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Research Highlights

News & Insights

Fisherman strengthen science

January 27, 2022

Fishing community and OOI scientists unite to study how the ocean is changing & what it means for global fishing industries

We interrupt this blog: A dive in Alvin a lifetime in the making

December 23, 2021

WHOI director of research communications, Ken Kostel, recounts his first dive in HOV Alvin

HOV Alvin temporarily halts engineering test dives

November 15, 2021

Test dives for Alvin’s 6500 meter certification have been postponed, a day after the sub reached a record 5338 meters (17,513 feet)

Ocean Encounters: From the Sea to the Stars

October 21, 2021

Join us for a special Ocean Encounters event featuring four engineers who explore extreme places to push the boundaries of our knowledge. Dec. 8, 7:30-8:30 p.m. EDT

Engineer and Alvin Pilot Drew Bewley working in the Alvin Birdcage

Meet the Alvin 6500 Team: Drew Bewley

March 31, 2021

Alvin engineer and pilot Drew Bewley on what best prepared him to work on a one-of-a-kind submersible and the overhaul that will take Alvin to 6500 meters.

The Search for Life

February 17, 2021

WHOI researchers featured in episode of news program Full Measure February 17, 2021 This week, NASA’s Perseverance Rover lands on Mars to continue the search for life on the Red Planet. At the same time, WHOI scientists and engineers are…

WHOI builds bridges with Arctic Indigenous communities

February 10, 2021

NSF program fosters collaboration between indigenous communities and traditional scientists, allowing WHOI’s autonomous vehicles to shed light on a changing Arctic

Lane Abrams

Meet the Alvin 6500 Team: Lane Abrams

December 22, 2020

Lane Abrams talks about designing electronics for the bottom of the ocean and project management of Alvin’s electrical updates for the 6500 meter overhaul.

Smart cameras keep lookout for endangered whales

December 17, 2020

A ship-mounted thermal imaging system provides real-time detection of whales, which could reduce the number of endangered marine mammals killed by vessels each year.

Francis Elder testing new variable ballast pump for Alvin

Meet the Alvin 6500 Team: Francis Elder

December 16, 2020

An interview with Francis Elder, lead mechanical engineer for the Alvin Group. Find out how the team has designed a new pump to take Alvin to 6,500 meters.

News Releases

WHOI shares details on microplastic detection project

January 11, 2022

A project led by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Chemical Sensors Lab is moving researchers closer to an in-field microplastics sensor that measures the amount of plastic particles in water.

Research suggests giant kelp has different factors that bear on its growth dynamics

January 4, 2022

The macroalga giant kelp, which is an iconic and important ecosystem-structuring species found off the coast of California and many other coastlines, can grow 100-feet long within 1-2 years. Now, researchers using novel remote sensing observations have found that different factors may bear on the spatial growth dynamics of the Macrocystis pyrifera kelp, which is the largest species of algae in the world.

DOE Funding will Support WHOI Research to Support Sustainable Development of Offshore Wind

November 19, 2021

Woods Hole, MA — The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has received $750,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to develop next‐generation autonomous robotic technology for environmental monitoring of marine organisms and the seafloor at potential wind…

auv coral

Development of a curious robot to study coral reef ecosystems awarded $1.5 million by the National Science Foundation

November 10, 2021

A prototype of an autonomous underwater vehicle capable of navigating complex underwater environments and of collecting data adaptively over long periods of time. Daniel Hentz / ©Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Woods Hole, MA — A grant by the National Science…

ROV Jason

ROV Jason helps recover two other underwater vehicles

September 3, 2021

On September 2, the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Jason aided in the recovery of two underwater vehicles, ROV Hercules and Argus, that were stranded on the seafloor near British Columbia

WHOI advancing a seaweed solution to develop new kelp strains

August 10, 2021

A leader in ocean science, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is embarking on a study of how new seaweed strains could further enhance the burgeoning seaweed industry and offer solutions to some of the world’s pressing challenges. This research is funded in part by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) with support from the Bezos Earth Fund.

Review Evaluates the Evidence for an Intensifying Indian Ocean Water Cycle

July 20, 2021

Report Calls for Better Integration of Observations, Models, and Paleo Proxies The Indian Ocean has been warming much more than other ocean basins over the last 50-60 years. While temperature changes basin-wide can be unequivocally attributed to human-induced climate change,…

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution appoints new Chief Scientist for National Deep Submergence Facility

June 21, 2021

Anna Michel aboard the R/V Falkor for the Hunting Bubbles Cruise to the Cascadia Margin in 2018. The ROV Sebastian was used to investigate the transfer of methane from the seafloor using a suite of novel deep sea instrumentation.Image credit:…

mesobot

Underwater robot offers new insight into mid-ocean “twilight zone”

June 16, 2021

Woods Hole, MA (June 16, 2021) — An innovative underwater robot known as Mesobot is providing researchers with deeper insight into the vast mid-ocean region known as the “twilight zone.” Capable of tracking and recording high-resolution images of slow-moving and…

Papers Explore Massive Plankton Blooms with Very Different Ecosystem Impacts

June 7, 2021

Two papers explore the distribution and abundance of plankton and what conditions lead to big plankton blooms with vastly different potential impacts on the ecosystem.

Oceanus Magazine

Dune buggies and diving: Ciara Dooley discusses her work with DUNEX

January 20, 2022

MIT-WHOI JP student Ciara Dooley talks about her work studying coastal processes with the DUNEX U.S. Coastal Research Programs

anthony and megan

From the sound: A future powered by the sea

December 8, 2021

These two WHOI scientists discuss the promise of offshore wind and wave as renewable energy, and why WHOI is uniquely poised to make these safe and efficient forms of power

an ocean of opportunity

An ocean of opportunity

December 7, 2021

Ocean experts explore the potential risks and rewards of ocean-based solutions to climate change

A curious robot is poised to rapidly expand reef research

December 1, 2021

WHOI scientists with the Coral Catalyst Team are leveraging a new, artificially intelligent robot to automate coral reef health assessments

The scientific community prepares for rising seas in Woods Hole

November 24, 2021

The second Resilient Woods Hole Symposium draws 273 as scientists and city planners discuss the Cape Cod village’s weaknesses and advantages in the face of sea level rise

alvin bomb

The story of “Little Alvin” and the lost H-bomb

November 19, 2021

How the famed submersible found a lost hydrogen bomb in the Mediterranean Sea during the height of the Cold War

Amy Phung: Automating Exploration

November 18, 2021

For MIT-WHOI Joint Program student Amy Phung, virtual reality and robotics are a natural pairing for ocean exploration

Alvin Certification Coordinator Lisa Smith standing in front of an updated HOV Alvin which is tucked on board the newly refurbished R/V Atlantis (Photo Ken Kostel ©WHOI).

Meet the Alvin 6500 Team: Lisa Smith

October 21, 2021

Alvin Certification Coordinator Lisa Smith on working with Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) to get HOV Alvin cleared for diving.

Summer with Sentry: Intern Renee Gruner-Mitchell

October 14, 2021

Renee Gruner-Mitchell on her internship working on AUV Sentry at the National Deep Submergence Facility during the summer of 2021.

brain

Spock versus the volcano

July 15, 2021

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.