Maggy Hunter Benson

Maggy Benson manages both distance learning and community partnerships in the Office of Education and Outreach at the National Museum of Natural History. She manages the implementation of the NMNH distance learning program, which pioneers new models for using digital media and technology to engage youth audiences who cannot access the Museum. As a partnership manager, Maggy oversees the building and maintenance of relationships with schools, school districts, professional associations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations locally and nationally. Prior to this position, she was the community manager and producer for the Webby Award-winning Smithsonian Ocean Portal.

Prior to her work at Smithsonian, Maggy was the coordinator of Coastal America’s Learning Center Network, implementing international ocean science activities and programs such as the International Student Summit on Oceans and Coasts and the International Ocean art Contest, in partnership with aquariums, federal agencies, and corporations.

Maggy enjoys spending her time cycling through Washington, DC and occasionally slipping away to the coast to swim, surf, and dive.

Exploring Ocean Life with an Underwater Vehicle

Studies along the Northwest Atlantic Ocean shelf break- the transition from continental shelf to slope- by researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Rutgers University are revealing connections between...

Deep Sea Corals

It may be the last place you’d expect to find corals—up to 6,000 m (20,000 ft) below the ocean’s surface, where the water is icy cold and the light dim or absent. Yet believe it or not, lush coral gardens thrive here. In...

The Perfect Underwater Photo

For nearly 30 years, acclaimed photojournalist Brian Skerry has been swimming in waters all over the world to shoot ocean images that have captivated audiences world-wide. In his newest blog for the Ocean Portal, Skerry...

Deep-Sea Corals: NOAA Education Plans & Activities

Explore deep-sea corals in "Corals in Cold Water?" an Ocean Portal feature co-developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of Habitat Conservation's Habitat Protection Division , the Coral Reef...

Jorge Velez-Juarbe

Jorge Velez-Juarbe is Predoctoral Fellow in the Department of Paleobiology at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Jorge is pursuing a PhD in Anatomy, specializing in Vertebrate Paleontology, and has developed...

'Blue Marble' 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...

Habitat for Leatherback Turtles

Endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtles now have nearly 42,000 square miles of Pacific Ocean to call their own. Thanks to a decision in January 2012 by the National Marine Fisheries Service, these magnificent reptiles...

Dugong Feeding

Dugongs , along with manatees , make up a group of marine mammals called sirenians or seacows . In the modern world, only one species of seacow is found in any one place in the world. However, the fossil record of seacows,...

Multispecies Communities of Seacows

A team of scientists discover that multispecies communities of seacows existed in the fossil record. Their research findings allowed the team to conclude that each iteration of multispecies communities evolved from unrelated...

X-Ray Image of a Slender Snipe Eel

The elongated body, characteristic long and narrow snout, and small teeth make the slender snipe eel ( Nemichthys scolopaceus ) easily identifiable in this X-ray image. Snipe eels live at great depths in the ocean: this...

X-Ray Image of a Long-Spined Porcupine Fish

The robust oval, spine covered body of a long-spined porcupine fish ( Diodon holocanthus ) is revealed in this X-ray image. To ward off predators, a porcupinefish inflates its body by pumping water into its stomach,...

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