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News Releases


First Study of Dispersants in Gulf Spill Suggests a Prolonged Deepwater Fate

To combat last year?s Deepwater Horizon oil spill, nearly 800,000 gallons of chemical dispersant were injected directly into the oil and gas flow coming out of the wellhead nearly one mile deep in the Gulf of Mexico. Now, as scientists begin to assess how well the strategy worked at breaking up oil droplets, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) chemist Elizabeth B. Kujawinski and her colleagues report that a major component of the dispersant itself was contained within an oil-gas-laden plume in the deep ocean and had still not degraded some three months after it was applied.

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WHOI’s Avery, Doney Selected AAAS Fellows

Avery and Doney

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) President and Director Susan K. Avery and Senior Scientist Scott C. Doney have been elected Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

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WHOI Data Library to House and Preserve Ocean Ecosystem Archives

Alexander Graham Bell once said that when one door closes another one opens, and the open doors of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Data Library and Archives are making it possible to help preserve the voluminous archives of GLOBEC, a study of Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics, which closed at the end of 2009.

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Alvin Upgrade Project Featured at American Geophysical Union Meeting

The multi-million dollar upgrades to the storied deep-diving research submersible Alvin will be the focus of a press conference on December 15 at the 2010 American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco, CA. Upgrade Project Principal Investigator Susan Humphris, a WHOI geologist, will provide details of the improvements to the sub’s capabilities and its value to the U.S. scientific community.

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Tiny Protozoa May Hold Key to World Water Safety

Right now, it looks a little like one of those plastic containers you might fill with gasoline when your car has run dry. But Scott Gallager is not headed to the nearest Mobil station. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) biologist has other, grander plans for his revolutionary Swimming Behavioral Spectrophotometer (SBS), which employs one-celled protozoa to detect toxins in water sources.

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WHOI Website Will Take Viewers Deep into the Gulf

It may take years before scientists determine the full impact of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. But, utilizing the human-occupied submersible Alvin and the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Sentry, researchers are about to investigate?and view first-hand?the possible effects of the spill at the bottom of the Gulf. And, from Dec. 6-14, the mission will be relayed to the public as it happens on the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution?s (WHOI) Dive and Discover website (http://divediscover.whoi.edu).

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Novel Ocean-Crust Mechanism Could Affect World’s Carbon Budget

The Earth is constantly manufacturing new crust, spewing molten magma up along undersea ridges at the boundaries of tectonic plates. The process is critical to the planet?s metabolism, including the cycle of underwater life and the delicate balance of carbon in the ocean and atmosphere. Now, scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have observed ocean crust forming in an entirely unexpected way?one that may influence those cycles of life and carbon and, in turn, affect the much-discussed future of the world?s climate.

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What Lives in the Sea?

The Census of Marine Life, a ten-year project to catalog all life in the sea, discovered more than 6,000 new…

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WHOI Scientists Map and Confirm Origin of Large, Underwater Hydrocarbon Plume in Gulf

Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) detected and characterized a plume of hydrocarbons that is at least 22 miles long and more than 3,000 feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, a residue of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The work presents a forensic snapshot of the plume characteristics in June and is reported in a study appearing in the Aug. 19 issue of the journal Science.

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The Salp: Nature’s Near-Perfect Little Engine Just Got Better

What if trains, planes, and automobiles all were powered simply by the air through which they move? Moreover, what if their exhaust and byproducts helped the environment?
Well, such an energy-efficient, self-propelling mechanism already exists in nature. The salp, a smallish, barrel-shaped organism that resembles a kind of streamlined jellyfish, gets everything it needs from the ocean waters to feed and propel itself. And, scientists believe its waste material may actually help remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the upper ocean and the atmosphere.

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WHOI To Mark New Lab with Groundbreaking Celebration

Equipped with an $8.1 million federal Recovery Act grant and a shovel, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) will celebrate the groundbreaking of its new Laboratory for Ocean Sensors and Observing Systems (LOSOS) at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 4, at the Clark Laboratory on the Institution?s Quissett Campus.

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