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2008 News Releases

Jian Lin
December 18, 2008

Jian Lin Named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Jian Lin of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as a fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.

REMUS 6000
December 3, 2008

Partnership Provides Autonomous Vehicles to Enable New Era of Deep Sea Research

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has partnered with the Waitt Institute for Discovery to make deep-sea exploration technology and a world-class operations group broadly available for the oceanographic community.

coral
October 22, 2008

Cold Water Corals Conference to be Held in Woods Hole

Scientists from North America and Europe will meet to develop the first coherent plan for studying and conserving cold-water corals in the Atlantic Ocean. The plan will lay the foundations for an international research program beginning 2010.

Chris Reddy
September 30, 2008

Study Reveals Microbes Dine on Thousands of Compounds in Oil

Thousands of feet below the bottom of the sea, off the shores of Santa Barbara, CA, single-celled organisms are busy feasting on oil. Until now, nobody knew how many oily compounds were being devoured by the microscopic creatures, but new research led by David Valentine of University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) and Chris Reddy of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts has shed new light on just how extensive their diet can be.

September 18, 2008

New Marine Mammal Center Formed at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has announced the formation of a new center for marine mammal research and conservation studies. The center combines scientific expertise, state-of-the-art facilities, and technological innovations to address both basic questions about marine mammal behavior, physiology and health as well as potential effects of human activities on marine mammals and the ecosystems on which they depend.

September 10, 2008

May 2008 Earthquake in China Could Be Followed by Another Significant Rupture

Researchers analyzing the May 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in China’s Sichuan province have found that geological stress has significantly increased on three major fault systems in the region. The magnitude 7.9 quake on May 12 has brought several nearby faults closer to failure and could trigger another major earthquake in the region.

James Luyten
September 8, 2008

James R. Luyten Named Director of Red Sea Science and Engineering Research Center

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) today announced that Dr. James R. Luyten, one of the world’s most respected and accomplished oceanographic researchers, will become Director of the University’s Red Sea Science and Engineering Research Center (RSSERC).  He will assume his responsibilities at the Center this month.

Detrick
August 26, 2008

WHOI VP for Marine Operations Bob Detrick Appointed to NSF Post

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Geosciences has appointed Robert Detrick of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) as its new director of the Division of Earth Sciences.

August 8, 2008

New Robot Sub Surveys the Deep off the Pacific Northwest

Scientists and engineers from WHOI and the University of Washington have successfully completed the first scientific mission with Sentry, a newly developed robot capable of diving as deep as 5,000 meters into the ocean. The vehicle surveyed and helped pinpoint several proposed deep-water sites for seafloor instruments that will be deployed in the Ocean Observatories Initiative.

July 16, 2008

Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Program Receives AGU Award

The founders of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Program at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have been selected by their peers as the 2008 recipients of the American Geophysical Union’s Excellence in Geophysical Education Award.

June 26, 2008

Geologists Discover Signs of Volcanoes Blowing their Tops in the Deep Ocean

A WHOI research team has uncovered evidence of explosive volcanic eruptions deep beneath the ice-covered surface of the Arctic Ocean. Such violent eruptions of splintered, fragmented rock—known as pyroclastic deposits—were not thought possible at great ocean depths because of the intense weight and pressure of water and because of the composition of seafloor magma and rock.

Scientists Find Bacteria Thriving on a Feast of Seafloor Rock
May 28, 2008

Scientists Find Bacteria Thriving on a Feast of Seafloor Rock

On the deep ocean floor, microbial life is feeding on fresh volcanic rock and flourishing with greater abundance than even the most optimistic scientists thought possible.

Marine Chemist Says
May 28, 2008

Marine Chemist Says "Not So Fast" to Quick Oil Detection Method

A new method for assessing environmental contamination after oil spills is in danger of being applied in situations where it doesn't work and might produce false conclusions, a scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has warned.

Cheetahs of the Deep
May 28, 2008

Cheetahs of the Deep

A new study has revealed that pilot whales are “the cheetahs of the deep sea,” making high-speed, all-or-nothing dives to chase and catch large prey before surfacing to catch their breath.

buoy lab
April 29, 2008

New Whale Detection Buoys Will Help Ships Take the Right Way through Marine Habitat

Researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the Bioacoustics Research Program (BRP) at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology have teamed up with an international energy company and federal regulators to listen for and help protect endangered North Atlantic right whales in New England waters.

 In Computer Models and Seafloor Observations, Researchers See Potential for Significant 2008
April 24, 2008

In Computer Models and Seafloor Observations, Researchers See Potential for Significant 2008 "Red Tide" Season

Researchers from WHOI and North Carolina State University are preparing for a potentially big bloom of harmful algae in New England waters this spring. A combination of abundant beds of algal seeds and excess winter precipitation have set the stage for an Alexandrium bloom similar to the historic “red tide” of 2005. Weather patterns and ocean conditions over the next few months will determine whether this year’s algal growth affects coastal shellfishing.

Lakes of Meltwater Can Crack Greenland?s Ice and Contribute to Faster Ice Sheet Flow
April 17, 2008

Lakes of Meltwater Can Crack Greenland’s Ice and Contribute to Faster Ice Sheet Flow

Researchers from WHOI and the University of Washington have for the first time documented the sudden and complete drainage of a lake of meltwater from the top of the Greenland ice sheet to its base. From those observations, scientists have uncovered a plumbing system for the ice sheet, where meltwater can penetrate thick, cold ice and accelerate some of the large-scale summer movements of the ice sheet.

Dinophysis acuminata
April 9, 2008

Underwater Microscope Helps Prevent Shellfish Poisoning Along Gulf Coast of Texas

Through the use of an automated, underwater cell analyzer developed at WHOI, researchers and coastal managers were recently able to detect a bloom of harmful marine algae in the Gulf of Mexico and prevent human consumption of tainted shellfish.

Scientists Prepare for a Risky Mission Under the Arctic Ice
April 1, 2008

Scientists Prepare for a Risky Mission Under the Arctic Ice

Bone-chilling temperatures, biting winds, and rapidly changing sea ice conditions make the Chukchi Sea off Point Barrow, Alaska, a particularly challenging place to work. And then there are the curious neighbors - towering polar bears that periodically stop by camp unannounced.

Making Sure the Wonder Materials Don?t Become the Wonder Pollutant
April 1, 2008

Making Sure the Wonder Materials Don’t Become the Wonder Pollutant

Carbon nanotubes are 10,000 times thinner than a human hair, yet stronger than steel and more durable than diamonds. They conduct heat and electricity with efficiency that rivals copper wires and silicon chips, with possible uses in everything from concrete and clothes to bicycle parts and electronics.

award_ralston_x.jpg
April 1, 2008

David Ralston Receives Young Investigator Award

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) has selected David Ralston, an assistant scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), as one of the recipients of the U.S. Navy’s 2008 Young Investigator Awards.

Hal Caswell
April 1, 2008

Hal Caswell Receives First Per Brinck Oikos Award

The Per Brinck Foundation has selected biologist Hal Caswell as the first recipient of the Per Brinck Oikos Award.

Chris Reddy
February 27, 2008

New Research Suggests Biofuel Blending is Often Inaccurate

While sampling blended biodiesel fuels purchased from small-scale retailers, researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution found that many of the blends do not contain the advertised amount of biofuel.

February 25, 2008

Butterflyfish May Face Extinction

A beautiful black, white and yellow butterflyfish, much admired by eco-tourists, divers and aquarium keepers alike, may be at risk of extinction.

Researchers Give New Hybrid Vehicle Its First Test-Drive in the Ocean
February 6, 2008

Researchers Give New Hybrid Vehicle Its First Test-Drive in the Ocean

Taking a page out of a science fiction story, researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and Webb Research Corporation (Falmouth, Mass.) have successfully flown the first environmentally powered robotic vehicle through the ocean. The new robotic “glider” harvests heat energy from the ocean to propel itself across thousands of kilometers of water.

Dennis McGillicuddy Receives 27th Annual Rosenstiel Award
February 1, 2008

Dennis McGillicuddy Receives 27th Annual Rosenstiel Award

The University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science has selected Dennis J. McGillicuddy, Jr., Ph.D., as recipient of the 2008 Rosenstiel Award. McGillicuddy, a senior scientist in the Department of Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering at WHOI is a pioneer in the study of physical-biological interactions in the ocean.

Lost City pumps life-essential chemicals at rates unseen at typical black smokers
January 31, 2008

Lost City pumps life-essential chemicals at rates unseen at typical black smokers

Hydrocarbons—molecules critical to life—are routinely generated by the simple interaction of seawater with the rocks under the Lost City hydrothermal vent field in the Atlantic Ocean. The production of such building blocks of life makes Lost City-like vents strong contenders as places where life might have originated on Earth, according to research led by the University of Washington and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Dr. Stan Hart
January 23, 2008

WHOI Geochemist Awarded for Contributions to Studies of the Physics of the Earth

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has selected Stanley Hart of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution as the 13th recipient of the Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship. Hart, a scientist emeritus in the WHOI Department of Geology and Geophysics, was recognized for making lasting contributions to the study of the physics of the Earth.

Mark Behn
January 9, 2008

Earth's Moving Crust May Occasionally Stop

The motion, formation, and recycling of Earth’s crust—commonly known as the theory of plate tectonics—have long been thought to be continuous processes. But new research by geophysicists suggests that plate tectonic motions have occasionally stopped in Earth’s geologic history, and may do so again.

Lockheed Martin Successfully Completes Preliminary Design Review for New Scientific Research Mini-Sub
January 7, 2008

Lockheed Martin Successfully Completes Preliminary Design Review for New Scientific Research Mini-Sub

Lockheed Martin recently completed a Preliminary Design Review for the Replacement Human Occupied Vehicle (RHOV), a next generation three-person Deep Submergence Vehicle that will be used by the U.S. scientific community.

WHOI Scientists Offering Timely Global Change Talks at Science Meeting
January 1, 2008

WHOI Scientists Offering Timely Global Change Talks at Science Meeting

Three senior scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution will offer cautionary looks at the past and future of global climate change at the upcoming annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Boston.

Should Every Stranded Dolphin or Seal Be Saved?
January 1, 2008

Should Every Stranded Dolphin or Seal Be Saved?

A sick or injured seal or dolphin is found stranded on a beach. Should limited marine mammal protection funds be spent to rehabilitate the animal, or would they be better used to increase public education, law enforcement, or research activities?

Polar Bear Population Likely to Become Extinct
January 1, 2008

Polar Bear Population Likely to Become Extinct

Within the month, the U.S. government must decide whether to list the polar bear as an endangered species.