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Index of Workshops for Educators

December 2023

From Classrooms to Coastlines: An educator workshop about marine and freshwater harmful algal blooms (HABs)

February 2023

Bringing Shark Research on Cape Cod into Your Classroom

July 2022

The Perfect Storm: Exploring how sea level rise and storms intersect

December 2021

Marine Invaders: Green crabs and other local invasive species

October 2019

Carbon Cycling in Coastal Wetlands

May 2019

Impacts of Human-derived Pollutants on the Coastal Environment

May 2018

Coral Reefs, Symbionts, and Climate Change

May 2016

Plastic and Microplastic in the Ocean: What is it, and what happens to it?

June 2015

Fish Ecology in the Atlantic, from the tropics to New England: How studying fish diets tells about their changing ecosystems

April 2015

Seals on Cape Cod, Seals as Sentinels

July 2013

"The Inner (and Outer) Lives of Phytoplankton* Cells" *and other photosynthesizers!

May 2013

The moving ocean.

April 2012

Undersea earthquakes and seismic measurements in deep water.

July 2011

HABCAM: Using advanced imaging technology to study New England seafloor ecology

December 2010

Research on Ocean Sound: Marine mammals and squid

September 2010

Oil Spill Science: What scientists and engineers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution are working on in the Gulf of Mexico.

June 2010

Studying and Seeing Volcanic Processes in the Ocean

May 2009

Plastics in the ocean: science and potential student experiments and How animals defend themselves against pollutants: the chemical ‘defensome’

August 2008

"Happy as a Clam? -- How do we Know?: The secret lives of shellfish in our coastal waters"

November 2007

"Tempests in the Sand: Finding Ancient Hurricanes in the Geologic Record"

March 2007

— "The Mystery of Animal Migrations: How Geochemistry Can Help Ecologists Track Fish"
— "Rapid Climate Change in the Arctic: Using New Instruments and Climate Models to Investigate a Fragile System"

October 2006

"The Life and Times of Toxic Algal Blooms in the Gulf of Maine: Two Pieces of the Puzzle"

November 2005

"Understanding the Tectonics and History of Earth's Ocean Crust Formation Using Magnetic Measurements and High Resolution Surveys"

August 2005

"Why Worry About Fresh Water in a Salty Ocean? — Changes in Fresh Water in the North Atlantic and the Impact on Climate Change"

November 2004

"How Volcanoes Make Life Possible (at the bottom of the ocean)"
Dr. Jeffrey S. Seewald, WHOI, Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department
Dr. Jeffrey S. Seewald is an Associate Scientist in the Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry department at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He studies the way organic and inorganic materials interact in the formation of sea-floor sediment, and the chemistry of processes taking place below the sea floor in hydrothermal systems. He has worked on developing and using new tools and techniques to carrying out experiments in these high-heat deep ocean systems. He gave a presentation about how hydrothermal vents work and how the chemistry of vents and seawater create conditions that sustain several kinds of deep-sea bacteria and archaea. Later, he conducted a tour of his laboratory and displayed samples of hydrothermal vent minerals, walls, and equipment, including his sampler for hydrothermal vent fluids.

June 2004

— "Monitoring Beach and Dune Dynamics"James F. O'Connell, Coastal Processes Specialist, Woods Hole Sea Grant Program and the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension
James F. O’Connell, Coastal Processes Specialist for the Woods Hole Sea Grant Program and the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension, was the workshop presenter. He spoke in the morning about the conditions and processes shaping Cape Cod coastal landforms both historically and currently through ongoing climate, weather, and ocean forces. In the afternoon he took the teacher group out to a local beach, and taught them the “Emory Rod” and “O’Emory Rod” beach profiling methods he uses to measure and monitor positions and heights of beaches, coastal dunes, and other landforms.

In addition, Valerie Bell, science teacher at the Nauset Regional High School on Cape Cod, talked to the group about using this method with her classes, and included “tips for teachers” on how to ensure good results.

November 2003

— "Right Whale Ecology at the Intersection of Science, Technology, and Conservation"
Dr. Mark Baumgartner, WHOI, Biology Department
Dr. Mark Baumgartner is an Assistant Scientist in the Biology department of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He studies the foraging behavior and ecology of whales, and the formation and location of the patches of plankton that whales feed on. In this workshop he talked about his research on location of copepod patches, and the kinds of technology and tools he uses to track and observe the whales and their food. He discussed the need to understand how and where the North Atlantic right whale locates its food, in order to know how to save this endangered species from extinction.

— "Designing a New Vehicle for Deep Sea Exploration and Research"
Mr. Andrew Bowen, WHOI, Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering Department
Andrew Bowen, Research Specialist in the Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering department at WHOI, is currently working on a new type of underwater research tool for exploring the very deepest parts of the ocean, called a “hybrid remotely operated vehicle”, or HROV. He spoke about the design concept for a vehicle that can operate either as an ROV (remotely operated vehicle), with a new, lightweight, fiber-optic power-and-data-carrying tether, or as an AUV (autonomous underwater vehicle) to carry out pre-programmed operations without a tether. He also discussed the extreme conditions found in the deep sea and how vehicles are designed to function under those conditions.

May 2003

— "Visualizing Flow and Drag on Fish and Squid"
Mr. Erik Anderson, WHOI, Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering Department
A WHOI/MIT Joint Program student, Mr. Anderson talked about ways to introduce the study of fluids and fluid dynamics to middle- and high-school students. He wrote a classroom activity on visualizing boundary layers in a fluid, and demonstrated it to the teachers at the end of his presentation.

— "The Lives of Jellies: Aliens of Inner Space"
Dr. Larry Madin, WHOI, Biology Department and Ocean Life Institute
A senior scientist in the Biology Department and the Director of the WHOI Ocean Life Institute, Dr. Madin described the life histories and adaptations of jellyfish and other large gelatinous marine animals, and their role in transporting material from the surface to the depths of the sea. The group visited Dr. Madin's lab, observed feeding in a colonial hydroid (one phase of a jellyfish life cycle), and learned about predation by hydroids on larval cod on Georges Bank.

November 2002

— "Particle Flux, Coccolithophores, and Climate: Linking Tiny Cells to Global Climate"
Ms. Dorinda Ostermann, WHOI, Geology and Geophysics Department
Ms. Ostermann is a research specialist in the Paleoceanography Research Group and the Arctic Group. She received her B.A. in 1978 from Pomona College, in Botany. Her research interests include micropaleontology; paleoclimatology; stable isotope mass spectrometry; deep sea mooring design, deployment and recovery, and laboratory automation. For almost 18 years she has been using sediment traps at sea to collect sinking particles in the Labrador Sea, and relating that to climate data.

— "High-Resolution Imaging with Underwater Vehicles"
Mr. Chris Roman, WHOI, Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering Department
Mr. Roman is a graduate student in the WHOI-MIT Joint Graduate Program, earning his Ph.D. in the Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering Department. He has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech in 1997, and a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 1999 from the University of California at San Diego. His research interests are accurate under mapping, both photographic and bathymetric; and the design and control of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs).

April 2002

— "Determining the Resistance of Marine Animals to Environmental Chemicals"
Dr. Mark Hahn, WHOI, Biology Department
Dr. Hahn’s major research interests include receptor-mediated mechanisms of toxicity, and means of adaptation and acquired resistance to exposure to persistent organic pollutants. This presentation centered on looking at toxins in the marine environment, particularly dioxins, PCBs, POPs: the mechanisms of toxicity, what makes animals resistant, genetic markers for resistance.

— "Marine Magnetotactic Bacteria"
Dr. Katrina Edwards, WHOI, Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department
Dr. Edwards’ research interests include the role of microorganisms in mediating the rates and mechanisms of rock, mineral, and organic matter transformations, and in particular the effects of bacterial films on rocks. This talk was about the discovery of bacteria responsive to the earth’s magnetic field, their abundance and behavior, their ecological niches and importance. Included was a demonstration of how to isolate magnetotactic bacteria from a local marsh and stimulate them to move directionally in response to an external magnetic field.

— "Technology for Marine Exploration: ROVs and AUVs"
Mr. Martin Bowen, WHOI, Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering Department
As a Sr. Research Associate in the Deep Submergence Laboratory, Mr. Bowen has been a long-time pilot of the remotely-operated vehicle Jason, and was present when the Titanic was discovered and explored. This presentation was about the history of the development of technology for deep sea exploration, including the ROVs Jason and Medea, the versatility of this type of equipment for undersea work, and the engineering problems and solutions on the way to the current and next-generation ROVs and AUVs (remotely-operated vehicles and autonomous underwater vehicles).

— "A New Look at an Old Oil Spill"
Dr. Christopher Reddy, WHOI, Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department
Dr. Reddy’s research is concerned with understanding the source, transport, and fate of organic contaminants in the marine environment, using novel analytical techniques. This talk profiled original, current, and ongoing research into a devastating oil spill in a nearby marsh environment, relaying over 25 years of tracking of the hydrocarbon pollution in the marsh, the depth of penetration and the amount of retention and change of the hydrocarbons. Dr.Reddy emphasized that the oil hasn’t gone away in 25 years, that it still can be found in the marsh, and that the effects on the marine community are ongoing.

November 2001

— "Engineering for an Extreme Environment: Open-Ocean Moorings"
Mr. Rick Trask, WHOI, Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering Department
In this talk Mr. Trask, a Sr. Research Engineer, posed the problem of establishing deep moorings for instrumentation in the open ocean, and led the participants through various solutions. With demonstrations and props he explained the constraints imposed by weather, ocean conditions, salt water, marine life, and the like on the possible constructions of deep moorings. A classroom activity tailored to this topic was demonstrated.

— "A Window into the Private Lives of Dolphins"
Dr. Amy Samuels, WHOI, Biology Department
Dr. Samuels has been investigating dolphin behavior in the wild for many years, observing and tracking lineages in the same area in Australia. In this presentation she discussed social interactions and her methods of observation that emphasize objective recording of animal activities and behaviors.

— "The Alvin Submersible and Deep-Sea Technology"
Mr. Rick Chandler, WHOI, Alvin Submersible Operations Group
Mr. Chandler, Submersible Operations Coordinator, took participants on a trip through the development, history, and activities of the United States’ deepest-diving research submersible, Alvin. Included in the presentation were accounts of many of Alvin’s benchmark accomplishments, including the first discovery of sea floor hydrothermal vents.

— "Dive and Discover: A Look at Hydrothermal Vent Geology"
Dr. Susan Humphris, WHOI, Geology and Geophysics Department
Dr. Humphris’ research interests include the chemical reactions and alteration of the earth’s crust and seawater by undersea hydrothermal circulation processes at hydrothermal vent sites. Her presentation was on the geology of hydrothermal vent sites, and centered on the ongoing web project Dive and Discover (, a website with funding from the National Science Foundation dedicated to making the excitement of deep ocean research, deep-sea hydrothermal vents, geology, and deep ocean technology available to students and teachers through live chronicles of research voyages and dives in Alvin to the sea floor.