2011 Talks

All talks are held on Tuesdays at 2:30 at the WHOI Ocean Science Exhibit Center Auditorium, 15 School Street, Woods Hole. (unless otherwise noted)
» Download pdf version of the July 2011 Science Made Public Talks
» Download pdf version of the August 2011 Science Made Public Talks
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July 5 - The Search for and Discovery of Air France Flight 447

New Location: Redfield Auditorium
Dave Gallo, WHOI Director of Special Projects

On April 4, a team led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) located the wreckage of Air France Flight 447 in the Atlantic Ocean off Brazil’s northeastern coast in nearly 2.5 miles of water. Learn how the search team scoured some of the most rugged seafloor terrain using specialized vehicles to find the wreck, whose location remained a mystery for nearly two years. The crew’s success enabled the recovery of the flight data recorders— crucial for providing answers to the victims’s families and the airline industry about why the plane went down.

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July 12 - Where the Rivers Meet the Oceans

Bernhard Peucker-Ehrenbrink, Marine Geochemist

River water accounts for only a tiny fraction of water on Earth, and it would take about three thousand years of river flow to fill the ocean basins. Yet despite this seemingly insignificant contribution, rivers supply the coastal oceans with nutrients that are essential to marine life, deliver sediments that sustain beaches, provide pathways for shipping, and freshwater for agriculture, industry and human consumption. Learn how the Global Rivers Project, a collaborative research effort by WHOI, the Woods Hole Research Center and international partners, is helping researchers better understand how rivers and their drainage basins are changing with the climate, and their impact on the coastal ocean.

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July 19 - Right Whale Ecology and Conservation

Mark Baumgartner, Marine Biologist

With a population of approximately 450, the North Atlantic Right Whale, an inhabitant of our local New England waters, is seriously endangered. Its unique feeding behavior makes it vulnerable to two significant causes of mortality: fishing gear entanglements and ship strikes. Learn what we know about right whale feeding behavior and how recent research has improved conservation efforts.

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July 26 - Imaging the Seafloor with Robotic Vehicles

Hanu Singh, Oceanographic Engineer

Marine robots are now becoming ubiquitous in oceanographic applications. Learn how underwater robots and imaging systems are changing the way we approach socially and economically relevant research arenas as diverse as fisheries, coral reef ecology, marine archaeology, and under-ice ecosystems.

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August 2 - White Sharks in Our Backyard

Greg Skomal, Marine Biologist

White sharks are coming back to New England's coastal waters, drawn in by the growing gray seal population. Learn about the first-time efforts of marine scientists to study the ecology of white sharks in the North Atlantic and see the debut of footage taken of this species in 2010. This talk will be held in Redfield Auditorium.

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August 9 - 30 Days Aboard the R/V Knorr: a Photographic Journey Behind the Scenes of an Oceanographic Cruise

Carolina Nobre, Physical Oceanographer

Oceanographic cruises are a crucial part of much of the science carried out at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). While at sea, science and ship crew members work closely in order to ensure the success of the mission. This photographic essay chronicles the 30 days spent aboard the R/V Knorr during the Dynamite cruise in May/June of 2011. The images provide a closer look at the everyday life onboard a Research Vessel, as well as the people who work tirelessly to ensure the steady progress of science at WHOI.

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August 16 - What's Love Got To Do With It?

Diane Murphy, Fisheries and Aquaculture Specialist

Bivalves utilize various reproductive strategies to ensure the success of future generations. Some species, such as oysters, begin life as males only to later switch to female, whereas bay scallops are able to produce both male and female gametes. Efforts to restore or enhance native populations of shellfish are often tailored to capitalize on bivalve reproductive characteristics. Conversely, some research involves minimizing or eliminating reproduction all together. Learn about current research projects here on Cape Cod that incorporates these bivalve traits.

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August 23 - Stress and the Sea Anemone

Ann Tarrant, Marine Biologist

The starlet sea anemone, a small animal found in salt marshes on Cape Cod, is a close relative of reef-building corals. Like other animals, corals and sea anemones can be stressed by exposure to extreme temperatures, ultraviolet light, and chemical pollution. Fortunately, animals have evolved powerful mechanisms to protect their cells from damage. In many ways these defenses are similar in all animals, from sea anemones to humans, but it is important to understand which animals may be particularly vulnerable to certain types of stress. Find out how we are studying the effects of environmental stressors on sea anemones, including potential impacts from oil spills.