A Greener Tomorrow at Highfield Hall & Gardens

November 4, 2016 by Beth Colt

This community collaboration brings both the Woods Hole Research Center and Tesla Cape Cod together to show you what they do and how they are working to make our world a bit greener.  The Woods Hole Research Center is the #1 climate change think tank int the world and is based right here in Woods Hole.  They will discuss their global research and how you can reduce your own carbon footprint.  You will also have the chance to test drive a Tesla, as long as you preregister for this experience.

Woods Hole Science Stroll

August 6, 2016 by Beth Colt

August 6, 2016 • 11am – 3pm

Water Street, Woods Hole

A FREE public event

  1. Woods Hole Science Aquarium

Marine animals, touch tanks, harbor seals in an outdoor pool.

  1. NOAA Dock

NOAA Fisheries
Displays related to research on whales, sea turtles and other protected marine species, fish, water chemistry and plankton, and tracking ocean currents. Learn how to identify whales; identify sea turtles; step inside a life-size (43-foot) inflatable humpback whale (weather permitting).

US Coast Guard (USCG)
Tour the USCG 45-foot response boat;* see a shipboard damage control demonstration and techniques to control flooding; watch a search and rescue demonstration with a USCG helicopter and rescue swimmer. Time of demonstration will be communicated on the day of event. *Availability of activities is subject to change based on USCG operations.

US Geological Survey
See the SeaBoss vehicle, which collects seabed images and sediment samples in coastal regions, and participate in interactive demonstrations of underwater video capabilities by the SeaBoss.

  1. Waterfront Park

Buzzards Bay Coalition
Learn all about the 10th annual Watershed Ride to help save Buzzards Bay. Get details, ask questions and sign-up for this fall tradition.

Sea Education Association/SEA Semester
From Plastics to Plankton! Conduct simple experiments to better understand plastic pollution in the ocean, a serious problem that affects birds, fish, and ocean mammals; use a microscope to get up-close and personal with the ocean’s wanderers: plankton!

US Geological Survey
Meet the authors of a new book on the Cape Cod National Seashore. Check out the interactive displays on shoreline change, 3-D sea-floor mapping, and predicting hurricanes. Try your hand at a demo about how scientists sample gas from the Earth.

Woods Hole Historical Museum
Check out reprints of historical photographs and publications about the long history of science in Woods Hole. Kids will enjoy a number of games including a “fishing game” with cod of various sizes in a bucket.

Woods Hole Research Center
Learn about Climate research conducted around the world by the Woods Hole Research Center. Measure the amount of CO2 absorbed by plants, using a CO2 Analyzer.

WCAI – the Cape, Coast, and Islands NPR Station
Play “Guess That Sound,” a children’s activity involving ocean life and ocean environment sounds. Meet the host of “Living Lab,” Heather Goldstone.

  1. Marine Biological Laboratory Pierce Visitor Center and Gift Shop

Colorful exhibits tell the story of the MBL and its impact on life sciences.

  1. Marine Biological Laboratory Marine Resources Center

Tour the facilities and see live animals in the touch tanks. Space is limited; sign up on-site.

  1. Zephyr Education Foundation

See the effects of sea level rise, storm surge waves, and tsunamis as you model coastal processes using “augmented reality sandboxes.” The activities are suitable for ages 9 and up. Younger children benefit from adult supervision.

  1. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Dock

NOAA Ship Bigelow
Reserve a space for your tour* of the NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow. Learn about the research conducted aboard the ship and see what it’s like to live onboard. *Reservations required. Visitors to the ship must have a valid photo ID. Tours require the ability to climb several flights of stairs. Please wear sensible shoes; no backpacks, no strollers. For free ticket visit

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution displays
Get up close with some working oceanographic instruments and research vehicles used in oceans around the world. Check out Splash Lab science demos and make your own Science Stroll souvenirs at the kids activities table.

  1. WHOI Redfield Auditorium

Come see a kid-friendly film for free at 2 pm sponsored by the Woods Hole
Film Festival

  1. Buzzards Bay Coalition Discovery Center

Explore a marine touch tank full of animals from Buzzards Bay and hands-on family friendly activities.

  1. WHOI Ocean Science Exhibit Center

Videos, displays, and exhibits include marine mammals, Titanic, hydrothermal vents, polar research and many more.

Going Green in Woods Hole

April 13, 2011 by Beth Colt

What is this plaster cow doing in Woods Hole? Read on...

Woods Hole — Members of the Woods Hole Business Association were treated to a tour of the Woods Hole Research Center facility this week where they learned about the scientific organization’s cutting edge green building practices as well as the scope and nature of the WHRC’s research and policy initiatives.  The morning started with a presentation by Dr. R.A. Houghton, acting director of the WHRC and world authority on the carbon cycle,  and was followed by a tour of the main offices of the WHRC on Woods Hole Road.

The buildings that house the 60+ employees of the WHRC are about as green as it gets,  using eco-friendly strategies to offset 90% of the energy consumed on the campus.   How do they do it?  With special heat transfer systems that capture natural energy and reuse the heat that comes off computing centers,  many solar panels, a new windmill, extensive insulation strategies and plenty of window light combined with all compact fluorescent lighting.  Because the WHRC is especially focused on carbon use, the organization selected sustainably forested and reclaimed woods for most visible locations in the building.

WHRC also works hard to change individual behaviors — many of the scientists and staff walk or bike to work, buy carbon offsets when they travel, turn off the lights when they leave a room.  The most interesting strategy for behavior change in the building is the use of a plaster cow with a tattered straw hat pulled over its well-worn ears that sits in a main hallway, waiting to be dragged to an office if anyone forgets to close their window before leaving the office at night.  Tour guide and research assistant Tina Cormier said, “You do not want to arrive in the morning and find that cow in your office…  It only happens once.”

Member of the Woods Hole Business Association are committed to bringing green principles into their daily work as well.  The restaurant owners partnered with Cavossa Disposal last summer to start a paper and plastic recycling station where the waste stream is greatly reduced by proper sorting and re-use.  This effort would not have been possible without the donation of dumpster space on Woods Hole Oceanographic (WHOI) property and will continue this year with more local businesses joining in as well.

In addition, the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) has just completed a renovation of the Loeb Laboratory, winning gold level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification of the 66,000 square-foot facility in the middle of Woods Hole.  The Loeb Laboratory is the MBL’s central research training facility and the cornerstone of its world-famous life sciences education programs.   “Climate change is one of the most pressing scientific problems facing our generation. I’m honored and proud that the Loeb Laboratory has achieved LEED gold certification and look forward to continued efforts that we can take here at the MBL to be a responsible member of the global society,” said MBL Director and CEO, Gary Borisy.

Speaking for the business community, WHBA chair Kevin Murphy said, “We are in the epi-center of one of the most important research communities in the US, if not the world.  When our esteemed neighbors tell us that the small changes we make to our business practices can effect the world?  We show up and we listen to that.”

Natural light floods the WHRC campus.

Amazing board room table made of a sustainably harvested Brazilian hardwood anchors the sunny conference area.

Woods Hole, a picture postcard village, postmarked from around the world.