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Turning 50, Submarine Alvin Is Still Making Discoveries In The Ocean Depths

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Today is the 50th birthday of the submarine Alvin. But there’s no time for cake.  Alvin is a working sub…and it’s in the Gulf of Mexico right now. This week researchers are using Alvin to study organisms that live near oil seeps in the Gulf.

WCAI's Alecia Orsini sat down with Alvin Manager Bruce Strickrott to talk about the importance of human exploration of the deep sea.

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Alvin was one of the first vehicles able to carry people deep under the sea when it was commissioned 50 years ago in Woods Hole. It rose to stardom when it surveyed the wreck of the Titanic in 1986 and also got attention when it found a lost hydrogen bomb in the Mediterranean Sea. Alvin Group Manager and pilot Bruce Strickrott says he has been honored to work with the submarine. The sub is owned by the Navy and operated by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. It just went through a two-year, 41-million-dollar upgrade, making it a highly-sought-after tool for ocean scientists.

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Alecia Orsini is an award winning independent filmmaker and multi-media professional. She joined the team at WCAI in March of 2012 as a part time host. She became the Special Projects Assistant for Development department, where she coordinated events, volunteers and managed member engagement. As the Development Associate she continues to bring more meaningful connections to WCAI's members, fostering donor support of the station. Alecia also continues to fill in as host for Weekend Edition and All Things Considered.
Elsa Partan is a producer for Living Lab Radio. She first came to the station in 2002 as an intern and fell in love with radio. She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. From 2006 to 2009, she covered the state of Wyoming for the NPR member station Wyoming Public Media in Laramie. She was a newspaper reporter at The Mashpee Enterprise from 2010 to 2013. She lives in Falmouth with her husband and two daughters.