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WHOI Announces Completion of Comprehensive Campaign

April 1, 2009

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has successfully completed its “Depth of Leadership” campaign, the Institution’s Board of Trustees recently announced, with $194.6 million raised over the past nine years. This total represents the largest amount the Institution has ever raised in a campaign.

The total included a $28-million anonymous gift given in 2002 to help endow the Institution’s four ocean institutes, the Coastal Ocean Institute, the Deep Ocean Exploration Institute, the Ocean and Climate Change Institute, and the Ocean Life Institute, which were established in 2000 to bring together the best minds in oceanography, engineering, and related fields, to address areas of significant concern to the public and policymakers.  Through their endowment, the ocean institutes have funded 213 research awards, 43 fellows, 34 postdoctoral scholars, and 22 graduate students.

“The completion of this campaign is an important milestone for the Institution and a strong endorsement of the quality and integrity of WHOI research,” said WHOI Board of Trustees Chairman Newton P.S. Merrill.  “We honor the friends, researchers, technicians and staff who contributed to this campaign with unprecedented generosity.”
In addition, the campaign provided significant funds toward the reshaping of the Quissett Campus under a master plan, and the construction of two new state-of-the-art laboratories – the first new labs at the Institution since 1990.  The Marine Research Facility houses specialists in marine mammal and ecological research and includes space for medical-style imaging equipment and facilities for dissection and necropsies. The Stanley W. Watson Laboratory provides lab and office space for researchers in the field of biogeochemistry, which investigates the chemical interactions of living things with rocks, sediments, seawater, the seafloor, and hydrothermal vents.

As part of a new Access to the Sea Program, the campaign also provided funds to build and endow the R/V Tioga, a small, fast research boat designed and outfitted for oceanographic work close to shore.  With its mission to nurture the unique partnership of science and engineering at WHOI to develop new approaches for sea-going research, the Access to the Sea program has enabled the Institution to continue to fund new ocean observing technologies, keeping WHOI at the leading edge of innovation in instrumentation.

“This is quite an accomplishment for an organization of WHOI’s size,” said President and Director Susan Avery. “This will stand as a tribute to the past leadership and will serve as a solid foundation as we weather this challenging economy, even while continuing to develop new and exciting research programs.”

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.