Tina Tennessen

Tina Tennessen has a background in radio journalism and loves hearing a good story. She is a science writer, web editor, and a former radio producer. Before joining the National Museum of Natural History team in early 2011, she held the position of Public Affairs Officer at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) in Edgewater, Md. While at SERC, Tina created and edited a news blog called Shorelines and publicized Smithsonian research and educational programs, generating press coverage and public attention for issues such as ocean acidification, hypoxia, invasive species, sea-level rise, shoreline development, and over-fishing. Tina grew up near five of Minnesota's 10,000 lakes and feels fortunate to be working among marine scientists who have dedicated their lives to understanding the underwater realm and the issues that affect it.

Arctic Sea Ice Extent Graph

This graph of the Arctic sea ice coverage shows how close the year 2011 is to reaching a record-low . The graph contains data through September 7, 2011. The National Snow and Ice Data Center , which produced the graph, says...

Bioluminescing Dinoflagellate

Sunset? Time to glow! A biological clock triggers bioluminescence in the dinoflagellate Pyrocystis fusiformis . At dusk, cells produce the chemicals responsible for its light. Hear from marine scientists about what it's like...

Lanternfish

This lanternfish ( Diaphus sp .), found in the Red Sea, has light-producing photophores along its ventral surface (belly), and a nasal light organ that acts like a headlight. Hear scientists tell stories about encountering...

Midwater Squid, Abralia veranyi

Glowing photophores are visible on this midwater squid ( Abralia veranyi ) viewed from below at low light levels. We think of light as a way to see in the dark. But many species use it to help them hide. This adaptation is...

Eocene Whales and Penguins Off the Coast of Peru

Offshore Peru, during the Eocene (~56-34 million years ago), showing three archaeocetes (ancient whales), along with a previously described fossil penguin. Top to bottom: Perudyptes devriesi , unnamed protocetid, Ocucajea...

Searching for Fossil Whales in Peru

George Mason University professor Mark D. Uhen and Dr. Matthew Lewin of the University of California, San Francisco, survey rocks of the Paracas Formation, in the southern part of Peru's Pisco Basin . The two were part of a...

Bones and Teeth of South America's Oldest Fossil Whales

These are fossil remains of archaeocetes, ancient whales, from the Paracas Formation of Peru's Pisco Basin . Smithsonian paleobiologist Nicholas D. Pyenson and a team of scientists discovered the Eocene fossils and published...

Preparing a Fossil Whale Specimen

Paleobiologist Mark D. Uhen drills away rock to reveal the fossilized bones of Peruvian archaeocetes (ancient whales), in the Vertebrate Paleontology Department at the Museo de Historia Natural de San Marcos . Uhen is a...

The Archean Eon (4,600 – 2,500 Million Years Ago)

Humans are late arrivals on Earth. For nearly 75% of Earth’s history, life consisted of single-celled microbes without a nucleus (prokaryotes). Volcanoes and erosion sculpted Earth 3.5 billion years ago. Life consisted only...

The Ocean Throughout Geologic Time, An Image Gallery

Evidence shows that life probably began in the ocean at least 3.5 billion years ago. Photosynthesis began more than 2.5 billion years ago—the Great Oxidation Event. But it took hundreds of millions of years for enough oxygen...

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