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Oceanus Magazine Underwater Archaeology

Can environmental DNA help us find lost US service members?

Ocean scientists explore how eDNA may be able to help find and identify lost military personnel in the ocean

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North Atlantic right whale “Snow Cone” (Catalog #3560) sighted December 2, 2021 entangled and with a new calf.
CREDIT: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission taken under NOAA permit 20556.
(Courtesy of Daniel Zitterbart, © WHOI, Fau Erlangen)
(Illustration by Natalie Renier, © Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
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WHOI’s Phil Arevalo (left) and Stefan Sievert remove one of the incubation devices used to measure the activities of the chemosynthetic microbes from the sediment. The incubation devices were originally built in the 1980’s by WHOI’s Carl Wirsen and Holger Jannasch and were part of a free-falling instrument to measure the activities of microorganisms breaking down organic matter in deep-sea sediments. For the present study, they were adapted to be used by scuba divers. (Photo credit: Dr. Costantino Vetriani, Rutgers University)
Photo by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash
A juvenile hamlet, a kind of seabass, finds refuge among the seagrass along the shores of Lameshur Bay in the U.S. Virgin Islands. (Paul Caiger, © Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
Crew on the WHOI-operated research vessel Neil Armstrong prepare to deploy a sediment corer to the seafloor of the Puerto Rico Trench. (Photo by Paul Walczak, Oregon State University)
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Acropora coral were decimated after severely low-oxygen water shoaled onto a shallow-water reef in Panama over a few days in 2017. (Photo courtesy of Maggie Johnson)
The M/V Bulk Xaymaca will work with WHOI’s Science RoCS program on its route between Jamaica and New Orleans, beginning this spring, to capture data such as the speed of ocean currents and the air temperature, humidity, and sea level pressure, which helps scientists forecast weather and understand climate changes. This route will provide observations in the Gulf of Mexico as it crosses the Loop Current and its rich ocean eddy field. Photo credit: Kerry Strom ©Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
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(Dan Mele, © Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
Kelp helps form the backbone of the ecosystems in which they are found, providing habitat and food for thousands of species. To further investigate and track kelp growth and survival over time, WHOI and collaborators have launched the world’s largest map of kelp forest canopies extending from Baja California, Mexico to the Oregon-Washington border. Image credit © Ralph Pace.
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The Conger Ice Shelf in East Antarctica completely collapsed on/around March 15, 2022. This image was captured using Landsat 8 satellite data on March 23, 2022. Experts including WHOI’s Catherine Walker say this was a surprise because while ice shelf collapse is something we predict to happen in West Antarctica, East Antarctica is the highest, coldest, driest place in the world and mostly thought of as stable. © Catherine Walker, WHOI
Gulf of Mexico surface waves forming in front of a sunset. Photo by Chris Linder
© Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Peter de Menocal
Peter de Menocal
A man with glasses and blonde hair holds a rectangular black box. His reflection can be seen opposite his face.
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