Skip to content
For WHOI personnel and vendors: COVID-19 Guidelines

Research Highlights

News & Insights

Rapid Response at Sea

September 6, 2019

As sea ice continues to melt in the Arctic and oil exploration expands in the region, the possibility of an oil spill occurring under ice is higher than ever. To help first responders cope with oil trapped under ice, ocean engineers are developing undersea vehicles that can map oil spills to improve situational awareness and decision making during an emergency.

Robot Swarm

Underwater robots swarm the ocean

August 22, 2019

Researchers test a new, acoustic-based navigation system to solve a problem that oceanographers have grappled with for years—getting multiple underwater robots to monitor the ocean cooperatively in swarm-like fashion.

Once more into the Twilight Zone

August 1, 2019

On July 25, scientists embarked on the 2019 Ocean Twilight Zone expedition aboard NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow. A team made up of WHOI and NOAA Fisheries researchers departed Newport, R.I., Thursday morning and headed south towards the edge of the continental shelf. This will be the first full scientific mission into the ocean twilight zone for the towed underwater vehicle, Deep-See.

A new way of “seeing” offshore wind power cables

July 25, 2019

Eager to share best practices and technical know-how with the offshore wind sector, WHOI researchers test out an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUVs)—a staple of oceanographic research—to see if it can perform subsea cable surveys faster and more economically than using large and expensive ships.

Dan Zitterbart

Public Talk: Tracking Humpback Whales in Antarctica

July 17, 2019

Humpbacks migrate thousands of miles to their feeding ground in the Southern Ocean, yet nothing is known about how these whales find the krill that they consume. WHOI scientists joined an expedition aboard cruise ship Polar Latitudes to study the feeding habits of humpback whales on the Antarctic Peninsula. Using Zodiacs to get close enough to the whales to attach digital recording tags, his team logged whales’ diving and feeding behaviors. They also used fish-finding acoustic systems to correlate the location of the whales with their prey. Learn their findings from this research, accompanied by stunning images of Antarctica, humpback whales, and other sea life encountered in the majestic southern continent.

Can thermal cameras prevent ship strikes?

June 14, 2019

Researchers are testing the effectiveness of thermal IR cameras for automated whale detection to help prevent ship strikes in the narrow channels of British Columbia’s Gulf Islands.

Scott Lindell

King Kelp

June 12, 2019

To help fuel our future energy needs, researchers are sizing up thousands of blades of sugar kelp—a promising source of biofuels—to breed strains that grow larger, heartier, and more abundantly.

Andy Bowen

Imagining new vehicles for exploration

May 2, 2019

Andy Bowen is the kind of guy who wakes up in the middle of the night unable to go back to sleep, because he’s just too excited about a solution he’s just imagined for a new robotic invention.

glider

Navigating the Changing Arctic

April 24, 2019

New, fully autonomous glider will collect critical-but-scarce ice thickness measurements from below the surface of the Arctic ocean.

News Releases

OSU Assumes Cyberinfrastructure Responsibility for OOI

October 5, 2020

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and Oregon State University (OSU) jointly announced that OSU will assume responsibilities for the systems management of the cyberinfrastructure that makes data transmission for the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) possible through September of 2023.  OSU...

WHOI Announces D’Works Marine Technology Initiative for Massachusetts Startups and Entrepreneurs

August 26, 2020

Massachusetts has long been known as a center of invention and technical innovation and, more recently, has gained attention for its vibrant marine robotics startup community. Now startup companies, entrepreneurs, and others in the Commonwealth who work in the marine...

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...

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...