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Scientists from the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) collect sediments drilled from Earth’s crust. This marine research program supported by 24 countries is increasing our understanding of Earth’s history, structure, and changing environment. Learn...
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Welcome to Moorea, a tiny, isolated island in the middle of the vast Pacific...
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Ships are well-known for their tiny rooms and tight quarters. But have you...
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The ocean is so big that it can be easy to forget the microscopic beauty of the...

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“It’s a little appreciated fact that most of the animals in our ocean make light,” says Edie Widder, biologist and deep sea explorer at ORCA. In this TED talk, she shows incredible film and photos she took of animals in the open...
Inside the control van for the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Jason , Dr...
The sea's largest fish has been a mystery until recent decades. Thanks to...

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New technology is making it possible for scientists to go where they’ve never gone before, the depths of the icy Arctic...
Bycatch, the name given to fish and other ocean animals that are caught unintentionally, is a huge problem. Scientists and fishermen are joining forces to design new nets that catch only the targeted...
The Chikyu allows scientists to gather and study data about seafloor sediments as soon as they are collected. After a powerful 9.0 earthquake triggered a devestating tsunami in Japan in March 2011 ,...
Last week, Smithsonian research zoologists Dr. Jerry Harasewych and Dr. Martha Nizinski were in Curaçao looking for deep-sea marine gastropods and decapod crustaceans , respectively. I learned they...
Researcher Aimee Ellison tests samples for DNA barcoding at the Gump Field Station on Moorea.
Ocean conditions change every hour of every day. Tides, currents, and winds are constantly in flux. NOAA’s real-time data helps huge ships navigate safely under bridges and around obstacles. Explore...
A fleet of underwater floats called Argo is deployed at more than 3,000 spots around the world. The floats transmit information about water temperature, salinity, and pressure which scientists use to...
The ocean is so big that it can be easy to forget the microscopic beauty of the organisms that live within. Some of this beauty is documented by the Nikon Small World photomicrography competition ,...
Scripps Institution of Oceanography's FLoating Instrument Platform, or FLIP, conducts sea trials off San Diego in May 2009.
Doing scientific research on a ship isn't always easy. On top of having to live and sleep on a boat on the water, you have to fit all your scientific equipment onboard—and make sure it continues...
Diving to survey, sample, and manage marine life takes a great deal of skill and knowledge. This diver is sampling the seafloor, also known as the benthic zone. This kind of sampling is important for...
A hybrid underwater vehicle combines the best features of an ROV (remotely operated vehicle), which is connected to a ship in order to transmit data and video feeds, and an AUV (autonomous underwater...
This video, produced by Waterlust, shows how the Consortium for Advanced Research on Transport of Hydrocarbon in the Environment (CARTHE) uses drifters to collect important data about the ocean...
You’re out to sea on a 355 foot platform, and suddenly one end begins to slowly tip underwater. Should there be a call for evacuation? Are you sinking? Not if you’re on FLIP – the FLoating Instrument...
Researchers use Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS) like this one to study the diversity of coral reef organisms. They leave the structures underwater for about a year. Then they retrieve...
By Emily Frost Throw a message in a bottle into the vast ocean and where does it go? The answer to this question is not just a romantic curiosity. Thinking about where a small floating item might end...
Chilean and Smithsonian paleontologists study several fossil whale skeletons at Cerro Ballena, next to the Pan-American Highway in Atacama Region, Chile, in 2011. The fossils were discovered when the...
NOAA is working with students across the globe to place floating buoys throughout the ocean through their Adopt a Drifter Program . The buoys will drift with the help of ocean currents and record the...
You never know where following your passions can take you. I came to the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) two years ago as a research intern after graduating with a Bachelor’s...
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