Science Made Public is an annual, summertime series of publicly accessible talks by scientists and engineers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The 2014 series will focus on the submersible Alvin, which recently completed a comprehensive overhaul and upgrade and is celebrating its 50th year of ocean science and exploration.
All talks take place on Tuesdays at 3:00 p.m. in WHOI's Ocean Science Exhibit Center, 15 School Street, Woods Hole.
July 8 - Alvin gets a Makeover
Megan Carroll, Research Engineer
The Alvin submersible recently went through a major upgrade and is now back exploring the ocean. Some of the major improvements include a new, bigger, more ergonomic personnel sphere, a modified titanium frame, new flotation modules, improved imaging and lighting system, and increased robotic arm maneuverability. Learn about these new systems, and how syntactic foam is used for Alvin’s buoyancy from one of the WHOI engineers who was involved in making these improvements and helped to reassemble the vehicle for operations in 2014.
July 15 - Two Underwater Vehicles Can Be Better Than One
Kaitlyn Tradd, Engineer
The Alvin sub and the autonomous underwater vehicle Sentry are among the most reliable, successful underwater research tools. To make the most of limited time aboard a ship, scientists and engineers sometimes use the two vehicles together. By night Sentry is launched, programmed to make maps of the seafloor. By day, researchers and sub pilots use those maps to explore target areas with the deep sea submersible Alvin. Learn from a WHOI engineer about a recent Alvin-Sentry cruise to the Gulf of Mexico and the logistics and intricacies of tandem operations.
July 22 - 50+ Years of Ocean Exploration
Dudley Foster, Alvin Pilot, Retired
NOTE: This lecture will be held in Redfield Auditorium
During the last 50 years, Alvin has made numerous undersea discoveries and been involved in countless observations, sample collections, and deployment and recovery of experiments. During those years Alvin has been upgraded with the latest in computer hardware, imaging systems, and deep sea instrumentation, so it continues to be “state-of-the-art.” Hear from this long-time Alvin pilot about the major milestones in Alvins’ history and some of its adventures between 1972-2006.
July 29 - Exploring Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents in Alvin
Jill McDermott, Marine Chemist
The circulation of seawater-derived fluids through seafloor hydrothermal vents releases abundant chemical energy. This discovery has expanded our understanding of the limits and constraints on life in extreme environments. Hear from this MITWHOI Joint Program student about her experience diving in Alvin to investigate a volcanic eruption, and learn how deep-sea research on Earth can inform the search for life, and the compounds that support life, elsewhere in our solar system.
Last updated: July 2, 2014