2014 News Releases
December 19, 2014
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has awarded WHOI a $5 million grant toward the construction of new facilities for the testing and research into innovative marine robotics.
December 18, 2014
Noise pollution in the ocean is increasingly recognized as harmful to marine mammals, affecting their ability to communicate, find mates, and hunt for food. But what impact does noise have on invertebrates – a critical segment of the food web?
December 16, 2014
Scientists studying the harsh and rapidly changing Arctic environment now have a valuable new tool to advance their work—an innovative robot, designed and built at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) that is changing the way scientists can interact with and observe the polar environment.
December 15, 2014
In collaboration with the Ocean Explorium in New Bedford, WHOI has created new digital content for museum-based spherical display systems that brings high-definition images and video of dynamic, deep ocean ecosystems to the public.
December 15, 2014
Assistant Scientist Jessica Tierney has been selected to receive the 2014 James B. Macelwane Medal from the American Geophysical Union (AGU).
December 15, 2014
Senior Scientist Daniel Fornari has been selected to receive the 2014 Edward A Flinn III Award from the America Geophysical Union.
December 15, 2014
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Scientist Emeritus Dr. John (Jack) Whitehead has been selected to receive the 2014 Maurice Ewing Medal from the America Geophysical Union (AGU).
December 12, 2014
The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Bonn, Germany, has recognized two Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists with honors: Chris German received a Humboldt Research Award and Caroline Ummenhofer was chosen for a Humboldt Research Fellowship.
December 4, 2014
As California finally experiences the arrival of a rain-bearing Pineapple Express this week, two climate scientists from the University of Minnesota and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have shown that the drought of 2012-2014 has been the worst in 1,200 years.
December 3, 2014
Scientists call for maintenance efforts to be started now to avert the loss of vast expanses of coastline, and the consequent losses of ecological services, economic and social crises, and large-scale migrations.
December 1, 2014
WHOI life trustee Professor Robert Solow and former WHOI trustee Professor Mildred Dresselhaus have been awarded the 2014 Presidential Medal of Freedom.
November 26, 2014
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), as a part of the Stantec Team, has been selected by an interagency scientific review panel to lead a long-term scientific study of the Arctic marine ecosystem along the Beaufort Sea shelf from Barrow, Alaska, to the Mackenzie River delta in Canadian waters.
November 24, 2014
The first detailed, high-resolution 3-D maps of Antarctic sea ice have been developed using an underwater robot. Scientists from the UK, USA and Australia say the new technology provides accurate ice thickness measurements from areas that were previously too difficult to access.
November 12, 2014
Admiral Jonathan Greenert, the Chief of Naval Operations, visited WHOI Nov. 6 for firsthand discussions with scientists and engineers conducting research and building technology with potential to enhance Naval capabilities and operations.
November 10, 2014
Monitoring efforts along the Pacific Coast of the U.S. and Canada have detected the presence of small amounts of radioactivity from the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident 100 miles (150 km) due west of Eureka, California.
October 30, 2014
Earth is known as the Blue Planet because of its oceans, which cover more than 70 percent of the planet's surface and are home to the world's greatest diversity of life. While water is essential for life on the planet, the answers to two key questions have eluded us: where did Earth’s water come from and when?
October 27, 2014
Nearly five years after the Deepwater Horizon explosion spilled roughly 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, scientists are still working to answer the question: Where did all the oil go?
October 9, 2014
The Explorers Club has chosen David Gallo, Director of Special Projects at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), as one of the recipients of this year's Lowell Thomas Award. He is among six recipients who will be honored for their "imagination in exploration" at a dinner on October 11, 2014, at the Bowers Museum in Southern California.
October 9, 2014
A Greek and international team of divers and archaeologists has retrieved stunning new finds from an ancient Greek treasure ship that sank more than 2000 years ago off the remote island of Antikythera. The rescued antiquities include tableware, ship components, and a giant bronze spear that would have belonged to a life-sized warrior statue.
October 7, 2014
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) researchers are part of a collaborative effort to understand and monitor changes in marine biodiversity within U.S. coastal waters. Marine biodiversity is a key indicator of ocean health and critical to sustaining natural resources such as fisheries.
September 19, 2014
The human-occupied sub Alvin was the “guest of honor” this week at House and Senate staff briefings and a reception at the U.S. Capitol, commemorating 50 years of service as our nation’s deepest diving research submersible.
September 4, 2014
In a study published in the journal Science, a research team led by WHOI demonstrated that they can identify and measure proteins in the ocean, revealing how singled-celled marine organisms and ocean ecosystems are operating.
September 3, 2014
WHOI scientists have received a $1 million grant from The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to develop science-based climate change adaptation solutions for coastal communities.
August 19, 2014
Eight writers, filmmakers, and multimedia science journalists from the U.S., England, and The Gambia have been selected to participate in the competitive Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Ocean Science Journalism Fellowship program. The program takes place September 7-12, 2014, in Woods Hole, Mass., on Cape Cod.
August 18, 2014
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists Rockwell Geyer, Susumu Honjo, and Delia Oppo have been elected 2014 fellows of the American Geophysical Union (AGU).
August 11, 2014
When a team from WHOI took a specially equipped REMUS SharkCam underwater vehicle to Guadalupe Island in Mexico to film great white sharks in the wild, they captured more than they bargained for.
August 6, 2014
WHOI scientists report on the first direct calculation of global mercury pollution in the world's ocean. The study shows three times more mercury in upper ocean since the Industrial Revolution.
August 4, 2014
The one-of-a-kind, deep-diving submersible DEEPSEA CHALLENGER will travel from its home at WHOI to the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan, on Mon., Aug. 4, for the premiere of the feature film, “DEEPSEA CHALLENGER 3D.”
August 1, 2014
Whale sharks (Rhincodon typus)—which grow more than 30 feet long—are the largest fish in the world's ocean, but little is known about their movements on a daily basis or over years. A newly discovered juvenile whale shark aggregation off Saudi Arabia is giving researchers a rare glimpse into the lives of these gentle giants.
July 15, 2014
A new study has found that the dispersant compound DOSS, which decreases the size of oil droplets and hampers the formation of large oil slicks, remains associated with oil and can persist in the environment for up to four years.
July 3, 2014
This summer, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s “Science Made Public” series celebrates the deep-diving submersible Alvin’s 50 years in operation.
July 2, 2014
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has appointed James Bellingham as the first director of its Center for Marine Robotics.
July 1, 2014
Thought to dwell mostly near the ocean's surface, Chilean devil rays (Mobula tarapacana) are most often seen gliding through shallow, warm waters. But a new study by scientists at WHOI and international colleagues reveals that these large and majestic creatures are actually among the deepest-diving ocean animals.
June 29, 2014
An international team of scientists studying Emperor penguin populations across Antarctica finds the iconic animals in danger of dramatic declines by the end of the century due to climate change.
June 22, 2014
Research by scientists at WHOI and the Univ. of Oregon sheds new light onto the connection between the ocean and Greenland’s outlet glaciers, and provides important data for future estimates of how fast the ice sheet will melt and how much mass will be lost.
June 12, 2014
A group of scientists have traced the genetics of modern penguin populations back to their early ancestors from the last Ice Age to better understand how three Antarctic penguin species – gentoo, Adélie, and chinstrap penguins – fared in response to past climate change.
June 5, 2014
Like all other life forms, phytoplankton require the element phosphorus to carry out critical cellular activity, but in some parts of the world’s ocean, phosphorus is in limited supply.
June 5, 2014
Alvin, the iconic research submersible owned by the U.S. Navy and operated by WHOI, turns 50 this year. Christened on June 5, 1964, the sub has been a workhorse for U.S. scientists, safely taking approximately 2,600 researchers on nearly 4,900 dives, and enabling countless scientific discoveries.
May 21, 2014
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) biologist Dr. Rebecca Gast and Falmouth (Mass.) High School art teacher Jane Baker have teamed up to bring the excitement of polar research to Falmouth art students.
May 16, 2014
The Population Association of America (PAA) selected WHOI biologist Hal Caswell to receive the 2014 Mindel C. Sheps Award for his contributions to mathematical demography. The prestigious honor is awarded to one scientist biennially on the basis of important contributions to knowledge either in the form of a single piece of work or a continuing record of high achievement.
May 14, 2014
How well do marine mammals hear in the wild? WHOI biologist Aran Mooney and his colleagues are the first to publish a study of hearing in a population of wild marine mammals.
May 10, 2014
On Saturday, May 10, 2014, at 2 p.m. local time (10 p.m. Friday EDT), the hybrid remotely operated vehicle Nereus was confirmed lost at 9,990 meters (6.2 miles) depth in the Kermadec Trench northeast of New Zealand. The unmanned vehicle was working as part of a mission to explore the ocean's hadal region from 6,000 to nearly 11,000 meters deep. Scientists say a portion of it likely imploded under pressure as great as 16,000 pounds per square inch.
May 7, 2014
Scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) are kicking off an innovative NOAA-funded pilot program using robotic instruments and computer modeling analysis to shed light on changing ocean conditions in the Gulf of Maine as they relate to the harmful algal bloom (HAB) phenomenon commonly known as the New England red tide.
April 22, 2014
No place on the planet is more vulnerable to climate change than the polar regions of the Arctic and the Antarctic. To discuss this, leading scientists in the fields of polar research will convene at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) for a scientific workshop that will also include a free public event and art exhibit.
April 15, 2014
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has received the highest rating for sound fiscal management, accountability, and transparency by Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest charity evaluator. WHOI has earned the highest 4-star rating for seven consecutive years, a distinction attained by only 2 percent of all charities rated.
April 10, 2014
An international team of researchers led by deep-sea biologist Tim Shank of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) will use the world's only full-ocean depth, hybrid remotely operated vehicle, Nereus, and other advanced technology to explore life in the depths of the Kermadec Trench.
April 9, 2014
Research by geochemists at WHOI is the first to test a fundamental assumption of the theory that life emerged from deepsea hydrothermal vents, and finds that it may not have been as easy as previously assumed. Instead, their findings could provide a focus for the search for life on other planets.
March 28, 2014
Scientists gave the rebuilt Alvin submarine two thumbs up after field-testing the nation’s only human-occupied deep-sea research vehicle for the first time after a major $42-million overhaul that dramatically upgraded the sub's capabilities.
March 26, 2014
Researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and colleagues identified a core skin bacterial community that humpback whales share across populations, which could point to a way to assess the overall health of these endangered marine mammals.
March 11, 2014
The NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC), the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), and the University of Massachusetts School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) are working together to train future generations of scientists in a program designed to address an anticipated shortfall of researchers in the fields of quantitative fisheries and ecosystem science.
March 10, 2014
As towns across Cape Cod struggle with problems stemming from septic systems, a recent study by a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientist focuses on one specific toxic by-product: mercury. In a study of local groundwater, biogeochemist Carl Lamborg found microbial action on wastewater transforms it into more mobile, more toxic forms of the element.
February 28, 2014
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has appointed Christopher Land to be its General Counsel and Vice President for Legal Affairs. Land assumes his post on March 3.
February 25, 2014
As part of on-going research nearly four years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) will team up with a group of high school students in Florida to collect remnants of oil from Gulf Coast beaches this week.
February 24, 2014
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has teamed up with the public to build the most comprehensive and up-to-date dataset on marine radiation levels in the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster.
February 19, 2014
A press conference with scientists researching Fukushima radiation in the Pacific
February 18, 2014
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientist Kristopher Karnauskas has been selected to receive a 2014 Sloan Research Fellowship. Awarded annually since 1955, the fellowships are given to early-career scientists and scholars whose achievements and potential identify them as rising stars—the next generation of scientific leaders.
February 13, 2014
While countries such as Japan, Norway, and Iceland often are criticized for their commercial whaling practices, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) marine biologist Michael Moore points out how the majority of nations are also complicit in killing whales by deploying commercial fishing gear.
February 12, 2014
For four decades, waste from nearby manufacturing plants flowed into the waters of New Bedford Harbor—an 18,000-acre estuary and busy seaport. The harbor, which is contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and heavy metals, is one of the EPA’s largest Superfund cleanup sites. It’s also the site of an evolutionary puzzle that researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and their colleagues have been working to solve.
February 6, 2014
Over the past two decades, ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet increased four-fold contributing to one-quarter of global sea level rise. However, the chain of events and physical processes that contributed to it has remained elusive. One likely trigger for the speed up and retreat of glaciers that contributed to this ice loss is ocean warming.
January 28, 2014
With concern among the public over the plume of radioactive ocean water from Fukushima arriving on the West Coast of North America and no U.S. government or international plan to monitor it, a new project from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is filling a timely information gap.
January 24, 2014
After a three-year overhaul and major upgrade, the United States' deepest-diving research submersible, Alvin, has been cleared to return to work exploring the ocean’s depths.
January 16, 2014
Ocean researchers working on the coral reefs of Palau in 2011 and 2012 made two unexpected discoveries that could provide insight into corals’ resistance and resilience to ocean acidification and aid in the creation of a plan to protect them.
January 14, 2014
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Scientist Receives Grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation
The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation has awarded Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) assistant scientist Anna Michel $200,000 to develop a sensor that will enable scientists to analyze how methane emissions fluctuate in the Arctic.
January 14, 2014
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) marine chemist Ken Buesseler began sampling and analyzing seawater surrounding the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant three months after the 2011 disaster. Today, he launched a crowd sourcing campaign and citizen science website to collect and analyze seawater along the West Coast of North America as the radioactive plume travels 5,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean this year.
January 8, 2014
Great white sharks—top predators throughout the world's ocean—grow much slower and live significantly longer than previously thought, according to a new study led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).