WHHM Conversation: “Ocean Solutions for a Warming World”

By Peter B. de Menocal, president and director, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

July 7 at 7 PM 

See video of Conversation here.

Demenocal WHOI presThe 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.

WHHM Conversation: Celebrating 150 Years of Science at the Woods Hole Fisheries Lab

Jon HareBy 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:

WHHM Conversation: “Influencing the Influencers: An Evolving Approach to Driving Climate Action”

April 14, 2021 at 7 PM (Zoom)
Woodwell Climate Research Center director Philip Duffy
and chief communications officer, Heather Goldstone

phil duffy

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:

WHHM Conversation: Marine Biological Laboratory’s 133 Years of Scientific Discovery

“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.

30 Years of the Woods Hole Film Festival: Celebrating the Past and Looking Towards the Future

This event has passed but you can watch the video here:

To view the video, and all of our videos, on our YouTube channel click here.

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.

WHHM Conversation: Getting History Correct: Telling Our Story from the Wampanoag Perspective

November 19th, 2020, 7:00 PM (Zoom)

This event has passed.
Watch the Conversation here:


Steven Peters is the creative director and co-owner of SmokeSygnals with his mother Paula Peters. SmokeSygnals focuses much of its work on historical museum exhibits and cultural art installations. It’s the largest native-owned creative agency on the East Coast. Steven is responsible for the development of historical exhibits, content and interactive attractions that challenge historical myths. His work can be seen on Newbury Street in Boston, the Box Museum in Plymouth England, the Museum De Lakenhal in Lieden, and the Pilgrim Hall Museum and Provincetown Museum in Massachusetts.

In addition, Steve provided the creative direction for the traveling exhibit “Our” Story: 400 Years of Wampanoag History, an exhibit that has been featured in Time Magazine, New York Times, BBC Radio and many other national and international publications for its ability to correct historical inaccuracies.

WHHM Conversation: Pandemics: Living Forward by Understanding Backward

The Museum hosted a virtual conversation, “Pandemics: Living Forward by Understanding Backward,” on August 19 at 7 PM. You can view the recorded talk below:

In this lecture, infectious disease epidemiologist Dr. Donald Burke of Woods Hole and Pittsburgh provided a historical overview of the emergence, spread, extinction, and re-emergence of virus disease epidemics: their origins from animal species, transmission in human populations, and post-epidemic outcomes. Starting with details of the 1918 influenza epidemic in Falmouth, he reconstructed the history of this past epidemic.

The lecture title is from a quote by Soren Kierkegaard.

Dr. Burke received his medical training at Harvard, then served 23 years on active duty at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research where he led US military research on virus diseases. In 1997 he transitioned to academia to become a professor and director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Immunization Research. In 2006 he became Dean of the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh, stepping down a year ago. 

Throughout his career, Dr. Burke has led research on prevention and control of epidemic infectious diseases of global importance. A world renowned expert on virus epidemiology, he has authored more than 300 scientific publications and has served in senior advisory positions to the CDC, NIH, and WHO. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and recipient of the John Snow Award of the American Public Health Association. Drawing on his deep knowledge of viral epidemiology, Dr. Burke first predicted the threat posed by coronaviruses in 1997, five years before the SARS epidemic.

How Migrants from Portugal Helped Make Falmouth a More Cosmopolitan, “Creole” and Cooperative Community

Watch video of the February 6th Conversation here.

Woods Hole Historical Museum Conversation
by Miguel Moniz
February 6, 2020, 12:30 PM
Woods Hole Public Library (lower level)
Free and open to the public (but donations accepted)

Portugese immigrantsThis talk will explore histories of conflict and cooperation in Falmouth after the arrival of 2,000 migrants mostly from the Azores and Cabo Verde in the early 1900s.

Research from three historical events in Falmouth history will be presented:

  1. Early 1900s debates in the town about Portuguese racial identities (including calls for migrants from Portugal to be placed in segregated schools.)
  2. The work of migrants from Portugal in Falmouth over the first half of the century as agricultural field workers, in domestic service, care-taking and other manual labor, in light of patronage, economic cooperation and definitions of Portuguese racial identities; and how this shaped their social mobilities over the next 50 years.
  3. Efforts in the 1950s to feature the Portuguese migrant community as part of a marketing campaign for tourism in Falmouth (which gave birth to the “Strawberry Festival”).

In the talk, Dr. Moniz will discuss if Falmouth, after a century of having worked out difference and belonging through overlapping cooperation in internationally oriented community organizations and institutions among generations of migrant and non-migrant residents, has made the town a more cosmopolitan, “creole” and cooperative place? As a result, does this help the community today to reach across conflicts of class, economic disparity, social identity and lack of legal rights to forge convivial local relations?

Anthropologist Miguel Moniz, FLAD/Brown Visiting Professor, Department of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies, Brown University and the Center for Research in Anthropology, ISCTE/IUL. A resident of Lisbon, Dr. Moniz grew up in Falmouth but has lived in Portugal (and been back and forth to New England) since the late 1980s.

New Gardening Practices and Trends

Woods Hole Historical Museum Conversation 
by Terry Soares of Soares Flower Garden Nursery 
March 10, 12:30 PM
Woods Hole Public Library Lower Level
Free and open to the public (but donations accepted)

Listen to the March 10th talk here.

Terry Soares, co-owner of Soares Flower Garden Nursery, will discuss gardening practices of the past and how more environmentally friendly landscaping trends are impacting how we approach gardening.  There will also be a brief discussion on the landscape at the newly renovated Church of the Messiah Parish Community Center in Woods Hole, all done with an eye on aesthetics and sustainable landscape practices.

WHHM Conversation: “Dan Clark: Marine Contractor and Woods Hole Legend”

“Dan Clark: Marine Contractor and Woods Hole Legend” is the topic of Woods Hole Historical Museum’s Conversation on January 9 at 12:30 PM in the Woods Hole Library lower level meeting room. 

Dan Clark

Dan Clark, on right, with a member of his crew, Skip Norgeot, at work on a project in Eel Pond in Woods Hole in the early 1960s. (Photo: Woods Hole Historical Museum)

Listen to audio of the January 9, 2020 Dan Clark Conversation here.

Memories will be shared by Peter Bumpus, Tom Renshaw and Chip Shultz, who worked with Dan over the years. His major projects included building docks, repairing cables that supplied power to Martha’s Vineyard, dredging channels, and in 1965, constructing the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s R/V Lulu that served as the support vessel for the submersible Alvin. 

Dan Clark, who was born in 1919 and died in 1999, also served as second mate on the WHOI research vessel Atlantis in the mid 1940s. According to the book, “Atlantis Stories,” published by the Woods Hole Historical Collection, “he quickly commanded respect as a gentleman and admiration as a skilled seaman…A mentor to many young men in town, he was a legend in his own time.”

At the Conversation,  members of the audience are encouraged to share their stories and memories of Mr. Clark. The talk is free and open to the public.