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News Releases


WHOI Names New Director of Development

A 1975 graduate of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution/Massachusetts Institute of Technology Joint Program in Oceanography will be returning to Woods Hole soon in a new capacity. Dr. Daniel H. Stuermer, a chemical oceanographer who has spent much of his career as a research scientist and in corporate management, will assume the duties of WHOI Director of Development October 1.

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Nation’s First Deep-Sea Research Submersible Keeps Going and Going…

The nationA?s first human-occupied deep-sea research submersible, the three-person Alvin, turns 35 on June 5, but the tiny sub keeps on going and going. Making between 175 and 200 dives each year to depths up to 4,500 meters (14,764 feet), the sub set yet another record when it passed Dive #3,400 in late May. Alvin and its support vessel, the 274-foot Research Vessel Atlantis, are at work in the eastern Pacific and will spend the summer diving to the ocean floor off the coast of Washington and Oregon. The ship and sub, part of the U.S. National Deep Submergence Facility operated by WHOI, left their home port at Woods Hole, MA, June 2, 1997 and are not scheduled to return to Woods Hole until October 2000.

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Active 14,000 Foot Submarine Volcano Found near Samoa in South Pacific

An active volcano rising more than 4,300 meters (over 14,100 feet) from the ocean floor in the Samoa Islands has been discovered by a team of U.S. scientists, providing more evidence to the scientific debate over the formation of hot spot island chains. The volcano, more than 35 kilometers (about 22 miles) across at its base, rises to within 600 meters (about 2,000 feet) of the surface; its peak is marked by a circular caldera some two kilometers (over 1 mile) across and 400 meters (1,300 feet) deep. It is similar in size to Mt. Whitney in California, the largest mountain in the contiguous 48 U.S. states.

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Giant Sulfur Bacteria Discovered off African Coast

The largest bacterium ever found, a harmless organism that grows as a string of white beads large enough to be visible to the naked eye, has been found in coastal sediments off the coast of Namibia by an international research team. In an article in today’s issue of the journal Science, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Germany, the University of Barcelona in Spain, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts suggest the new genus and species be named Thiomargarita namibiensis(“sulphur pearl of Namibia”).

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Deputy Prime Minister of England to Visit WHOI April 23 to Discuss Deep-Sea Research, International Collaboration

John Prescott, Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions, will visit Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) April 23 to discuss potential collaboration and to learn more about deep sea research. His visit will follow meetings earlier in the week with Vice President Al Gore and leaders of Congress in Washington, DC, and an Earth Day lecture on sustainable development at the United Nations in New York City.

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Marie Tharp Honored at Women Pioneers Seminar

Oceanographic cartographer Marie Tharp, co-creator of the first world ocean floor map and co-discoverer of the central rift valley that runs through the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, was honored by the Women’s Committee of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) March 30 with the 1999 Women Pioneers in Oceanography Award.

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New Model Suggests Northern Right Whale Population on Path to Extinction

The North Atlantic northern right whale, considered to be the most endangered large whale species, is headed for extinction unless human intervention improves survival, according to a new study by researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the University of Massachusetts, Boston (UMASS Boston). Their report, the first to obtain rigorous statistical estimates of survival probability of this population, was published today in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.”

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Three WHOI Scientists Recognized with Endowed Positions

Three scientists have been recognized by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) for their contributions to ocean sciences research. Drs. Cheryl Ann Butman of the Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering Department, David A. Caron of the Biology Department and Brian E. Tucholke of the Geology and Geophysics Department have each been named the recipient of an endowed chair at the Institution. Each chair brings financial support for a period of five years, allowing the recipient the freedom to pursue a variety of career interests.

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