Woods Hole Research Center

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The Woods Hole Research Center
Woods Hole Research Center logo.jpg
Founded1985 (35 years ago) (1985)
FocusClimate Change
HeadquartersFalmouth, Massachusetts, United States
Area served

The Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC) is a scientific research organization that studies climate change impacts and solutions. WHRC was named the world's top climate change think tank for 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 by the International Center for Climate Governance.[1]

The Center conducts research on the causes and impacts of climate change throughout the tropics, the Arctic, and North America. All of WHRC's work is designed to inform policy or answer policy questions.[2][3][4]


WHRC's mission is to advance scientific discovery and seek science-based solutions for the world's environmental and economic challenges through research and education.


The Woods Hole Research Center was established in 1985 in Woods Hole, Massachusetts by George Woodwell. WHRC was one of the first organizations dedicated to fighting global climate change and Woodwell testified to Congress in 1986 about the dangers of sea level rise and global warming.[5]

The plan for developing the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was drafted at the Woods Hole Research Center in the late 1980s by Woodwell and Kiliparti Ramakrishna.[6] In 2005, Dr. John P. Holdren became the director and he continued to lead the organization until he was appointed as President Obama's science advisor in 2009. Holdren returned to WHRC as a senior advisor in 2017 after President Obama left office.[7]

The organization's current president is Dr. Philip Duffy, a physicist who was formerly the White House National Science and Technology Council’s Senior Advisor to the U.S. Global Change Research Program.[8] WHRC has about 70 staff members.

The Woods Hole Research Center headquarters in Falmouth, MA

The Center's Gilman Ordway Campus, located on Cape Cod in the town of Falmouth, was completed in 2004. The 19,300 sq ft (1,790 m2) building is composed of a renovated summer estate (ca. 1874) and a new wing. The campus is energy neutral, with renewable power generated by a 100 kW wind turbine, as well as rooftop photo-voltaic power systems.[9]


The International Center for Climate Governance has named WHRC as the world's top climate change think tank for four years in a row—2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.[10] The award is based on quantitative and analytical data, including activities, publications and dissemination.[11]


  1. ^ Driscoll, Sean (July 1, 2016). "Woods Hole think tank takes top spot on climate change". Cape Cod Times. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  2. ^ "Woods Hole Research Center - Where We Work". Woods Hole Research Center. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  3. ^ Mooney, Chris (December 9, 2015). "How the Earth itself could undermine a Paris climate agreement". Washington Post. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  4. ^ Silva-Chavez, Gustavo (December 12, 2015). "Forests Emerge as a Big Winner in Paris Agreement". Huffington Post. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  5. ^ Mooney, Chris (June 11, 2016). "30 years ago scientists warned Congress on global warming. What they said sounds eerily familiar". Washington Post. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  6. ^ Goldstone, Heather (November 7, 2016). "Paris Agreement in Effect, But Much Work Remains to Stabilize Climate". WCAI. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  7. ^ Fraser, Doug. "Former Obama science adviser returns to Cape". capecodtimes.com. Retrieved 2017-03-24.
  8. ^ Goldstone, Heather (November 2, 2015). "Meet the Directors: Three New Presidents Take the Helm in Woods Hole". WCAI. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  9. ^ "Environmentally-Friendly Campus – Woods Hole Research Center". whrc.org. Retrieved 2018-06-04.
  10. ^ "ICCG CLIMATE THINK TANK RANKING 2015: THE RESULTS". Think Tank Map. International Center for Climate Governance. June 23, 2016.
  11. ^ "About the Ranking". Think Tank Map - About the Ranking. International Center for Climate Governance. Retrieved August 25, 2016.

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Coordinates: 41°32′58″N 70°38′37″W / 41.5495°N 70.6435°W / 41.5495; -70.6435