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Gwyneth E. Packard

Senior Engineer

Contact Information:
Work: 508-289-3854
Building: Bigelow

Mailing Address:
266 Woods Hole Road, MS #10
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Woods Hole, MA 02543

Research Interests

My work on autonomous underwater systems is focused on improving vehicle decision making; increasing the vehicle’s self-perception, survivability, and the vehicle’s ability to adapt to its environment.

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S.M.:Physical Oceanography, 1995.  M.I.T./WHOI Joint Program

B.S.: Physics, 1990. Pennsylvania State University


Oceanographic Systems Laboratory

Room Naming Working Group

Co-chair Woods Hole Community Black History Month

Co-Chair for Maria Mitchell Women of Science Symposium

Board of Advisors for Black Girls Dive Foundation


In my current position I do research and development for autonomous underwater systems, including designing and implementing behaviors for autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) exploration of our oceans. As I was finishing my Bachelor’s Degree in Physics I discovered Oceanography, and earned my Masters Degree in Physical Oceanography. This launched my first career which took me all over the world, from Labrador and Greenland to Tasmania and Antarctica. My work on large oceanographic data sets led me to Computer Science and led to my second career working in industry writing software. Eventually though, I returned to apply my software engineering experience to ocean exploration and robotics.

As a bi-racial woman, I also work extensively to actively build diversity and inclusion in the marine sciences; oceanographic work is inherently multidisciplinary and has societal impact. As such, this work can only be made more rich and relevant by including contributions from people with a variety of backgrounds, ethnicities, abilities, academic backgrounds, economic backgrounds, and technical experiences.