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deploying a surface drifter 20 miles from Race Point

Going Adrift

Sophia Merrifield, a student in the MIT/WHOI Joint Program, prepares to deploy a surface drifter with the help of WHOI physical oceanographer Dave Fratantoni about 20 miles off the tip of Cape Cod. As it drifts, the instrument reports its position via satellite, which tells scientists about the speed and direction of surface flows. In this experiment, done in collaboration with James Manning of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, the researchers used many kinds of instruments to study water movements that affect the distribution of copepods, small crustaceans that are the major food source for the endangered North Atlantic right whale. (Photo by Nick Woods, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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