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History of the WHOI/Cape Abilities Partnership

In 2010, Rob Evans received a Major Research Infrastructure Grant from the NSF to build 20 new Seafloor Magnetotelluric Instruments. As part of the proposal's Broader Impact (Criterion II) section, Evans contracted Cape Abilities to build the 180 new Silver Silver Chloride Electrodes required for the fleet of new instruments.

The Cape Abilities/WHOI Partnership formally began in December 2010 when Cape Abilities hired Trevor Harrison as Project Manager for the electrode production and he began working in Woods Hole. In the following few months, the electrode was redesigned to take advantage of new materials – the design hadn't changed in 40 years – and to make the production process more amenable to Cape Abilities construction.

In May 2011, a crew of four Cape Abilities workers began coming into the WHOI lab, overseen by Job Coach Buzz Friend and Project Manager Trevor Harrison. The pilot project was completed, as were two more projects: constructing aeolian sediment traps and alkaline battery packs. For details, read about all the Past Projects.

Nick Waldo took over as Project Manager in September 2013. In October of that year Cape Abilities workers began preparing sediment samples for isotope analysis in the Coastal Research Lab. This ongoing project is the first entry of Cape Abilities into working with samples and data rather than building instruments for future use, and opens the possibility for more types of work in future collaborations.

In September 2015, Charlotte Wiman began as Project Manager of the partnership.


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Related Links

» Cape Abilities Partnership Video
Senior Scientist Rob Evans explains the pilot project.

» National Science Foundation