make resources available to support individual and collaborative focused research based in the Arctic region through 2007.
The WHOI's fourth institute, the Deep Ocean Exploration Institute, encourages multidisciplinary research endeavors throughout WHOI and advocates the development of deep-sea technology, including vehicles such as Alvin, the Deep Submergence Vehicle owned by the U.S. Navy and operated by WHOI. In addition to Alvin, the National Deep Submergence Facility, funded by the federal government and located at WHOI, oversees the operation of the remotely operated vehicle Jason/Medea and the robotic underwater vehicle ABE. The year 2008 will be one of significant change as the ABE is replaced by the Sentry, which can dive to greater depths and has longer deployment capability than its predecessor.
Of even greater note is the anticipated retirement in 2008 of Alvin, which carries two scientists and a pilot as deep as 3 mi. (4.8 km.) for 6- to 10-hour dives. The submersible vehicle, which has made more than 4,000 dives since 1964, can reach almost two-thirds of the ocean's floor, moving at speeds up to 1.5 m.p.h. Alvin has remained a state-of-the-art vehicle because it has been disassembled, inspected, and reassembled every 3 to 5 years. Every part of Alvin has been replaced at least once in the vehicle's lifetime, but additional refurbishing will unlikely enable the sub to do more than it does now. Alvin's replacement vehicle will be funded by the National Science Foundation and will reach greater depths than Alvin, reaching almost the complete ocean floor. WHOI has indicated that operating both submergence vehicles is cost-prohibitive. Alvin leaves behind a rich history that has included locating a lost hydrogen bomb in the Mediterranean Sea, photographing the Titanic, and exploring deep-sea hydrothermal vents, where it gathered information about 300 life-forms that were previously unknown.
The WHOI's research fleet, which in addition to its submergence vehicles includes one of the United States' newest research vessels, the Navy-owned Atlantis, among its ships, provides students in the joint program offered by WHOI and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) incomparable opportunities at research and learning. The MIT/ WHOI Joint Program ranks among the leading graduate marine science programs in the world. In addition,
WHOI 's Geophysical Fluids Dynamic (GFD) Program offers eight to 10 new graduate fellows each year the unique experience of participating in an intensive 10-week interdisciplinary research program. The students present a lecture and prepare a written report for inclusion in the GFD Proceedings Volumes.
Students who have fulfilled the requirements of a Ph.D. program may be awarded one of several postdoctoral appointments: the scholar, fellow, or investigator. Postdoctoral scholarships are awarded for 18 months in the fields of oceanography, biology, chemistry, engineering, geology, geophysics, mathematics, meteorology, physics, and biology. In addition, professionals in law, social sciences, or natural sciences may apply for Marine Policy Fellowships, which focus on the examination of maritime conflicts. The WHOI also appoints postdoctoral investigators to positions that fall within the parameters of existing research contracts or grants.
In addition to its premier graduate and postdoctoral programs, WHOI provides opportunities for undergraduate students to gain experience through its Summer Student and Minority Fellowship programs, working in partnership with scientists and engineers on a wide range of scientific topics.
WHOI also grants a limited number of undergraduate students and certain advanced high school students the chance to participate in WHOI's education programs as Guest Students for up to 1 year. Middle school teachers benefit from participation in profession development workshops presented by WHOI scientists and engineers at the WHOI Exhibit Center, which highlights the institution's research programs and vessels.
The WHOI, in partnership with the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), an international research center for biology, biomedicine, and ecology, makes a critical contribution to the everyday operation of the MBLWHOI Library. The library, acclaimed for having one of the world's largest collections, both print and electronic, in biomedicine, oceanography, marine biology, and ecology, meets the daily needs of WHOI and MBL scientists and associated researchers. Researchers and students affiliated with the MIT/WHOI Joint Program, the Boston University Marine Program, the Sea Education Association, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration, and the United States Geological Survey also make use of the library's services and resources.
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