Guest Blog Posts

The Ocean Blog

As I readied myself and my camera for a dive in Yellowstone Lake, the largest body of water in Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park, I thought I was on top of my game. I had recently specialized in...
Most people try to avoid rotting kelp at the beach. The feeling of a floating piece of seaweed wrapping around an ankle is enough to shake even the most steeled swimmer, and then there's the strong...
You are not alone if you don’t know what forams (short for foraminifera) are, so let’s start with the basics. Simply put, forams are single-celled organisms related to the familiar amoeba that...
Once upon a time, the ocean was considered the last place where we could still find an undisturbed environment. This was before the plague of man-made plastic trash flooded the seas. During my...
Sunday, November 21 marks World Fisheries Day , an annual occasion observed in many fishing communities around the world. It’s a great opportunity—even for those of us who do not fish for a living—to...
All over the world, people have been witnessing gigantic blooms of tens of thousands of jellyfish where once there were only a few. Fishers find them clogging their nets and costing them dearly. In...
It’s hard not to identify with penguins as they waddle about upright on land, clad in their tuxedo-like plumage. In their crowded breeding colonies, they squabble with and show off to their neighbors...
I have been at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History since 1966, studying and reporting on all kinds of octopuses and squids . But I’ve always had a particular fascination with the...
How do you explain a scientific paper in three minutes or less? What if you were being judged by a bunch of middle-schoolers in classrooms around the world… and you only had a month to do it? The...
Any floating object in the ocean tends to attract life; fishermen know this and deploy floating buoys to concentrate fish for harvesting. Plastic marine debris is no different and, at microscopic...
Humpback whales ( Megaptera novaengliae ) are the most abundant baleen whale in the nearshore waters around the Antarctic Peninsula. They, along with millions of penguins, seals, seabirds, and other...
2012 marked the 70th anniversary of a series of World War II battles in the Pacific Ocean and on its islands, which are collectively known as the “Pacific theatre.” While the battles are long over,...
Over the past several decades, Florida’s coastal wetlands have been changing. Along the eastern shore, researchers have seen small mangrove trees appearing in areas further north than they usually...
The year 2010 will likely be remembered as a tragic time for the ocean. Yet, despite the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, I have hope for our ocean’s future. Last week President Obama signed an...
Reef biologists over a certain age are haunted by memories of what glorious places Caribbean reefs once were. In our youth we studied them for all sorts of reasons but scarcely thought about reef...
Welcome to Citizens of the Sea , a new blog series where ocean life comes to life. Our book by the same name came out in September, but no sooner had it gone off to the printer than new ocean stories...
The open ocean is surprisingly barren to the naked eye. Every now and again you will encounter a school of fish and their attendant predators, but most of the life that you find is gathered around...
My father once told me that the world is divided into two kinds of people: those who believe that the world is divided into two kinds of people and those who don’t. Wherever you come down on this...
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