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Elizabeth Halliday attaches winch collar to coring tube on beach in Duck, NC

The Core of the Matter

Elizabeth Halliday, a student in the MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography, attaches a winch collar to a coring tube so the tube can be pulled out of the sand. Each tube had been driven about 100 cm (39.4 inches) into the beach at Duck, N.C., to collect samples of sand that were later analyzed for the presence of bacterial DNA. The presence of fecal bacteria in water is a common cause of beach closures, and investigators are studying how physical processes at the beach may affect the distribution of indicator bacteria. In this study, WHOI scientists Rebecca Gast, Britt Raubenheimer, and Steve Elgar were examining whether wind and waves move bacteria along with sand.

(Photo by Rebecca Gast, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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