Alvin (DSV-2) is a manned deep-ocean research submersible owned by the United States Navy and operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. The vehicle was built by General Mills’ Electronics Group in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Named to honor the prime mover and creative inspiration for the vehicle, Allyn Vine, Alvin was commissioned on 5 June 1964. The submersible is launched from the deep submergence support vessel R/V Atlantis (AGOR-25), which is also owned by the U.S. Navy and operated by WHOI. The submersible has made over 4,400 dives, carrying two scientists and a pilot, to observe the lifeforms that must cope with super-pressures and move about in total darkness. Research conducted by Alvin has been featured in nearly 2,000 scientific papers.
There is a small chance I can go diving with Alvin for my graduate research on hydrothermal vents. Fingers crossed!
A lounging elephant seal casts a wary, but sleepy, eye on a group of researchers on Torgersen Island, Antarctica. The scientific team, which included WHOI scientist emeritus Peter Wiebe and University of Connecticut biologist Ann Bucklin, visited the island during their research cruise in 2011 aboard the research vessel Laurence M. Gould near the West Antarctic Peninsula. The team sampled krill,salps, and other zooplankton and took measurements of water properties to a depth of 1,000 meters, to determine how those characteristics affect the distribution and ecology of the zooplankton. (Photo by Peter Wiebe, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
This white crab with long, hairy arms was spotted on the seafloor in the southeast Pacific in March 2005. The crab’s morphology showed that it was not only a new species, but that it belonged to a previously unknown genus and—even higher in the hierarchy of taxonomy—to an entirely new family of crab.