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Tools & Technology


Welcome home, Alvin!

Alvin is the world’s longest-operating deep-sea submersible. It was launched in 1964 and has made more than 4,700 dives, along the way participating in some of the most iconic discoveries in the deep ocean. Throughout 2011, 2012, and into 2013, Alvin received a comprehensive overhaul and upgrade funded by the National Science Foundation that greatly expanded its capabilities and will eventually put almost the entire ocean floor within its reach.

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360˚ Video: Deploying Mesobot

You’re on deck as the stealthy underwater robot Mesobot makes another trip into the ocean twilight zone to test equipment that will help scientists track bits of “environmental DNA” floating in the water.

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Opening our eyes to the deep: Molly Curran

Molly Curran is a mechanical engineer in WHOI’s Deep Submergence Laboratory. She works on the design and operation of deep-sea robotic systems, including remotely operated vehicles, autonomous vehicles, and deep-sea samplers. She was the institution’s first pilot for Mesobot, WHOI’s latest autonomous robot designed to study the midwater realm known as the ocean twilight zone.

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ROV Jason captures underwater video during earthquake

In January and February 2020, scientists on R/V Atlantis explored hydrothermal vents on the Cayman Rise. They used the remotely operated vehicle Jason to get an up-close view of the vents and life around them. The vents lie on a seismically active part of the seafloor known as a mid-ocean ridge. Deep-sea shrimp swarm the vents, feeding on microbes that live on chemicals flowing from the vents. While they were there, a magnitude 4.7 earthquake struck just 100 miles away. Scientists will now be able to study how seismic activity affects hydrothermal vents and the life around them.

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A tenacious ship pushes forward

R/V Atlantis rides out stormy seas in the North Atlantic during NASA’s Aerosols and Marine Ecosystems Study (NAAMES) cruise to study the processes associated with the world’s largest phytoplankton bloom. This image was shot from the NASA C-130 aircraft during a storm at the end of the expedition. (Photo by John Hair, NASA)

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Tagging and Tracking Wild Squid

Squid are ecologically important marine animals that play a key role in many ocean ecosystems and fisheries. Measuring squid movements, energetics, and habitat use in their natural environment provides important insight into their ecology. However, because the inherent challenges of monitoring these soft-bodied, open-ocean-dwelling organisms, fine-scale observations of their behavior are rare. Bio-logging tags are an increasingly useful way to remotely study squid behavior in their natural environments.

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2019 Year in Review

Enjoy this montage of video captured throughout 2019 documenting how WHOI researchers explore the ocean planet to tackle the most pressing questions about our water world and find solutions to benefit society.

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Girls in Science Program: bioacoustics

August 2019: Woods Hole Sea Grant has teamed up with Earthwatch Institute on the Girls in Science Fellowship. This fellowship aims to promote diversity and expose young women to a variety of marine careers in STEM. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Research Specialist Laela Sayigh is the principal investigator working with the fellows analyzing marine mammal bioacoustics data.

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Holiday Dive

Alvin

Happily working through the holidays: Alvin, shown here at the vent site more than 2000 meters (1.25 miles) below the surface being piloted by Alvin program manager Bruce Strickrott.

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Bioacoustic alarms are sounding on Cape Cod

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and its Marine Mammal Rescue Team in Yarmouth, Mass. have responded to a record high of more than 464 marine mammals stranded on Cape Cod since January this year. Researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) believe patterns from animal sound data may be the key to curbing these numbers.

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Sparring Partner

The crew and science team on R/V Neil Armstrong deployed newly designed, 60-foot spar buoy for sea trials about 100 miles south of Cape Cod last week.

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