Human Connections

When thinking of "human connections" with the ocean, most people would think about pollution or overfishing. But humans are also explorers and scientists, artists and writers. Explore how the ocean has influenced human culture and how you can get involved.

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Ocean Views 2012 Contest Winners

From Nature's Best Photography Explore the winning photos from the 2012 Nature's Best Photography Ocean Views contest! You...
An underwater photo of a school of jacks and a scuba diver

Release Your Inner Blue Poet

"I was photographing this beautiful school of jacks when a diver slowly approached from beneath. I shifted my position to capture the moment he entered the ball of fish. Seconds later, he was completely...
Master carver Douglas Chilton rides in the Raven Spirit canoe at its ceremonial launch.

Raven Spirit: A Native American Canoe's Journey

Over the course of a year, Douglas Chilton skillfully chipped away at a cedar log with traditional tools used by his ancestors for generations. Chilton, a master carver and member of the Tlingit Nation,...
Henry the Fish is made completely out of colorful plastic that washed up on Oregon beaches.

Washed Ashore: From Beach Trash to Ocean Art

From a distance, Henry the Fish looks like a typical quirky and colorful sculpture you'd find in a small beach town. But when you look up close, Henry begins to change. His bright yellow...
Great Shearwater in Flight

12,000 Miles to Go: Migrating with Shearwaters

Oceanic birds are a rare treat to see because these birds are not casual visitors to our coastline—to see them you normally have to get on a boat. So late last spring I was...
Brian Skerry sits on a 20 foot high underwater tripod to photograph the Aquarius Habitat off Florida.

Portraits of Planet Ocean – Behind The Photographs

Brian Skerry sits on a 20 foot high underwater tripod to photograph the Aquarius Habitat off Florida. Credit: Copyright © Mark Conlin Editor's Note: These images and more can be seen at Smithsonian's National...

Women in Oceanography

If you think only men can helm research vessels to get their hands dirty and study ocean currents, you're wrong. This short film follows the mostly-female scientists of the R/V Knorr research ship on...

Time Lapse Construction of the Smithsonian's Sant Ocean Hall

Watch the Smithsonian's Sant Ocean Hall come to life in this two minute time lapse video. The Sant Ocean Hall is the National Museum of Natural History's largest exhibit, providing visitors with a unique...

Diving into the Sandstorm

A dredge from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can be seen removing a sandbar off of Virginia Beach, VA. Credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Flickr Diving can be a wild ride that...
A dive safety officer keeps a close eye on divers from the surface.

Diving in the Middle of Nowhere

The dive safety officer, Christian McDonald, keeping a watchful eye on divers at the surface. Credit: Rob Edwards Picture this: clear, warm water bathing spectacular coral reefs , clouds of fish, circling sharks, and...

Bob the Drifter

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. These data help researchers learn...
A walrus sits on top of ice.

The Cultural Icescapes of the Arctic

<p>The Inupiaq people of Alaska have more than 100 words for different kinds of sea ice, illustrated here. A female walrus and her calf (<em>isavgalik</em>) rest on ice (<em>nunavait</em>) in the midst of scattered...

Where the Shark and the Snapper Roam

Grey reef sharks are among the most versatile and tough predators on a Pacific coral reef, but they are also among the most vulnerable species, as they are threatened by wasteful fishing practices like...
A manatee swims in Crystal River, Florida.

From Mermaids to Manatees: the Myth and the Reality

Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) swimming within a fresh water spring on Crystal River in Florida. Note the tree roots on the right of the frame which make up a portion of this unique...
A spiraled diatom with spines.

The Ocean Under the Microscope: Images from Nikon Small World

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...
Sunset over a fishing net.

Success Stories in Ocean Conservation

It is easy to feel hopeless when reading the news coverage of ocean conservation. Between climate change , acidification , pollution and overfishing, it often feels like the ocean and its biodiversity, which we...
A diver collects water samples.

Ocean Sampling Day – Taking the Pulse of the World’s Oceans

Smithsonian scientist Chris Meyer is collecting water samples as part of the Pilot Ocean Sampling Day in 2013 on Moorea, French Polynesia. Credit: Gustav Paulay If you are a bird watcher you have probably...
A wave curls near the shore.

American Spaces

Welcome to the Ocean Portal & American Spaces activity page. This curriculum on ocean science and conservation was designed for the U.S. Department of State’s American Spaces program, although it can be used by...
The Charles W. Morgan tallship

History and Modern Science Collide for the 38th Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan

The Charles W. Morgan sailing en route to Newport on June 15, 2104. Credit: Courtesy of Mystic Seaport. Traveling aboard the Charles W. Morgan , a 173-year-old whaling ship on its 38th Voyage, I’m...

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