John W. Farrington, PhD

Dean Emeritus, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

John W. Farrington served as Associate Director for Education and Dean of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) from 1990- 2002, and as Vice President for Academic Programs and Dean 2002-2005.

His career has involved successive appointments at WHOI from Postdoctoral Investigator (1971) to Senior Scientist (1982), including Director of the WHOI Coastal Research Center (1981-1987), and he was Michael P. Walsh Professor of Environmental Sciences at UMass-Boston (1988-1990). During August 2009 to November 2012 he assisted his undergraduate and M. S. degree alma mater as Interim Dean of the School of Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) and then Interim Provost, University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth and continues as an Adjunct Professor at SMAST.  He served as President of the Ocean Sciences Section of the American Geophysical Union from July 1, 2008- June 30, 2010.

His scholarly interests include marine organic geochemistry, biogeochemistry of organic pollutants (including oil spills and chronic petroleum releases to the marine environment), biochemistry of marine organisms, environmental quality issues, science education, and science-policy and science-religion interactions. John has participated in eighteen open ocean oceanographic cruises, eight as Chief Scientist, a research dive in DSRV Alvin, Dive 658, July, 1976, and numerous one-day coastal cruises. He has published one hundred and nineteen publications in refereed scientific journals, books and reports; thirty-eight publications related to education, policy, public information, or science- policy interactions; and twelve technical reports. He has been a member of advisory committees for several international, national, state and local agencies and organizations. He has testified several times before the United States Congress on matters pertaining to oceanic and coastal environmental quality issues.

His honors include the University of Rhode Island Alumni Association Award for Excellence in Research in 1998. “For leadership in promoting science and its use in sound decision-making,” the United States Geological Survey Ambassador for Science Award in April 2001 “For distinguished service to the environment and community,” the David B. Stone Award from the New England Aquarium September 2001, the Bostwick H. Ketchum Award from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution October 2003 “in recognition of achievements in science, education, and policy concerning the input and fate of organic contaminant chemicals in the marine environment.” In November 2003, he received a life appointment as a National Associate of the U.S. National Academies, “in recognition of extraordinary service to the National Academies in its role as advisor to the Nation in matters of science, engineering, and health.”

He has been honored with establishment of the John W. Farrington Reference Collection in the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Student Center established September 24, 2005 by the MIT/WHOI Joint Program Graduate Students and Alumni. In October 2006 he was placed on the Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island Dean’s List for Outstanding Professional Achievement. In July 2007, he delivered the Nanquiang Lecture at Xiamen University in Xiamen, China. In March 2009, he received Doctor Honoris Causa from The University of Concepcion, which was awarded for “highly commendable and innovative contributions to the development of knowledge in benefit of the University of Concepcion and of the national and regional Higher Education, also contributing significantly to international scientific collaboration, and to the development of understanding and solidarity among nations.” He also received the Samuel P. Stone Alumni Award in Sciences from the College of Arts and Sciences, University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth 2009, and was Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in November 2009.

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