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The Ocean Blog

Dennis Whigham, Senior Botanist, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
My graduate student Jorge and I are departing today for Panama, to excavate a fossil whale that was discovered by an undergraduate student working with Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute...
Hermit crabs, like this one collected in Moorea, usually protect their soft, vulnerable abdomens from predators by reusing empty snail shells. They are picky home owners and they will trade shells...
Collect, sort, identify, photograph, sample, record. Repeat a couple thousand times. This is what the students and researchers have been doing as the Indonesian Biodiversity Research Center (IBRC)...
Imagine: You’re in a small submersible, and you gently settle on the soft muddy bottom at a depth of 12,000 feet. It’s absolutely dark. What will you see when the exterior lights are turned on? Will...
To people living in warm climates, all ice looks the same. But if you live day-in and day-out on sea ice, like the Inupiaq people of Alaska, you would find that there are many kinds of ice, all...
Jorge and I arrived in Panama City around 3 pm this afternoon, and took a taxi to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI)'s headquarters in the Gorgas neighborhood of downtown Panama City...
Jorge and I packed up the night we arrived in Panama with Aaron O'Dea and his team from STRI . The road we took in two field vehicles mostly followed the Panama Canal heading northwards; we had to...
In Edgewater, Maryland, scientists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center examine the influences of climate change, excess nutrients, and surrounding habitats on mangroves. They have also...
Dr. Candy Feller is framed by the roots of a mangrove tree on Panama’s Pacific coast. Mangrove trees grow particularly large in this area. More about mangroves can be found in our Mangroves featured...
Follow researchers Candy Feller and Dennis Whigham from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center as they scramble, climb, crawl, and creep through the tangled roots of a mangrove forest. In this...
Brian Huber studies fossil organisms known as “ forams ” to learn about climate change in this video snippet from the Smithsonian Marine Collections video . More about world climate change can be...
The invasive reed Phragmites australis can create new plants through seeds (shown here) or underground rhizomes. Scientists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center have discovered that seeds...
Building the Smithsonian's Sant Ocean Hall --like any major exhibition--was a major undertaking. Over the course of five years, it required hundreds of people with a vast array of skills and...
Dr. Nancy Knowlton holds the Sant Chair in Marine Science at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.
On April 27, 1986, an estimated 50,000 barrels of medium-weight crude oil drained from a ruptured storage tank at a refinery in Panama, polluting the coast and the Smithsonian Tropical Research...
Dr. Carole Baldwin, Smithsonian Curator of Fishes, and Adrien "Dutch" Schrier of the Curacao Seaquarium reflect the holiday spirit as they work off the coast of Curacao in the southern Caribbean.
Smithsonian Zoologist Dr. Clyde Roper (rear) and museum specialist Mike Sweeney examine the mantle of a dead giant squid. Everything we know about giant squid comes from studying specimens found...
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