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Images: Scientists Use "ESP" to Track Harmful Algae

A “red tide” of blooming algae stretched more than 20 miles along the coast near La Jolla, Calif., in spring 1995. Blooms can be harmless, such as this one (the dinoflagellate Noctiluca scintillans), but blooms of some algae, including Alexandrium, can harm human health, coastal economies, and marine ecosystems. Algal blooms occur naturally, but have become much more common in recent years, sometimes due to human activities that put excess nutrients into the water. (Photo courtesy of Peter Franks, Scripps Institution of Oceanography)

WHOI biologist Don Anderson (left) and oceanographer Dennis McGillicuddy review the results of a computer simulation of the 2008 harmful algae season in New England waters. The model successfully predicted a large regional outbreak of harmful algae that materialized later in the spring. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

WHOI researcher Bruce Keafer inspects the new ESP instrument before its spring 2011 deployment. McLane Research Laboratories in Falmouth, Mass., built the first ESP for this project, and plans to build five more. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Divers work on an earlier Environmental Sample Processor in a test tank at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. (Photo by Todd Walsh, ?2006 MBARI)