Woods Hole Group Celebrates 30th Anniversary

Woods Hole Group is pleased to announce its 30th anniversary of incorporation.  This page highlights developments over the years that helped position the company as a leader in environmental solutions, including:

  • Corporate Milestones
  • Foundation Projects
  • Key Personnel

Readers are encouraged to visit this site regularly for updates on our history.  More details are provided in the press release.

Corporate Milestones

Founded on May 16, 1986
Woods Hole Group began as Aubrey Consulting, Inc. (ACI) on May 16, 1986.  Having earned the distinguished position of Senior Scientist in the Department of Geology & Geophysics at the renowned Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Dr. David Aubrey had unique insight into the latest research and scientific methods for problems in the coastal zone.  Recognizing a gap in the science for how coastal erosion problems were handled by traditional methods, ACI was formed to provide improved solutions.  With an early staff that included David’s late brother Stephen Aubrey for field operations leadership and Nancy DeKimpe with a Coastal Geology background, ACI was underway.  Soon added to the team in 1989 were Dr. Lee Weishar and M. Leslie Fields from the US Army Corps of Engineers, both of whom remain with the company in 2016.  The team was working on shore protection projects from Massachusetts through North Carolina and into Florida, including tidal inlet management, coastal bank protection, and some of the earliest beach restoration projects.  The company also recognized the value in strong partnerships, including with accomplished firms like Gahagan & Bryant, Inc.  Together, the firms developed the first offshore sand borrow sites for beach nourishment on Cape Cod at Great Island and Dead Neck, and also constructed large-scale beach nourishment projects while monitoring potential impacts on coral reef resources in Jupiter Island, FL.  These decades of coastal zone management and restoration experience provide the basis for expertise at the Woods Hole Group today.

Summary of Key Historical Events:

1986:  Aubrey Consulting Inc. was incorporated as a MA Corporation, formalizing the consulting practice that David G. Aubrey, Ph.D., had initiated a decade previously.  Opened offices in Falmouth, MA, in the Homeport complex. 

1986:   First full-time employee of WHG hired as a field hand, project team member:  Stephen B. Aubrey

1987:  Key employee, Nancy DeKimpe, a recent graduate of the University of Virginia, was hired.

1988:  Two key awards made to WHG:  Nourishment of Long Beach, Centerville, and Nourishment of Grand Island, Hyannis.

1989:  Two key employees hired:  Dr. Lee Weishar and Leslie Fields.

1990:  Purchase of oceanographic instrument business from PACER Co. in Billerica, MA.  Created new company:  Advanced Coastal Environmental Systems, Ltd.

1992: Moved to new quarters in Pocasset, MA, in view of our expanding staff and business offerings.

1990-1996:  Continued with hiring of key personnel and expanding the business.  Rapidly outgrowing our "new" building in Pocasset, MA.  A key hire was Dr. Bruce Magnell, who came to WHG in 1996 to expand our oceanographic services and consulting business. Bob Hamilton, who is our current President, joined as a Coastal Engineer in 1994.

1994:  Won our first $1,000,000 contract, signed on 31 Dec 1994, with Public Service Electric and Gas (PSEG), a customer for nearly a decade.

1996:  Consolidated Aubrey Consulting Inc., ACES, and related companies into a single entity:  Woods Hole Group Inc.

1998:  Purchased an Environmental Laboratory located in Raynham, MA; named the laboratory Woods Hole Analytical Laboratories Ltd., (WHALe).  Operated WHALe until 2005, when WHALe was sold to Alpha Labs.  Approximately 40 personnel were brought over in this business. 

1998:  Implemented a stock option program at WHG. 

1998:  Moved into our new offices at 81 Technology Park Drive, East Falmouth, MA.  This office building was designed and constructed for WHG specially.  It remains our offices to this date.

1999:  Made our first stock option awards to key employees.

2001:  Hired Dennis B. Aubrey as our new President. 

2003-2011:  Started major projects in Saudi Arabia to complement our state-side work. Opened a wholly owned subsidiary of WHG (Woods Hole Group Middle East or WHGME) and registered a branch office of WHG in Saudi Arabia. Signed a major project in Saudi Arabia ($87,000,000) to design the remediation and restoration of environments damaged by the 1990-1991 Gulf War.  Opened offices in Riyadh, KSA, and created a staff to KSA to implement the project. Opened branch offices of WHGME in Bahrain and Dubai, UAE. Closed operations in Saudi Arabia, and sold WHGME. 

2008:  Won a Task Order Contract from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for the New England District, for a 3-year, $15,000,000 cap.

2011-2015:  Opened new offices in Brazil:  Woods Hole Group do Brasil Ltda, Servicios em Oceanografia, under the leadership of Robert Catalano. Dennis Aubrey retired as President of WHG, and his role was assumed by long-time employee Robert (Bob) Hamilton. Closed offices in Brazil.

2016:  Celebrated our 30th year as Woods Hole Group/Aubrey Consulting Inc.

Foundation Projects

Oil & Gas Oceanographic Systems offshore Indonesia
As exploration for offshore oil and gas resources expanded around the world and into deeper water, new challenges were faced associated with strong currents, energetic waves, and unique phenomenon such as internal waves that form between water layers of different densities below the ocean surface.  Unocal Corporation, now part of Chevron, was proactive in its energy developments offshore Indonesia in the 1990s, and called upon the Woods Hole Group to help support the safe and reliable offshore oil production in the region.  Oceanographers installed some of the first real-time deep water current profiling systems on the Sedco 601 and 602 in the Andaman Sea Region so the drillers had access to current speed and direction information at the helm when making drilling decisions.  Based on the proven value of these measurements during exploratory drilling, Unocal then committed to an integrated marine monitoring system (IMMS) on its West Seno production facility in the Makassar Strait.  This system integrated meteorological and oceanographic data together with operational information related to rig position and anchor line and riser tensions to provide onboard operators with improved decision-making capacity.  This early real-time offshore operational system provided the basis for Woods Hole Group’s full suite of rig-based systems, moorings, buoys, and port & harbor operational systems available today.

Key Personnel

Kirk F. Bosma, P.E.
By the mid-1990s, Woods Hole Group expanded its coastal expertise into the engineering design of shore protection projects, as well as computer modeling of coastal processes.  In 1997, Kirk Bosma brought deeper expertise in both of these areas, having studied with Tony Dalrymple in the Center for Applied Coastal Research at the University of Delaware.  Kirk’s high standard of care quickly became apparent in raising the expectations on performance of beach nourishment, wetlands restoration, and eroding shoreline protection projects.  He also emphasized application of computer models to simulate waves, sediment transport and hydrodynamics, validated by field observations, as a way to simulate the “what-if” scenarios to manage uncertainty associated with coastal engineering design problems.  With this information, Woods Hole Group is able to better predict project performance, and ensure clients realize value when making coastal infrastructure investments.  Under Kirk’s leadership, the Coastal Sciences, Engineering & Planning team is flourishing with key growth opportunities related to coastal habitat restoration, living shorelines, and climate change vulnerability assessments.  As communities and transportation authorities build new infrastructure, Woods Hole Group’s is providing information related to inundation risk as sea level rises and storms are expected with increasing frequency and severity.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Catherine Morey. Thank you.

Our work is a collection of science disciplines, not a single science