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2007 News Releases

Robotic Tag-Team is Headed for the Seafloor
December 1, 2007

Robotic Tag-Team is Headed for the Seafloor

In the summer of 2007, engineers from WHOI’s Deep Submergence Laboratory proved they could operate an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) beneath Arctic ice.

Magazine Recognizes WHOI-Led Global Change Research
December 1, 2007

Magazine Recognizes WHOI-Led Global Change Research

In selecting its “100 Top Science Stories of 2007,” the editors of Discover magazine recognized WHOI marine chemist Scott Doney and his colleagues for research on the effect of acid rain in coastal waters.

Trawling Leaves Lasting Scars on Deep Ocean Coral Habitat
December 1, 2007

Trawling Leaves Lasting Scars on Deep Ocean Coral Habitat

More than a decade after fishing stopped near the Corner Rise Seamounts in the North Atlantic, researchers have found that the seafloor still has patches that are almost completely devoid of life.

Chris Linder
November 1, 2007

Walking in a Real Winter Wonderland

Penguins sing, are you listening? Lava flows, snow is glistening. Through the use of the Web and satellite technology, researchers and communicators from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution are bringing the sights, sounds, and smells of the season—that is, the summer season in Antarctica—to students and museum-goers across America.

Chris Reddy
November 1, 2007

Comparing the San Francisco Oil Spill with East Coast Analogs

In the wake of the November 7 spill of 58,000 gallons of fuel oil into San Francisco Bay, environmental chemist Chris Reddy of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has collected and analyzed oil samples to help assess the long-term impact on the environment.

Researchers Compile Most Detailed Map of an Underwater Eruption
November 1, 2007

Researchers Compile Most Detailed Map of an Underwater Eruption

Examining more than 50,000 seafloor images, geologists have created the most detailed map ever assembled for a volcanic eruption along a fast-spreading mid-ocean ridge.

Richard Garvine
October 24, 2007

Physical Oceanographer Chosen to Receive Ketchum Award for Coastal Science

Dr. Richard Garvine, a physical oceanographer who has specialized in the circulation of coastal waters and estuaries, has been named the 14th recipient of the Bostwick H. Ketchum Award from WHOI.

WHOI paleoclimate scientist dives on a coral reef off the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia.
October 22, 2007

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and WHOI Finalize Research Collaboration

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), a new world-class, graduate-level scientific research university now under development, finalized an agreement today with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) to collaborate on marine research projects in the Red Sea.

 Susan K. Avery
October 12, 2007

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Names New President and Director

The Board of Trustees of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) announces that Dr. Susan K. Avery has accepted the position of president and director of the institution.

Can a Dose of Iron Supplements Improve the Health of the Ocean and Climate?
October 10, 2007

Can a Dose of Iron Supplements Improve the Health of the Ocean and Climate?

Researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution will host a public forum next week to discuss the pros and cons of “iron fertilization” of the oceans as a means to mediate global warming.

amphoras
October 1, 2007

CSI Deep Water: Finding Invisible Clues to Ancient Greek Culture

Like forensic investigators hunting for strands of DNA at a crime scene, researchers have for the first time used a genetic technique to detect archaeological clues that are invisible to the naked eye.

mantee
October 1, 2007

Novel digital device is used to help prevent boat collisions with manatees

Searching for better ways to protect this endangered species, a team of researchers from Florida turned to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for help in understanding how the animals behave underwater.

argo float
October 1, 2007

Fleet of Ocean Observers Grows to 3,000 Strong

On November 1, 2007, oceanographers will celebrate the deployment of the 3,000th operational profiling float and the completion of the Argo global array.

Konrad Hughen
September 26, 2007

Extinction of Neanderthals Was Not a Climate Disaster Scenario

Scientists have offered several competing theories for what led to the extinction of the Neanderthals, with much of the debate focusing on the relative roles of climate change versus conflict with modern humans. New research shows that Neanderthals did not die out at a time of extreme and sudden climatic change, as some researchers have suggested.

Scientists, Policymakers, and Industry Leaders Gather to Discuss Ocean Iron Fertilization
September 25, 2007

Scientists, Policymakers, and Industry Leaders Gather to Discuss Ocean Iron Fertilization

Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution will host an international, interdisciplinary conference on the proposed use of “iron fertilization” of the ocean as a means to combat rising concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Acid Rain Has a Disproportionate Impact on Coastal Waters
September 7, 2007

Acid Rain Has a Disproportionate Impact on Coastal Waters

The release of sulfur and nitrogen into the atmosphere by power plants and agricultural activities plays a minor role in making the ocean slightly more acidic on a global scale, but the impact is greatly amplified in the shallower waters of the coastal ocean, according to new research by atmospheric and marine chemists.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Will Lead Partnership to Establish Coastal and Global Observatories for Ocean Observatories Initiative
August 23, 2007

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Will Lead Partnership to Establish Coastal and Global Observatories for Ocean Observatories Initiative

The Joint Oceanographic Institutions (JOI) has awarded a $97.7 million contract to an academic partnership led by the WHOI to support the development, installation, and initial operation of the coastal and global components of the National Science Foundation’s Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI). The WHOI partnership includes Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, and Oregon State University’s College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences.

Innovative Tagging Technique May Help Researchers Better Protect Fish Stocks
August 7, 2007

Innovative Tagging Technique May Help Researchers Better Protect Fish Stocks

WHOI fish ecologist Simon Thorrold has received a research grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to use harmless chemical tags to track the dispersal of the larvae of coral reef fishes in the western Pacific Ocean. The unique tagging experiment will help determine if Marine Protected Areas aid in the recovery of fish stocks.

Submersible Replacement Human Occupied Vehicle
August 1, 2007

WHOI Awards Lockheed Martin $2.8 Million Contract to Design Submersible Replacement Human Occupied Vehicle

WHOI has awarded Lockheed Martin a $2.8 million contract for the initial design of the Replacement Human Occupied Vehicle (RHOV), a next generation three-person Deep Submergence Vehicle (DSV) that will be used by the U.S. scientific community. The contract has an option for subsequent construction of the RHOV once the initial design is completed and the project is approved to move forward.

Fragmented Structure of Seafloor Faults May Dampen Effects of Earthquakes
July 12, 2007

Fragmented Structure of Seafloor Faults May Dampen Effects of Earthquakes

Many earthquakes in the deep ocean are much lower in magnitude than expected. Geophysicists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have found new evidence that the fragmented structure of seafloor faults and previously unrecognized volcanism may be dampening the effects of these quakes.

Students, Museum Visitors, and Web Surfers Can Join First Search for Life on the Arctic Ocean Floor
July 6, 2007

Students, Museum Visitors, and Web Surfers Can Join First Search for Life on the Arctic Ocean Floor

Through the use of the World Wide Web and satellite communications, WHOI researchers are bringing thousands of students and citizens along with them to the world’s most isolated, frigid ocean. The research team will conduct live satellite phone conversations from the icebreaking ship to visitors at partner museums across the United States.

arctic map
June 21, 2007

Explorers to Use New Robotic Vehicles to Hunt for Life and Hydrothermal Vents on Arctic Seafloor

Researchers will probe the Gakkel Ridge during expedition that begins on July 1.

May 23, 2007

WHOI Geologists Compile Longest Ever Record of Atlantic Hurricane Strikes

The frequency of intense hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean appears to be closely connected to long-term trends in the El Niño/Southern Oscillation and the African monsoon, according to new research from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). Geologists Jeff Donnelly and Jonathan Woodruff made that discovery while assembling the longest-ever record of hurricane strikes in the Atlantic basin.

May 18, 2007

B12 Is Also an Essential Vitamin for Marine Life

B12—an essential vitamin for land-dwelling animals, including humans—also turns out to be an essential ingredient for growing marine plants that are critical to the ocean food web and Earth’s climate, scientists have found.

May 17, 2007

Oceanic Storms Create Oases in the Watery Desert

A research team led by Dennis McGillicuddy of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has shown that episodic, swirling current systems known as eddies act to pump nutrients up from the deep ocean to fuel such blooms.

May 16, 2007

WHOI Geologists Recognized for Achievements

Two senior scientists in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have been honored for their outstanding contributions to understanding the makeup and dynamics of Earth’s ocean floor.

rtoss mooring
May 10, 2007

Real-Time Seismic Monitoring Station Installed Atop Active Underwater Volcano

A new mooring and seismic monitoring system will significantly improve the ability of natural hazard managers to protect the residents of Grenada from gases, eruptions, and tsunamis caused by the Kick'em Jenny volcano.

May 3, 2007

Coral Reef Fish Make Their Way Home

Coral reef fish hatchlings dispersed by ocean currents are able to make their way back to their home reefs again to spawn.

Ice-Covered Arctic Lakes May Harbor Signs of Climate Change
May 1, 2007

Ice-Covered Arctic Lakes May Harbor Signs of Climate Change

Arctic coastal environments are some of the most vulnerable to climate change. A team of WHOI researchers visited Canada’s Mackenzie River Delta in April 2007 to find out just how vulnerable.

Becky Gast
May 1, 2007

Hurricane Katrina’s Flood Legacy Does Not Include Disease

When the levees broke in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, officials feared that Lake Pontchartrain might be infiltrated with disease-causing microbes from a “toxic gumbo” of water, polluted sediments, and sewage.

Robotic Vehicle Recovers Instruments and Data Locked in a Lava Flow
May 1, 2007

Robotic Vehicle Recovers Instruments and Data Locked in a Lava Flow

A lot of ocean science equipment goes into the water and never comes back. Some of it was intended to stay; other times, the sea claims it by force.

Beach Sand Formations Tell Tales of Past Storms
May 1, 2007

Beach Sand Formations Tell Tales of Past Storms

Geologists have recently devised a new method for reconstructing the history of severe storms along the coast: examine the steep slopes and cliffs left behind when severe wind and water erode the beach.

April 26, 2007

Ocean's "Twilight Zone" Plays Important Role in Climate Change

A major study has shed new light on the dim layer of the ocean called the “twilight zone”—where mysterious processes affect the ocean’s ability to absorb and store carbon dioxide accumulating in our atmosphere.

April 23, 2007

Buried, Residual Oil is Still Affecting Wildlife Decades After a Spill

Nearly four decades after a fuel oil spill polluted the beaches of Cape Cod, researchers have found the first compelling evidence for lingering, chronic biological effects on a marsh that otherwise appears to have recovered.

April 16, 2007

Researchers Setting Up Observatories to Examine Arctic Changes from Under the Ice

WHOI researchers are venturing to the North Pole to deploy instruments that will make year-round observations of the water beneath the Arctic ice cap. Scientists will investigate how the waters in the upper layers of the Arctic Ocean are changing from season to season and year to year as global climate fluctuates.

April 16, 2007

Arctic Websites to Take Students, Museum Visitors, and Web Surfers to the Ends of the Earth

Beginning April 18, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), in partnership with eight museums across the United States, will bring the excitement of polar research and discovery to students, teachers, museum visitors, and web viewers. Virtual explorers will be able to join real ones on a series of four expeditions to both of Earth’s Poles.

April 12, 2007

Scientists Discover First Seafloor Vents on Ultraslow-Spreading Ridge

Scientists have found one of the largest fields of seafloor vents gushing super-hot, mineral-rich fluids on a mid-ocean ridge that, until now, remained elusive to the ten-year hunt to find them.

Should We Pump Iron to Slow Climate Change?
March 23, 2007

Should We Pump Iron to Slow Climate Change?

One of the solutions offered for the global greenhouse gas problem is the fertilization of the ocean; that is, spreading iron into the open ocean to promote the growth of floating microscopic plants.

 Seafloor bacteria are multi-tasking with the carbon cycle
March 22, 2007

Seafloor bacteria are multi-tasking with the carbon cycle

Scientists have long known that microorganisms can use one of two different methods to convert carbon dioxide into a form that living things can use for energy. What they didn’t know until recently is that at least one form of bacteria can switch between these two “carbon fixation” pathways or use them both at the same time—a fundamental discovery for scientists who believe such bacteria played a role in the evolution of life on Earth.

Climate Change in the Bottom of a Lake
March 20, 2007

Climate Change in the Bottom of a Lake

Climate is often discussed in global terms, but it is the regional and local effects that will matter most to everyday people.

Researchers Find Substantial Amount of Mercury Entering the Ocean through Groundwater
March 20, 2007

Researchers Find Substantial Amount of Mercury Entering the Ocean through Groundwater

New pathway for pollution may change views of how much mercury is lingering in coastal waters.

Is U.S. Marine Aquaculture Economically Sustainable?
March 19, 2007

Is U.S. Marine Aquaculture Economically Sustainable?

With growing global populations and ever-increasing demands for seafood, fish farms are expected to expand significantly over the next few decades. But is aquaculture economically sustainable?

Going Virtual in Marine Biology Education
March 8, 2007

Going Virtual in Marine Biology Education

Whyvillians have a problem: harmful algae are threatening their beaches and coastal ecosystem. In order to investigate, understand, and mitigate the problem, citizens are turning to the Whyville Oceanographic Institution (WhOI), with its boats, its underwater laboratories, and other resources for exploring the ocean.

Jim Ledwell Awarded Agassiz Medal by National Academy of Sciences
February 7, 2007

Jim Ledwell Awarded Agassiz Medal by National Academy of Sciences

Senior Scientist Specializes in the Use of Chemical Tracers to Observe Currents in the Ocean

First-Ever Call from Alvin Submersible to International Space Station
January 24, 2007

First-Ever Call from Alvin Submersible to International Space Station

Listen to the first call between ocean explorers and astronauts.

The Third Elisabeth and Henry Morss Jr. Colloquium
January 23, 2007

The Third Elisabeth and Henry Morss Jr. Colloquium

Fire and Ice—Climate Changes of the Past...and Future?

Independent Panel Recommends Strong, Clear Guidelines for Development of Marine Aquaculture in the United States
January 8, 2007

Independent Panel Recommends Strong, Clear Guidelines for Development of Marine Aquaculture in the United States

WHOI Convenes Task Force of Business, Environmental, and Scientific Leaders

eyes of the ocean
January 1, 2007

Eyes on the Ocean March 2007: A Photo Resource for the Media

"Eyes on the Ocean" is an image resource produced by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for use by photo editors and other interested members of the media.