July 13 - Red Sea Oceanography: A Saudi-U.S. Collaboration
Amy Bower, Physical Oceanography Department
The Red Sea, which connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Indian Ocean, is an ocean basin of local, regional and global significance for human activities. It is fringed by extensive coral reefs, many in pristine condition, that provide critical habitat for marine life, support several important fisheries and attract tourists. This region has previously been off-limits to oceanographers, but a new collaboration between WHOI and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) has provided new opportunities for studying the Red Sea. Learn about the importance of the Red Sea and exciting new results about the currents from the first comprehensive large-scale survey of these waters done in March 2010.
July 20 - Chasing Uncertainty in the East China Sea
Glen Gawarkiewicz, Physical Oceanography Department
Marine scientists today routinely use complex computer models to study ocean circulation and sound propagation in the ocean. Because of the complexity of the ocean circulation, these models have both strengths and weaknesses relative to the many processes which we observe in the real ocean. To test ocean and acoustic models in the East China Sea, a large Taiwanese/U.S. field effort occurred in late summer of 2008 and 2009 to study how well ocean models and acoustic propagation models are able to forecast in the complex continental shelf and slope environment northeast of Taiwan. Along the way, encounters with typhoons, canyons, squid, and international diplomacy will be described.
July 27 - It's All About the Oil
George Hampson, Oceanographer Emeritus, Biology
Oil is a complex mixture of hydrocarbons which vary greatly in molecular structure. Oil refineries process crude oil into useful products from gasoline to asphalt. All of these oils and by products have different toxicity depending on their chemical makeup. Learn about long-term studies of oils spills right here in Buzzards Bay and their impacts on the environment.
August 3 - Right Whales of Cape Cod
The western North Atlantic right whale is one of the most endangered mammals on the planet with only approximately 400 left. In the winter and early spring many right whales can be seen feeding in Cape Cod Bay. Learn how researchers use digital recording tags (DTAG) to study the behavior of right whales when feeding and interacting with each other, and to examine the effects human activities have on these mammals.
August 10 - Putting Down Roots: Will 100 Million Seeds Bring Back the Mangrove Forests in Senegal?
The Sahel drought of the 1970s and ‘80s has transformed several major rivers in West Africa, including the Casamance River in Southern Senegal, making it nearly five times saltier than the ocean. These conditions have decimated the mangrove forests and the fisheries that depend on them. As rain begins to fall on the Casamance again, one local group organized 3000 villages to plant 35 million mangrove seeds with this year’s goal of 100 million seeds. Will this make a difference and what stands in the way of mangrove forest recovery?
August 17 - Alvin: The World?s Hardest Working Manned Sub Just Keeps Getting Better
Since 1964, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has been operating the Navy’s three-person Deep Submergence Vehicle Alvin. Capable of diving to depths of 4,500 meters (14,763 feet or 2.8 miles), Alvin has successfully completed over 4,600 missions ranging from shallow test dives to heroic search and recover missions. Come see what upgrades the WHOI Deep Submergence Group has planned for Alvin to prepare it for the next generation of ocean exploration.
August 24 - Using Underwater Odor plumes to Find Food, Mates and Homes
Odor plumes are used by many animals to find important things for their survival. For some animals odor may well be the most important information they have available. But because odor itself has no direction, they must rely on other senses to for directional information. Vision and flow detection are best known to guide their odor search behavior. Learn how tiny reef fish larvae, sharks, lobsters, sea stars and Nautilus, as well as a robot detect where the odors they smell come from.
August 31 - Sea Level Rise: The Basics & Local Impacts
Climate Change can mean many things to different people. One aspect of climate change, which has immediate concerns among low-lying communities on Cape Cod, is a rising sea level. Predicting and mapping the effects of our coastal storms and sea-level rise is important because of the high vulnerability and associated costs in developed coastal areas. Learn more about historic and recent sea level rise and the associated potential local impacts through simulated images and animations.