involved in a leadership position in education, especially in the MIT/WHOI Joint Program for 15 years and now for a year at UMass-Dartmouth’s School of Marine Science and Technology,” he added. “I am grateful for the exciting interactions with many colleagues, graduate students, postdocs and coworkers and the steadfast support and love of my family that combined for a rewarding career and life.”

Farrington has served on committees and panels for international, national, and local organizations, including the UNESCO-Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the Lloyd Center for Environmental Studies. Farrington also has participated in four major field programs and 18 oceanographic cruises  — eight as chief scientist.

David Gallo
As director of special projects at WHOI, Gallo works closely with scientists and engineers at the forefront of global exploration and discovery. He received bachelors and masters degrees in geological science from the State University of New York at Albany and a Ph.D. in oceanography from the University of Rhode Island. In 1987 he was invited by Robert Ballard to join his team at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution as the assistant director of the Center for Marine Exploration.

Gallo is passionate about exploration and discovery and dedicated to communicating the importance of science and engineering to the public. Gallo has lectured extensively both nationally and internationally, to audiences ranging from elementary school children through CEOs, and he has participated in numerous television and radio broadcasts.

“I am both surprised and humbled by this recognition,” he said. “ I consider myself incredibly fortunate to be in the company of so many people dedicated to unlocking the mysteries of this wonderful planet.”

Gallo has participated in numerous expeditions to the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, and to the Mediterranean Sea. He was one of the first oceanographers to use a combination of submarines and robots to map the undersea world.  He was a participant during an exploration of RMS Titanic and the German battleship Bismarck using the Russian MIR submarines and a participant in a recent expedition to find the lost WWII submarine USS Grunion.


AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal, Science. Founded in 1848, AAAS includes 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. The non-profit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy; international programs; science education; and more.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, independent organization in Falmouth, Mass., dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education. Established in 1930 on a recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences, its primary mission is to understand the oceans and their interaction with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate a basic understanding of the oceans’ role in the changing global environment.