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Research Highlights

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Alvin Disassembly

Overhaul to take Alvin to greater extremes

July 7, 2020

Work on iconic sub will put 98% of the ocean floor within reach By Hannah Piecuch | July 8, 2020 Alvin is transferred from R/V Atlantis to the high bay at WHOI’s water-front facility in early March. The overhaul is...

DUNEX Pilot Program map allows you to explore an intensive coastal study

July 6, 2020

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...


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...

News Releases

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...

SharkCam Tracks Great Whites into the Deep

SharkCam Tracks Great Whites into the Deep

June 24, 2016

On the first trip to study great white sharks in the wild off Guadalupe Island in 2013, the REMUS SharkCam team returned with an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) tattooed with bite marks and some of the most dramatic footage ever...

Artifacts Discovered on Return Expedition to Antikythera Shipwreck

Artifacts Discovered on Return Expedition to Antikythera Shipwreck

June 20, 2016

An international research team has discovered spectacular artifacts during its ongoing excavation of the famous Antikythera Shipwreck (circa 65 B.C.) this month. The shipwreck is located off the Greek island of Antikythera in the Aegean Sea. Led by archaeologists and...

WHOI Technology Used in Locating El Faro Data Recorder

WHOI Technology Used in Locating El Faro Data Recorder

April 28, 2016

Technology and vehicles developed and operated by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists and engineers were instrumental in assisting the NTSB in locating the voyage data recorder (VDR) of El Faro. The cargo ship El Faro’s voyage data recorder was...

Oceanus Magazine

Seal Whiskers Inspire Marine Technology

Seal Whiskers Inspire Marine Technology

January 27, 2016

The night approaches quickly. A harbor seal plunges into the water, diving deep as the sunlight recedes. Through the dark, turbid waters, she searches for fish. Suddenly, the whiskers on her right cheek begin vibrating. And she’s off. Heather Beem...

Epiphany Among the Manta Rays

Epiphany Among the Manta Rays

December 3, 2015

Our group of scuba divers slowly descended to the seafloor off Kona on the island of Hawai’i. The sun had just set. Within minutes, the light slowly disappeared, and it became impossible to see anything. We sat motionless in a...


October 15, 2015
The Riddle of Rip Currents

The Riddle of Rip Currents

September 17, 2015

Stumbling shoulder-deep through crashing waves off a beach in Duck, North Carolina, Melissa Moulton felt like she was in a washing machine. Breaking swells pounded around her as she mounted scientific instruments to steel pipes embedded in the seafloor, while...

A Smarter Undersea Robot

A Smarter Undersea Robot

January 16, 2015

The most sophisticated high-tech deep-diving underwater robot is stymied because it lacks something that even a baby who can’t walk has. Picture a baby crawling across the floor of an empty room. She roams about for a while, but eventually...

The Jetyak

The Jetyak

December 12, 2014
From Lab to Sea

From Lab to Sea

November 19, 2014
The Exosuit Comes Aboard

The Exosuit Comes Aboard

September 11, 2014

One of the ocean’s least studied places is actually the realm between 200 and 500 feet deep. This zone has resisted exploration because it’s too deep for SCUBA and not deep enough to warrant the expense of using submarines and...

High-tech Dives on an Ancient Wreck

High-tech Dives on an Ancient Wreck

September 11, 2014

When sponge divers first chanced upon the shipwreck off the Greek isle of Antikythera in 1900, they couldn’t have known that it would become the richest ancient shipwreck ever discovered. But they soon found that this was no ordinary wreck,...

A Drop in the Ocean

A Drop in the Ocean

July 18, 2014

How can you follow a wisp of water within the turbulent immensity of the ocean? Jim Ledwell figured out a way. He developed a method to inject a harmless chemical tracer into the ocean and to track it over days,...