“The problem has expanded dramatically,” says Don Anderson, director of the U.S. National Office for Harmful Algal Blooms and a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Part of that expansion is due to advances in our understanding of toxic algal species, as well as our grasp on their ecological and economic cost; today, we know a diversity of harmful algae blooms occur in every state and across all seasons.
On the upside, it’s generally safe to swim in the ocean during red tide outbreaks “because you just can’t swallow enough of the algae to be dangerous,” says Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution biologist and algae expert Don Anderson.
Today, the U.S. is a powerhouse of ocean science research and marine engineering, led by organizations such as Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, among others. These are the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Ames Research Center, and Goddard Space Flight Center of ocean exploration.
Researchers at MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have found evidence that tuna are spawning in the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA), one of the largest marine protected areas in the world, covering an area of the central Pacific as large as Argentina.
Forty years ago, a group of climate scientists sat down at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts for the first meeting of the “Ad Hoc Group on Carbon Dioxide and Climate.” It led to the preparation of what became known as the Charney Report – the first comprehensive assessment of global climate change due to carbon dioxide.
Entrepreneurs from around the world gathered at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution last week to hear about and discuss marine robotics and autonomous underwater vehicles.
In 1986, the world got its first look at the wreckage of the RMS Titanic resting on the ocean floor as videotape of the British luxury liner, which sank in 1912, was released by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
Whaling ships’ logs, which contain details like ship location, cloud cover, wind speed and direction, are being used by researchers at UMass Dartmouth and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to give context to climate models for some of the most data-poor regions of the world.
At Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, marine ecologist Amy Apprill and colleagues are scrutinizing the microbiomes of sick corals, as well as sediments and water circulating around the reefs in St. Thomas. Comparing that data with data from Florida corals may uncover similarities between the two outbreaks that can help narrow the list of culprits.
An increase in vessel traffic through the Gulf Islands in British Columbia, Canada is making whales more vulnerable to ship strikes, and researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution are testing new technology to detect the presence of the marine mammals.