Tina Tennessen's blog

Summer Beach Reads

Ocean Reading
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Memorial Day is nearly upon us. We thought it'd be a good time to think about our summer beach reads. And yes, we're taking the phrase literally. 

(A quick aside: As a Minnesota-native I'd argue that winter is an equally good time to embark on an ocean reading list. Especially if the subject matter veers in the tropical direction.) 

Your Ocean Poems

Ocean Love
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May is here and that means National Poetry Month is officially over. As promised, we're going to highlight a few of the submissions we've received from our call for your ocean poems.

Sailors, divers, and sunbathers all penned poems. Some praised the big blue's beauty. Others bemoaned its mistreatment. Coral reefs inspired some, aircraft carriers moved others (literally and figuratively).

The Gulf Oil Spill: Send in Your Questions

Deepwater Horizon Fire
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With the nuclear and humanitarian crisis in Japan, major political changes in North Africa and the Middle East, and heated budget battles here in the United States, you'd be forgiven for not remembering that nearly one year ago the Gulf of Mexico was dominating the news.

On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, killing 11 people and opening up a well that pumped nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the ocean. It was the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

One year later, where do things stand?

Arctic Sea Ice: A New Low?

Arctic Sea Ice Extent Graph
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At a recent staff meeting a Smithsonian colleague mentioned that one of his pastimes this summer has been keeping tabs on the Arctic sea ice. The question that's on many Arctic-watchers' minds is whether or not the 2011 sea ice coverage will reach a new record low.

Tunas and Marlins Officially Classified as Threatened

Southern Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus maccoyii)
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Extinction is a real possibility for three species of tunas. That’s one of the messages from a new study released today online in the
journal Science

Your Ode to the Big Blue

Pearl and Hermes Atoll Coral
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April is National Poetry Month here in the United States. We'd like you to help us celebrate by penning a poem in the comment field below or on our Facebook page

Not the next Walt Whitman? Fear not. 

 

Make Me Care About: Phragmites

Make Me Care About: Phragmites (Video)
Phragmites australis
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This week at the Smithsonian Ocean Portal we embark on an experiment we're calling "Make Me Care." The concept is simple: we ask a renowned expert to tell us why we should care about his or her marine subject matter. We're giving them only about a minute on video to accomplish the task, so it's a difficult - and not very fair - challenge. 

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