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Press Room

WHOI and Massachusetts Firm Sign Contract to Build New Coastal Vessel

March 22, 2002

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation of Somerset, MA, signed a contract today to build a 60-foot vessel to replace the Institution’s aging 46-foot coastal vessel Asterias. Construction of the new vessel is estimated at a cost of $1.6 million, with delivery expected in March 2004.

WHOI To Present Mary Sears Woman Pioneer in Oceanography Award to California Scientist March 28

March 20, 2002

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) will present one of its highest honors, the Mary Sears Woman Pioneer in Oceanography Award, to California Biologist Mary Wilcox Silver. A Professor of Ocean Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Dr. Silver is being honored for providing “significant scientific leadership in understanding our marine environment” and recognized for providing “the inspiration and/or opportunity for other women in marine sciences.” Colleagues note that she has “led the way for people with strong family commitments to go to sea, showing that scientists could combine challenging, field-based careers with family life.”

Stephen Stimson Associates Recieves Award for WHOI Campus Landscape Plan

March 2, 2002

The Falmouth-based landscape architectural firm Stephen Stimson Associates Landscape Architects is receiving a prestigious award for work on the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s new Quissett Campus master plan.

Louisiana Biologist to Receive WHOI’s Ketchum Award January 16

January 10, 2002

Farming practices in the Mississippi River drainage area are affecting coastal ocean waters off Louisiana and the coastal water quality in the Gulf of Mexico. Dr. Nancy Rabalais of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, a leading researcher in this field, will share some of her findings when she receives the 12th Bostwick H. Ketchum Award January 16 at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).

WHOI Scientist to be Honored January 16 by the American Meteorological Society

January 10, 2002

Nelson Hogg, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), will receive the 2002 Stommel Award from the American Meteorological Society (AMS) January 16 during the society’s 82nd annual meeting in Orlando, FL. AMS is the nation’s leading professional society for scientists in the atmospheric and related sciences.

Endangered North Atlantic Right Whale Study Shows Sharp Decline in Mothers

November 29, 2001

Scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) report in today’s issue of the journal Nature that the population growth rate of North Atlantic Right whales has declined below replacement level because of increased mortality rates of mothers. The population numbers only about 300 and is predicted to become extinct within 200 years if the environmental conditions experienced by the whales in 1995 were maintained.

Two WHOI Scientists Recognized with Endowed Positions

October 19, 2001

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.

Coastal Environmental Research Camp Attracts Seven International Students to WHOI

September 19, 2001

Students from Canada, Slovakia, South Africa, and Trinidad and Tobago are spending two weeks at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) participating in a research camp focused on coastal environmental research. The students won an international competition to participate in the camp, the first held in the United States.

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

July 26, 2001

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.

Study to Assess Risk Factors of Vessel Collisions with Endangered Northern Right Whales

July 19, 2001

Scientists and engineers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and their colleagues will use a new digital recording tag to study and assess the risk factors of vessel collisions with the endangered Northern right whale. Less than 300 of the whales remain.

Contaminated Sediments Topic of Congressional Hearing

July 18, 2001

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.

WHOI Scientist to Testify July 12 on the Development and Implementation of Ocean Observing Systems

July 10, 2001

Senior Scientist Robert Weller will testify July 12 before a joint Congressional hearing on ocean exploration and the development and implementation of coastal and ocean observing systems. The hearing will start at 1 p.m. in Room 2318 of the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, DC.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Web Sites Nominated For “The Oscars of the Internet”

May 4, 2001

Two web sites developed by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) are among the 135 sites nominated in more than two dozen categories for the 5th Annual Webby Awards, called by some A?the Oscars of the Internet.A? The 2001 awards will be presented by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences July 18 at a ceremony at San FranciscoA?s War Memorial Opera House.

Colonizing The Deep Sea: WHOI Scientist Helps Find Answers to Hydrothermal Vent Puzzle

May 4, 2001

For nearly 25 years, scientists have wondered how giant red-tipped tubeworms and other exotic marine life found at hydrothermal vents on the deep sea floor get from place to place and how long their larva survive in a cold, eternally dark place. Now Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Biologist Lauren Mullineaux and colleagues have helped answer those questions.

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

May 4, 2001

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.

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

April 27, 2001

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.

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

April 5, 2001

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 ( 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.

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

March 26, 2001

(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 ( 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.

Dartmouth Resident Honored by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

January 24, 2001

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.

Volcanic Activity Discovered at Samoan “Hot Spot”

December 12, 2000

Scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Scripps Institution of Oceanography have discovered “strong evidence” for current volcanic activity at the Vailulu’u summit east of Samoa.