Technology

Technology can help scientists, students and citizens access and understand one of the least explored ecosystems on Earth.

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Two killer whales.

How Drones in the Sky Unlock Secrets of the Sea

A remote-controlled hexacopter captured this image of two northern resident killer whales photographed from 100 feet. Scientists use the unmanned drone as a cost-effective, non-intrusive method for monitoring the health of whales. Credit: NOAA,...
Aquatic Locomotion of a Sea Lion

How Do Sea Lions Swim?

Sea lions generate thrust, or forward propulsion, by bringing their fore-flippers together in big sweeping motions called “claps.” When a sea lion “claps,” it stretches its flippers out to the sides and sweeps them...
Two nurse sharks hover over a baited cage

Shark Snapshot - Saving sharks with an underwater photoshoot

Tawny nurse sharks are common visitors to FinPrint's baited remote underwater videos (BRUVs). Here, two swim in the Ashmore Reef off the West Coast of Australia. Credit: Global FinPrint Sharks make headlines, but we...
Slocum Glider

Teams of Robots Can Help Us Build 3D Maps of the Ocean

One of ten robots that examined an area of 800 cubic kilometers in northern Monterey Bay, over the course of 24 days, in 2006. Credit: Dr. Naomi Ehrich Leonard By Kalila Morsink One of...
Wind Turbines off of Block Island

An Ocean of Energy: Bringing Offshore Wind to America

The Block Island wind farm is the first operational offshore wind farm in the United States. It consists of five wind turbines which powered up in December 2016 and were connected to the mainland...
Walter Adey and the NMNH coral reef tank

The Evolution of a Reef Aquarium

Adey in front of the original reef microcosm in the National Museum of Natural History. Credit: Smithsonian Institution Archives In the late 1970s, Walter Adey, a paleobiologist and coral reef researcher at the National...
A beaked whale at the ocean's surface

Seeing with Sound: Acoustic monitoring of beaked whales can help determine oil spill impacts

A Gervais' beaked whale comes up to the surface to take a quick breath. Credit: NOAA By L.K. Ward and Danielle Hall When compared to dolphins and large baleen whales, beaked whales lose a...
Ocean Portal Logo

Tough Teeth and Parrotfish Poop

Parrotfish spend their days chomping down on coral. Credit: © Barry Fackler, Flickr By Ashley Gallagher What goes in must come out in some form, and with parrotfish, what comes out is sand. As...

National Ocean Science Bowl winning video

From discovering new marine life to exploring the wreck of the Titanic , ROV’s and other technology are helping us get a closer look at the more than two thirds of our planet that...
A screenshot of some of Smithsonian's marine story windows in Google Earth

What Lives in the Gulf of Mexico? Exploring Marine Collections on Google Earth

When he was 10 years old, Stephen Cairns lived in Cuba where he kept a collection of butterflies and sea shells. When his family moved to Louisiana, he could bring only one of the...
Giant Pacific Manta Ray, Roca Partida Sea Mount, Revillagigedos Islands, Mexico

Tagging and Tracking Animals Underwater

“Manta rays sometimes approach divers; an up-close encounter with such a huge, peaceful animal is unforgettable!” -- Nature's Best photographer, Deborah Smrekar. Equipment Used to Capture the Shot: Nikon D70; 12-24mm; 1/100 sec at...

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