Christine Hoekenga

Christine joined the NMNH Department of Education and Outreach in the Fall of 2009 after having served as a Museum Specialist in the Office of the Sant Chair for Marine Science. She holds a dual bachelor’s degree in media studies and environmental science from Willamette University and a master’s degree in science communication from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Christine has experience working as an environmental journalist, a freelance science writer, and a conservation organizer and advocate for nonprofits. Despite growing up in land-locked Nevada, Christine is also an avid SCUBA diver with experience conducting marine research in the field and the lab.

A Watershed Moment for the Ocean

As the days grow long, school bells fade into distant memories, and families start taking long weekends at the beach, the Ocean Portal Team is preparing for the weeks ahead. The way we see it, June 2010 is going to be a significant month for the ocean.

Marked Storm Drain

A placard warns residents that water—and anything else—that goes own this storm drain makes its way into the Potomac River and, eventually the ocean.

Taking the Ocean Personally

Last week, we began asking visitors to the Ocean Portal a simple question: “How do you feel about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico?" We’ve received one Haiku and a slew of other interesting answers . Many people mourned...

Be Kind to the Beach

Ah, summer (in the northern hemisphere, anyway). For me, despite growing up in land-locked cowboy country, the word summer has always been synonymous with beach . It’s that time of year when bathing suits come out of hiding, and we make our annual pilgrimages to visit the sun, the sand, and the surf.

From Sea to Shining Sea

Credit: Terence T.S. Tam from Flickr CC Happy (early) Independence Day! For many of us in the United States, the 4th of July is a time to celebrate and reflect on our national heritage. In many ways, the U.S. grew up on the...

Tracking Ocean Acidification

Fossil fuels that power our cars, homes, and businesses add carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere. The ocean absorbs large portions of this CO2 and acts as a buffer against climate change . But, Dr. Francisco Chavez of...

Pacific Sea Nettles

These large jellyfish ( Chrysaora fuscescens ) are most commonly found along the coasts of California and Oregon. (They're also popular in the displays of public aquaria.) Their bells can grow to a diameter of around 1 foot...

Helping Kids Help the Ocean

A beach clean-up in Malaysia brings young people together to care for their coastline. Credit: Liew Shan Sern/Marine Photobank An 11-year-old in Texas is saddened by the oil spill and begins searching for something she can...

"Blue Planet" Music Video

“Blue Planet” is a song on the Oceans Are Talking CD, produced by musician Sam Lardner. Listen to more inspirational songs for kids and adults, including “What Can I Do?” “Humanatee,” and “Pteropods” at Oceans Are Talking ...

Helping Kids Help the Ocean

Kids and teens can be a powerful force when it comes to saving the ocean. If a young person in your life shows interest in ocean conservation, please help him or her help the ocean. Get started today with simple actions.

Five Minutes for Mangroves

This shrimp farm in southern Belize is just one example of how mangroves worldwide are giving way to human development. In just the last decade, at least 35 percent of the world's mangroves have been destroyed. Credit: Ilka...

Deep Water Octopus in the Gulf of Mexico

This brilliant red octopus ( Benthoctopus sp. ) was photographed at more than 8,800 feet (about 2,700 meters) in Alaminos Canyon in the Gulf of Mexico. See more photos of wild creatures encountered during the Census of...