Schooling fish know that working together is better for everyone. The same is true on the Ocean Portal, where we are gathering a group of outstanding organizations in the fields of marine science, education, media, conservation, and other areas. By pooling our expertise and top assets, we can provide a richer experience than any one of us could alone. Get to know each organization by exploring their contributions on the OP and visiting their websites.

Featured Collaborators

BBC Earth is the global brand for all the BBCís natural history content spanning the last 50 years. The BBC is the largest producer of natural history programming in the world and the brand highlights the vast scale of incredible content which is produced in this genre. Visible across all platforms; TV, digital and merchandising as well as expanding across TV stings, DVDs and digital products throughout 2009, BBC Earth encourages engagement with current as well as classic programs such as Planet Earth and The Blue Planet.

The World Heritage Marine Programme was created in 2005 with the aim of establishing effective conservation of all unique marine areas protected under the 1972 World Heritage Convention. Today, about 50 World Heritage sites are located in marine or coastal areas. Together, they represent the 'Crown Jewels of our Ocean' and are recognized for their outstanding beauty, exceptional biodiversity, or unique ecological, biological or geological processes. They are selected under strict criteria and through a rigorous nomination, evaluation and inscription process. In cooperation with a variety of partners, the World Heritage Marine Programme is developing innovative ways to support site managers with their conservation challenges, while simultaneously advancing the application of the World Heritage Convention for protecting the planet’s most valuable and unique marine places. The World Heritage Marine Programme is one of the six thematic programme's of UNESCO's World Heritage Centre, headquartered in Paris, France.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography, at University of California, San Diego, is one of the oldest, largest and most important centers for global science research and education in the world. The National Research Council has ranked Scripps first in faculty quality among oceanography programs nationwide. Now in its second century of discovery, the scientific scope of the institution has grown to include biological, physical, chemical, geological, geophysical and atmospheric studies of the earth as a system. Hundreds of research programs covering a wide range of scientific areas are under way today in 65 countries. The institution has a staff of about 1,300, and annual expenditures of approximately $155 million from federal, state and private sources. Scripps operates one of the largest U.S. academic fleets with four oceanographic research ships and one research platform for worldwide exploration.

SeaWeb is an international, nonprofit, communications organization dedicated to creating a culture of ocean conservation. We work collaboratively to inform and empower diverse ocean voices and conservation champions in strategic, targeted sectors to encourage market solutions, policies and behaviors that result in a healthy thriving ocean. We transform knowledge into action by shining a spotlight on workable, science-based solutions to the most serious threats facing the ocean such as climate change, pollution and overexploitation.

The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet. It reaches more than 370 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; music; radio; films; books; DVDs; maps; exhibitions; live events; school publishing programs; interactive media; and merchandise. National Geographic has funded more than 9,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geographic literacy. For more information, visit

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is dedicated to research and education to advance understanding of the ocean and its interaction with the Earth system, and to communicating this understanding for the benefit of society.

ARKive is a unique global initiative, gathering together the best films, photographs and audio recordings of the world's threatened animals, plants and fungi into one centralized digital library. Films and photographs are a powerful means of building environmental awareness - they can bring a scientific name to life, show what a species looks like and why it is special. Continued habitat destruction and the rise in extinction rates also mean that for many species, films and photographs may soon be all that remains. They are, therefore, important historical and scientific records of the species they depict. ARKive is leading the 'virtual' conservation effort by creating comprehensive and enduring multimedia species profiles, complementing other species information datasets, and making a key resource available for scientists, conservationists, educators and the general public. These important audio-visual records are being preserved and maintained for the benefit of future generations and are freely available at

The New England Aquarium is a global leader in ocean exploration and marine conservation. The Aquarium uses innovative exhibits and education programs to encourage audiences worldwide to Live Blue for a better planet. From leading expeditions to some of the most remote places on the planet to running education programs in Boston’s inner city neighborhoods, the Aquarium has a vast array of projects that are dedicated to educating the public about the most challenging problems facing the oceans today. The Aquarium is among the region’s most-visited tourist attractions and is the only cultural institution in Boston whose mission focuses primarily on the environment. Each year, the Aquarium acts as an educational resource for more than 130,000 school children and thousands of teachers throughout New England. Its website is an electronic gateway to for ocean conservation issues and provides unique research and information from across the globe.

The ocean is essential to all life on Earth and Ocean Conservancy is the world's oldest and largest conservation organization dedicated solely to protecting this life support system. We're starting a sea change for generations to come.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) is a nonprofit research institution where scientists and engineers work together to explore and study the sea. In the words of founder David Packard: "The mission of MBARI is to achieve and maintain a position as a world center for advanced research and education in ocean science and technology, and to do so through the development of better instruments, systems, and methods for scientific research in the deep waters of the ocean." MBARI scientists and engineers conduct multidisciplinary research in a variety of fields, including marine biology, marine chemistry, marine geology, physical oceanography, and marine technology. Located in Moss Landing, California, MBARI is supported primarily by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, is the world's oldest and largest environmental network, with more than 1,000 government and NGO member organization, and almost 11,000 volunteer scientists in over 160 countries. IUCN’s Global Marine Programme (GMP) pioneers pragmatic solutions to marine environmental challenges. The Programme highlights science and technology for the sustainable management and conservation of marine ecosystems by connecting scientists and conservationists with decision-makers in governments and with private and public sector partners across its extensive network to develop policy, laws and best practices. Through its comprehensive network, GMP provides a convening power, connecting members and partners on both national and regional scales. IUCN’s recognized imprimatur serves to amplify leading voices in ocean conservation. GMP uses its strategic communication and outreach skills to advance science-based solutions, mobilize decision-makers, the media and raise public awareness on key marine issues from climate change and endangered species to fisheries and marine world heritage. In addition GMP works alongside IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Marine to promote the establishment and effective management of a world-wide representative network of marine protected areas.

The Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) was established to make comprehensive, authenticated information about the world’s biodiversity freely available over the Internet. Encyclopedia of Life’s portal includes hundreds of thousands of authenticated species pages, 1.4 million base pages and links to 13 million pages of digitized biodiversity literature. The features available on the EOL portal make participation possible by everyone. Users including students, scientists and members of the public can contribute photos and videos via the EOL Flickr Group, apply tags to images and provide comments on the content.

The EOL provides an engaging and informative learning platform where students and others can work together to help build this global resource and learn about biological diversity worldwide.

The Consortium for Ocean Leadership is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization that represents 95 of the leading public and private ocean research education institutions, aquaria and industry with the mission to advance research, education and sound ocean policy. The organization also manages ocean research and education programs in areas of scientific ocean drilling, ocean observing, ocean exploration, and ocean partnerships. Specifically, Ocean Leadership manages the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), the National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP), the Census of Marine Life (CoML), the U.S. Science Support Program, the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI), the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP), and the National Ocean Science Bowl (NOSB). Ocean Leadership’s vision is a global society that views its own well-being as intimately connected to the ocean.

The National Marine Educators Association (NMEA) brings together those interested in the study and appreciation of both fresh and salt water and provides a focus for marine and aquatic studies all over the world. The NMEA organization includes professionals in education, science, business, government, museums, aquariums and marine research.

Smithsonian Contributors

Cristina Castillo is currently the project coordinator for the Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP). Her previous work at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History includes program assistant for the Latin American and Caribbean Countries Collections Management Training Program and Program Coordinator for the inaugural year of the Youth Engagement through Science! (YES!) program. She came to the museum two years ago as a research intern in the Vertebrate Zoology Department. She studied ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Texas at Austin and looks forward to continuing her education in marine conservation biology.

Patrick Schwing is a postdoctoral research associate at the University of South Florida, College of Marine Science. His research focuses on determining human impacts on coastal and marine sedimentary depositional environments. He received his bachelors degree in marine science from Eckerd College in 2006 and his Ph.D. in chemical oceanography from the USF, College of Marine Science in 2011. He is currently working with two groups affiliated with the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GOMRI) to determine the long-term effects of the Deepwater Horizon Blowout in 2010.
Caroline is a PhD student, and has been working in Dr. Ian MacDonald’s lab at Florida State University since January, 2012. She is interested in quantifying the volume and release rate of bubbles from natural hydrocarbon seeps. She does this using image processing techniques on the video data collected with the VTLC (video time lapse camera). She is also interested in describing the dynamic variability of natural seeps, and understanding the migration pathways of the oil and gas from sub-bottom reservoirs to the sea floor. Caroline enjoys spending time out at sea, setting up and deploying the camera system and making sure it is positioned in the right spot to get optimal video footage of the bubbles. She also likes working in the lab to fix/make pieces of the camera system, which includes assembling the frame, soldering wires, and coming up with creative ways to mount the camera on different structures. This makes up for the many hours spent behind the computer to analyze the data.

Tina Tennessen has a background in radio journalism and loves hearing a good story. She is a science writer, web editor, and a former radio producer. Before joining the National Museum of Natural History team in early 2011, she held the position of Public Affairs Officer at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) in Edgewater, Md. While at SERC, Tina created and edited a news blog called Shorelines and publicized Smithsonian research and educational programs, generating press coverage and public attention for issues such as ocean acidification, hypoxia, invasive species, sea-level rise, shoreline development, and over-fishing. Tina grew up near five of Minnesota's 10,000 lakes and feels fortunate to be working among marine scientists who have dedicated their lives to understanding the underwater realm and the issues that affect it.

Courtney Gerstenmaier is a John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellow spending her time jointly with the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the NOAA Fisheries Communication Office. She is working with the ocean education and outreach team at NMNH focusing on the topics of climate change and fisheries. Courtney’s love of water started at young age when her family took her to a lake in Michigan and overtime this love transitioned into a love for the ocean. She received her undergraduate and masters degrees in Marine Biology from the College of Charleston, where she worked on the impacts of a non-native species of seaweed on a southeastern mudflat. Courtney is really interested in species interactions and what happens when something disturbs their natural equilibrium. Her favorite sea creatures are spotted eagle rays, whale sharks, and deep sea isopods and amphipods.