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Research Highlights

News & Insights

Carl Hartsfield

REMUS Group gets new director

September 24, 2020

Former Naval Officer Carl Hartsfield becomes WHOI’s newest director of the REMUS group

acoustic telescope illustration

Transformative technology to revolutionize the way we listen to the deep ocean

August 27, 2020

Using a network of satellites and surface buoys, WHOI scientist Ying Tsong (YT) Lin and a team of engineers are creating the first 3D “acoustic telescope,” capable of listening to a range of discrete activities in the deep sea

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.

News Releases

Robotic Deep-sea Vehicle Lost on Dive to 6-Mile Depth

May 10, 2014

On Saturday, May 10, 2014, at 2 p.m. local time (10 p.m. Friday EDT), the hybrid remotely operated vehicle Nereus was confirmed lost at 9,990 meters (6.2 miles) depth in the Kermadec Trench northeast of New Zealand. The unmanned vehicle...

Deep-Diving Sub Alvin Cleared to Return to Service

January 24, 2014

After a three-year overhaul and major upgrade, the United States’ deepest-diving research submersible, Alvin, has been cleared to return to work exploring the ocean’s depths. The sub has been out of service since December 2010, undergoing a major upgrade that...

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Scientist Receives Grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation

January 14, 2014

The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation has awarded Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) assistant scientist Anna Michel $200,000 to develop a sensor that will enable scientists to analyze how methane emissions fluctuate in the Arctic. Methane is a greenhouse gas...

SOI Collaborating with WHOI on World’s Most Advanced Deep-diving Robotic Vehicle

December 5, 2013

Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI) has begun working with the Deep Submergence Laboratory at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) to design and build the world’s most advanced robotic undersea research vehicle for use on SOI’s ship Falkor. The new vehicle...

Research Enables Fishermen to Harvest Lucrative Shellfish on Georges Bank

April 10, 2013

Combined research efforts by scientists involved in the Gulf of Maine Toxicity (GOMTOX) project, funded by NOAA’s Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (ECOHAB) program, and administered by the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), have led to...

Scientists Use Marine Robots to Detect Endangered Whales

January 9, 2013

Two robots equipped with instruments designed to “listen” for the calls of baleen whales detected nine endangered North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of Maine last month. The robots reported the detections to shore-based researchers within hours of hearing...

WHOI Scientists and Engineers Partner with World-Renowned Companies to Market Revolutionary New Instruments

July 19, 2012

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) researchers have partnered with two companies to build and market undersea technology developed at WHOI: the Imaging FlowCytobot, an automated underwater microscope, and BlueComm, an underwater communications system that uses light to provide wireless transmission...

New Robot Sub Surveys the Deep off the Pacific Northwest

August 8, 2008

Scientists and engineers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the University of Washington (UW) have successfully completed the first scientific mission with Sentry, a newly developed robot capable of diving as deep as 5,000 meters (3.1 miles) into...

In Computer Models and Seafloor Observations, Researchers See Potential for Significant 2008 “Red Tide” Season

April 24, 2008

The end of April usually brings the first signs of harmful algae in New England waters, and this year, a research team led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is preparing for a potentially big bloom. A combination of...

Dennis_McGillicuddy

Dennis McGillicuddy Receives 27th Annual Rosenstiel Award

February 1, 2008

The University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science has selected Dennis J. McGillicuddy, Jr., Ph.D., as recipient of the 2008 Rosenstiel Award. McGillicuddy, a senior scientist in the Department of Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering at the...

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...