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Ocean Sciences (OCE) Discoveries

NSF's public investment in science, engineering, education and technology helps to create knowledge and sustain prosperity. Read here about the Internet, microbursts, Web browsers, extrasolar planets, and more... a panoply of discoveries and innovations that began with NSF support.

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Photo of seaweed washed up on a beach. All Washed Up and Somewhere to Go
Seaweed on beaches is an ecological treasure trove
Released  July 20, 2012
Photo of the submersible Alvin collecting samples from The Deep. Hitchhiker's Guide to The Deep
Creatures of the abyss invade surface world
Released  June 8, 2012
Image of a Queen of Spades card. Queen of Spades Key to New Evolutionary Hypothesis
Microscopic ocean plankton mimic card also known as the Black Queen
Released  May 10, 2012
Photo of vessels and platforms responding to the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010. Gulf Oil Spill: Scientists Develop New Model for Deep-water Oil Spills
Call for a "whole new type" of marine ecology
Released  April 20, 2012
Photo of fog over the cloud forest in Ecuador's Oyacachi watershed. Earth Week: A Stream Is a Stream Is a Stream: Or Is It?
Scientists ford high-mountain waterways in North, South America to find out
Released  April 16, 2012
Image of a stream flowing through a forest in the H.J. Andrews LTER site. Long-term Ecological Research Reveals Causes and Consequences of Environmental Change
New insights as NSF Long Term Ecological Research Network reflects on three decades of science
Released  April 6, 2012
Image of snow-covered Mount Washington, N.H. The Snows of Mount Washington
Climate and environmental change in the U.S. northeast corridor
Released  March 2, 2012
Photo of a Cape sugarbird resting on a protea flower. Biodiversity of Earth's Richest Plant Kingdom Under Fire
In response to climate change, will a postage-sized-domain move uphill--and ultimately out of room?
Released  January 27, 2012
Aerial view of ocean near Mo'orea. Trouble in Paradise: Ocean Acidification This Way Comes
Sustainability of tropical corals in question, but some species developing survival mechanisms
Released  January 4, 2012
Photo of Adam Rosenblatt holding an alligator. Alligator Commuters: Gators' Travels Link Freshwater and Marine Ecosystems
Florida alligators travel upstream and downstream between marshes and the coast
Released  June 23, 2011
Photo taken underwater of the giant kelp canopy in the Santa Barbara Channel. New View of Undersea Giant Kelp Forest "Canopy"--From Satellites Above
Marine scientists discover wave disturbance, nutrient levels affect California giant kelp growth
Released  May 25, 2011
Photo of John Kessler and David Valentine in front of the Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill. How Tiny Microbes Took a Big Bite out of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
Two scientists describe their research on the fate of massive methane releases from the Gulf oil spill during the summer and fall of 2010
Released  May 23, 2011
Photo of Cristiano Collettini looking at the Zuccale Fault on the Isle of Elba, Italy. Mystery Behind Weak Earthquake Faults Solved
Chris Marone and Cristiano Collettini on their research team's work to find out why low-angle, normal faults slip
Released  April 9, 2010
Photo of a researcher collecting soil samples at the Arctic LTER site. Life Underground Critical to Earth's Ecosystems
Scientists travel 'down the rabbit hole' for new view of subterranean biodiversity
Released  July 29, 2009
Photo of Katrina Edwards sub-sampling volcanic basalt for microbiology as Brian Midson looks on. Hunting for Life in Rocks Beneath the Seas
University of Southern California geobiologist Katrina Edwards describes research to find and characterize microbes in the crust beneath the deep sea
Released  May 8, 2009
Photo of Kakani Young swimming among jellyfish. Jellyfish: Far From Passive Drifters-in-the-currents
"Biomixing" by floating animals churns waters in oceans, seas, lakes
Released  May 8, 2009
Eight thumbnail images and 2008 in Review 2008: Year in Review
A look back at some of the NSF-supported advances and activities that made news last year
Released  March 13, 2009
Photo of a jellyfish swarm. Jellyfish Researcher Explains How and Why Jellyfish Swarms Form
Why are large swarms of jellyfish and other gelatinous animals being reported in many of the world's popular fishing and vacation spots?
Released  December 16, 2008
Ilustration of a crater formed from the impact of a comet or asteroid in Chesapeake Bay. Crumbling Walls of Ancient Chesapeake Bay Crater Threaten Regional Groundwater Supplies
Saltwater intrusion into collapsing crater also allows microbes to flourish
Released  August 12, 2008
Photo of lionfish and other fish. Atlantic Coral Reefs Are No Match for This Lion
Scientists detail the extensive damage to coral reefs in the Atlantic Ocean caused by invasive lionfish species, warn of potential catastrophe
Released  July 29, 2008
A conceptual view of a new pathway for methane production in the oceans. Methane Formation in the Oceans: New Pathway Discovered
Significant importance for study of greenhouse gas production on Earth
Released  July 10, 2008
Photo of the research vessel Pacific Storm. Scientists See Squid Attack Squid
Oregon State oceanographer Kelly Benoit-Bird and colleagues succeed in using sonar to track Humboldt squid
Released  June 27, 2008
Photo of the CTD/rosette that contains sampling bottles and instruments. How Desert Dust Feeds the World's Oceans
Scientists sample dust and trace metals in seawater to learn more about climatic change
Released  May 9, 2008
Photo of the view from the driver's seat, or the "bridge," on the R/V Roger Revelle. For Better or Worse, Modern Ocean Explorers Stay Connected
Improvements in shipboard communications mean scientists can keep in constant touch, even when their research takes them to remote locations
Released  April 28, 2008
Photo shows Gretchen Hofmann and Tom Crombia carrying out a "field repair" on the rover. High School Students Build Antarctic Submersible
Two female high school graduates build an underwater, camera-equipped "rover" that can operate beneath polar ice
Released  April 14, 2008
University of Hawaii researchers use taglines to control sway of sampling device entering water. Mysterious Compound Seen as Key to Ocean Life
Scientists study chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) to gain a better understanding of life in the oceans
Released  April 7, 2008
2007 In Review 2007: Year in Review
A look back at some of the NSF-supported advances and activities reported last year
Released  January 30, 2008
Illustration of a new way in which ocean water circulates through deep-sea vents. Quakes Under Pacific Ocean Floor Reveal Unexpected Circulation System
Research upsets long-held view of volcanism-driven hydrothermal vents
Released  January 11, 2008
Aerial photo of ice cover on northern lakes Winter Ice on Lakes, Rivers, Ponds: A Thing of the Past?
Records over 150 years show trend toward fewer days of ice cover
Released  January 10, 2008
Photo of a shipworm Clams Convert Air Into Food
Trait no longer the domain only of plants
Released  January 10, 2008

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