The twilight zone can be found 200 to 1,000 meters (about 650 to 3,300 feet) below the ocean surface, at the point where the sun’s rays can no longer reach, according to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) in Massachusetts. Because it’s so deep and there’s no sunlight, it’s cold and dark.
“This region, the Scotia Sea, is unique in that it hosts several different physical mechanisms which launder dense water to make it lighter within a relatively small basin (the Southern Scotia Sea),” says co-author Dr. Kurt Polzin of WHOI. “This small basin relative to a relatively large volume transport enables researchers to assess changes in water mass production ultimately coming from the Antarctic Shelves on a biennial basis, compared to decadal time scales from other sections.”
This year, the fourth for the program, EarthWatch kept the program local, teaming up with Sea Grant at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) to provide girls in Massachusetts with experiences in all types of sciences, Woodroof said. Only girls from Massachusetts were selected, which included a couple from the Cape and a couple with seasonal ties to the Island.
After several years, Kara Dodge began to do other work with turtles, in particular a “TurtleCam” project with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution engineer Amy Kukulya. The project involved tagging and tailing turtles with autonomous underwater vehicles to study diving behavior, eating habits, and assess ways to reduce entanglements.
Scientists from the Benioff Ocean Initiative and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have deployed a a hydrophone, or underwater microphone, to listen for whale traffic in the Santa Barbara Channel. They hope to use the microphone to help prevent collisions between whales and boats – which are often deadly to whales.
As part of a partnership with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, guests aboard The Whale Science Voyage, one of their annual itineraries (February 27- March 11, 2020), can participate in a major research study being conducted by a team of scientists on climate change and its impact on the humpback whale population, an animal that is protected under the Endangered Species Act.
“When hydrothermal vents were discovered in 1977, it very much flipped biology on its end,” says Julie Huber, an oceanographer who studies life in and below the seafloor at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) on Cape Cod. “People knew that organisms could live off of chemical energy, but they didn’t imagine they could support animal ecosystems.”
Scientists know methane is released from deep-sea vents, but its source has long been a mystery. A team from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution may have the answer. Analysis of 160 rock samples from across the world’s oceans provides evidence, they say, of the formation and abundance of abiotic methane – methane formed by chemical reactions that don’t involve organic matter.
“Identifying an abiotic source of deep-sea methane has been a problem that we’ve been wrestling with for many years,” says marine geochemist Jeffrey Seewald from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).”Here’s a source of chemical energy that’s being created by geology.”
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has begun the permit process for a $27 million, 50,000-square-foot building planned for its Quissett campus.
Bernhard Peucker-Ehrenbrink, a geochemist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, who was not involved in the study, praised the team’s work for detecting substantial amounts of iron-60, originating from outside the solar system.
Michael Moore, a scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, raised the concern that the “torturous” process the fisheries service was undertaking to write and enact the new regulations would “still come up short.”
The editors of Marine Technology Reporter are pleased to share that Dr. Mark Abbott, President & Director, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), is #5 in the 14th Annual “MTR100”.
The high seas are legally defined as waters that don’t fall under any single nation’s exclusive economic zone. That means they technically belong to everyone. It also means they’re hard to protect against activities like fishing or mining because they’re beyond any single nation’s jurisdiction, explained Porter Hoagland, a senior research specialist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
It has its limits, said Mark Baumgartner, a marine ecologist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, who led the design of the system. The technology cannot pinpoint where whales are and can only tell scientists that whales have been heard in its coverage area.
Scientists from the Center for Coastal Studies and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution are working with local commercial fishermen to install video monitoring equipment on gillnets.
The type of toxin released depends on the species causing the bloom. Some of the most common ones affect the liver or the nervous system, said Donald Anderson, director of the U.S. National Office for Harmful Algal Blooms and a senior scientist at WHOI.
Recent trends of ocean temperatures along the U.S. East Coast have scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution concerned.
Michael Moore and Hannah Myers of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution say it’s critical to develop alternative gear for lobster and crab fishermen that will eliminate ropes from the water column, where North Atlantic right whales—critically endangered species—are likely to swim into them.
Op-ed piece written by Mark Abbott, president and director of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Chris Scholin, president and chief executive officer of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.
As ocean acidification and climate change become the new reality, scientists wonder what will happen to the distribution and well-being of plants and animals. “Monitoring communities and ecosystems is going to be much easier done by DNA methods,” says Elizabeth Andruszkiewicz Allan, an environmental engineer at Woods Hole Oceanographic. “You take one water sample and look for everything from microbes to whales.”
“Every time we deploy REMUS SharkCam, we learn something new about the species we are studying,” said Amy Kukulya, WHOI research engineer and SharkCam principal investigator.
Sarah Das, a glaciologist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who’s used ice core records to reconstruct Greenland’s recent melt history, described the 2012 melt event that enveloped nearly the entire ice sheet’s surface as “unprecedented” in the last few centuries, perhaps within the last several thousand years. This summer, she said, “would be up there with  if not eclipsing it.”
A feature story on Carolyn Tepolt, an assistant scientist in the WHOI Biology Department, and her research on the invasive green crab.