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About Through the Porthole

We are a group of PhD students studying the ocean sciences at the MIT-WHOI Joint Program (JP) in Oceanography/Applied Ocean Science and Engineering. The JP is a five-year doctoral program based at two world-class educational and research institutions: MIT, in Cambridge, MA, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI, pronounced “WHO-EE”) on Cape Cod. As PhD students, we investigate cutting-edge research questions in biological, chemical, geological, and physical oceanography, as well as ocean engineering. Some of us live in Cambridge, while others are based on Cape Cod, and most of us spend time at both locations. Our research areas range from the sunlit surface ocean to the depths of hydrothermal vents, from the Arctic Ocean to Antarctica, and from cellular metabolites to large-scale ocean circulation. All of us are invested in understanding the current and future health of our ocean planet.

In Through the Porthole, our goal is to make information about graduate school in the geosciences more accessible to undergraduates, often by highlighting the experiences of JP students and faculty. If you are an undergraduate student studying biology, chemistry, geology, physics, or engineering, chances are there are research questions in the geosciences that you would be interested in—and that you have the skills to tackle! Even if you haven’t taken coursework specific to the oceans before, that’s ok! Graduate students in the geosciences have diverse undergraduate educational backgrounds. In Through the Porthole, we provide practical advice about how you can make grad school in the geosciences happen: Tips for the application process, tips for applying to fellowships, and how to make it work financially. We provide information about what daily life looks like as a grad student, with interviews of current JP students. We also provide examples of what careers in the geosciences can look like, both inside and out of academia. We publish quarterly, and all our previous issues are archived here, so you don’t have to worry about missing anything!

Our first issue was released February 1, 2021.