The Next Generation of in situ Biological and Chemical Sensors in the Ocean

A workshop co-sponsored by the WHOI Ocean Life Institute and Deep Ocean Exploration Institute, the National Science Foundation, and the Office of Naval Research


This workshop sought to bring together oceanographers and specialists in new and emerging technologies which could be used for the in situ oceanographic biological and chemical measurements of the future. Examples of technologies explored included, but were not limited to, nanotechnology, sensor arrays, miniaturized complex instrumentation (e.g. mass spectrometers), automated complex chemical analyses (e.g. DNA analyzers), biosensor arrays, and new high resolution optical visualization tools. The major questions addressed were: What are new technologies and innovations emerging in the fields of engineering, analytical chemistry, biosensors, and molecular biology which would be useful in addressing major outstanding scientific problems in oceanography? What are the technological barriers to applying these technologies and how can these be overcome? The workshop sought to maximize interactions between oceanographers and specialists in other technical fields which might lead to conceptualization, development, testing, and deployment of new and innovative technological approaches in ocean sensor technology.

We held a 3.5 day workshop for scientists and engineers in ocean sciences, relevant industries, and government or military research laboratories to share information and explore new possibilities for the development of sensors to detect, identify and/or quantify important chemical and biological properties and processes in the ocean.  A workshop goal was to write concise documents charting future technology developments and ocean science applications.

The format included invited plenary talks, contributed research presentations, posters, discussions and preparation of summary documents by working groups.

The workshop was held at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, MA with attendance of about 100 people.

Workshop sessions were held in the Redfield Auditorium, located at 85 Water Street in Woods Hole, with receptions and dinner in the Clark Laboratory on the Quissett Campus, between Woods Hole and Falmouth. Detailed directions for these locations and parking were sent to all registrants prior to the Workshop.