MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography and Applied Ocean Science and Engineering

The Joint Program of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and MIT offers advanced degrees in oceanography and applied ocean science and engineering. Graduate study encompasses virtually all of the basic sciences as they apply to the marine environment: physics, chemistry, geology, geophysics, and biology. Students who choose applied ocean science and engineering may concentrate in the major fields (civil, environmental, mechanical, and electrical), materials science, or oceanographic engineering. More than 160 scientists/faculty from the two institutions participate in the Joint Program. There are currently 124 students enrolled in the five areas of study offered in the program: biological, chemical, and physical oceanography; marine geology and geophysics, and oceanographic engineering.

Since all MIT faculty members involved in the Joint Program are members of an academic department, their individual accomplishments and awards are reported through those departments. These include the Departments of Biology; Civil and Environmental Engineering; Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Science; Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Mechanical Engineering; and Ocean Engineering.

Key Faculty Additions

Ways to expand cross-disciplinary research and departmental interactions between the two institutions are being actively explored. The recent addition of two dozen key faculty at both MIT and WHOI in areas such as biogeochemistry, climatology, coastal geology, acoustics, and population genetics is expected to improve both collaboration between scientific staff and recruitment of top graduate students.

Distance Learning Facility

The system which links classes and meetings between WHOI and MIT consists of two videoconferencing units at WHOI and one at MIT. Due to increased demand, the Joint Program Advisory Board recommended that the MIT director find funds for a second unit and an additional dedicated facility on campus, as well as upgrade the current unit which has been operating at capacity.

The provost accordingly granted funds for a replacement of the current unit. However, in place of a second classroom, Academic Media Production Services (AMPS) offered use of their own videoconferencing studios on campus to supply additional facilities and onsite technical support. We therefore contracted with AMPS to provide these services and manage the Joint Program's videoconferencing operation at MIT.

Web Site and Promotional Materials

New business papers, cards, envelopes, mailers, and a brochure have been created. The program's web site has also been completely redesigned.

External Review

The two directors of the Joint Program are in the process of scheduling an external review of the program for fall 2004.

Paola Rizzoli, Director and Professor of Physical Oceanography
Ronni Schwartz, Administrator

More information about the Joint Program in Oceanography/Applied Ocean Science and Engineering can be found on the web at:


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