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

  • 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 ...
  • 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. ...

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