Events at the Center

Recent Events

July 23, 2015 - Seminar Lecture: Flexing their BICEPs: How leading businesses are working to stabilize the climate
Anne L. Kelly is Senior Program Director, Policy and BICEP Program at Ceres, a non-profit coalition of investors and companies, which seeks to promote leadership and best practices in sustainability. Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP) is a coalition of twenty-three leading consumer-facing companies including Nike, Starbucks and eBay seeking to advocate for meaningful climate and energy policy at the federal level. Please join us for a fascinating look at the economic risks and opportunities associated with climate change and find out how the business and investor community is responding.

June 12, 2015 - Seminar Lecture: Land use change impacts to river flow in the Brazilian rainforest-savanna transition region: an empirical study
Morgan Levy, Energy and Resources Group, University of California, Berkeley. Morgan Levy is a Ph.D. candidate in the interdisciplinary Energy and Resources Group, and member of the Sally Thompson Ecohydrology Lab (Civil and Environmental Engineering), at the University of California, Berkeley. Morgan’s fields of study include physical hydrology, earth systems science, and environmental data science, and her research focuses on agricultural water use, hydrology, and hydroclimate in California and Brazil. Morgan holds an M.A. in Statistics and an M.S. in Energy and Resources from UC Berkeley.

May 14, 2015 - Seminar Lecture: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): A behind the scenes view, and summary of latest findings
Philip B. Duffy, President and Executive Director of Woods Hole Research Center. As a White House staff member from 2011-2015, Phil Duffy represented the United States government in international negotiations that finalized key sections of the latest IPCC Assessment Report. He described the negotiation process, and summarized major findings of the report, including findings on the physical science basis of climate change; impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability; and mitigation of climate change.

May 4, 2015 - Seminar Lecture: New Observational Constraints on GPP from Satellite Measurements of Chlorophyll Fluorescence
Joe Berry, Department of Global Ecology at Carnegie Institution for Science. Joe has developed powerful tools to measure local and regional exchanges of carbon over spaces of up to thousands of square miles and is part of a team that has taken an entirely new approach to measuring gross primary production (GPP). They are using satellite technology to measure light that is emitted by plant leaves as a byproduct of photosynthesis yielding a direct observation of photosynthesis on a large scale for the first time.

April 22, 2015 - Joint Earth Day Celebration in honor of the 30th anniversaries of WHRC and T3C
The Woods Hole Research Center and The 300 Committee jointly hosted an Earth Day celebration to recognize this collective milestone. The event began with an interpretive walk from WHRC to Peterson Farm and back, followed by a presentation on land use and preservation on Cape Cod at WHRC by WHRC scientist emeritus and T3C Vice President Thomas Stone and Senior Scientist Dr. Richard "Skee" Houghton. The event concluded with an informal reception for participants.

April 16, 2015 - Seminar Lecture: Where is Conservation in Brazil Headed?
Britaldo Silveria Soares-Filho, Director of the Center for Remote Sensing at Federal University of Minas Gerais, is a leading expert on land use change in Brazil. His focus is on detecting land use change, understanding the economic, social and political drivers of change and developing future land use scenarios for Brazil. He has developed a unique landscape dynamics modeling system, and applied it to environmental assessment and regional planning in Brazil.

February 11, 2015 - Seminar Lecture: Catalyzing Radical, Practical Change in the Pacific Northwest
Cathy Kellon, Director of the Water & Watersheds Program at Ecotrust, introduced the organization. She spoke about a suite of projects that feature water as a connective element to its work, from the economic benefits of salmon habitat restoration to ecological forestry, green buildings, and community fisheries. In each vignette she explored how knowledge, capital, and technology are leveraged as pathways for change.

November 6, 2014 - Lawrence S. Huntington Environmental Prize Awarded
The Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC) awarded Dr. Johan Rockström, Director of the Stockholm Resilience Center, the Lawrence S. Huntington Environmental Prize at an award ceremony held at the New York Yacht Club. The award recognizes leaders in the public or private sector who advance or promote research and communication on climate, earth sciences, and conservation. Dr. Rockström is a sustainability expert widely recognized for leading an international team of scientists who identified nine planetary boundaries and evaluated how close we are to crossing them as a result of human activities. See the press release »

October 20, 2014 – Conference: Ocean Acidification and Southern New England
Fossil fuel emissions pump more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every day. One quarter of these emissions are absorbed by the ocean causing it to acidify, which could have profound and irreversible effects. Shellfish growers in the Pacific Northwest have already been impacted through declining oyster harvests linked directly with ocean acidification. Fisherman and aquaculturists around the globe are asking, "Who's next?" See the press release »

The Ocean Acidification and Southern New England Conference will jumpstart the search for solutions for our region by bringing together coastal resource users, planners, ocean acidification experts, stakeholders and other concerned citizens. The goal of the conference is to find common ground among these groups concerning the risks to our region from ocean acidification. More information and links to presentations »

September 4, 2014 - Community Lecture: Extreme Home Energy Efficiency
Inspired by the green architecture of the Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC)'s Woodwell building and the carbon emissions research that motivated its design, Research Associates Greg Fiske and Jesse Bishop have developed a passion for home energy efficiency. The duo led a community lecture describing simple and advanced techniques that can be employed to reduce home energy consumption. See the press release »

August 14, 2014 – Community Lecture: Changing Climate, Rising Seas: Cape Cod
There is no debate that sea levels are rising. Here on Cape Cod, even a small rise will have profound effects, including increased coastal erosion, greater vulnerability to storms and stresses to infrastructure. The questions are, how much, how soon, and what can we do about sea level rise? The answers to these questions depend on our responses to a changing climate. A community lecture featuring Geologist Rob Thieler from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and WHRC’s Senior Scientist Max Holmes examined local sea level rise assessments, implications and possible adaptations within the context of the causes and effects of climate change around the globe. See the press release »

July 14, 2014 - Photography Exhibit: Sustaining the Earth
Scattered around the globe and part of our collective legacy are some of the most visually striking places on Earth, many of which are among the locales most at risk in a changing climate. The photography exhibit of Chris Linder’s work told the story of three ecosystems, revealing ways in which deforestation, land disturbance and climate change are affecting these lands and all of humanity. See the press release »

May 7, 2014 – Community Lecture: Detecting the Lit Fuse of the Arctic Carbon Bomb
A community lecture entitled,"Detecting the Lit Fuse of the Arctic Carbon Bomb," featured WHRC Associate Scientist Robert Spencer and professional science and conservation photographer, Chris Linder. The presentation examined their research trip to the Siberian Arctic where warming temperatures threaten to release large quantities of ancient carbon contained in permafrost and its subsequent effects on climate change. See the press release »

April 24, 2014 – Earth Day Celebration: Ecology and the Common Good
The Woods Hole Research Center held an Earth Day celebration to mark the publication of Ecology and the Common Good: Great Issues of the Environment, a book of essays from the greatest environmental science and policy thinkers of our time. Dr. Sandra Steingraber, renowned biologist, author and cancer survivor spoke to the crowd about the moral imperative for scientists to speak out about environmental threats to human health. See the press release »

October 10, 2013 – Board Dinner: A Wild Solution for Climate Change
Woods Hole Research Center Board member Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy presented "A Wild Solution to Climate Change" to a packed room at the Hotel Monaco in Washington, DC. Dr. Lovejoy coined the term biodiversity in the 1980s and has devoted much of his career to studying and describing the importance of diversity of plants and animals for the benefit of functioning ecosystems and for humanity. He is most well known for introducing the idea of debt-for-nature swaps.

Lecture Series: Environmental Tipping Points

During the Fall of 2013, the Research Center hosted a three-part lecture series that examined critical issues affecting the atmosphere, the cryosphere, and the Amazon Basin. The series featured WHRC scientists who identified key tipping points and highlighted the challenges each poses to our environment.

August 22 - Dr. Richard “Skee” Houghton, Senior Scientist, discussed the relationship between CO₂ and climate, and the scientific concerns about a runaway greenhouse.

September 26 - Dr. Richard Williams, Adjunct Senior Scientist, addressed rapid changes in glaciers, sea ice, and permafrost that document major tipping points in the Earth System.

October 24 - Dr. Michael Coe, Senior Scientist, explored how Amazon deforestation can lead to radical climate shifts affecting forests, crops, and hydropower.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Cape Cod and Islands Climate Change and Energy Conference: Approximately two hundred people attended this event at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel, Hyannis, MA. The purpose was to examine regional responses to increased storminess and sea level rise that our region will experience due to climate change. - See a summary of events and presentations.

Sustainable Science Speaker Series

April 30th - Agriculture:Poor management of fertilizers, water, and soil threatens the longterm productivity of agricultural landscapes, and with it, the ability of future generations to feed the world’s exploding population. In this series learn how WHRC scientists are helping to advance the know-how for maintaining and increasing crop yields while also minimizing soil loss and pollution.

May 30th - Fisheries: The world’s fisheries are being threatened by water pollution, overfishing, and climate change. WHRC scientists work with fishing communities around the world to sustainably harvest this important food source while not depleting it.

June 25th - Forests: The world needs timber and land for countless uses, but standing forests are also vital for wildlife habitat, clean water, and climate stabilization. WHRC’s sustainability research helps to identify ways to balance current needs from forests without jeopardizing our children’s ability to enjoy their beauty and future benefits.

Thursday, February 7, 2013
Gro Harlem Brundtland awarded Lawrence S. Huntington Environmental Prize

Eric A. Davidson, President and Wilhelm Merck, Chairman of the Woods Hole Research Center, will host a special reception honoring two eminent environmental leaders: Gro Harlem Brundtland and Lawrence S. Huntington, as we award the inaugural Lawrence S. Huntington Environmental Prize. The Lawrence S. Huntington Environmental Prize recognizes leaders in the public or private sector who advance and promote research and communication on climate, earth sciences, and conservation. These pioneers understand the interrelationships of global systems and think on a planetary scale. Their example inspires the pursuit and communication of science critical to the sustainability of the earth.

Wednesday, September 19
Science on Ice
by Chris Linder, Scientist and Photographer

The Woods Hole Research Center invites you to join us on September 19th for a rare look at science through the lens of environmental photographer, Chris Linder, as he takes us on his journeys through the rainforest of the Congo and the arctic ice sheets of Siberia.

Chris Linder is an oceanographer, award-winning science photojournalist and member of the International League of Conservation Photographers. Linder has photographed over a dozen scientific expeditions to the polar regions. His images have been featured in Geo, Nature’s Best Photography, Outdoor Photographer, and Wired. In his latest book, Science on Ice: Four Polar Expeditions, Linder brings to life the extraordinary journey scientists face in the remote and extreme environments of the Arctic and Antarctica.

Wednesday, May 30th, 5:30pm
Flying in Space: An Astronaut's Perspective on Climate Change
by Astronaut Dr. Piers Sellers

Join us for an inspiring scientific presentation by astronaut Dr. Piers Sellers, the deputy director for the Science and Exploration Directorate at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Dr. Sellers has been on three space missions in which he completed numerous space walks, travelled millions of miles and orbited the Earth hundreds of times.

Monday, May 21st, 12PM
WHRC and MBL co-host Telling The Climate Change Story
by Susan Joy Hassol, Director of Climate Communications

Even as the science of climate change has grown stronger and more compelling, public acceptance has grown weaker and more partisan. In this presentation, renowned climate change communications specialist Susan Joy Hassol will discuss the range of causes for this dilemma. She will also address how we can improve communication of climate change by what we say and how we say it, dealing with framing, psychological and cultural issues, and questions involving language.

Susan Joy Hassol has worked for over 20 years to help communicate the science of climate change to a wide variety of audiences. She has written and edited numerous high-level reports, testified before Congress, written an HBO documentary, and appeared on national radio and television shows. Her current focus is on helping climate scientists improve their communication and on improving media coverage of climate change.

Not to be missed, this presentation will include up-to-date information on what the American public thinks about climate change and how that should be considered in science communication efforts.

Wednesday, April 18 at 6 pm
Going with the Flow: A River-Centric View of Our Changing Planet
by Senior Scientist Dr. Max Holmes

Drawing on examples from around the world, Dr. Holmes will use stunning photographs, compelling video, and maps to show that just as human health can be evaluated by analyzing the blood, so can the health of watersheds can be evaluated by monitoring river water. He has studied many of the world’s largest rivers, including the Amazon, Congo, and Kolyma, and much of this work is motivated by an interest in understanding the causes and consequences of global climate change. Dr. Holmes will emphasize the implications of permafrost thaw in the Arctic and deforestation in the tropics.

Thursday, October 13, 2011
Walking on Water: Reinventing the Environmental Movement

The Woods Hole Research Center hosted a lecture and reception with world renowned conservationists, John Francis and Jon Waterhouse. John Francis, nicknamed the Planetwalker, is an environmentalist who has dedicated his life to changing the world one step at a time. Jon Waterhouse is Director of the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council, an Indigenous grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of the Yukon River Watershed. For more information on the speakers please visit:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Pantropical Scholars Event

The Woods Hole Research Center hosted a reception in the main commons of the Woodwell building to showcase the 15 visiting Pan-Tropical Scholars, from three different continents, that were attending a two week workshop at the Center. The event served as an opportunity to educate WHRC local donors on the Pan-Tropical Scholars program and a chance for donors to meet the group of scholars. The evening began with a welcome from Deputy Director, Scott Goetz, followed by an introduction of the scholars by Scientist, Nadine Laporte. Dr. Laporte then turned over the stage to three scholars, one representing each continent of Asia, Africa and South America, to share their story and give an insider’s look into WHRC’s Pan-Tropical Scholars Capacity Building program. Click here to read more information about our Scholars Program.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011
From Cancun to Durban: Is the 2011 United Nations Climate conference the place to seal the climate deal?

The Woods Hole Research Center will present a Community Climate Forum entitled, “From Cancun to Durban: Is the 2011 United Nations Climate conference the place to seal the climate deal?” The 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will take place in Durban, South Africa, this fall, from November 28th through December 9th. The WHRC Community Climate Forum will offer a glimpse into past COP negotiations, the Center’s role at the UNFCCC conferences, and what lies ahead for climate change policy at COP17 in Durban.

The Community Climate Forum will be chaired by Dr. Eric A. Davidson, the Center’s newly appointed President and Executive Director, and Dr. Kilaparti Ramakrishna, Director of the Center’s Policy Program and holder of the Sara Shallenberger Brown Chair in Environmental Law and Policy.

Thursday, April 21, 2011
African Agricultural Green Revolution 2.0

Dr. Pedro Sanchez, the Director of the Tropical Agriculture and the Rural Environment Program, Senior Research Scholar, and Director of the Millennium Villages Project at the Earth Institute at Columbia University, will give a lecture entitled African Agricultural Green Revolution 2.0, on Thursday, April 21, at the Woods Hole Research Center.

February 2, 2011
A special lecture co-sponsored by Woods Hole Research Center and Marine Biological Laboratory

Wes Jackson, Founder and President of The Land Institute and one of the foremost figures in the international sustainable agriculture movement, discussing his new book: Consulting the Genius of the Place: An Ecological Approach to a New Agriculture.

April 28, 2010
Shooting with the Radar Gun: Another Radiological Tool to Diagnose and Monitor Patient Earth
Dr. Josef Kellndorfer, Associate Scientist, Woods Hole Research Center

March 25, 2010
From Fazenda Tanguro, Brazil: The Story of Scientists and Teachers Bringing Research in the Amazon to Falmouth Schools
Dr. Michael T. Coe, Associate Scientist, Woods Hole Research Center
Christine Brothers, Science Dept. Head and Biology Teacher, Falmouth High School
Kelly Garrett, Biology Teacher, Falmouth High School

February 11, 2010
Manure Happens!
Environmental Consequences of Feeding About 6 Billion Carnivorous Humans
Eric Davidson, Senior Scientist, Woods Hole Research Center

September 3, 2009
Book Talk: The Nature of a House
George M. Woodwell, Founder and Director Emeritus, Woods Hole Research Center


Past Center Symposia

The Great Issues of Environment: Ecology and the Public Good (2008)
A Symposium Honoring George Masters Woodwell in Celebration of his Eightieth Birthday

Dean Abrahamson, Professor Emeritus of Public Affairs and Planning, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota in Minneapolis
John H. Adams, Founding Director and former President, Natural Resources Defense Council
F. Herbert Bormann, Emeritus Professor of Forest Ecology, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
Paul R. Ehrlich, President, Center for Conservation Biology and Bing Professor of Population Studies, Stanford University
John P. Holdren, President and Director, Woods Hole Research Center
Thomas E. Lovejoy, President, Heinz Center
Daniel Nepstad, Chief Program Officer, Environmental Conservation Programs, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
Frederica P. Perera, Director of the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health
Kilaparty Ramakrishna, Policy Advisor, United Nations Environment Programme
J. G. Speth, Dean, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Science
Sandra Steingraber, Distinguished Scholar in Residence, Division of Interdisciplinary and International Studies, Ithaca College

Twentieth Anniversary Symposium - Environmentalism: Retrospect and Prospect (2005)
Paul R. Ehrlich, President, Center for Conservation Biology and Bing Professor of Population Studies, Stanford University
John P. Holdren, President and Director, Woods Hole Research Center
J. G. Speth, Dean, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Science
Sandra Steingraber, Distinguished Scholar in Residence, Division of Interdisciplinary and International Studies, Ithaca College George M. Woodwell, Founder and Director Emeritus, Woods Hole Research Center

Panel Discussion: Scientific Integrity in Policymaking (2004)
Kilaparti Ramakrishna, Deputy Director, Woods Hole Research Center
John Farrington, Vice President, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Peter Frumhoff, Director, Global Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists
John P. Holdren, Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government
Jerry Melillo, Co-Director, Ecosystems Center of the Marine Biological Laboratory
George M. Woodwell, Director, Woods Hole Research Center

Report on the World Summit on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg 2002
Kilaparti Ramakrishna, Deputy Director, Woods Hole Research Center
Eric Davidson, Senior Scientist, Woods Hole Research Center
George M. Woodwell, Director, Woods Hole Research Center


Past Presentations and Speakers


(Alphabetical by speaker’s last name; title reflects affiliation at time of presentation.)

Finding the Right Balance: The Disposal of Nuclear Waste
Garry Brewer, Frederick K. Weyerhaeuser Professor of Resource Policy and Management, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the Yale School of Management

People and Forests: The Human Signature on an Ancient Landscape
David G. Campbell, Henry R. Luce Professor in Nations and Global Environment, Grinnell College; author of, The Crystal Desert: Summers in Antarctica.

The Amazon River: How Choices Now Shape Its Future
Michael T. Coe, Associate Scientist, Woods Hole Research Center

Our Health in a Warming Climate
Devra Lee Davis, Director of the Health, Environment and Development Program, World Resources Institute

The Humanity Crisis: Focusing on the True Nature of Our Dilemma
Dianne Dumanoski, Journalist and Author

Newly Emerging Diseases in a World
Laurie Garrett, Author; former science correspondent for National Public Radio

Toward a Real Kyoto Protocol
Ross Gelbspan, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author
Paul Epstein, Associate Director, Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard Medical School

Business on a Small Planet
Paul Hawken, Author

Bombs, BTUs, and the Biota: Priorities for the Next Four Years
John P. Holdren, Visiting Distinguished Scientist, Woods Hole Research Center; Class of 1935 Professor of Energy, University of California, Berkeley; Member, President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology

The Coming Energy-Environment Train Wreck: Why Energy Supply Remains the World's Biggest Environmental Problem; What Could and Should Be Done About It; Why We're Not Doing It
John P. Holdren, Visiting Distinguished Scientist, Woods Hole Research Center; Class of 1935 Professor of Energy, University of California, Berkeley; Member, President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology

Tropical Forests and Global Climate Change: Connections and Remedies
John P. Holdren, President and Director, Woods Hole Research Center
Daniel Nepstad, Senior Scientist, Woods Hole Research Center

Science, Education, and Policy in Action: Adventures and Climate Change in the Arctic
R. Max Holmes, Associate Scientist, Woods Hole Research Center
Anya Suslova, Undergraduate Intern, Siberia

Nitrogen pollution of coastal waters: Sources, rates of change, and possible solutions to the problem
Robert Howarth, David R. Atkinson Professor of Ecology and Environmental Biology, Cornell University

Agriculture's Ten Thousand Year Old Challenge
Wes Jackson, Co-founder and President, Land Institute of Salina, Kansas

Sustainable Development and Conflict Management in Latin America
Yolanda Kakabadse, President of the World Conservation Union (IUCN)

Assessing Human Vulnerability to Global Environmental Change
Roger Kasperson, Chair, International Geographical Union Commission on Critical Situations/Regions in Global Environmental Change (1992-1996)

Design, Ecology, Ethics, and the Making of Things
William McDonough, principal architect for William McDonough + Partners,

What If the Sky Fell and Nobody Noticed? Convincing the Public About Global Change
Bill McKibben, Author; former New Yorker staff writer

A Vision of U.S. Security in the 21st Century
Robert S. McNamara, U.S. Secretary of Defense 1961-1968; former president, World Bank

The Science and Rescue of the Amazon
Daniel Nepstad, Senior Scientist, Woods Hole Research Center

Great Transition: The Promise and Lure of the Times Ahead
Paul Raskin, President, Tellus Institute and Director, Stockholm Environment Institute-Boston

Beyond Johannesburg: Bridging the Gulf between Ecology and Environmental Law
Nicholas A. Robinson, Founder, Pace University's Environmental Law Programs

Tropical Economy and Economic Development
Jeffrey Sachs, Director, Harvard's Center for International Development

Climate Change: Learning from the Past, Planning for the Future
Daniel P. Schrag, Professor, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences; Director, Harvard's Center for the Environment

The New Political Landscape
David M. Shribman, 1995 Pulitzer Prize winner for national political reporting; columnist and Washington Bureau Chief of The Boston Globe

Reflections on Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: A UN Inspector's Experiences
Jørn Siljeholm, United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission

Living Downstream: An Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment
Sandra Steingraber, author of Living Downstream: An Ecologist Looks at Cancer

Understanding the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)
Thomas Stone, Senior Research Associate, Woods Hole Research Center

Book Talk: Sippewissett, or Life on a Salt Marsh
Tim Traver, Author

The Earth's Cryosphere and Global Environmental Change
Richard S. Williams, Jr.
Senior Research Geologist, Woods Hole Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey
Vice Chairman Emeritus, Committee for Research and Exploration, National Geographic Society, Adjunct Senior Scientist, Woods Hole Research Center

Wild Lands, Endangered People
Art Wolfe, photographer and author of, Migrations: Wildlife in Motion and, Light on the Land.

Russia’s Environmental Health: Role of Civil Society
Alexei Yablokov, Russian Academy of Sciences
Vladimir Zakharov, Center for Russian Environmental Policy