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Oceanus Archives


Caught in the Middle of the Marine Mammal Protection Act

Caught in the Middle of the Marine Mammal Protection Act

In the past few years, several research projects have been halted because of conflicting interpretations of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Energy, shipping, and naval interests claim the MMPA hampers their ability to work in the sea. Environmentalists and animal rights want the act strictly enforced. In between are scientists.

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Analyzing Ancient Sediments at Warp Speed

Analyzing Ancient Sediments at Warp Speed

Like a toy out of a science fiction story, the X-ray fluorescence core scanner reveals intimate details of the composition of ancient mud and sediment–which can contain a variety of clues about past climate and environmental conditions on Earth–without breaking the surface. In a matter of hours, the XRF simultaneously captures digital photographs and X-ray images of every millimeter of a core sample, while detecting the presence of any of 80 chemical elements.

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Small Island. Big Ocean.

Small Island. Big Ocean.

This week, more than 200 WHOI scientists and graduate students will brave the balmy trade winds, drooping palm trees, and…

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An Ocean Warmer Than a Hot Tub

An Ocean Warmer Than a Hot Tub

Scientists have found evidence that tropical Atlantic Ocean temperatures may have once reached 107°F (42°C)—about 25°F (14°C) higher than today.…

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Float 312, Where Are You?

Float 312, Where Are You?

The ocean is so enormous, even a fleet of 2,338 ocean-monitoring instruments can sail into it and go largely unnoticed.…

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Under-ice Floats Offer a ‘Breakthrough’

Under-ice Floats Offer a ‘Breakthrough’

The Arctic Ocean, home to fierce winds, punishing temperatures, and thick sea ice, is no place for wimpy people?or machines. So when WHOI physical oceanographers Peter Winsor and Breck Owens set out to explore the largely unknown currents beneath the polar sea ice, they had to design an instrument with true grit. (Fifth in a five-part series.)

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The Flywheel of the Arctic Climate Engine

The Flywheel of the Arctic Climate Engine

A key component of the Arctic climate clockworks is the Beaufort Gyre?a bowl of cold, icy, relatively fresh waters north of Alaska that is swept by prevailing winds into a circular swirl larger than the Gulf of Mexico.

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Is Global Warming Changing the Arctic?

In the Arctic, the air, sea ice, and underlying ocean all interact in a delicately balanced system. Four ambitious Arctic projects are pulling back the icy veil that shrouds our understanding of the Arctic Ocean?s role in our climate system. (First of a five-part series.)

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Diving into the Right Whale Gene Pool

Like forensic detectives, a multi-institutional team of scientists has followed a thread of DNA from the highly endangered right whale population across the oceans and back through generations.

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Going Wireless in the Deep Blue

Going Wireless in the Deep Blue

How do you get long-term ocean measurements from any spot on the globe, with day by day feedback and low costs? If you are Dan Frye of the WHOI Advanced Engineering Laboratory, you take an old oceanographic concept?the moored buoy?and bring it into the 21st century with wireless technology.

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Institution Receives Surprise Bequest

Institution Receives Surprise Bequest

The latest news from around the Institution includes: the second-largest donation in WHOI history; training and awards for mid-career journalists; a new fund for graduate student training in seagoing skills; and a successful program for undergraduates.

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A Touchstone for Marine Chemists and Students Retires

A Touchstone for Marine Chemists and Students Retires

John Farrington touched the lives of hundreds of graduate and undergraduate students. He helped scores of young scientists launch their careers with postdoctoral scholarships. He won the admiration of colleagues for his leadership in the study of organic geochemistry in the ocean. In November, the chemical oceanographer and longtime dean and vice president for Academic Programs at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution stepped aside from his post.

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WHOI Opens New Research Facilities

WHOI Opens New Research Facilities

For the first time in 15 years, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has added significant office and laboratory space to its Quissett Campus. This fall, scientists, technical staff, and students started moving into more than 67,000 square feet of new space, a 25 percent increase in the Institution?s scientific facilities.

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