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Images: Revealing the Ocean's Invisible Abundance

SHORE TO SHIP—WHOI researchers Alexi Shalapyonok, Heidi Sosik, and Robert Olson (left to right) carefully load the FlowCytobot onto a WHOI research vessel for installation on the seafloor at the Martha’s Vineyard Coastal Observatory. The instrument counts and identifies protist cells in the water, and the data are transmitted via undersea cable back to shore. (Tom Kleindinst, WHOI Graphic Services.)

OVER THE SIDE—the Submersible Incubation Device (SID) hangs from a cable, ready to be moored on the sea bottom, where it will take samples of surrounding seawater and measure photosynthesis in the ocean. (Craig Taylor, WHOI.)

TIRELESS UNDERSEA WORKER—The robotic Environmental Sample Processor (ESP) lifts off the deck and begins its journey to the seafloor off Monterey, California. It will be moored there for a lengthy stay and take repeated samples of protists in the water. (Kim Fulton-Bennett, ©2004 MBARI.)