Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

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The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI, acronym pronounced /'hu?i/ HOO-ee) is a private, nonprofit research and higher education facility dedicated to the study of all aspects of marine science and engineering and to the education of marine researchers. Established in 1930 in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, it is the largest independent oceanographic research institution in the U.S., with staff and students numbering about 1,000. The Institution is organized into six departments, four ocean institutes—ocean life, coastal ocean, ocean and climate change, deep ocean exploration—the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Ocean Research, and a marine policy center. Its shore-based facilities are located in the village of Woods Hole, Massachusetts, United States and a mile and a half away on the Quissett Campus. The bulk of the Institutions funding comes from grants and contracts from the National Science Foundation and other government agencies, augmented by foundations and private donations. WHOI scientists, engineers, and students collaborate to develop theories, test ideas, build seagoing instruments, and collect data in diverse marine environments. Working in all the world’s oceans, their research agenda includes: geological activity deep within the earth; plant, animal, and microbial populations and their interactions in the ocean; coastal erosion; ocean circulation; ocean pollution; and global climate change. Ships operated by WHOI carry research scientists throughout the world’s oceans. The WHOI fleet includes one large research vessel (Atlantis), the coastal craft Tioga, small research craft such as the dive-operation work boat Echo, the deep-diving human-occupied submersible Alvin, the tethered, remotely operated vehicle Jason/Medea, and autonomous underwater vehicles such as the REMUS and SeaBED. A new ship, Neil Armstrong was delivered to the Navy on September 23, 2015. The RV Neil Armstrong will also replace the R/V Knorr, which had previously been used by WHOI since 1970 and was transferred to the Mexican Navy in March 2016.


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