Research Highlights

News & Insights

Robot Swarm

Underwater robots swarm the ocean

August 22, 2019

Researchers tackle a big problem for tiny ocean robots By Evan Lubofsky | August 21, 2019 (Illustration by Tim Silva, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) Underwater robots do a lot these days. They can be programmed to go to remote, dangerous,...

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...

A new way of “seeing” offshore wind power cables

July 25, 2019

Researchers test ocean robots to make subsea cable surveys faster and cheaper By Evan Lubofsky | May 25, 2019 https://www.whoi.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/OffshoreWind-Cable-Monitoring-Option1.mp4 Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs)—a staple of oceanographic research—can perform subsea cable surveys faster and more economically than using ships with...

Dan Zitterbart

Public Talk: Tracking Humpback Whales in Antarctica

July 17, 2019

Can thermal cameras prevent ship strikes?

June 14, 2019

Researchers test out thermal IR cameras for whale detection in British Columbia’s Gulf Islands By Evan Lubofsky | June 13, 2019 Thermal IR cameras “see” whales by measuring the apparent temperature differences between the mammals and the surrounding water and...

Scott Lindell

King Kelp

June 12, 2019

Growing a better seaweed to fuel the future By Evan Lubofsky | June 12, 2019 Video by Craig LaPlante, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution “Thirteen point two.” One scientist calls out the measurement; another jots it down in her data sheet....

Andy Bowen

Imagining new vehicles for exploration

May 2, 2019

A conversation with WHOI Engineer Andy Bowen By Véronique LaCapra| May 2, 2019 Andy Bowen is the director of the National Deep Submergence Facility at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. (Photo by Katherine Spencer Joyce, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) Andy Bowen...

glider

Navigating the Changing Arctic

April 24, 2019

New glider will collect critical-but-scarce ice thickness measurements By Evan Lubofsky | April 25, 2019 WHOI scientists Rich Camilli (left) and Ted Maksym are developing a new autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) that will measure ice thickness from below the Arctic...

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

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...

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...