Fornari, left, with molecular ecologist Tim Shank and
Timís new sampling equipment on Alvin. The new
equipment will allow Tim and his co-investigator, paleoecologist
Joan Bernhard, to capture and preserve deep-sea organisms
at full ocean pressure for studies of enzyme function.
(Photo by Tom Kleindinst, WHOI)
» Deep Ocean Exploration Institute
» Dive and Discover™
The Deep Ocean Exploration Institute (DOEI) supports research
in a diversity of oceanographic, geological, and technology
fields all aimed at better understanding the dynamic planetary
processes occurring in the deep ocean and within Earth’s
interior. These intertwined processes are the pulse of planet
Earth. They help regulate where and how magmatism and earthquakes
occur, and the evolution of ocean chemistry. They also profoundly
influence biological, microbiological, and biogeochemical
processes in the deep ocean and within Earth’s interior.
The development and implementation of innovative technologies
that seek to image, sense, and sample remote areas of the
deep ocean and Earth’s interior are also essential elements
of DOEI’s mission.
To support these pursuits, in 2005 we funded six new research
projects that encompass all of the Institute’s research
areas involving seafloor observatory science, fluid flow in
geologic systems, and Earth’s deep biosphere (see
map). Additional DOEI discretionary funding was provided
to other researchers and students to help facilitate opportunities
for science and engineering. In addition, DOEI currently supports
two research fellows (Stan Hart and Greg Hirth, both G&G),
one post-doctoral fellow and a graduate student in its efforts
to expand the research options available to scientists and
engineers in all departments at WHOI.
DOEI-sponsored activities have also included outreach in various
forms. In 2005 Dan Fornari met with delegations in the U.S.
Congress to discuss the importance of basic research and oceanographic
research, and to support increased funding for the National
Science Foundation. Dan also presented a keynote address,
“Oceanography in the 21st Century,” to senior
management in the oil and gas industry in Houston as part
of an international conference. Public and educational outreach
is also a focus of DOEI activity through the Dive and Discover™
Web site. Dive and Discover continues to be an important part
of the WHOI outreach program for K-12 students and the general
public, and in 2005 received more than 46,000 visits per month.
In 2005, Dive and Discover hosted Expedition 9, a revisit
to the Galapágos Rift, which included Alvin
diving and deep-sea camera exploration for hydrothermal vents.
More than 26,000 online visitors followed the two-week expedition
in May 2005.
—Dan Fornari, Institute Director