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Dive and Discover is...

an interactive distance learning Web site designed to immerse you in the excitement of discovery and exploration of the deep seafloor. Dive and Discover brings you right on board a series of research cruises around the globe, and gives you access to the latest oceanographic and deep submergence research as it happens!

Be at the front line of scientific inquiry and join scientists—geologists, geophysicists, chemists and biologists—who are exploring the seafloor and making amazing deep-sea discoveries. Daily updates, photos, videos, and e-mail correspondence with scientists aboard research vessels allow you to follow the progress of the scientific mission and find out about life on the floating laboratories at sea.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

In 1927, a National Academy of Sciences committee concluded that it was time to "consider the share of the United States of America in a worldwide program of oceanographic research."

The committee's recommendation for establishing a permanent independent research laboratory on the East Coast to "prosecute oceanography in all its branches" led to the founding in 1930 of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. A $3 million grant from the Rockefeller Foundation supported the summer work of a dozen scientists, construction of a laboratory building and commissioning of a research vessel, the 142-foot ketch Atlantis, whose profile still forms the Institution's logo.

WHOI grew substantially to support significant defense-related research during World War II, and later began a steady growth in staff, research fleet, and scientific stature. Over the years, WHOI scientists have made discoveries about the ocean that have contributed to improving our commerce, health, national security, and quality of life. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, independent, not-for-profit corporation dedicated to research and higher education at the frontiers of ocean science.

Its primary mission is to develop and effectively communicate a fundamental understanding of the processes and characteristics governing how the oceans function and how they interact with the Earth as a whole. It is the goal of the Institution to be a world leader in advancing and communicating a basic understanding of the oceans and their decisive role in addressing global questions.

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For more information regarding the Dive and Discover Project, contact

National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…" With an annual budget of about $5.5 billion, they are the funding source for approximately 20 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America's colleges and universities. In many fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences, NSF is the major source of federal backing.

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Dive & Discover Creators

Dan Fornari, Senior Scientist
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Dr. Fornari is interested in studying small volcanoes (seamounts) on the ocean floor and the volcanic and hydrothermal processes at the Mid-Ocean Ridge axis. He has worked extensively on studies of hydrothermal vents and related biological communities following underwater eruptions. He has also have been involved with improvements to the submersible Alvin and to remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and tethered vehicles operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Susan Humphris, Senior Scientist
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Dr. Humphris’ research focuses on understanding hydrothermal processes at mid-ocean ridges. She has mapped and sampled various sites of hydrothermal activity using the submersible Alvin and several remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), including Jason. Her goal was to understand the relationship between hydrothermal processes and volcanic activity. She has also worked extensively on the chemical reactions that take place between circulating seawater and the oceanic crust in hydrothermal systems. These reactions are important to understanding how seawater gets transformed into the hot hydrothermal fluid.


Website credits

Katherine Spencer Joyce, Creative Director
Danielle Fino, Director of Public Engagement & Marketing
Ken Kostel, Director of Research Communications
Lonny Lippsett, Director of Content & Publications

Natalie Renier
E. Paul Oberlander

Web and interactive development:
Dina Pandya
Ethan Andrews

And many thanks to the numerous writers over the years who have contributed to our successful expeditions since 2000.