Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

WHOI in the News
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From left, Margaret Leinen, assistant director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Geosciences, Arden Bement, Jr., director of NSF, and Robert Gagosian, WHOI president and director, watch an animation of the Alvin replacement vehicle during an August media briefing at NSF headquarters in Arlington, VA. (Photo-Op)

Print media coverage of WHOI science in 2004 reached more than 93 million readers. Millions more were exposed to WHOI science through wire service, broadcast, and Internet news outlets.
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Research on hydrothermal vents, undersea earthquakes and resulting tsunamis, weather and changing climate, marine mammals, and the development of new undersea exploration technology attracted worldwide media attention in 2004. Conveying Institution research and engineering activities to the public was also accomplished by providing thousands of images, video footage, and information to textbook publishers, for museum and science center exhibits, Websites, publications and organizations as diverse as the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, John Wiley & Sons, the National Science Foundation, 20th Century Fox, and the Old Farmers’ Almanac. The Media Relations Website had an average of more than 400 visits a day, totaling 163,000 visits for the year.

Among the major media events of the year was an August press briefing at the National Science Foundation to announce plans to replace the Deep Submergence Vehicle Alvin. Stories appeared in hundreds of newspapers, including The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Miami Herald, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune. Associated Press, Reuters, and Scripps Howard News Service distributed the story, which was also featured on ABC News.com, CNN.com and MSNBC.com as well as on National Public Radio and in Science. Other stories on a variety of ocean research topics appeared in print and broadcast media in the U.S. and abroad, ranging from The Science Teacher, Mass High Tech, Popular Mechanics in South Africa, Octopus magazine in Russia, NY Teknik in Sweden and National Geographic Magazine to Discovery Channel, The Science Channel, PBS, The Learning Channel, and the BBC.

Other highlights for 2004:

  • The 20th Century Fox feature film “The Day After Tomorrow,” released in theaters nationwide in May, resulted in dozens of media calls about abrupt climate change before and after the film’s release. Lloyd Keigwin and Ray Schmitt were interviewed for a related one-hour science documentary entitled “Force of Destiny: The Science and Politics of Climate Change,” a special DVD scheduled to be distributed in the U.S. in May 2005.
  • The Weather Channel featured Ray Schmitt and the ocean’s role in climate change as part of its “Storm Stories” series in April.
  • Wired Magazine’s first NextFest, a festival about technology for the future held in San Francisco in May, was featured in a one-hour television special on the Science Channel. Dave Gallo and the autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) REMUS and ABE were featured in the segment on exploration.
  • Visiting journalists during the year included the eight 2004 Ocean Science Journalism Fellows, who spent an intense week of study in September as part of the fifth annual program, and ten international Knight Science Journalism Fellows from MIT, who visited in October as part of an annual program begun in 1983.
  • Breck Owens and the new glider Spray, the first glider to cross the Gulf Stream, were featured in media stories in November ranging from the Tampa Tribune and San Diego Daily Transcript to Uvonline.com.
  • Jian Lin, with Uri ten Brink of the U.S. Geological Survey, was featured in numerous media stories about undersea earthquakes and tsunamis related to the devasting Indian Ocean tsunami; their research findings about similar conditions in the Caribbean and Atlantic Ocean were published just two days before the event.
—Shelley Dawicki (sdawicki@whoi.edu)
Director of Media Relations

Copyright ©2005 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, All Rights Reserved.

Mail: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 266 Woods Hole Road, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA.
E-Contact: info@whoi.edu; press relations: media@whoi.edu, tel. (508) 457-2000

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