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Research Highlights

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the sea ahead

Sea Ahead

July 24, 2020

Once upon a time, ocean scientists hung up cans on up a tree on Bikini Atoll to measure wave height in the Marshall Islands during nuclear weapons testing. Today, ocean technologies and data harvesting are heading somewhere big, from swarming bots, to more autonomous submersibles, and the miniaturization of ocean sensors

OTZ

The overlooked midwater

July 17, 2020
Alvin Disassembly

Overhaul to take Alvin to greater extremes

July 7, 2020

The Human Occupied Vehicle (HOV) Alvin returned to Woods Hole, Mass. this spring for the final phase of an overhaul that will allow the submarine to dive to 6,500 meters.

DUNEX Pilot Program map allows you to explore an intensive coastal study

July 6, 2020

DUNEX is a multi-agency, academic and stakeholder collaborative community experiment to study nearshore processes during coastal storms. Use this ArcGIS map to learn more about all the project sites along the North Carolina coastline.

Lessons on Small Space Living from a Submarine Pilot

May 13, 2020

After over 80 research trips and 380 deep-sea dives in submersible HOV Alvin, pilot Bruce Strickrott has learned a thing or two about living in confined spaces. Here are his tips on living a healthy life for all of us quarantined at home.

right whale video

WHOI joins effort to accelerate marine life protection technology

April 22, 2020

WHOI has teamed up with Greentown Labs and Vineyard Wind to launch the Offshore Wind Challenge. The program, which is also partnering with New England Aquarium, calls on entrepreneurs to submit proposals to collect, transmit, and analyze marine mammal monitoring data using remote technologies, such as underwater vehicles, drones, and offshore buoys.

Opening our eyes to the deep: Molly Curran

March 12, 2020

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.

Anna Michel

WHOI scientist selected for industry-funded accelerator program

February 13, 2020

Anna Michel, an associate scientist and early-career researcher in WHOI’s Applied Physics and Ocean Engineering Department, has been awarded a spot in the RBR2020 cohort.

brain

Spock versus the volcano

January 16, 2020

Five hundred meters below the calm surface waters of the Aegean Sea off Santorini Island, Greece, lies an active submarine volcano. There, a decision-making robot equipped with artificial intelligence searches for life and danger.

Robin Littlefield

Exploration Enabler: Robin Littlefield

November 13, 2019

WHOI engineer Robin Littlefield is on a mission to increase the reach of science through the development and operation of autonomous underwater vehicles.

News Releases

WHOI Scientists Make Woods Hole Film Festival Appearance

July 17, 2020

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists appear in two shorts and a feature film at this year’s Woods Hole Film Festival (WHFF). In addition, scientists will also participate in Q&A sessions connected to three of the festival’s feature-length, ocean-themed entries....

WHOI researcher dives to Challenger Deep

June 26, 2020

Ying-Tsong Lin is the 12th person in history and the first person of Asian descent to visit ocean’s deepest seafloor A Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution researcher became one of just a handful of people to visit the deepest part of...

Ocean explorer and filmmaker James Cameron to host virtual event on Extreme Ocean Machines

May 18, 2020

Discussion with experts on ocean technology, exploration, and storytelling On May 20, ocean explorer and world-renowned filmmaker James Cameron will host a special edition of Ocean Encounters, a popular virtual event series from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Viewers of this special event,...

What did scientists learn from Deepwater Horizon?

April 20, 2020

Paper reviews major findings, technological advances that could help in next deep-sea spill.  Ten years ago, a powerful explosion destroyed an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and injuring 17 others. Over a span of 87...

SeaWorld & Busch Gardens conservation fund commits $900,000 to protect critically endangered North Atlantic right whales

November 14, 2019

The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund announced that it has committed $900,000 over the next three years in the fight to save the critically endangered North Atlantic Right Whale.  The announcement was made by Dr. Michael Moore of the Woods...

Basking shark

SharkCam reveals secret lives of basking sharks in UK

August 6, 2019

Underwater footage captured by the REMUS SharkCam observing the behavior of basking sharks off the west coast of Scotland. (Credit: Amy Kukulya, @oceanrobotcam, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) An autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) known as the REMUS SharkCam has been used...

Loral O'Hara

WHOI Research Engineer Selected for NASA Astronaut Program

June 7, 2017

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) research engineer Loral O’Hara was introduced today at Johnson Space Flight Center as a member of NASA’s most recent class of astronauts. O’Hara was one of just 12 to be selected from an applicant pool...

Ancient Skeleton Discovered on Antikythera Shipwreck

Ancient Skeleton Discovered on Antikythera Shipwreck

September 19, 2016

An international research team discovered a human skeleton during its ongoing excavation of the famous Antikythera Shipwreck (circa 65 B.C.). The shipwreck, which holds the remains of a Greek trading or cargo ship, is located off the Greek island of...

SharkCam Tracks Great Whites into the Deep

SharkCam Tracks Great Whites into the Deep

June 24, 2016

On the first trip to study great white sharks in the wild off Guadalupe Island in 2013, the REMUS SharkCam team returned with an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) tattooed with bite marks and some of the most dramatic footage ever...

Artifacts Discovered on Return Expedition to Antikythera Shipwreck

Artifacts Discovered on Return Expedition to Antikythera Shipwreck

June 20, 2016

An international research team has discovered spectacular artifacts during its ongoing excavation of the famous Antikythera Shipwreck (circa 65 B.C.) this month. The shipwreck is located off the Greek island of Antikythera in the Aegean Sea. Led by archaeologists and...

Oceanus Magazine

The Deep-See Peers into the Depths

The Deep-See Peers into the Depths

February 20, 2019

In the ocean’s shadowy depths lies one of the Earth’s last frontiers: the ocean twilight zone. It’s a vast swath of water extending throughout the world’s oceans from 650 to 3,280 feet (200 to 1,000 meters) below the surface, and...

Coding Curiosity

Coding Curiosity

January 16, 2019
Warping Sound in the Ocean

Warping Sound in the Ocean

November 28, 2018

Star Trek fans would tell you that it is possible to travel faster than the speed of light using spatio-temporal warping. Honorable scientists would say that’s science fiction. However, some scientists like me have not discarded the ideas of spatio-temporal...

Life at the Edge

August 14, 2018

What makes the shelf break front such a productive and diverse part of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean? To find out, a group of scientists on the research vessel Neil Armstrong spent two weeks at sea in 2018 as part of...

The Discovery of Hydrothermal Vents

The Discovery of Hydrothermal Vents

June 11, 2018

“Wait a minute. What is that?” It was February 1977, and Robert Ballard, a marine geologist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), sat aboard the research vessel Knorr 400 miles off the South American coast, staring at photos before him....

Mission to the Ocean Twilight Zone

Mission to the Ocean Twilight Zone

April 17, 2018

Night falls over the open ocean. The sunlit blues and greens of its mercurial surface gradually fade to gray, then darken to inky black. Hundreds of feet below, a multitude of fish, squid, plankton, and other mid-ocean dwellers begin their...

To Track an Oil Spill

To Track an Oil Spill

February 8, 2018

Oil spills are bad enough, but imagine if one occurs in an ocean covered with sea ice. The Coast Guard sends up aircraft to survey the spill and mobilizes assets in a timely way to contain damage to the environment,...

Tracking Unexploded Munitions

Tracking Unexploded Munitions

February 1, 2018

Residents of coastal North Carolina woke on Sept. 25 to what you might call an explosive surprise: Hurricane Maria, passing in the night, had churned up two ancient naval munitions from beneath the waves and flung them onto nearby beaches....

Re-envisioning Underwater Imaging

Re-envisioning Underwater Imaging

January 22, 2018

A revolutionary new underwater imaging system developed at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution can generate ultrahigh-definition television video, 2-D mosaic images, and 3-D optical models—images that scientists can spin to view from all sides and zoom in on to visually explore around...

Aqua Incognita

Aqua Incognita

December 12, 2017

There is a jar of money in the conference room of the Mooring Operations & Engineering (MOE) team at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. It is a United Nations kaleidoscope of bills and coins that MOE team members didn’t have time...