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News Releases


WHOI Director Appointed to U.S. Commission to UNESCO

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) President and Director Robert Gagosian has been appointed to the U.S. National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The National Commission, re-established by the U.S. Department of State on October 20, 2004 to support the U.S. re-entry into UNESCO, will serve as a federal advisory…

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Five WHOI Researchers Recognized for Contributions to Science and Education

Five researchers have been recognized by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) for their contributions to ocean sciences research and education. All will receive funding provided by the endowed awards to support their research over periods of three to five years. The awards are effective January 1, 2005. Four of the researchers have been named…

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WHOI Researcher Honored for Contributions to Education

Mullineaux

A Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) biologist has been honored for her contributions to graduate education with the Institution’s first Arnold B. Arons Award for Excellence in Teaching, Advising and Mentoring. Dr. Lauren Mullineaux, a senior scientist in the Biology Department, was recognized by students, alumni/ae and colleagues for her sustained excellence in the Institution’s…

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Clues from Past Hurricanes Help Assess Future Storm Risks

Reconstructing the history and intensity of hurricanes is useful when assessing future risks of these extreme events in coastal regions. Previous studies of North Atlantic hurricane activity have identified many of the environmental factors that presently influence tropical cyclone activity. However, study data is restricted to a relatively short 100-150 year historic record, making it…

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Novel Instrument Sheds Light on Plankton Populations in Coastal Waters

Cabled ocean observatories, like the Martha’s Vineyard Coastal Observatory (MVCO), and new sensors like the Flow Cytobot are enabling scientists to study plankton community structure and processes with unprecedented detail. MVCO is connected to shore by a fiber optic cable that provides unlimited power and data transmission capabilities 24/7 and allows scientists to plug in…

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New Hydrothermal Vents in the Pacific Located and Mapped with Robotic Vehicle

Three new deep-sea hydrothermal vent fields were discovered in September 2004 in the Lau Basin in the western Pacific between Tonga, Fiji and Samoa and were geologically and biologically mapped by the Autonomous Benthic Explorer (ABE), one of WHOI’s autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). Digital images and mosaic maps made using ABE were then used to…

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Underwater Robot Makes History Crossing the Gulf Stream

Like the sailing vessel used by Captain Joshua Slocum to sail solo around the world 100 years ago, another ocean-going vehicle is making history. A small ocean glider named Spray is the first autonomous underwater vehicle, or AUV, to cross the Gulf Stream underwater, proving the viability of self-propelled gliders for long-distance scientific missions and…

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Jellies in Antarctica

Salps, members of a large group of free-swimming, gelatinous organisms collectively known as jellies, are more common than previously thought in the waters around Antarctica. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists are studying the role of these fragile creatures in the Southern Ocean food chain, long thought to be based on krill. Salps may have…

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Finding Nemo, and All His Relatives?

Institution researchers will spend the next three months in Papua, New Guinea tracking clownfish, the same species made popular in the animated film “Finding Nemo,” as part of population studies. The team will tag all the embryos produced by approximately 150 pairs of adult clownfish living in the reefs of Kimbe Bay, New Britian, track…

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Monitoring Undersea Earthquakes, Deep Sea Tides and Magnetic Fields

One of the largest known mineral deposits in the deep sea, the Tag hydrothermal site on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) in the North Atlantic Ocean, was the subject of a recent month-long cruise aboard the WHOI research vessel Knorr. Institution scientists and engineers used the remotely operated or tethered vehicle Jason for the first time…

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Phoning Home from the Ocean Floor – by Computer

Oceanographers will soon be able to sit in their labs ashore and communicate with instruments in the water at ocean observatories around the world, enabling researchers to direct instruments to respond to recent events like hurricanes and earthquakes in that area. Underwater sensors of all types, from biological and chemical samplers to current meters and…

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Sea Otters and a Sense of Smell

Contrary to popular belief that marine mammals have a poor sense of smell, sea otters may have a nose that can actually help them distinguish between contaminated and safe abalone and clams, some of their favorite foods. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) researchers are studying olfaction – the ability to smell – in sea otters…

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Our Moving Shoreline and Changing Climate

Sea level rise, eroding coastlines and increasing economic impact from severe storms on coastal communities are all part of studies underway at the Institution’s Coastal Ocean Institute. Climate researchers note that 2004 has been an unusually active hurricane season in the Atlantic, in part due to unusually warm tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures that are…

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A Milestone for JASON

The Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) JASON completed its 100th dive August 1 in Adak Canyon in the Aleutian Island chain as part of the Aleutian Coral Research Expedition (ACRE), funded by the NOAA’s West Coast and Polar Regions Undersea Research Center. JASON collected rock, coral and biological samples in the steep-walled canyon between Adak and…

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Deeper-Diving Human Occupied Submersible to Replace Alvin

Arlington, VA –After 40 years of scientific research that led to the discovery of new life forms, helped confirm the theory of plate tectonics, and enthralled schoolchildren around the world with seafloor images and video, the research submersible Alvin will be replaced by a new, deeper-diving vehicle. The National Science Foundation (NSF) will provide funding…

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Insights into Harmful Algal Blooms

WHOI scientists have been sampling a coastal pond as part of a study of the effects of nutrients on toxic micro-algae that frequently contaminate shellfish in the pond and nearby marsh system with potent neurotoxins. The methods and approaches used in Salt Pond in Eastham, MA, can be applied to other HAB species and HAB…

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A New Seafloor Observatory System

Monitoring earthquakes and changing ocean conditions, and adapting experiments to those changes, will now be possible with a new type of acoustically-linked moored observatory developed by WHOI scientists and engineers with colleagues at the University of Washington. The new observatory allows, for the first time, two-way communication between instruments on the seafloor or in the…

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Where Currents Collide and Marine Mammals Gather

Cape Hatteras, where the Gulf Stream veers off the continental slope into the deep ocean and heads toward Europe, will be the site of two intensive surveys in August 2004 and January-February 2005 to study frontal structures and the related distribution of marine mammals. During winter months, a strong surface thermal front forms which may…

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WHOI Elects Members and Trustees at Spring Meeting of the Corporation

Nine new members and two new trustees were elected at the recent Joint Meeting of the Board of Trustees and Corporation at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. All Members will serve until 2007. Members are elected initially for a term of three years and are eligible for reelection to six-year terms. Trustees serve four-year terms…

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Abrupt Climate Change Brought to Public Attention in Hollywood Movie

The movie The Day After Tomorrow, released today by 20th Century Fox, paints a dramatic picture of the effects of climate change – and raises questions about the boundary between science and science fiction. How fast can Earth’s climate change? Will global warming raise sea level and flood coastal cities? If our climate cools, will…

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New Chair of the Corporation Elected at WHOI

Thomas B. Wheeler, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, has been elected Chairman of the Corporation of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).

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