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News Releases


Two WHOI Scientists Recognized with Endowed Positions

Two scientists have been recognized by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) for their contributions to ocean sciences research. Drs. Daniel J. Fornari of the Geology and Geophysics Department and Rui Xin Huang of the Physical Oceanography Department have been named recipients of a W. Van Alan Clark Chair for Excellence in Oceanography at the Institution. Each endowed chair brings financial support for a period of five years, allowing the recipient the freedom to pursue a variety of career interests. The awards were announced today during the Institution’s fall meeting of the Board of Trustees and Members of the Corporation and are effective January 1, 2002.

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International Expedition to the Top of the World May Hold Clues To Formation of Earth’s Crust

When the new U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker HEALY departs Tromso, Norway, July 31 for a two-month cruise across the Arctic Ocean, scientists won’t be studying the ice cap but the seafloor far below. Their focus will be the Gakkel Ridge, three miles beneath the ocean surface, the slowest spreading ridge on earth. It is a window into the earth’s interior scientists hope will help fill a gap in their knowledge of how the earth’s crust forms.

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Contaminated Sediments Topic of Congressional Hearing

Associate Director for Education, Dean of Graduate Studies and Senior Scientist John Farrington of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has been invited to testify July 19 before a Congressional committee on strategies to address sediments contaminated with PCBs and other toxic chemicals. The hearing, before the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, will begin at 9:30 a.m. in. in Room 2167 of the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, DC.

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Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Receives U.S. Coast Guard Public Service Commendation

Citing assistance with a number of highly visible projects and a productive long-term relationship, RADM George Naccara of the U.S. Coast Guard presented the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) with its Public Service Commendation April 24, 2001, during dockside ceremonies at the Group Woods Hole facility. WHOI Director Robert Gagosian and Associate Director For Marine Operations Richard Pittenger accepted the award on behalf of the Institution.

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Winter in Antarctica Waters: Biology in the Southern Ocean Focus of New International Research Program and Partnerships

As weather warms in New England and we dream of summer days, a team of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists has headed south to the frigid waters around Antarctica for the first of a series of international cruises to study the distribution and behavior of krill – the major food source for most animals in the Southern Ocean. The eight-member WHOI team is using a variety of new technologies including a remotely operated vehicle to study the small shrimp-like crustaceans that form the base of the food chain for whales, penguins, seals and other marine life.

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Scientists Release First Images of Hydrothermal Vents Found in the Indian Ocean

Scientists exploring a remote area of the central Indian Ocean seafloor two and one-half miles deep have found animals that look like fuzzy snowballs and chimney-like structures two stories tall spewing super-heated water full of toxic metals. The findings, released on the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Dive and Discover Web site (http://www.divediscover.whoi.edu/) were made at the start of a month-long expedition funded by the National Science Foundation. Images and data from the seafloor may provide critical answers to long standing questions about the diversity of life in the deep sea, how animals move from place to place and how the ocean crust is changing. A Japanese team is reported to have discovered hydrothermal vents in the Indian Ocean last fall, but little information has been publicly available.

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Dive and Discover Web Site Puts Classrooms on the Frontier of Ocean Exploration

(Woods Hole, MA–3/26/01)A?The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) announces the launch on March 27 of an Internet expedition in the central Indian Ocean called Dive and Discover (www.divediscover.whoi.edu). By following the daily activities and progress of the scientific mission, students and teachers in 22 states and Guam will be among the first to know of scientists’ discoveries at the seafloor in one of Earth’s most remote regions.

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Dartmouth Resident Honored by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Local resident Gratia R. “Topsy” Montgomery of South Dartmouth was honored recently by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) with its prestigious Cecil H. Green Award. The award, named for Texas Instruments’ founder and philanthropist, Cecil H. Green, is presented to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to oceanographic research at the Institution.

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After Three and One-Half-Years, R/V Atlantis and DSV Alvin Return Home December 15, 2000

WHAT: Research Vessel ATLANTIS and the Deep-Diving Submersible ALVIN will return home to Woods Hole December 15 after a record three and one-half year voyage of exploration and discovery. The ship and sub left Woods Hole June 2, 1997 for an extended voyage in the Atlantic and Pacific. Since then the ship has made 60 legs or separate cruises on Voyage #3 in the North Atlantic, North Pacific, and South Pacific as far south as Easter Island. ALVIN, which carries three people nearly 15,000 feet into the ocean and is the nationA?s only deep-diving human occupied submersible, made its first dive south of the Equator during the voyage. The sub will be lifted off the ATLANTIS December 19 and begin a scheduled overhaul, which happens every three years, in dock facilities. R/V ATLANTIS will depart Woods Hole December 27 for a Tampa, FL, shipyard for scheduled maintenance before returning to general oceanographic research cruises in early 2001.

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WHOI Honored as a Massachusetts Employer of the Year

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution was honored today by Governor Paul Cellucci as one of 17 employers in the state cited for providing “a wide variety of employment opportunities for workers with disabilities.” The companies honored range from the nation’s largest mutual fund to a family-owned food market and an amusement park. The Institution was nominated for its efforts to help Associate Scientist Amy Bower of the Physical Oceanography Department, who is legally blind.

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U.S. Navy to Launch Ship Named for Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Scientist

It wonA?t be just another ship launching when the USNS MARY SEARS rolls down the ways at the Halter Marine Shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi, October 19. For the first time in its 225-year history, the Navy is naming one of its research vessels for a woman, Mary Sears. A marine biologist, the late Mary Sears was one of the first staff members at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI ) and a guiding force in its development. She remianed on staff for many years and was a Scientist Emeritus at the time of her death in 1997. A WAVE during World War II, she provided intelligence reports predicting the presence of areas of the ocean where submarines could help escape enemy detection.

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Submersible ALVIN to Dive in Gulf of Mexico, Investigate Gas Hydrates and Unusual Marine Life

For the first time in eight years, the Woods Hole Oceanographic InstitutionA?s Research Vessel Atlantis and deep-diving submersible Alvin will spend the next two weeks investigating gas hydrates, a new potential energy resource, and unusual marine life in the Gulf of Mexico. Scientists from a number of universities, government agencies and research laboratories are aboard Atlantis for the expedition, which is scheduled to depart Galveston, Texas, today. The cruise will end in Key West, Florida, on October 31. Fourteen dives are planned during the two-week expedition, including a number of dives in previously unexplored deep waters of the Gulf.

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U.S. Postal Service Issues Deep Sea Creatures Stamps

Alien life in the deep sea will soon be affixed to first class mail across the nation as the U.S. Postal Service issues five 33-cent commemorative stamps of deep-sea creatures this month. Three of the stamps are based on photographs taken by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Biologist Laurence Madin. The stamps go on sale at post offices nationwide tomorrow. A ceremony is planned at the Woods Hole Post Office at 11 a.m. October 3 to mark the occasion.

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Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Director Applauds Clinton Signing of Oceans Act

President Clinton today signed bipartisan legislation establishing a high-level national advisory board to recommend policies to balance ocean ecology and economics by promoting the protection and sustainable use of America?s oceans and coastal resources. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Director Robert Gagosian, a long-time supporter of expanding understanding of how the oceans work and using them wisely, attended the signing ceremony at a U.S. Coast Guard station on Martha?s Vineyard.

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WHOI to Hold Commencement Exercises June 3

For the fourth time in its history, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution will hold commencement ceremonies at the Institution. Thirty-three degrees will be awarded June 3, 2000 to students who completed their degree programs in September 1999 and February and June 2000 as part of the InstitutionA?s Joint Graduate Program with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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WHOI Director Receives Honorary Degree from Long Island University

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Director Robert B. Gagosian was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science degree May 21, 2000 in ceremonies at Southampton College of Long Island University in Southampton, NY. The honorary Doctor of Science degree is the DirectorA?s first honorary degree and was one of four presented during the afternoon ceremonies, part of the 34th commencement of Southampton College.

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