September 19, 2022
“We Know More About The Dark Side Of The Moon Than The Oceans” With Dr. Peter de Menocal, WHOI
As we all kick off Climate Week, we are beyond excited to share this Special Edition COBT! Late last week, we traveled to Woods Hole, Massachusetts to meet Dr. Peter de Menocal, President and Director of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), a leading independent non-profit organization founded over 90 years ago with a nimble and entrepreneurial approach to science. Peter was elected as the 11th President of WHOI in October of 2020 following an extensive 30+ year career at Columbia University. After a tour of their impressive facilities including discussions and demonstrations with key scientists and team members at WHOI, Colin Fenton and I were delighted to visit with Peter and talk about WHOI's passion for understanding what is 70 percent of any Earth equation… the ocean!
We covered an extensive amount of territory in the discussion, starting with the breadth and depth of WHOI’s operations, the scope, scale, and promise of the ocean’s carbon-storing capabilities (for detailed research see "A Research Strategy for Ocean-based Carbon Dioxide Removal and Sequestration" published by the National Academies), how WHOI's location in Cape Cod allows easy access to deep water research, the organization’s partnerships with the Navy, NASA, NSF, and NOAA, the stunning scope of WHOI’s work (over 800 simultaneous projects at any one time), Peter's mission to see what can be accomplished in the next ten years and his commitment and emphasis on having the courage to pursue big challenges, the organization's independent culture and focus on an entrepreneurial spirit and action, and much much more. With so much left to discover in the ocean, Peter also shared several pioneering areas WHOI is researching including the Ocean Twilight Zone, Alvin discoveries, the Ocean Vital Signs network, and a partnership they have formed to commercialize WHOI technologies (“Propeller Project”). WHOI has several key initiatives and we also touch on their Ocean Observatories Initiative or “OOI.” In OOI, WHOI makes its gathered ocean data available to all as a public service to the global science community. We were blown away by the entire experience and are excited to share our findings with you.
Again, we can't thank Peter and the team at WHOI enough for their hospitality and for sharing their time, expertise, and important work. Keep up the great work WHOI!
And big thanks to all of you for your friendship and support!
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