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!). Those suggestions helped shape the current version of the site, and now we are looking to you for the next round of feedback.

Please, teach us. Give us your two cents by leaving comments, filling out the quick feedback form in the upper right-hand corner of every page, or emailing us at ocean@si.edu. If you have a few more minutes to spare, please share more details about your experience by filling out the full survey or joining the OP User Advisory Panel. What do you like about the site? What’s missing? What could we add or change to make the OP a tool that meets your teaching needs?

In addition to the Educators’ Corner, you may want to check out the Ocean Over Time, which uses flash animation to help put the Earth’s long history in perspective and introduce some of the wild creatures that cruised the seas millions of years ago. The Cool Stuff features, which accompany every species, ecosystem, and science topic page, also offer bizarre, unexpected, and even humorous hooks to get students thinking about the ocean. This is an experiment and an invitation. It is our first attempt to build a web site in dialogue with the users and our first effort to create a web tool to help teachers. We want to develop an online community that serves you and your students, so please let us know what you want to see next. We can’t wait to hear from you.