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Woods Hole Ocean Science Discovery Center

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Falmouth is a research center and higher education facility dedicated to the study of marine science. The institution looks at marine plants, animals, and microbes, as well as the changing geology and climate of the ocean. At the Ocean Science Discovery Center, visitors can learn all about WHOI and its mission.

At WHOI, visitors can get up close and personal with the state-of-the-art equipment that the institute uses to explore the ocean and collect critical data on marine life, geology, and climate. The discovery center’s exhibits include a collection of vessels and tools built by the institute’s engineers, a life-size model of the Alvin submersible, and an interactive exhibit on the discovery of the Titanic by oceanographer Robert Ballard.

WHOI focuses not just on the process of research, but also on the valuable findings of that research. In the discovery center, visitors can listen to recordings of marine mammals, learn about the unique aquatic ecosystem that forms around hydrothermal vents, and examine a sediment core from the ocean floor. In its exhibits, the center explains how these findings have furthered the field of marine science.

Every year, throughout the months of July and August, WHOI hosts public talks by scientists and engineers in the Discovery Center Auditorium. These “Know Your Ocean” Science Chats give visitors the opportunity to learn more about marine science topics, stay up to date on the institute’s current research, and have their questions about the ocean answered by marine experts.

Before they arrive at WHOI, groups of visitors can also sign up for a short introductory presentation by a professor at the institute. During this 20-minute presentation, a professor gives visitors a brief history of the institute, an overview of the work it does, and information about the discovery center. If you’re visiting with a group, this presentation is a great way to add context and perspective to the discovery center’s exhibits.

Ship embedded in the wall of a building
Tourist walking the streets of Woods Hole
Woods Hole House boat in the Summer
Scientists observing an under water vehicle
Woods Hole Harbor
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