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.

Squid at Sunset Reef Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

“Upon returning from the reef after a night dive, I swam toward a bright reflection and came eye-to-eye with this beautiful, curious squid," said Charles Viggers, a Nature's Best photographer. Squids have organs in their...

Giant Pacific Manta Ray, Revillagigedos Islands, Mexico

“Manta rays sometimes approach divers; an up-close encounter with such a huge, peaceful animal is unforgettable!” -- Nature's Best photographer, Deborah Smrekar. See more beautiful ocean photos in our slideshow of winners...

Black Skimmer, Nickerson Beach, Long Island, N.Y., USA

“I visited the beach at sunrise after high tide and found this skimmer feeding, providing me with this reflected shot.” -- Nature's Best photographer, James A. Galletto. See more beautiful ocean photos in our slideshow of...

Leatherback Sea Turtle, Playa Grande, Costa Rica

“Leatherback turtles are critically endangered, and this young hatchling is a symbol of hope for their future.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Jason Bradley . See more beautiful ocean photos in our slideshow of winners from...

Veined Octopus at Anilao Batangas Pier, Philippines

The veined octopus ( Amphioctopus marginatus ), also known as the coconut octopus, has a skill beyond other cephalopods: it hides under animal and coconut shells, dragging them along the seafloor for protection. This is one...

Surfer at Bogue Banks, North Carolina, USA

“As I set up for a sunset shot—one last, solitary surfer exited the water and I quickly fired a few frames trying to capture the serenity of the moment.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Karen Doody. See more beautiful ocean...

Green Sea Turtle in the Canary Islands, Spain

I have been to this location many times, but no other photo has come out like this one composed with the sun behind a turtle’s head.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Pedro Carrillo. See more beautiful ocean photos in our...

Kilauea Volcano, Kalapana, Hawaii, USA

Kilauea Volcano, Kalapana, Hawaii, USA “In the upper left of this image I can visualize the profile of Pele, the fire goddess of Hawaiian folklore, as if she is whispering to the sea.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Peter...

Adélie Penguins, Paulet Island, Antarctica

“As we motored around Paulet Island in a Zodiac boat, these two curious penguins waddled across an iceberg to get a closer look at us.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Phillip Colla . See more beautiful ocean photos in our...

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