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Getting a Feel for Ocean Science

Getting a Feel for Ocean Science

May 11, 2018

This spring, WHOI geobiologist Joan Bernhard (left) and geologist Véronique Le Roux (right) introduced students at the Perkins School for the Blind to foraminifera, or forams: small, single-celled organisms that abound in ocean waters and seafloor sediments. Bernhard collected a variety of forams which Le Roux scanned using x-ray micro-computed tomography. The computer models were then enlarged, 3-D printed, and chilled or warmed to reflect their native habitats. The students handled the models while listening to related audio, creating a multisensory experience. For example, for a deep-sea species, the model was refrigerated, and the students heard a recording of communications between the research vessel Atlantis and WHOI’s human-occupied submersible Alvin, which Bernhard has used to collect forams.(Photo courtesy of Véronique Le Roux, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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