Christine Hoekenga's blog

Into the Blue: Join Us for Science & Scuba Symposium

Research Diver Collecting Data
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Jacques Cousteau once said, “When you dive, you begin to feel like an angel."

It’s true. When a diver dons a tank and slips into the water, the noisy clatter of the world disappears and the sensation of weightlessness takes over. The unrestrained expanse of blue water. The dazzling rainbow of marine life. The splinters of silver light dancing through the water column. Scuba diving is an experience like no other.

On Earth Day, Think Blue.

Students Hiking at Inspiration Point
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Earth Day is a fitting occasion to celebrate the Big Blue.

While our planet may be called “Earth,” 71% of its surface is actually covered by water. This vast ocean makes our planet habitable—for us and all life. It produces half the oxygen we breathe. It moderates climate, absorbs carbon from the atmosphere, furnishes food and jobs to millions of people, and provides countless other services to humankind.

The ocean does so much for us. On Earth Day, surely we can return the favor. Whatever you’re planning to do today, there are actions you can take to protect the ocean.

Teach Us

Student Assists with Shore Survey
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Welcome Teachers! Thank you for visiting the Ocean Portal. We hope the “OP” will be a valuable tool for you and for your students—a place where you can find teaching resources and your students can find helpful, exciting, or just-plain-weird content that sparks interest in science and the ocean. When we began developing educator resources for the OP, we surveyed hundreds of teachers about the kinds of features and materials they would find useful (thanks to those of you who participated!).

Finding Little Gems in the Sea

One Cubic Foot of Reef
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This month, our friends at National Geographic are featuring Smithsonian's own bio-scavenger, Chris Meyer and his work in one of our favorite places: Moorea, French Polynesia.

Resolve to Protect the Ocean

Diver Cleaning Up Reef
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Happy New Year! We’ve officially hit mid-January, but there is still plenty of time to make those resolutions. If you’ve been putting it off or haven’t come up with a worthy resolution yet, why not resolve to do something to help the ocean? The ocean does so many things for us, surely we can return the favor by making small changes in our daily lives. Drawing a blank? Here are some idea to get started:

Learning from a Sea of Teachers

Teacher's Night Logo
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On Friday, the OP Team had another great opportunity to talk face-to-face with some of the people that the Ocean Portal will serve: teachers. More than 4,000 teachers attended Smithsonian Teachers Night, and hundreds stopped by our table in the Sant Ocean Hall to chat with us and learn more about the OP. Teachers, your enthusiasm was infectious! We thought it was interesting how many of you noted the need for great pictures and video, as well as really cool, interesting, and even weird information that can help hook students.

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