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Putting Environmental Sample Processor into test well

Watching for Red Tides

Senior engineering assistant Will Ostrom guides an Environmental Sample Processor (ESP) into the test well at the WHOI dock in early June 2011. The ESP is a seagoing lab: it autonomously samples seawater, counts the cells in it, analyzes their DNA and other key chemicals, and relays the data back to scientists on shore. This summer a research team led by WHOI scientist Don Anderson will moor the ESP in the Gulf of Maine to provide early warning of “red tides” or Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) that can make fish and shellfish dangerous to eat. HABs form when the toxin-producing alga Alexandrium fundyense has a population boom. The ESP was developed by WHOI/MIT Joint Program graduate Chris Scholin. (Photo by Jayne Doucette, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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