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WHOI in the News

Researchers discover an immense hydrocarbon cycle in the world’s ocean

Hydrocarbons and petroleum are almost synonymous in environmental science. After all, oil reserves account for nearly all the hydrocarbons we encounter. But the few hydrocarbons that trace their origin to biological sources may play a larger ecological role than scientists originally suspected.

All Quiet Under the Algal Bloom

Hakai Magazine

The culprit behind Florida’s red tides is the alga Karenia brevis. Near-annual blooms release toxins that harm marine animals and linger in the air, causing people on the coast to wheeze and cough. Little is known about what influences a red tide’s timing and severity, and tracking its impacts is expensive, time-consuming, and risky.

Douglas Webb: Tinkerer, Engineer And Oceanographer Emeritus

Falmouth Enterprise

Douglas C. Webb, the founder of Teledyne Webb Research, North Falmouth, has received an honorary appointment to the position of Oceanographer Emeritus at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for his role in advancing knowledge of the Earth’s oceans.

Taking the Lab into the Ocean with Autonomous Robotic Fleets


Autonomous robotic fleets enable researchers to observe complex systems in ways that are otherwise impossible with purely ship-based or remote sensing techniques. In a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is reducing opportunities for researchers to go to sea, autonomous fleets offer an effective way to maintain a persistent presence in features of interest.

Tracking the deep chlorophyll maximum with sea-faring robots


The research team was particularly interested in the deep chlorophyll maximum (DCM) layer. Also known as the subsurface chlorophyll maximum, the DCM exists below the surface of the ocean and holds the maximum concentration of chlorophyll, thus playing an important ecological role in the open ocean.



The Joint Program offers a deep knowledge of ocean processes, ocean vehicles and instrumentation, acoustics, and signal processing, and seeks to enhance understanding and application of operational oceanography as it pertains to the undersea warfare domain.

Right Camera Could Protect Endangered Whales

eco RI News

Scientist hopes his smart system can reduce ship collisions with North Atlantic right whales. A new technology on the horizon may help to reduce one of those threats, however.

Five Feet Above A Rising Ocean

Environmental News Network

One building was made to see it all. Adjacent to Water Street in Woods Hole there’s a small edifice that used to be a hangar for water planes in the 1960s. Because of that, it’s still precariously perched less than 5 feet above the water level, atop Dyer’s Dock. Now it’s become WHOI facility director Dave Derosier’s vantage point for risings seas.

New technology expected to play a key role in shark research

Cape Cod Times

In November, Skomal and the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy fitted two sharks with new satellite positioning tags developed by a team at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution that can be fastened to a white shark’s fin without having to capture it and drill mounting holes.

The Oldest Crewed Deep Sea Submarine Just Got a Big Makeover


Alvin has been ashore getting a major upgrade at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, which operates the submersible on behalf of the US Navy. By the time Alvin’s makeover is wrapped up in late 2021, the storied submarine will rank among the most capable human-rated deep sea submersibles in the world.

The Water Below

Inside Unmanned Systems

Drawing on 90 years of leadership in ocean discovery and exploration, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists are engaged in an array of research projects using autonomous systems to advance their understanding of marine environments.