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Message from the President & Director

Tucked away in a picturesque seaside village of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, sits a powerhouse of ocean science and innovation. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is the world's largest independent organization dedicated exclusively to ocean research, engineering, and education. Our mission is to drive discovery and advance understanding of the ocean and its benefits to society and the planet.

Since WHOI's founding in 1930, our work at the leading edge of oceanographic research and innovation has been based on a combination of three coequal strengths: deep scientific understanding of the ocean and how it works, unmatched engineering talent and entrepreneurship that make it possible to invent and build the technologies that drive discovery, and world-class marine operations that offer extraordinary access to the sea. Today, our biologists, chemists, geologists, physicists, engineers, marine policy experts, ship's crew, technicians, and students are engaged in upwards of 800 concurrent research projects to provide critical information about some of the most urgent challenges facing humanity.

In 2021, we completed a new roadmap for the Oceanographic in the coming decade. Vision 2030 reflects input, foresight, and inspiration from a broad swath of WHOI leadership and staff who participated in dozens of listening sessions and contributed more than 50,000 words of comments and ideas. Vision 2030 positions WHOI to advance ocean science for the global good at a pace commensurate with the urgency of challenges ahead. It does so by focusing on three linked strategies-Investing in Inclusive Excellence, Leading Innovation, and Engaging the World-to guide the Oceanographic into the next decade and beyond. We have already begun the work of turning this vision into WHOI's new reality.

Humanity is now faced with daunting challenges that demand courageous action-from climate change to food and energy security. The vast, largely untapped resources of the global ocean could provide solutions to many of humanity's most urgent problems, yet the impact of such ocean-based interventions on marine life, ecosystems, and processes is still largely unknown.

WHOI is among only a handful of institutions worldwide that have the experience at sea, the scientific expertise, and the technological capabilities required to pursue these kinds of questions at scale. While we will never lose sight of our core commitment to fundamental ocean science and discovery, we have a responsibility to engage with society and provide the public and policymakers with the science they need to make informed decisions and act on them-for our ocean, our planet, and our future. We can, and must, lead the way. This is our time.

Recent News

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(Daniel Hentz, © Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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(From left to right): WHOI Deputy Director and Vice President for Science and Engineering Rick Murray, Mass. Congressman William Keating, Mass. Senator Edward Markey, WHOI's Carl Hartsfield, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and WHOI President and Director Peter de Menocal. (Photo by Jayne Doucette, © Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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© Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

WHOI to Launch New Center for Ocean and Climate Research