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

  • Residual overturning circulation and its connection to Southern Ocean dynamics 

    Youngs, Madeleine K. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2020-09)
    Over the last 20 years, our understanding of the meridional overturning circulation has improved, but primarily in a two-dimensional, zonally-averaged framework. In this thesis, I have pushed beyond this simplification and ...
  • Development and testing of the AXBT Realtime Editing System (ARES) 

    Densmore, Casey R. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2020-09)
    Airborne eXpendable BathyThermographs (AXBTs) are air-launched, single use temperature-depth probes that telemeter temperature observations as a VHF-modulated frequency. This study describes the AXBT Realtime Editing System ...
  • Morphological approaches to understanding Antarctic Sea ice thickness 

    Mei, M. Jeffrey (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2020-09)
    Sea ice thickness has long been an under-measured quantity, even in the satellite era. The snow surface elevation, which is far easier to measure, cannot be directly converted into sea ice thickness estimates without ...
  • Investigating Mexican paleoclimate with precisely dated speleothems 

    Marks, G. Serrato (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2020-09)
    Speleothems, or sedimentary rocks formed in caves, act as valuable archives of past climate change due to their suitability for U-series dating and high-resolution proxy analysis. These records can provide insights into ...
  • A method for on-line water current velocity estimation using low-cost autonomous underwater vehicles 

    Dolan, Christopher R. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2020-09)
    Advances in the miniaturization of microelectronics has greatly contributed to the proliferation of small, low cost autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). These affordable vehicles offer organizations a flexible platform ...
  • An analysis of Atlantic Water in the Arctic Ocean using the Arctic Subpolar Gyre State Estimate and observations 

    Grabon, Jeffrey S. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2020-09)
    The Atlantic Water (AW) Layer in the Arctic Subpolar gyre sTate Estimate (ASTE), a regional, medium-resolution coupled ocean-sea ice state estimate, is analyzed for the first time using bounding isopycnals. A surge of AW, ...
  • Towards basin-scale in-situ characterization of sea-ice using an Autonomous Underwater Glider 

    Duguid, Zachary (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2020-09)
    This thesis presents an Autonomous Underwater Glider (AUG) architecture that is intended for basin-scale unattended survey of Arctic sea-ice. The distinguishing challenge for AUG operations in the Arctic environment is the ...
  • High resolution sedimentary archives of past millennium hurricane activity in the Bahama Archipelago 

    Wallace, Elizabeth J. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2020-09)
    Little is known about how Atlantic hurricane activity changes on long timescales. This thesis uses proxy development and proxy-model integration to constrain the spatiotemporal variability in hurricane activity in the ...
  • Signal Absorption-Based Range Estimator for Undersea Swarms 

    O’Neill, Brendan (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2020-09)
    Robotic swarms are increasingly complex above the waterline due to reliable communication links. However, the limited propagation of similar signals in the ocean has impacted advances in undersea robotics. Underwater ...
  • Modifiable Stability and Maneuverability of High Speed Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs) Through Bioinspired Control Fins 

    Winey, Nastasia E. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2020-09)
    Underwater Vehicles generally have control fins located only near their aft end, for making controllable changes in directions. This design allows for stability of control; but, the turns are typically large in comparison ...
  • Characterizing cobalamin cycling by Antarctic marine microbes across multiple scales 

    Rao, Deepa (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2020-05)
    Highly productive marine microbial communities in the coastal Southern Ocean sustain the broader Antarctic ecosystem and play a key role in Earth’s climate via the biological pump. Regional phytoplankton growth is primarily ...
  • Enabling human-robot cooperation in scientific exploration of bandwidth-limited environments 

    Jamieson, Stewart Christopher (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2020-05)
    Contemporary scientific exploration most often takes place in highly remote and dangerous environments, such as in the deep sea and on other planets. These environments are very hostile to humans, which makes robotic ...
  • Stochastic acoustic ray tracing with dynamically orthogonal equations 

    Humara, Michael Jesus (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2020-05)
    Developing accurate and computationally efficient models for ocean acoustics is inherently challenging due to several factors including the complex physical processes and the need to provide results on a large range of ...
  • Wave-driven geomorphology of Pacific carbonate coastlines: from landscape to wavelength scale 

    Bramante, James F. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2020-02)
    The shallow marine ecosystems of coral atolls and the human communities they support are among the most vulnerable to anthropogenic climate change. Sea-level rise threatens to inundate low-lying reef islands, tropical ...
  • Protein regulation in Trichodesmium and other marine bacteria: observational and interpretive biomarkers of biogeochemical processes 

    Held, Noelle A. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2020-02)
    Marine microbes play key roles in global biogeochemistry by mediating chemical transformations and linking nutrient cycles to one another. A major goal in oceanography is to predict the activity of marine microbes across ...
  • U-Th Dating of lacustrine carbonates 

    Chen, Christine Y. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2020-02)
    Carbonates are prevalent in many modern and ancient lacustrine settings, but reconstructions of past lake levels or environments from such materials have been hindered by poor chronology. Uranium-thorium (U-Th) dating has ...
  • New insights into the marine oxygen cycle from manganese oxide minerals and reactive oxygen species 

    Sutherland, Kevin M. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2020-02)
    The redox cycling of oxygen between O2, water, and intermediate redox states including hydrogen peroxide and superoxide, has profound impact on the availability and distribution of dissolved O2, the habitability of the ...
  • Finescale abyssal turbulence: sources and modeling 

    Kaiser, Bryan Edward (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2020-02)
    A detailed understanding of the intensity and three-dimensional spatial distribution of diabatic abyssal turbulence is germane to understanding the abyssal branch of the global overturning circulation. This thesis addresses ...
  • 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 ...

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