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Special Series

Véronique LaCapra



Mesobot, Follow that Jellyfish!

Mesobot, Follow that Jellyfish!

WHO scientists and engineers are developing an innovative autonomous deep-sea vehicle with hovering and manuevering capabilities that will allow it to follow animals without disturbing their environment and behavior.

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Chasing Ocean ‘Snowflakes’

Chasing Ocean ‘Snowflakes’

Scientists envision putting a flotilla of devices in the ocean to act as “eyes” that can track the “marine snow” that drifts down into the ocean.

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Round Up the Unusual Suspects

Round Up the Unusual Suspects

A variety of genetic techniques are advancing ocean scientists’ ability to identify which organisms live where in the vast ocean twilight zone and to find previously unknown species.

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Students Get Their Sea Legs

Students Get Their Sea Legs

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is known for its ocean-going research. But some incoming graduate students in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program may never have set foot a large research ship before. A new orientation cruise aboard the research vessel Neil Armstrong is introducing students to shipboard life and oceanographic research.

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Mission to the Ocean Twilight Zone

Mission to the Ocean Twilight Zone

The twilight zone is a part of the ocean 660 to 3,300 feet below the surface, where little sunlight can reach. It is deep and dark and cold, and the pressures there are enormous. Despite these challenging conditions, the twilight zone teems with life that helps support the ocean’s food web and is intertwined with Earth’s climate. Some countries are gearing up to exploit twilight zone fisheries, with unknown impacts for marine ecosystems and global climate. Scientists and engineers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution are poised to explore and investigate this hidden frontier.

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Long-term Study Focuses on New England Ocean

Long-term Study Focuses on New England Ocean

The National Science Foundation has created a new Long Term Ecological Research site off the New England coast to increase understanding of an area of the ocean known for its abundant marine life and productive commercial fisheries.

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Tiny Jellyfish with a Big Sting

Tiny Jellyfish with a Big Sting

Clinging jellyfish in waters near Vladivostok, Russia, are known for their painful, toxic stings. In the U.S., where clinging jellies had been relatively harmless, a new, venomous variety has recently appeared on Cape Cod, Mass., and in nearby regions. WHOI biologist Annette Govindarajan is using genetic techniques to trace their geographic origins.

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Pinocchio’s Nose

Pinocchio's Nose

It took only a month for the new Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) to reveal insights about shifting ocean circulation patterns…

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Diving for Data

Diving for Data

It’s the middle of the night on Cape Cod, Mass. Thousands of miles away in the South Atlantic off the…

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A Pioneering Vision

A Pioneering Vision

In 2005, scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution devised a revolutionary plan: They would deploy about 150 scientific instruments in…

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When the Hunter Became the Hunted

When the Hunter Became the Hunted

In waters off Mexico’s Guadalupe Island, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) engineers deployed the REMUS SharkCam, a torpedo-shaped robotic vehicle…

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Extreme Climate

Extreme Climate

Extreme climatic events such as unusually severe storms and droughts can have profound consequences for life both on land and in the ocean. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution climate scientist Caroline Ummenhofer studies the ocean’s role in the global water cycle and its effects on extreme weather and climate.

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Scientist-Fisherman Partnership

Scientist-Fisherman Partnership

WHOI physical oceanographer Glen Gawarkiewicz is enlisting the help of local fishermen to find out how climate change is affecting water conditions along the southern New England coast.

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Eavesdropping on Shrimp’s Snap Chat

Eavesdropping on Shrimp's Snap Chat

At Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, marine ecologist Ashlee Lillis is studying a tiny animal that makes one of the ocean’s loudest natural sounds. It’s called a snapping shrimp. The noise it makes dominates the underwater soundscape in many coastal regions and may have an outsized effect on other marine life.

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Woman on Board

Woman on Board

When Meghan Donohue decided to become a mooring technician—a job usually done by men—she knew she would face challenges. Donohue is the first woman to join the Mooring Operations and Engineering Group at WHOI. She is also a new mother. In an interview, she describes some of her experiences working on research cruises and balancing family life with a career at sea.

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Warming Ocean Drove Catastrophic Australian Floods

Warming Ocean Drove Catastrophic Australian Floods

New research by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution physical oceanographer Caroline Ummenhofer and Australian scientists suggests that long-term warming of the Indian and Pacific Oceans is increasing the risk of heavy rains in the region.

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Whale-safe Fishing Gear

Whale-safe Fishing Gear

WHOI engineers are developing a new kind of lobster trap buoy that could help keep whales from getting tangled in fishing gear.

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As Bay Warms, Harmful Algae Bloom

As Bay Warms, Harmful Algae Bloom

Warming coastal waters off southern Massachusetts are worsening the effects of pollution from septic systems, wastewater treatment plants, and fertilizer…

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Remembering Knorr

After an iconic, 44-year career, the research vessel Knorr left the dock at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in March for the last time. It also left a place in the hearts of many who sailed on the ship or who had simply seen it in Woods Hole. A few of the people who watched it depart shared their memories of Knorr in this audio postcard.

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