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.

Red Tide

In the ocean, microscopic forms of algae, known as dinoflagellates , can "bloom" into dense patches near the surface, often referred to as "red tides." Some of these harmful algal blooms (HABs) are dangerous, producing...

The Sant Ocean Hall: Salmon Shape a Way of Life

You may think of salmon as a good choice for a weekday dinner, or enjoy it smoked and sliced on a bagel. But that salmon on your plate has a long and illustrious history as a subsistence food for indigenous cultures of the...

The Sant Ocean Hall: Life at the Poles Exhibit

Most of you know that the Earth’s poles are cold. But did you know that there are hundreds of organisms especially adapted to living in these extremes? Did you know that the communities at the North and South poles are...

The Sant Ocean Hall: Life in the Sand Exhibit

Soft sand, gentle waves, colorful beach glass, seaweed, and scattered shells. It may be a relaxing place to sit with family and friends, sinking your feet into the warm sand. Does this come to mind when you think of the...

Star Sand Grains Collected from Southern Japan

These star-shaped grains of sand, collected from southern Japan, look like miniature works of art -- but they were not sculpted by an artist. They are the shells of microscopic organisms called foraminifera , which build...

Sand from Orient Point, Long Island, New York

There are different types of beaches and multiple factors that influence the formation of sand. Many beaches may look alike, but they are actually very different from each other. Wave patterns, geology, and other factors...

Oceanic Whitetip Shark

An oceanic whitetip shark swims near a biologist in the Bahamas in this image captured by National Geographic photojournalist Brian Skerry. For nearly 30 years, Skerry has been swimming with and photographing sharks,...

Blue Shark

Named for the radiant blue color on its back and sides, the blue shark ( Prionace glauca ) traverses the world’s temperate and tropical seas. Known for traveling great distances and being a swift predator, blue sharks feed...

Young Lemon Shark Swims Through Mangroves

A lemon shark pup swims through a shallow mangrove forest off the coast of Bimini Island in the Bahamas in this image captured by National Geographic photojournalist Brian Skerry. For nearly 30 years, Skerry has been...

Caribbean Reef Shark

Several Caribbean reef sharks swim over a coral reef in the Bahamas in this image captured by National Geographic photojournalist Brian Skerry. For nearly 30 years, Skerry has been swimming with and photographing sharks,...

Hammerhead Shark at Sunset

A male great hammerhead shark swims in the Bahamas at sunset. Scientists debate the purpose behind these sharks' hammer-shaped heads. A commonly accepted theory is that the shape allows the shark to scan a wider area of the...

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