Oceanus Magazine
Back to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's Homepage

Images: A Buoy's Long Strange Trip

In 2011 a team from WHOI flew by helicopter to deploy ITP 47 in thick ice near the North Pole. Left there, the ITP drifted slowly with the ice floe. Below the ice, suspended under the buoy, an instrument moved up and down a long, 700-meter line, measuring water properties, while the buoy sent the data back to scientists by satellite. (Photo courtesy of Rick Krishfield, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

A bright yellow oceanographic buoy washed ashore in Blacksod Bay, County Mayo, on the west coast of Ireland in September 2013. Local filmmaker Fergus Sweeney discovered it there and followed the clues that led back to the buoy's origin as an instrument from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and revealed the buoy's long, meandering journey from the North Pole to Ireland. (Photo courtesy of Fergus Sweeney)

Irish filmmaker Fergus Sweeney cleans the buoy of Ice-Tethered Profiler 47. Intrigued by the bouy's history and by WHOI scientist John Toole's research using ITPs to monitor climate change in the Arctic Ocean, Sweeney created a Facebook page and an educational exhibit in a local gallery about ITP 47 and the science behind it. (Photo courtesy of Fergus Sweeney)