WHOI's educational role, at the graduate level, was formalized in 1968 with a change in its charter and the signing of an agreement with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for a Joint Program leading to doctoral (Ph.D. or Sc.D.) or engineer's degrees. Joint master's degrees are also offered in selected areas of the program. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is also authorized to grant doctoral degrees independently.

New theses are added as they are published.

Recent Submissions

  • Seismic and numerical constraints on the formation and evolution of oceanic lithosphere 

    Mark, Hannah F. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2019-09)
    This thesis explicates aspects of the basic structure of oceanic lithosphere that are shaped by the processes that form the lithosphere. The strength of lithospheric plates relative to the underlying mantle enables the ...
  • Adaptive sampling of transient environmental phenomena with autonomous mobile platforms 

    Preston, Victoria Lynn (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2019-09)
    In the environmental and earth sciences, hypotheses about transient phenomena have been universally investigated by collecting physical sample materials and performing ex situ analysis. Although the gold standard, logistical ...
  • Underwater & out of sight: towards ubiquity in underwater robotics 

    Rypkema, Nicholas R. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2019-09)
    The Earth's oceans holds a wealth of information currently hidden from us. Effective measurement of its properties could provide a better understanding of our changing climate and insights into the creatures that inhabit ...
  • Robust non-Gaussian semantic simultaneous localization and mapping 

    Doherty, Kevin J. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2019-09)
    The recent success of object detection systems motivates object-based representations for robot navigation; i.e. semantic simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), in which we aim to jointly estimate the pose of the ...
  • Greenlandic ice archives of North Atlantic Common Era climate 

    Osman, Matthew (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2019-09)
    The Common Era (A.D. 1– present) represents a crucial period for climatic studies, documenting the timespan over which human activities have become an increasingly domineering force in shaping Earth’s landscape, climate, ...
  • Dense, sonar-based reconstruction of underwater scenes 

    Vaz Teixeira, Pedro Nuno (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2019-09)
    Three-dimensional maps of underwater scenes are critical to—or the desired end product of—many applications, spanning a spectrum of spatial scales. Examples range from inspection of subsea infrastructure to hydrographic ...
  • Characterizing the ecology of coral reef microorganisms across different scales within the Caribbean 

    Weber, Laura (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2020-02)
    Microorganisms sustain the high productivity of coral reefs and support one of the most diverse, valuable, and threatened ecosystems on Earth. Despite the importance of reef microorganisms, there is a lack of understanding ...
  • Oceanic response observations due to passing tropical cyclones: an assessment of drag and sea spray parameterizations 

    Gallagher, Stephan D. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2019-09)
    Most traditional theories regarding upper oceanic response due to passing tropical cyclones involve an initial and predominant upwelling based on storms’ strong cyclonic flow and resulting positive wind stress curl imparted ...
  • Development and deployment of a novel deep-sea in situ bubble sampling instrument for understanding the fate of methane in the water column 

    Johnson, Andrew S. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2019-09)
    Methane (CH4) is a potent greenhouse gas that is often found in a solid, hydrate clathrate form in marine sediments along continental margins and will often escape from the seafloor and rise through the water column as ...
  • Coordinated tracking and interception of an acoustic target using autonomous surface vehicles 

    Conway, Ryan Lee (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2019-09)
    In today's highly advanced society, more industries are beginning to turn to autonomous vehicles to reduce costs and improve safety. One industry in particular is the defense industry. By using unmanned and autonomous ...
  • Reconstructing atmospheric changes in Monsoon regions using eolian dust 

    Kinsley, Christopher W. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2019-09)
    Mineral dust is generated in continental interiors and exported by winds to ocean basins, providing a sedimentary archive which is one of the few direct indicators we have of atmospheric circulation in the past. This archive ...
  • Equatorial ocean dynamics impacting upwelling west of the Galápagos Archipelago 

    Jakoboski, Julie K. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2019-09)
    The Galápagos Cold Pool (GCP) is a region of anomalously cold sea surface temperature (SST) just west of the Galápagos Archipelago. Modeling studies have shown that the GCP is maintained by wind- and current-driven upwelling. ...
  • Tropical stony corals host diverse microbial nitrogen dynamics 

    Tamasi, Tyler (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2019-09)
    Coral health hinges on an intricate relationship between the coral animal, photosynthetic algae of the family Symbiodiniaceae, and a microbial community of bacterial, archaeal, fungal, and viral associates collectively ...
  • Dynamics and kinematics of an estuarine network 

    Corlett, W. Bryce (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2019-09)
    This thesis addresses the dynamics of estuarine networks, based on hydrographic observations in Newark Bay, a sub-estuarine network connected to the Hudson River estuary through New York Harbor. Estuarine networks differ ...
  • Physiological and behavioral responses, and their variability, in squid, Doryteuthis pealeii, embryos and paralarvae reared under chronic ocean acidification 

    Zakroff, Casey (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2019-09)
    Ocean acidification (OA) and related stressors, like warming, are occurring rapidly in coastal systems. There is concern about the impacts these stressors may have on the early development of species that use the nearshore ...
  • Automated open circuit scuba diver detection with low cost passive sonar and machine learning 

    Cole, Andrew M. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2019-06)
    This thesis evaluates automated open-circuit scuba diver detection using low-cost passive sonar and machine learning. Previous automated passive sonar scuba diver detection systems required matching the frequency of diver ...
  • Storm signatures in coastal ponds and marshes over the late Holocene 

    Castagno, Katherine (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2019-09)
    Tropical cyclones pose a growing threat to coastal populations, especially as both populations and infrastructure are increasingly concentrated along the eastern coast of the United States. This thesis seeks to characterize ...
  • Geophysical and geochemical constraints on submarine volcanic processes 

    Jones, Meghan R. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2019-09)
    Submarine volcanic systems form new oceanic crust, host unique chemosynthetic ecosystems, concentrate rare metals, and provide a conduit for chemical transfer from the Earth's interior to hydrosphere. Although our understanding ...
  • Advancing the theory and applications of Lagrangian Coherent Structures methods for oceanic surface flows 

    Filippi, Margaux (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2019-06)
    Ocean surface transport is at the core of many environmental disasters, including the spread of marine plastic pollution, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the Fukushima nuclear contamination. Understanding and predicting ...
  • Lagrangian dispersion and deformation in submesoscale flows 

    Essink, Sebastian (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2019-06)
    Submesoscale currents, with horizontal length scales of 1-20 km, are an important element of upper ocean dynamics. These currents play a crucial role in the horizontal and vertical redistribution of tracers, the cascade ...

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