WHOI scientists Pat Lohmann (left) and Neal Cantin drill into a massive starlet coral on a reef north of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, to remove a core sample. The core provides information about changing ocean conditions and how the coral responded to those changes over the last few hundred years. After the core is removed, the divers plug the drill hole with cement to prevent infection. The coral is fully recovered within a year.
(Photo courtesy of Anne Cohen, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)