“10,000 Years by the Rising Sea: Wampanoag Homelands on Cape Cod” is the topic of Woods Hole Historical Museum’s conversation by anthropologist and archaeologist Fred Dunford on October 13 at 7 PM, via Zoom.
Dr. Dunford will focus on the manner in which post-glacial sea level rise defined prehistoric ways of life on the Cape.
In his 1997 book, “Secrets in the Sand: The Archaeology of Cape Cod,” Dr. Dunford wrote “When native peoples arrived at Cape Cod about 10,000 years ago, moving northward from the south, they found an environment entirely different from that of today. The land stretched as far south as the present day islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, a gently rolling landscape of open pine forests and grasslands that had succeeded the early post-glacial forests and tundra. The area that is now Nantucket Sound was a vast expanse laced with rivers and bogs, soon to be drowned by the rapidly rising Atlantic.
A graduate of Harvard University, Dr. Dunford earned his doctorate in anthropology at University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is currently at the Plimoth Patuxet Museums in Plymouth. He was the resident archaeologist at the Museum of Natural History in Brewster.
Our Annual Meeting on August 4th, , featured a talk on: “Cape Cod Archaeology: Past, Present, and Future,” by Holly Herbster, senior archaeologist with the Public Archaeology Laboratory in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
The Cape and Islands have a long history of amateur, academic, and professional archaeological investigation, examples of which are highlighted in the current Museum exhibit. Ms. Herbster talked about how archaeological study has changed over time, what it can add to our understanding of human land use across the Cape, and how it might help tell new stories in the future.
Ms. Herbster worked with the Woods Hole Historical Museum to develop its exhibit, “Left Behind: Clues to Life in the Past,” a display on Native American archaeological sites, ranging from approximately 12,000 to 450 years ago, along with artifacts and images that tell more about the culture of the earliest inhabitants of the region.
This 2021 exhibit explores the archaeology associated with the earliest indigenous settlements on Cape Cod.
Spencer Baird exploring
With the Public Archaeology Laboratory in Pawtucket, RI, the museum has developed a display on Native American archaeological sites, ranging from approximately 12,000 to 450 years ago, along with artifacts and images to tell us more about the culture of the earliest inhabitants of our region well before the Mayflower landing in 1620.
Some of the areas featured are recorded archaeological sites that document indigenous occupation across the Cape.
The museum’s exhibit also includes the Upper Cape, where the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has had continuous presence for thousands of years.
“Honoring Jewel Plummer Cobb” exhibit tells the story of the change in name of Agassiz Road to Jewel Cobb Road. Woods Hole residents initiated a community wide campaign upon learning that the prominent scientist, Louis Agassiz, credited with inspiring the start of the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), was a white supremacist who used his science in support of his racist theories. Seventeen illustrated panels give a step-by-step narrative of the way the name change came about.
The museum exhibit is a large, illustrated banner that provides information on Dr. Jewel Plummer Cobb, a distinguished scientist and Falmouth resident. Dr. Cobb was a cell biologist and educator. Early in her career she worked at the MBL. Subsequently, she became Dean at several colleges and universities and President of California State University at Fullerton. She was most proud of her mentorship of aspiring young scientists, especially women and people of color. The exhibit includes fond remembrances of Dr. Cobb from Woods Hole and Falmouth colleagues, friends and neighbors.
The world’s oceans are fundamentally important in both understanding and responding to the climate crisis. The oceans have absorbed over 90 percent of the excess heat trapped by decades of carbon emissions and have absorbed roughly a third of those emissions, thereby greatly reducing their full climate change impacts. At the same time, these ocean changes are primary drivers of rapid changes in extreme heat and rainfall events, crop yields, fisheries, coastal inundation. These ocean changes directly impact nearly every aspect of future human sustainability. Dr. Menocal will review how and why the oceans and global climate are changing. He will discuss the new ways in which today’s global ocean research community is mobilizing to drive disruptive, high-risk, high-value research to accelerate viable climate adaptation and mitigation solutions.
Peter de Menocal is the eleventh president and director of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. A marine geologist and paleoclimatologist, Dr. de Menocal’s research uses deep-sea ocean sediments as archives of how and why Earth’s ocean and climate have changed in the past in order to predict how they may change in the future.
Prior to assuming leadership of WHOI, Dr. de Menocal was the Thomas Alva Edison/Con Edison Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. He served as Columbia’s Dean of Science for the Faculty of Arts & Sciences and founded Columbia’s Center for Climate & Life, a climate solutions research accelerator.
He has received numerous awards and distinctions, including Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, AGU Emiliani lecturer, a Columbia Lenfest Distinguished Faculty award, and a Distinguished Brooksian award. He earned a doctorate in geology from Columbia University and a master’s degree in oceanography from the University of Rhode Island, and was awarded an honorary doctorate from St. Lawrence University.
By Jon Hare, Science and Research Director of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Woods Hole
Jon Hare has been the Science and Research Director of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center since October 2016. He oversees science activities related to the NOAA Fisheries mission in the Northeast region, including fisheries, aquaculture, protected species, habitat, and ecosystem science. Hare received a PhD in Coastal Oceanography from State University of New York (SUNY) Stony Brook. He was awarded a National Research Council Research Associateship in 1994 to work at NOAA’s Beaufort Laboratory and was hired by NOAA in 1997. Jon Hare moved to NOAA’s Narragansett Laboratory in 2005, was appointed Oceanography Branch Chief in 2008 and Lab Director in 2012. Before becoming Center director, he served as a Supervisory Research Oceanographer and Acting Ecosystems Processes Division Chief, managing division research while also managing personnel and research resources at five different locations in the center. As Northeast Fisheries Science Center Director he is now located a NOAA’s Woods Hole Laboratory, one of the five research facilities in the Northeast that make up the Northeast Fisheries Science Center. NOAA Fisheries, founded as the U.S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries in 1871, is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. The Woods Hole Laboratory is the nation’s first marine research station, and is the founding laboratory of NOAA Fisheries, formally called the National Marine Fisheries Service.. Jon Hare’s research has focused on fisheries oceanography: understanding the interactions between the ocean environment and fisheries populations with a goal of contributing to assessments and management. He is also an expert on the effect of climate change on marine fisheries and the implications to coastal communities.
Watch the video of the June 9th conversation here:
April 14, 2021 at 7 PM (Zoom)
Woodwell Climate Research Center director Philip Duffy
and chief communications officer, Heather Goldstone
Dr. Phil Duffy
Woodwell Climate Research Center was founded in 1985 as the Woods Hole Research Center, and adopted its current name in 2020 “to recognize the urgency of the climate crisis and the importance of the founding principles that continue to guide the center’s work.” From playing a leading role in the launch of the United Nations climate change negotiation process to shaping the first corporate guidelines on climate risk disclosure, the center has impacted societal decision-making. The approach has evolved and expanded from a focus on international policy to encompass work with municipalities, Indigenous communities, faith leaders, and private sector partners.
Watch the video of the April 14th Conversation here:
“Marine Biological Laboratory’s 133 Years of Scientific Discovery” was the topic of the Woods Hole Historical Museum’s virtual conversation by MBL Director Nipam Patel on March 10 at 7 PM.
A video of the Conversation is here:
Dr. Patel shared the history of the MBL, an international center for research and education in biological and environmental science that was founded in 1888 and was the second scientific institution established in Woods Hole. The laboratory is now affiliated with the University of Chicago.
In addition to the lab’s history, Dr. Patel discussed how the MBL is working to expand the resident and the visiting scientist research programs, creating new educational offerings, including opportunities for undergraduates and high school students as well as other goals focusing on advancements in two major strategic research areas—imaging and new research organisms.
Dr. Patel was appointed MBL director in 2018. Prior to his appointment, he was Professor and Co-chair of the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. His scientific expertise encompasses the development of novel, genetic model organisms for biological study, which can reveal much about human biology; and the application of advanced imaging technologies to probe the fundamental dynamics of living systems. A longtime member of the MBL community, Dr. Patel has taught in the MBL Embryology course for more than 20 years. He and his wife, Edith Copenhaver, live in Woods Hole.
Woods Hole Historical Museum will host Judy Laster, founder and director of the Woods Hole Film Festival, on January 13 at 7 PM for a museum virtual conversation about 30 years of the Woods Hole Film Festival. She will give a historical overview of the festival and discuss how it has grown and adapted over the past three decades. We will also get a glimpse of what the future holds for not only this festival, but the world of independent film and film festivals in a fast-paced, ever-changing landscape.