Skip to content

Teacher Workshop 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.

Resources for "Engineering for an Extreme Environment: Open-Ocean Moorings"

TAO Project (real-time data from moored ocean buoys from the Tropical Atmosphere Ocean Array—TAO—Project)

National Data Buoy Center (recent marine data)

TRITON Buoys (Triangle Trans-Ocean Buoy Network)

International Arctic Buoy Programme

The Global Ocean Drifter Center of the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Lab

Innovative Coastal-Ocean Observing Network Moorings

Upper Ocean Processes Group of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Wind Driven Ocean Currents: Rubber Ducks and Nikes

Nike experiment (a description of the scientific value of these accidents, from the American Geophysical Union)

NOPP Ocean Drifters Project—Partnering Ocean Science, Education and Technology

Surface Mooring Technology: A Recent History
Trask, R.P. and R.A. Weller
In: Oceanus, Spring/Summer 1995, pp. 2-5

A Place to Stand: The Mooring Techs
Gidwitz, T.
In: Woods Hole Currents, Summer 1996, pp. 3-8

The WHOI Buoy Project: Mooring Technology's Early Days
Heinmiller, B. and N. Fofonoff
In: Oceanus, Spring/Summer 1995, pp. 7-9

"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.

Resources for "A Window into the Private Lives of Dolphins"

The Brookfield Zoo web site

Sarasota Dolphin Research Program

The Faunal Communications Research Institute

The Dolphin Institute (site with texts of scientific papers)

Bottlenose dolphin index from Sea World

Explanation of Dolphin communication

Sea World site with classroom activities, K-12

Animal Behavior Society

PMEL Acoustic Monitoring Project, click on bioacoustics


The Society for Marine Mammology

Hawaii Whale Research Foundation

The Center for Coastal Studies, Provincetown, Massachusetts 

A Noisy Silent Spring
Nadis, S.
In: Woods Hole Currents, Summer 1998, pp. 8-10

Now You See Me, Now You Don't: Basic Research in Dolphin Communication and Behavior
In: Ocean Explorer, May 1993, Vol. 2, No. 4, pp. 1-7

Flukeprints: A History of Studying Cetacean Societies
Samuels, A. and P. Tyack
In: Cetacean Societies: Field Studies of Dolphins and Whales (edited by J. Mann, R.C. Connor, P.L. Tyack, and H. Whitehead), pp. 9-44

Echolocation Lab, by Access Excellence

Using an Observation Log to Enhance Studies in Biology, by Access Excellence

Mapping Animal Behavior, an AskERIC Lesson Plan

Animal Adaptations: Focus on Bird Beaks

Investigating Animal Behavior
In: Turnstone Ocean Pilot, pp. 48-53

Termite Tracking

"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.

Resources for "The Alvin Submersible and Deep-Sea Technology"

How Stuff Works, submarines

Office of Naval Research

Alvin's history, with images

R/V Atlantis

Water Pressure exercice

Coast Project, technology links

Vessels and Vehicles of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Buoyancy activity

Put it There: Building a Manipulator Arm activity
Part of the NSTA Jason IV Curriculum

Creature from the Deep, a Sea Education Association lesson plan

"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.

Resources for "Dive and Discover: A Look at Hydrothermal Vent Geology"

WHOI's Dive and Discover: Expeditions to the Seafloor

Excellent web links recommended by the Dive and Discover project leaders:

Extreme 2000: Voyage to the Deep

Black Smoker Expedition

REVEL Project

How Stuff Works: Submarines

Ocean Planet (Smithsonian)

The Remarkable Ocean World

Neptune's Web

ThinkQuest: Earth Science and the Environment

The RIDGE Project

Mystic Aquarium Institute for Exploration

Blow the Ballast! People in the Sea, from the Navy

Deep-Sea Pages from a faculty member at Whitman College (Washington)

Deep-Sea Research Newsgroup (many resources)

NOAA Explorations Deep East Cruise

British Ocean Sediment Core Repository (BOSCOR) (info. on coring, nice history of seafloor sampling since the HMS Challenger expedition)

Marine Geological Samples Laboratory at the University of Rhode Island (information on borrowing samples/cores for educational purposes)

U.S. Geological Survey's Western Region Coastal and Marine Geology Information Bank (nice resources for Earth science researchers, students from elementary through college, policy makers, and general public)

NOAA's National Geophysical Data Center (Marine Geology and Geophysics)

WHOI Core Lab

Voyage to Puna Ridge (join an international team of scientists on a 36-day ocean voyage to Hawaii's most spectacular volcano!)

Ocean Drilling Program (lots of great links!)

National Science Foundation Ocean Drilling pages

Joint Oceanographic Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling (JOIDES)

USGS Seafloor Mapping Technology (Woods Hole Field Center)

University of Hawaii Mapping Research Group

American Geological Institute Educational Project

The Mid-Ocean Ridge: Part II
Vol. 42, No. 2, 1998
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Make a Miniature Deepsea Vent, by New England Aquarium

Hydrothermal Vent Communities, by Michael Botos

Hydrothermal Vent Communities Student Activity, by Michael Botos

Volcanoes of the Deep, a NOVA student handout

Oceanography Lesson Plans for Science, Pressure, by Neptune's Web