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News Releases


WHOI Announces 2013 Ocean Science Journalism Fellows

Ten science reporters, writers, and multimedia journalists from the U.S., Canada, and India have been selected to participate in the competitive Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Ocean Science Journalism Fellowship program. The program takes place September 8-13, 2013, in Woods Hole, Mass., on Cape Cod. This year’s fellows are: * Bobby Bascomb, Public Radio International’s…

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Scientists solve a 14,000-year-old ocean mystery

At the end of the last Ice Age, as the world began to warm, a swath of the North Pacific Ocean came to life. During a brief pulse of biological productivity 14,000 years ago, this stretch of the sea teemed with phytoplankton, amoeba-like foraminifera and other tiny creatures, who thrived in large numbers until the…

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Corals cozy up with bacterial buddies

Corals may let certain bacteria get under its skin, according to a new study by researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and soon to be published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology. The study offers the first direct evidence that Stylophora pistillata, a species…

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Robotic probe launcher may transform ocean data collection

Our understanding of the ocean and its variability relies on the tools ocean scientists deploy to collect data. One tool routinely used is the eXpendable BathyThermograph (XBT) probe, which is usually deployed by hand one at a time at sea. “We put a ship rider on board and they launch XBT probes approximately every hour…

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Scientists Discover Thriving Colonies of Microbes in Ocean ‘Plastisphere’

Scientists have discovered a diverse multitude of microbes colonizing and thriving on flecks of plastic that have polluted the oceans—a vast new human-made flotilla of microbial communities that they have dubbed the “plastisphere.” In a study recently published online in Environmental Science & Technology, the scientists say the plastisphere represents a novel ecological habitat in…

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Van Mooy awarded fellowship at Southampton, U.K.

Van Mooy

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) biochemist Benjamin Van Mooy has been awarded one of two inaugural fellowships at the University of Southampton in England. The Diamond Jubilee International Visiting Fellowship was established last year to commemorate the university’s 60th anniversary and to foster international collaboration. Van Mooy will spend about one month a year over…

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WHOI Welcomes Explorer and Director James Cameron and the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER

On Friday, June 14, filmmaker James Cameron delivered the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER, the only human-occupied vehicle currently able to access the deepest parts of the ocean, to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Dr. Susan Avery, president and director of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, along with the scientific research community, welcomed Cameron and the submersible to its new…

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Deep Biosphere Harbors Active, Growing Communities of Microorganisms

The deep biosphere—the realm of sediments far below the seafloor—harbors a vast ecosystem of bacteria, archaea, and fungi that are actively metabolizing, proliferating, and moving, according a new study by scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the University of Delaware (UD). “This is the first molecular evidence for active cell division in the…

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Ocean Science and Exploration Are Capitol Hill Focus for Explorer and Filmmaker James Cameron and WHOI President & Director Susan Avery

UPDATED 6/10/13 9 P.M.—Please note new locations for events at 9:30 & 12:30 p.m., new start time for Senate hearing (3 p.m.), and additional sponsor. Washington, D.C. – Explorer and director James Cameron will be on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, June 11, with Dr. Susan Avery, president and director of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for…

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New Explanation for Slow Earthquakes on San Andreas

New Zealand’s geologic hazards agency reported this week an ongoing, “silent” earthquake that began in January is still going strong. Though it is releasing the energy equivalent of a 7.0 earthquake, New Zealanders can’t feel it because its energy is being released over a long period of time, therefore slow, rather than a few short…

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Acidifying oceans could spell trouble for squid

Acidifying oceans could dramatically impact the world’s squid species, according to a new study led by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) researchers and just published online in the journal PLOS ONE. Because squid are both ecologically and commercially important, that impact may have far-reaching effects on the ocean environment and coastal economies, the researchers report.…

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Handbook Helping Bay State Residents Prepare for Coastal Hazards Released

With the official start of hurricane season set to begin June 1, the Massachusetts Homeowner’s Handbook to Prepare for Coastal Hazards is now available, marking National Hurricane Preparedness Week. While the devastating power of nor’easters in Massachusetts was visible this winter, we only have to remember Hurricane Bob in 1991 to know that hurricanes also…

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Scientists Find Possible Solution to an Ancient Enigma

The widespread disappearance of stromatolites, the earliest visible manifestation of life on Earth, may have been driven by single-celled organisms called foraminifera. The findings, by scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI); Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the University of Connecticut; Harvard Medical School; and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, were published online the week…

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Buesseler Appointed to Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences

Buesseler

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Senior Scientist Ken O. Buesseler has been appointed a foreign member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.  Buesseler is one of two foreign members in the 2013 cohort of 17 new members. The selection committee made special notice of Buesseler’s pioneering role in detection and interpretation of radioactive…

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Study reveals how fishing gear can cause slow death of whales

Using a “patient monitoring” device attached to a whale entangled in fishing gear, scientists showed for the first time how fishing lines changed a whale’s diving and swimming behavior. The monitoring revealed how fishing gear hinders whales’ ability to eat and migrate, depletes their energy as they drag gear for months or years, and can…

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Scientists Explore Roots of Future Tropical Rainfall

How will rainfall patterns across the tropical Indian and Pacific regions change in a future warming world? Climate models generally suggest that the tropics as a whole will get wetter, but the models don’t always agree on where rainfall patterns will shift in particular regions within the tropics. A new study, published online May 19…

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New Robotic Instruments to Provide Real-Time Data on Gulf of Maine Red Tide

A new robotic sensor deployed by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Gulf of Maine coastal waters may transform the way red tides or harmful algal blooms (HABs) are monitored and managed in New England. The instrument was launched at the end of last month, and a second such system will be deployed later this…

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WHOI to Host Public Event on Fukushima and the Ocean

Japan’s “triple disaster,” as it has become known, began on March 11, 2011, with a magnitude 9.0 earthquake—the fourth largest ever recorded. Following the quake, a 40 to 50-foot tsunami inundated the northeast Japanese coast and resulted in an estimated 20,000 missing or dead. The massive wave also caused catastrophic damage to the Fukushima Dai-ichi…

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Experts Call for Network to Monitor Marine Biodiversity

A group of oceanographic experts is calling for the establishment of a national network to monitor the diversity of marine life, a key bellwether of ocean and human health. Their work is described in the April 11 issue of BioScience. Lead author, Professor J. Emmett Duffy of William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science and…

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Research Enables Fishermen to Harvest Lucrative Shellfish on Georges Bank

Combined research efforts by scientists involved in the Gulf of Maine Toxicity (GOMTOX) project, funded by NOAA’s Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (ECOHAB) program, and administered by the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), have led to enhanced understanding of toxic algal blooms on Georges Bank.   This new information, coupled with an…

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