Woods Hole Group, Inc. celebrated its 30th anniversary on May 16, 2016. Originally incorporated in 1986 as Aubrey Consulting, the company has grown and diversified, while maintaining its focus on applying new technologies and scientific methods to efficiently solve real-world problems. The corporate headquarters remains in Falmouth, Massachusetts, supported by domestic operations in Delaware (Dover), Florida (Jacksonville), and Texas (Houston), along with partners in more than 10 countries to support international operations.
Building on its pedigree of coastal specialists, experts now include: oceanographers focused on port, harbor, and ocean measurement systems; ecologists performing ecological risk and vulnerability assessments; and computer modelers simulating dynamic sea level rise and imminent overland storm inundation. The coastal team’s expansion also includes turnkey engineering designs for wetland habitat restoration and shoreline protection, including resilient adaptations to manage future risk.
In the market for 30 years with 2000+ projects completed, the company has a proven history for developing innovative and sustainable project solutions to traditional and emerging problems. Soft solutions including living shoreline features are now implemented to better manage shoreline erosion problems compared to traditional hard structures alone. With an emerging focus on coastal resilience, Woods Hole Group experts apply high resolution computer model simulations to understand and manage coastal zone risks. In-house high-performance computers were added to facilitate project designs that outperform expectations, while increasing value and investment return to clients. The approach meets diverse needs of land owners, regulators, and commerce, while resulting in environmentally sustainable project designs. Woods Hole Group’s work demonstrates that economic development and habitat conservation are not mutually exclusive.
The company recorded one of its best-performing business years in 2015, and looks forward to new challenges and growth opportunities. A key future focus area is supporting coastal communities, businesses, and transportation authorities adapting to increasing climate change vulnerabilities. New infrastructure improvements require defensible design criteria to withstand expected future increases in storm frequency and magnitude. Energy exploration and development is another important focus area for Woods Hole Group, including oceanographic monitoring for traditional offshore oil & gas operations, along with renewable sources of power. As energy production moves into deeper water, Woods Hole Group is applying new technologies to provide real-time environmental information, such as deep ocean currents from remote corners of the globe, directly to the customer’s desktop. The offshore work expands a cornerstone of Woods Hole Group’s business supporting port and harbor monitoring systems like NOAA PORTS®. The growing Applied Ecology and Sustainability Team unites the Coastal and Oceanographic Teams, focusing on ecological risks and vulnerabilities, causal analysis, and sustainability strategies to minimize carbon footprints, save energy, and reduce resource consumption.
More than one-third of the staff members have been with Woods Hole Group for 10+ years, a testament to the stability of the corporation. Bob Hamilton, now President, who started as a Coastal Engineer with the Company in 1994 says, “We are fortunate to have committed and innovative people who are passionate about their trade. There is strong camaraderie amongst our staff and with our clients that shows in the high quality work products and satisfied customers.”