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Legacy of Exploration

WHOI has one of the longest continuous records of ocean-going scientific research using ships, vehicles, and instruments and in developing new methods to gather data.

History of Alvin

The dream of building a manned deep ocean research submersible first started to move toward reality on February 29, 1956.

50 Years of the WHOI Buoy Group

On Dec. 11, 1960, a group of scientists, engineers, and technicians from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution set a doughnut-shaped buoy into the waters off Bermuda. It marked the beginning of the WHOI Buoy Group—and a new era in physical oceanography.

Oil in the Ocean

A history of WHOI's oil spill research around the world.

History of WHOI Ships

WHOI's research vessels through the years.


The Autonomous Benthic Explorer, ABE, was lost at sea during a research cruise in March 2010 off the coast of Chile.

R/V Knorr

After 44 years and nearly 1.4 million miles, R/V Knorr retired in December 2014 from the U.S. oceanographic fleet.

HROV Nereus

HROV Nereus was lost at sea while exploring the Kermadec Trench at ~10,000 meters during a May 2014 research cruise.

R/V Oceanus

After 36 years and nearly 500 research cruises, R/V Oceanus retired from WHOI in November 2011 and transferred to Oregon State University.