World Ocean Day 2015 at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

'Blue Marble' satellite image of the Earth

'Blue Marble' image of the Earth taken from the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA's most recently launched Earth-observing satellite - Suomi NPP. This composite image uses a number of swaths of the Earth's surface taken on January 4, 2012. The NPP satellite was renamed 'Suomi NPP' on January 24, 2012 to honor the late Verner E. Suomi of the University of Wisconsin.

Credit: 

NASA/NOAA/GSFC/Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring

Here at the Ocean Portal, we celebrate the ocean every day. But one time a year—for World Ocean Day—we invite you to join us in special celebrations honoring that great, salty body of water that covers more than 70 percent of our planet.

At the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, our World Ocean Day celebrations will extend over two days, June 7th and 8th. Explore ocean science with interactive activities throughout the museum. Appreciate the ocean's beauty and express yourself through art. Come see a family-friendly underwater musical, watch ocean films, and see cartoonist Jim Toomey create his marine comic strip, Sherman's Lagoon.

All events are free and open to the public. We hope to see you there!

Quick Look at What's Happening

(Scroll Down For Detailed Program)

Sunday, June 7, 2015
Different programs will occur between 10am and 5pm

Sant Ocean Hall:

Explore ocean specimens and objects
Meet ocean experts

Q?rius:

Explore live animals: jellyfish, crabs, horseshoe crabs and more!
Meet ocean experts
Create ocean art
What is Beauty – Citizen Science Opportunity
Draw Inspiration from the Sea with cartoonist and videographer Jim Toomey

Q?rius Jr:

Get Caught Engineering for the Ocean!
Story time: A Day in the Deep, read by author Kevin Kurtz

Baird Auditorium:

Honu by the Sea, a family-friendly underwater musical

 

Monday June 8, 2015
Different programs will occur between 12pm and 5:30pm

Sant Ocean Hall:

Explore ocean specimens and objects
Meet ocean experts

Q?rius:

Explore live animals: A survey of invertebrates
Meet ocean experts
Create ocean art
What is Beauty – Citizen Science Opportunity
Bioluminescent Light Photography
Film and Q&A: Lethal Seas with featured marine biologist Laetitia Plaisance
Film and Q&A: The Great Tidepool: the Story of Ed Ricketts’ Scientific System with filmmakers Steve and Mary Albert and marine biologist Allen Collins

Sunday, June 7

Special Events

Draw Inspiration from the Sea with Jim Toomey
Watch cartoonist Jim Toomey draw his daily comic strip, Sherman’s Lagoon, and discuss how the ocean and its creatures provide inspiration for the characters and stories that feature in his cartoons.
Two sessions: 11:00-11:30am and 1:30-2:00pm in the Q?rius Theater

Honu by the Sea, a family-friendly underwater musical fantasy
This Broadway-style musical provides lessons on the value of friendship and the virtues of saving the ocean environment, through the magic of theater, with colorful costumes, lively choreography, and endearing songs that enhance the storytelling.
Two performances: 1:00-1:45pm and 3:30-4:15pm in Baird Auditorium, with opportunities for photos with the cast

The United Nations Environment Programme Presents:
TWO MINUTES ON OCEANS WITH JIM TOOMEY
Join the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and cartoonist Jim Toomey in a fun and engaging overview about oceans and animation. Get a behind the scenes look at how cartoonist and Two Minutes on Ocean series producer, Jim Toomey, uses animation and social media to teach the public about important issues impacting our oceans today. You'll also find out about an exciting new partnership between UNEP, the Smithsonian and the Ocean Today Kiosk!
One Session: 2:00-2:30pm in the Q?rius Theater


The cast of Honu by the Sea. Photo Credit: Charome Kaocharoen

Meet Ocean Experts - Sant Ocean Hall


Smithsonian zoologists inside the Curasub, a 5-person submersible. They're exploring the biodiversity of the deep reefs off Curaçao in the southern Caribbean.

Credit: 

Cristina Castillo / Smithsonian Institution

Come to the Sant Ocean Hall to interact with experts, touch specimens, and learn about ocean science research at the Smithsonian and beyond!

 

11am to 1pm:

Coral Reefs
Explore the wonder of reefs up close with NOAA coral scientist Brian Beck. He will show and explain the amazing diversity and abundance of coral reefs around the world with photos, videos and hands-on displays.

Visualizing the Ocean
Check out how scientists summarize what we know about life in the ocean with Encyclopedia of Life program coordinator Katja Schulz. She will guide you through some data visualizations and talk about results from this year’s National Day of Civic Hacking.

Marine Debris
Come see what ends up out in the middle of the ocean, on islands, and in animal guts. Talk with Sant Ocean Hall Volunteers about ways you can help.

Deep Sea Discoveries with the Curasub
Go live with submersible pilot Barbara van Bebber in Curacao to get a first hand look at the Curasub. Talk with Barbara and NMNH researcher Carole Baldwin about NMNH’s Deep Reef Observation Program (DROP) and what it's like to do research from a submersible.

Ocean Magic
Jason Goldberg will amaze you with magic that has an ocean message.

Take a Bite Out of Time
Explore fossil shark teeth with our Sant Ocean Hall volunteers.

NASA and Giant Squid, What's the Connection?
Talk with Eric Lindstrom from NASA Headquarters about how ocean data collected by NASA is useful in the search for Giant Squid and many other applications. He will answer all sorts of questions about how ocean observations are made.

Exploring Below the Seafloor
Fossils and sediments from miles below the seafloor can reveal exciting and important information about Earth’s past, present, and future. Getting these samples is no easy feat! Come talk with IODP Education Officers Kevin Kurtz and Juliette Crowell, about their experiences collecting core samples onboard the JODIES Resolution research vessel.

Whale Markers
How can you tell what whales and dolphins eat? Visit with University of Virginia Oceanographer Stephen Macko to find out how we use chemical tracers to discover where dolphins go to dinner.

TRASH TALK
Ready for some TRASH TALK?  Meet with the Ocean Today filmmaker and NOAA experts who have produced the TRASH TALK video series. Learn how people everywhere are working together to make trash free seas a reality.  

 

2pm to 4pm:

Rescue!
Since 1991, the National Aquarium Animal Rescue Program has been responsible for responding to stranded marine mammals and sea turtles along the Delmarva (Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia) Peninsula, primarily along the nearly 7,000 miles of Maryland coast. We have successfully rescued, treated, and returned over 100 animals to their natural habitats. Every animal has a story, and it is our responsibility to tell their stories. Come meet a life-sized green sea turtle and participate in a mock rescue, tagging and release!

Ocean Acidification 101: The Overlooked Consequence of CO2 Emissions
Did you know the ocean is absorbing about 25% of the carbon dioxide we are emitting and that's changing the ocean chemistry? Join Patrick Drupp from NOAA as he talks about ocean acidification: what it is, how it affects coral reefs and fisheries, and what we can do to prevent it.

Trash-Free Waters
Ask Rahul Madhusudanan from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency why the Atlantic Ocean starts outside your front door. Talk about how the plastic products we use end up in the ocean, causing significant harm to marine life. Brainstorm with him and come up with ideas to prevent plastics from harming marine mammals.

ROVs 101
Come find out what Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) are, how they work, and how they help us explore, research and monitor our coastal and ocean environment with NOAA’s geospatial scientist Bryan Costa.

Exploring Below the Seafloor
Fossils and sediments from miles below the seafloor can reveal exciting and important information about Earth’s past, present, and future. Getting these samples is no easy feat! Come talk with IODP Education Officers Kevin Kurtz and Juliette Crowell, about their experiences collecting core samples onboard the JODIES Resolution research vessel.

Studying Dolphins
Come talk with Nikki Vollmer (NMNH) about her work with dolphins and other marine mammals. Explore dolphin skulls and learn how she uses a crossbow to collect DNA used to protect them.

Ocean Magic
Jason Goldberg will amaze you with magic that has an ocean message.

Take a Bite Out of Time
Explore fossil shark teeth with our Sant Ocean Hall volunteers.

Salt Marshes, Coasts, and Blue Carbon
Visit a Virginia Coastal Ecosystem with Stephen Macko, University of Virginia marine scientist, explore the richness of coastal ecosystems.

Exploring Antarctica and the Southern Ocean
Join NOAA’s Erica Ombres in an exploration of the Southern Ocean food web through pictures. Meet the animals that live in the Southern Ocean: from whales to penguins to krill and everything in between.

Hands-On Science - Q?rius


The bright, brilliant swirls of blue and green seen from space are a phytoplankton bloom in the Barents Sea.

Credit: 

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Visit Q?rius all day for hands-on activities and citizen science opportunities.

 

10am to 1pm:

What is Beauty? Citizen Science Opportunity
What is your perception of beauty? Are there patterns to what constitutes beauty? Help us investigate these questions and more by taking part in an exciting opportunity to rank cowrie shells according to YOUR perception of beauty.

Ocean Color Measured by Satellites and You
Phytoplankton in the ocean forms the base of the marine food web and plays a critical role in maintaining Earth's climate. Try a hands-on activity with NASA’s Stephanie Schollaert Uz, that demonstrates how scientists use the properties of light to detect microscopic phytoplankton abundance in the ocean. See how we measure it from space and watch the satellite images change over time on a spherical display.

Dive into the Ocean LIVE: The Case of the Mysterious Water Sample
Where did the water come from? Come find out with Leslie Smith of Dive into the Ocean, Inc who will show you how to trace the origin of a water sample by taking temperature and salinity measurements. Using these data, you will then help solve the mystery.

Rare Discovery! Pocket Shark!
Did you know there is a tiny species of shark that has “pockets”? Or that we've only found two of them in the world's ocean? Join NOAA's Mark Grace as he talks about the exciting discovery of a pocket shark and the many mysteries it holds.

 

2pm to 5pm:

Protecting Sea Turtles and Other Marine Species
Join NOAA scientists and NOAA Teachers at Sea to learn about sea turtles, whales and other protected marine species. Discover ways you can help protect them too!

One fish, Two fish…How Do We Count What’s in the Ocean?
Counting the number of animals someplace we can see is easy, but how about where we can’t see? Join Jeffrey Vieser from the National Marine Fisheries Service in a hands-on activity that explains how fishery biologists “see” and count the number and types of fish present in the ocean and what the challenges are.

Become a DEEP Explorer
Pilot an ROV through the deep ocean to investigate three different ocean environments – hydrothermal vents, observatories, and deep-sea corals. Talk with Leslie Smith of Dive into the Ocean, Inc about how we investigate these habitats.

Get Up Close with Live Animals - Q?rius Lab

Jellyfish and Kin
Watch the feeding of “stinging-celled” animals known as cnidarians; see their stinging weapons under a microscope; and talk with some of the world’s experts from NMNH, the National Aquarium, and Pennsylvania State University about these amazing and ancient animals.
10am to 12pm

Horseshoe "Crabs", Blue Crabs, Spider Crabs and Kin
Explore live and preserved crabs from around the world, and live horseshoe “crabs”. Talk with NMNH biologists and National Aquarium staff about these animals and use microscopes to investigate their structures and life cycles.
1pm to 3pm

Ocean Art Projects - Q?rius Field


The Gyre is an abstract piece symbolizing the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a large ocean vortex that collects trash from around the Pacific Ocean.

Credit: 

Washed Ashore

Swing by the Q?rius Field anytime between 10am and 5pm for fun ocean art projects.

 

10am to 5pm:

Ocean Origami
Appreciate and fold a diversity of marine life from a single square of paper. Our animals range in levels of difficulty so there is something for everyone.

Illustration Station
Get anatomically intimate with real marine specimens by trying your hand at illustration. Not a professional? Not a problem. Maya Chung, one of our expert illustrators will be giving quick tutorials and guidance. iPads will be available for extra support.

Trashy Jewelry
Did you know that sea turtles and other marine animals often mistake floating plastic bags and trash for food, making them sick? With artist Linda Mierke turn these harmful items into jewelry you can wear home and help spread the word.

 

3pm to 5pm:


Using a photographic technique called light painting, this image captures light emitted from a ceramic fish's mouth.

Credit: 

Flickr User nickel.media

Bioluminescent Light Photography
Some marine animals make light to find prey, mates, or distract predators. Come into our dark studio and ‘paint’ some bioluminescent animals with glow sticks while we capture it on camera. Best of all, you can choose to share your creation on social media.

Q?rius Jr - A Discovery Room

Get Caught Engineering for the Ocean - 10am to 1pm
Discover, build and create with the Get Caught Engineering team. Explore and learn at ten hands-on stations: design a fish, test wave action, learn how whales stay warm and more!

Story Time: A Day in the Deep, read by author Kevin Kurtz - 2pm to 4pm
Take a trip into the mysterious deep sea by listening to Kevin Kurtz read his award-winning book A Day in the Deep. Find out how anglerfish, vampire squid, cookie cutter sharks and other bizarre creatures live in extreme conditions. Make your own anglerfish headband and purchase a book signed by Kevin.

Monday, June 8

Special Events

Film: NOVA's Lethal Seas, followed by a discussion with featured marine biologist Laetitia Plaisance (NMNH)
We know that the ocean absorbs about a quarter of the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, raising the ocean's acidity. NOVA follows scientists making breakthrough discoveries and seeking solutions. Visit a unique coral garden in Papua New Guinea that offers a glimpse of what the seas could be like a half-century from now.
2pm in the Q?rius Theater

Film: The Great Tidepool: the story of Ed Ricketts’ scientific system
The Great Tidepool uncovers the scientific system of Edward Flanders Ricketts, the renowned Californian marine biologist who in the 1930s wrote the world’s most famous and influential seashore guidebook – Between Pacific Tides. See how Ricketts’ pioneering work was designed to investigate ecological connections. Learn how his scientific system reveals a man driven to understand how everything is connected to everything. Discover Ed Ricketts: one of America’s earliest ecologists and greatest observers of the natural world. Watch the film, then explore some of Ed Ricketts’s specimens housed at NMNH with marine biologist Allen Collins (NMNH) and filmmakers Mary and Steve Albert.
4pm in the Q?rius Theater

Meet Ocean Experts - Sant Ocean Hall


This transparent cockatoo squid, or glass squid, retains liquids, giving it a balloon-like shape and helping it float.

Credit: 

Marsh Youngbluth/MAR-ECO, Census of Marine Life

Come to the Sant Ocean Hall to interact with experts, touch specimens, and learn about ocean science research at the Smithsonian and beyond.

 

12pm to 2pm:

See a Seasquirt
See a sea squirt and talk with NMNH Museum Specialist Linda Cole about her research into these saclike marine animals that are your close relative. Discover how these filter-feeders are important to marine ecosystems and what it takes to describe new species.

Squid and Octopuses
Squids and other cephalopods are amazing animals that inhabit many ocean ecosystems. Get a close-up look at specimens and watch underwater footage with researcher Mike Vecchione (NOAA/SI) who has spent years studying this diverse group of animals.

Into the Dead Zone
Did you know that parts of the ocean have “Dead Zones” where there is little to no oxygen? Talk with oceanographer Leslie Smith of Dive into the Ocean, Inc about the man-made “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico that has been researched for the last 30 years as well as new research in the Gulf sparked by the 2010 BP oil spill.

Reef Conservation
What do marine fish and other animals do when no humans are around? Visit with marine conservationist Shawn Verne of UNtanked and watch his amazing 4K Ultra High Definition videos of undisturbed coral reef ecosystems to find out. As a former Marine Law Enforcement Officer and Scuba Instructor, Shawn Verne will also answer questions about impacts of the aquarium trade on reefs.

Exploring Below the Seafloor
Fossils and sediments from miles below the seafloor can reveal exciting and important information about Earth’s past, present, and future. Getting these samples is no easy feat! Come talk with IODP's Education Officer Juliette Crowell, about her experiences collecting core samples onboard the JODIES Resolution research vessel.

Find Your Ocean Park
Ranger Lynne Murdock will reveal the underwater wonders and wildlife found in the ocean and Great Lakes parks. Discover coastal parks close to home and the many ways to learn, play and volunteer in these spectacular places.

TRASH TALK
Ready for some TRASH TALK? Meet with the Ocean Today filmmaker and NOAA experts who have produced the TRASH TALK video series. Learn how people everywhere are working together to make trash free seas a reality.

 

3pm to 5pm:

Sunken Ships and Shrunken Heads
Ever wonder what it's like to be an archeologist in the ocean? Come talk with James Moore (BOEM) about what shipwrecks and other sunken historical treasures can tell us about the ocean.

Sharks!
Come explore sharks, how they behave, what they eat, and how we study them with biologist Leonard Pace of the Schmidt Ocean Institute. Get your hands on shark teeth, skin, and more!

Into the Dead Zone
Did you known that parts of the ocean have “Dead Zones” where there is little to no oxygen? Talk with Leslie Smith of Dive into the Ocean, Inc about the man-made “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico that has been researched for the last 30 years as well as new research in the Gulf sparked by the 2010 BP oil spill.

Small but Mighty: The Importance of Oyster Restoration
What role do oysters play in water filtration, shoreline stabilization and adjacent habitat expansion? Join NOAA's Shailesh Sharma from coastal Alabama to discuss the big role these small molluscs play when they join together to form reefs, and how that affects the lives of people living on the coast.

Reef Conservation
What do marine fish and other animals do when no humans are around? Visit with marine conservationist Shawn Verne of UNtanked and watch his amazing 4K Ultra High Definition videos of undisturbed coral reef ecosystems to find out. As a former Marine Law Enforcement Officer and Scuba Instructor, Shawn Verne will also answer questions about impacts of the aquarium trade on reefs.

Reproduction in the Coral Reef
Explore the unusual strategies that coral reef fishes use to help their young survive, including sending them off to the open ocean alone. See if you can match the larvae (babies) to the adults phase - they don't always resemble each other the way human babies do to their parents. Learn why with NOAA's Tauna Rankin.

Feeding the World Through Sustainable Aquaculture
Join NOAA Fisheries expert David O'Brien to talk about sustainable marine aquaculture's role in improving global food security, human nutrition, and supporting healthy oceans.

Healthy Reefs for Healthy People
Come talk with Smithsonian marine scientist Melanie McField about how we are measuring and reporting on the health of coral reefs.

Hands-on Science - Q?rius

Visit Q?rius in the afternoon for hands-on activities and citizen science opportunities.

 

2pm to 4pm:

Scoping Animals
Get up close and personal with a range of invertebrates (animals with no backbone) using high-powered microscopes. Talk with NMNH biolgists and the National Aquarium about the biology of these animals and how we study them.

Ocean Color Measured by Satellites and You!
Phytoplankton in the ocean forms the base of the marine food web and plays a critical role in maintaining Earth's climate. Try a hands-on activity with NASA's Stephanie Schollaert Uz that demonstrates how scientists use the properties of light to detect microscopic phytoplankton abundance in the ocean. See how we measure it from space and watch the satellite images change over time on a spherical display.

Squid Pops
How hungry are predatory fish? Learn how a simple experiment is answering this question in seagrass meadows, mangrove swamps, and coral reefs around the world. Join marine biologist Ross Whippo and program manager Maria Murray as they reveal how Smithsonian’s MarineGEO tackles this question and finds intriguing differences in predation among these marine habitats.

Protecting Sea Turtles and Other Marine Species
Join NOAA scientists and NOAA Teachers at Sea to learn about sea turtles, whales and other protected marine species. Discover ways that you can help protect them.

Find Your Ocean Park
Ranger Lynne Murdock will reveal the underwater wonders and wildlife found in the ocean and Great Lakes parks. Discover coastal parks close to home and the many ways to learn, play and volunteer in these spectacular places.

Rare Discovery! Pocket Shark!
Did you know there is a tiny species of shark that has “pockets”? Or that we've only found two of them in the world's ocean? Join NOAA's Mark Grace as he talks about the exciting discovery of a pocket shark and the many mysteries it holds.

Ocean Art Projects - Q?rius Field


A Smithsonian visitor "draws" a jellyfish using the photographic technique known as light painting.

Credit: 

Smithsonian Institution

Swing by the Q?rius Field in the afternoon for fun ocean art projects.

 

2pm to 4pm:

Ocean Origami
Appreciate and fold a diversity of marine life from a single square of paper. Our animals range in levels of difficulty so there is something for everyone.

Trashy Jewelry
Did you know that sea turtles and other marine animals often mistake floating plastic bags and trash for food, making them sick? With artist Linda Mierke, turn these harmful items into jewelry you can wear home and help spread the word.

Location & Hours

HOURS
Open daily except December 25, 10:00 AM - 5:30 PM.
For extended Museum hours, click here.

FREE ADMISSION
Admission is free to the museum and programs.

LOCATION
The Museum is located at 1000 Constitution Ave., NW in Washington, D.C. 20004.
For the directions to the Museum, including public transportation and parking, click here.

Thanks!

We thank the following for their participation in our celebration of World Ocean Day:

Smithsonian researchers, staff and volunteers
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Aquarium
Your Ocean
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Get Caught Engineering
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
National Park Service
Environmental Protection Agency
United Nations Environment Programme
NOVA
International Ocean Discovery Program
University of Virginia
Encyclopedia of Life
Pennsylvania State University
Schmidt Ocean Institute
Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station
UNtanked
Honu by the Sea
Jim Toomey
Mary and Steve Albert
Kevin Kurtz