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Bruce Tripp (WHOI) and Chris Polloni (USGS) organized the tour of Woods Hole with able assistance from Sandra Murphy (WHOI Information Office) and Marga McElroy (WHOI Engineering). They met the buses at the School Street lot and led the students and teachers around Eel Pond and past the Bell Tower to the Redfield Auditorium for a briefing and introduction to the village. The briefing included a video introduction to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The guided tour included four stops that were visited simultaneously by each of the four groups of students that were led by Bruce, Marga, Sandra, and Chris. The sites were the WHOI Deep Submergence Laboratory, WHOI Exhibit Center, NOAA Aquarium, and R/V Oceanus.
Helen Longyear opened the WHOI Exhibit Center for the tour. The center showcases a mockup of ALVIN and had pilot Dudley Foster and researcher Pamela Polloni as presenters. Dudley discussed deep submersible technology and aspects of rift vent exploration. Pam talked about a polychaete worm, Biremis blandi, which was found by Pilot Ed Bland during a dive in the Tongue of the Ocean, and Pam later co-authored the formal publication describing this discovery.
David Radosh made the NOAA Aquarium available. Anne Smrcina (NOAA, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary) and Tammy Middleton (USGS) provided respective overviews on the biologic and geologic mapping that is being accomplished as part of the joint agency research on the bank. The animals at the NOAA aquarium are representative of the population on the bank, and Anne provided a quiz list for the students to use as they identified the critters in the tanks.
The last site was sponsored by Alan Gordon and Hovey Clifford of the WHOI Marine Operations facility. The R/V Oceanus just happened to be at the dock and was part of the facility tour, as was the high bay area where buoys and other deep-sea instruments were being configured for deployment.
The tour ended back at Redfield where a final video was provided that gave some highlights of ALVIN operations and dive footage. Later in the evening, the keynote speakers at the MMA Symposium were Drs. Larry and Kate Madin. Larry is Chairman of the Biology Department at WHOI and Kate is the WHOI Education Curriculum Coordinator. Larry had close-up slides of jelly animals captured in blue-water dives. Kate took us to the hot vents of the deep ocean. They each covered first-hand experiences and recent discoveries in oceanographic research.
The Saturday activities included mini-seminars focusing on environmental research. One of the exhibits focused on the plume clean-up activities at the Massachusetts Military Reservation. Chris Polloni (USGS) provided his traditional overview (four 1-hr sessions) of information systems designed to deliver marine environmental data on the USGS World Wide Web and to publish USGS CD-ROMs as an interactive hands-on demonstration in the MMA computer laboratory. More than 300 students and teachers participated in the two-day conference.
Photographs for this article were taken with a digital camera by Ben Polloni, a student at Falmouth High School.
in this issue: Monitoring Hawai'i Coral Reefs
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