Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Marine Facilities and Operations
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Master of R/V Oceanus Lawrence Bearse, Bob Detrick and Albert Suchy on the WHOI dock. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, WHOI Graphic Services)

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Clockwise from top left: R/V Atlantis, R/V Knorr, R/V Tioga, R/V Oceanus.
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» WHOI Marine Operations

The past year marked a major milestone in deep submergence operations at WHOI. Alvin, the nationís only deep-diving, human-occupied research submersible, completed its 4000th dive during its 40th year of operation. As the sub approaches retirement, the National Science Foundation announced in August that it would fund the construction of a new, deeper diving submersible. The replacement vehicle, expected to be complete by 2008, will allow researchers access to more than 99% of the seafloor.

As shown on the Cruise Tracks, Atlantis spent 2004 in the eastern Pacific working primarily on the East Pacific Rise and Juan de Fuca Ridge. Knorr operated in the North Atlantic conducting a wide variety of research from Panama to Baffin Bay and the Norwegian Sea. Oceanus worked in the western North Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea.

In June, after nearly 14 years at the helm of marine operations at WHOI, Rear Admiral Richard F. Pittenger retired. His legacy includes major upgrades to the research vessels Knorr and Oceanus; the 1996 replacement of Atlantis II by the modern vessel Atlantis; and the 2004 acquisition of a new 60-foot coastal vessel, Tioga.

As the incoming Vice President for Marine Facilities and Operations, I am developing and managing a strategic plan for the integration of the Institutionís research fleet with its various undersea vehicles and ocean observatories. In 2005 I look forward to working with others at WHOI to implement recommendations made in 2004 by the Access to the Sea Task Force in areas such as fleet replacement, development of new vehicle platforms and sensors, establishment of seafloor observatories, and improvement of scientific data management at WHOI, both at sea and on shore.

—Robert Detrick (rdetrick@whoi.edu)
Vice President for Marine Facilities and Operations

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