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News Releases


Robotic Deep-sea Vehicle Lost on Dive to 6-Mile Depth

On Saturday, May 10, 2014, at 2 p.m. local time (10 pm 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…

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WHOI Awarded Top Rating among Charities

WHOI

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. “This ‘exceptional’ designation from Charity Navigator differentiates Woods…

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Scientific Mission Will Explore One of the Deepest Ocean Trenches

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.

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Study Tests Theory that Life Originated at Deep Sea Vents

One of the greatest mysteries facing humans is how life originated on Earth. Scientists have determined approximately when life began (roughly 3.8 billion years ago), but there is still intense debate about exactly how life began. One possibility – that simple metabolic reactions emerged near ancient seafloor hot springs, enabling the leap from a non-living…

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Newly Upgraded Alvin Sub Passes Scientific Sea Trials

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. 

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Scientists Identify Core Skin Bacterial Community in Humpback Whales

In a paper published in the open access journal PLOS ONE, 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. 

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Enhancing Fisheries Science and Education in the Northeastern U.S.

Under a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration program called Quantitative Ecology and Socioeconomics Training (QUEST), the new partnership will focus on teaching and advising in a graduate fisheries program and developing new technologies to improve assessment and management capabilities. 

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New Research Shows Elevated Mercury from in-Ground Wastewater Disposal

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.…

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Chris Land Joins WHOI as General Counsel and VP for Legal Affairs

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.   As general counsel, Land will provide advice, opinions and representation on all areas of law affecting the Institution. Among his duties will be engaging in Institution…

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Scientists Train the Next Generation on Oil Spill Research

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. Marine chemist Chris Reddy studies how the many compounds that…

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Radioactive Ocean Website Garners Public Support

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. With no U.S. government or international plan to monitor the radiation levels in the ocean since the disaster, WHOI marine…

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Three Years after Fukushima: Tracking Radionuclides in the Pacific Ocean

Scientists have been keeping a close eye on how radionuclides from the Japanese power plant are being transported in the Pacific Ocean since the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident in March 2011. Now, three scientists are taking a closer look at cesium transport near Japan and across the Pacific, including when and where radiation…

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Karnauskas Selected for 2014 Sloan Research Fellowship

Karnauskas

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. “For more than half a century, the Sloan Foundation has…

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Killing Whales by Design and Default

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. Moore cites scientific literature, necropsy reports, and individual case studies in an…

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Solving An Evolutionary Puzzle

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…

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A Look Back and Ahead at Greenland’s Changing Climate

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…

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Radioactive Ocean Website a Success

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. Just two weeks after launching the crowdsourcing campaign…

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How Radioactive is Our Ocean?

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…

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New Study Finds Extreme Longevity in White Sharks

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). In the first successful radiocarbon age validation study for adult white sharks, researchers analyzed vertebrae from four females and four males from the northwestern Atlantic…

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