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Ecosystems

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  • The fluke of a humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) creates its own waterfall.
    It's Just a Fluke
    The fluke of a humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) creates its own waterfall. Researchers get up close and personal with whales while tagging them with harmless transmitters for studies of the food chain of Stellwagen Bank, from tiny plankton to bus-sized whales. (Photo by Melissa Patrician, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) (Photo by Melissa Patrician, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
  • Summer Student Fellow Amy Koid and CICOR Postdoctoral Scholar Jeremiah Hackett examine a test tube containing genetic material for studies of toxic algae during the summer of 2006.
    Sometimes It's The Smallest Things
    Summer Student Fellow Amy Koid and CICOR Postdoctoral Scholar Jeremiah Hackett examine a test tube containing genetic material for studies of toxic algae during the summer of 2006. Researchers at the Institution are working to unravel the very genes that make some algae toxic, while also teasing out why different species and sub-species bloom under different conditions. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
  • WHOI senior research assistant Scott Cramer describes the tools available in the necropsy suite of the Computerized Scanning and Imaging Facility to a group of journalists participating in WHOI's annual Ocean Science Journalism Fellowship.
    Inquiring Minds Want to Know
    WHOI senior research assistant Scott Cramer describes the tools available in the necropsy suite of the Computerized Scanning and Imaging Facility to a group of journalists participating in WHOI's annual Ocean Science Journalism Fellowship. Another group of journalists from the Knight Science Journalism program visited the facility in October 2007 for their own introduction to the Institution. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
  • One copepod?Euchaeta norvegica?gobbles up another?Calanus finmarchicus (clear and sticking out of the top of Euchaeta)?after being scooped out of New England waters.One copepod?Euchaeta norvegica?gobbles up another?Calanus finmarchicus (clear and sticking out of the top of Euchaeta)?after being scooped out of New England waters.
    Tastes Great, Less Filling
    One copepod?Euchaeta norvegica?gobbles up another?Calanus finmarchicus (clear and sticking out of the top of Euchaeta)?after being scooped out of New England waters. Both zooplankton were captured in a "bongo" net as researchers sampled the waters for the food that attracts so many northern right whales to the region. Samples of Calanus are collected for isotope analysis (different populations have slightly different chemical signatures) so that researchers can eventually figure out where the whales are feeding. (Photo by Melissa Patrician, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) (Photo by Melissa Patrician, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
  • On a gray day in August 2006, WHOI research associate Phil Alatalo (right) and Captain Bill Kopplin motored out to the R/V Annika Marie at Barrow, Alaska.
    Into the Mystic
    On a gray day in August 2006, WHOI research associate Phil Alatalo (right) and Captain Bill Kopplin motored out to the R/V Annika Marie at Barrow, Alaska. Alatalo participated in CICOR Fellow Carin Ashjian?s study of oceanographic conditions prior to the annual bowhead whale migration there. (Photo by Carin Ashjian, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) (Photo by Carin Ashjian, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
  • Microscope image of the four major species of copepods in the Beaufort Sea all have different sizes, different life cycles, and different prey. L to R: Metridia longa (~2.5 millimeters), Calanus glacialis (~4mm), Calanus hyperboreus (~7mm).
    Coping Pods
    The four major species of copepods in the Beaufort Sea all have different sizes, different life cycles, and different prey. L to R: Metridia longa (~2.5 millimeters), Calanus glacialis (~4mm), Calanus hyperboreus (~7mm). The smallest, Oithona similis (0.5mm) is below the center. The largest species, Calanus hyperboreus, is a critical link in the Arctic food web, eating phytoplankton and microzooplankton when the returning spring light triggers their growth. They are eaten in turn by many larger animals. (Photo by Carin Ashjian, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) (Photo by Carin Ashjian, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
  • Photo of sandwich board sign saying
    Top of the World
    Welcome to Barrow, Alaska, where the I?upiat people rely on the annual migration of bowhead whales to coastal waters for food and for sustaining long-standing cultural traditions. Barrow, the northernmost town in the United States, sits north of the Bering Strait, where water flowing between Siberia and Alaska curls into the Arctic Ocean. WHOI biologist Carin Ashjian and colleagues have been investigating the delicately balanced ecosystem off Alaska to see how changes in currents and climate are affecting the food web. (Photo by Phil Alatalo, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) (Photo by Phil Alatalo, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
  • Microscope image of egg sac of Euchaeta norvegica
    Eggs for Breakfast
    This egg sac of Euchaeta norvegica, a copepod, turned up in researchers' plankton nets as they were being towed by the Albatross IV through the waters around Cape Cod. Researchers like CICOR Fellow Mark Baumgartner have been studying the many strands of the ocean food web to see what makes the southern New England area such a productive feeding ground for humpbacks and other types of whales. (Photo by Melissa Patrician, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) (Photo by Melissa Patrician, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
  • close encounter with this humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) during an expedition on Stellwagen Bank
    Up Close and Personal
    WHOI researchers had a close encounter with this humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) during an expedition on Stellwagen Bank, off the coast of Massachusetts. Biologists have been tagging humpbacks and right whales with short-term radio tags (lasting 1-3 hours before falling off) in order to monitor their dives and behavior and how it related to water conditions and the amount of food in the water. (Photo by Melissa Patrician, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) (Photo by Melissa Patrician, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
  • Deployment of a low-frequency broadband imaging sonar overboard.
    Fishing with Sound
    Scientists adapted a low-frequency sonar system, originally designed to survey seafloor geology, to identify fish and zooplankton. The research team deployed a low-frequency broadband imaging sonar near schools of fish. For comparison, they also collected sound data from a conventional high-frequency, hull-mounted fish-finding sonar system. Trawls collected fish for "ground truth"; that is, to see if the schools of fish shown by sonar matched the reality in the water. (Photo by Mike Jech, National Fisheries Science Center) (Photo by Mike Jech, National Fisheries Science Center)
  • HabCam instrumentation is hoisted aboard the scallop boat Kathy Marie for a test run.
    Fishing with Sound
    HabCam (short for ?habitat mapping camera system?) is hoisted aboard the scallop boat Kathy Marie for a test run. (Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) (Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
  • Anemones cover a rock
    Flowers of the Deep
    Anemones cover a rock roughly 80 meters (250 feet) beneath the water line on the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Massachusetts. The photo was taken by the autonomous underwater vehicle SeaBED in 2003 as part of a habitat mapping expedition on the research vessel Oceanus. (Photo courtesy of Hanumant Singh, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) (Photo courtesy of Hanumant Singh, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

The fluke of a humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) creates its own waterfall.
 
 
CICOR Research Theme: Marine Ecosystem Processes Analysis

NOAA has a mandate to bring its resources to bear on the protection and management of ocean ecosystems, and the mission has never been more important, nor so complex. Woods Hole scientists are working with NOAA to help develop understanding and capabilities that will eventually be needed in order to develop the required ability to predict ocean ecosystems. Recent coupled NOAA/WHOI activities include the following:

•    Global harmful algal bloom (HAB) research, under the leadership of Donald Anderson has made major strides in terms of understanding of harmful species distributions and how they respond to oceanographic conditions. Within the nearby Gulf of Maine, researchers Dennis McGillicuddy and Rouing He are developing very promising physical-biological computer simulations that have strong potential, in combination with sustained observations, for a predictive capability.

•    Woods Hole scientists have a long tradition of cooperation with the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center. Recently, there has been joint work on the GLOBEC (Global Ocean Ecosystems Dynamics) project on Georges Bank, a physical-biological effort focused on year-to-year variations in cod and haddock in this historically prosperous fishery.

•    Peter Tyack’s research on acoustic communication between whales has strong implications for the NOAA mandate to regulate the exposure of marine mammals to anthropogenic sounds.


•    Woods Hole scientists are actively engaged in the planning and implementation of sustained ocean measurements, both through the NSF-sponsored observatories effort, and through the needs-oriented Integrated Ocean Observing System. For example, Janet Fredericks is actively engaged in the developing the system’s data management and transport. Projects range from biological sensor development, to data management, to system planning. 

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Last updated: August 19, 2008
 


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