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Research Highlights

News & Insights

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...

right whale video

WHOI joins effort to accelerate marine life protection technology

April 22, 2020

By Elise Hugus | April 22, 2020 Critically endangered North Atlantic right whales swim in the waters off Massachusetts in February 2019. WHOI biologist Michael Moore uses drone technology to identify, track, and even take samples from the whales’ exhaled...

Opening our eyes to the deep: Molly Curran

March 12, 2020

WHOI mechanical engineer discusses the great challenges—and rewards—of designing vehicles for deep-sea exploration By Toni Parras | March 12, 2020 WHOI engineer Molly Curran peers out from Neried Under Ice (NUI), a hybrid remotely operated vehicle, which she helped design...

Anna Michel

WHOI scientist selected for industry-funded accelerator program

February 13, 2020

RBR, a Canadian-based manufacturer of oceanographic instruments, announced the 16 members of the RBR2020 Cohort, a two-year accelerator program for innovative early-career ocean scientists. WHOI associate scientist Anna Michel is pictured in the second row from the top, second from...

brain

Spock versus the volcano

January 16, 2020

Spock versus the volcanoA decision-making robot searches for life and danger in an ancient submarine volcano By Evan Lubofsky | January 15, 2019 Ocean robots are becoming so intelligent, they’re starting to make decisions on where to explore and what...

Robin Littlefield

Exploration Enabler: Robin Littlefield

November 13, 2019

This WHOI engineer discusses his passion for robots, the ocean, and adventure By Evan Lubofsky | November 12, 2019 For Robin Littlefield (pictured here) science needs a helping hand to get to the ocean floor – and that hand is...

The “sub” text of 45 years at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

October 30, 2019

Rick Chandler has made a career out of managing submersible operations at WHOI By Daniel Hentz | October 29, 2019 Rick Chandler, one of WHOI’s longest-serving employees, oversees support for the Alvin Group. (Photo by Daniel Hentz, Woods Hole Oceanographic...

Flight of the underwater falcon

October 24, 2019

How a remotely operated vehicle made by Saab is lending a watchful eye to scientific mooring operations By Daniel Hentz | October 23, 2019 WHOI Engineer Jared Schwartz pilots the remotely operated vehicle, Seaeye Falcon to investigate an unrecovered mooring...

The hive mind behind a swarm of submersibles

October 16, 2019

Erin Fischell explains her new vision for underwater science October 16, 2019 Erin Fischell readies an AUV a test mission at Ashumet Pond. Photo by Thomas N. Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution The vastness of our oceans demands extensive study...

orpheus

The Rise of Orpheus (Part 2)

October 16, 2019

WHOI’s new hadal robot moves one step closer to exploring the limits of life on Earth and beyond By Evan Lubofsky | October 15, 2019 Orpheus, an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), is recovered off the New England continental shelf during...

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...

News Releases

Marine Archaeologists Excavate Greek Antikythera Shipwreck

September 24, 2015

Archaeologists excavating the famous ancient Greek shipwreck that yielded the Antikythera mechanism have recovered more than 50 items including a bronze armrest (possibly part of a throne), remains of a bone flute, fine glassware, luxury ceramics, a pawn from an...

New AUV Plankton Sampling System Deployed

August 17, 2015

A group of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) researchers and engineers have developed and tested an innovative new system for sampling small planktonic larvae in coastal ocean waters and understanding their distribution. Results were published online July 30, 2015 in...

Carbon Dioxide Pools Discovered in Aegean Sea

July 16, 2015

The location of the second largest volcanic eruption in human history, the waters off Greece’s Santorini are the site of newly discovered opalescent pools forming at 250 meters depth. The interconnected series of meandering, iridescent white pools contain high concentrations...

Gulf of Maine Red Tide Bloom Expected to Be Similar to Past Three Years

May 11, 2015

New England’s spring and summer red tides will be similar in extent to those of the past three years, according to the 2015 Gulf of Maine red tide seasonal forecast. The forecast is the eighth seasonal Gulf of Maine red...

Research Submersible Alvin Completes Depth Certification to 4500 Meters

March 10, 2015

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) announces that the Human Occupied Vehicle (HOV) Alvin has achieved certification from the U. S. Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) for operations to its rated depth of 4,500 meters (approx. 2.8 miles).   Two certification...

REMUS SharkCam Captures Upclose Encounters with Great Whites

August 11, 2014

When a team from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) took a specially equipped REMUS SharkCam underwater vehicle to Guadalupe Island in Mexico to film great white sharks in the wild, they captured more than they bargained for. With six...

Iconic Research Submersible Alvin Turns 50

June 5, 2014

We know more about the surface of other planets than we do about Earth’s ocean. And what is known about our ocean would not have been possible without the deep-sea submersible Alvin, one of the hardest working, most reliable vehicles...

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...