Catherine Sutera

Catherine Sutera joined the Smithsonian as an Assistant Ocean Science Educator at the National Museum of Natural History. She is now an Education Interpreter at South Carolina Aquarium. Catherine has a Master’s in Natural Science from Louisiana State University where she did her thesis on the impact of informal science education. She also did her undergraduate work at LSU, majoring in biology, with a marine biology concentration. Before coming to the Smithsonian, Catherine was a graduate assistant with the Louisiana Sea Grant office where she developed informal educational materials and helped organize a day-long ocean education event for K-8 students. She has also worked with the Audubon Zoo, the LSU Museum of Natural History, and the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center. Catherine has also participated in field research, spending a summer with the Marine Biological Laboratory in Plum Island Watershed in Massachusetts.

A Current Event in the Classroom: Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Students share a microscope to get a closer look at plankton samples from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Credit: Seaberry Nachbar, NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries Sometimes, a tragic event can become a powerful teaching...

Smithsonian’s Gulf of Mexico Collections: Congressional Testimony of Dr. Jonathan Coddington

Smithsonian holdings are expected to provide an important baseline of understanding for future scientific studies on the impact of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Dr. Jonathan Coddington, Associate Director of Research and...


With over 5,000 media donors from around the world contributing valuable films and photographs, ARKive has created a comprehensive audio-visual biological profile for thousands of animals, plants and fungi, depicting typical...

Educational Uses of Gyotaku or Fish Printing

A Gyotaku flounder print helps teach students about its anatomy. Flounder like all other flatfish, have both eyes on one side of its body while the opposite side is blind. Credit: Smithsonian Institution Gyotaku is a...

A Vacation to the Polar Regions

Students will learn about the characteristics of the Arctic and Antarctic by looking at a globe and pictures of the polar landscape/animals. They will plan a vacation to one of these regions and draw pictures or write...

Expedition to the Poles

Students will use NASA satellite data to study temperature and snow-ice coverage in the South Beaufort Sea, Alaska. The data can be used to correlate with USGS ground tracking of polar bears, and to relate this to global...

What Do People Know about the Arctic & Antarctic?

It's common to confuse characteristics of the Arctic and the Antarctic, and many people have never learned the differences between these two regions. In this lesson, students will research the landscapes, climates, and...

Environmental Issues in the Polar Regions

The Polar Regions are frequently neglected in discussions of the environment, but they shouldn't be. The environment of the Polar Regions is particularly susceptible to human impacts such as pollution and the depletion of the ozone layer. Moreover, the effects of global warming on the Polar Regions are likely to have major repercussions in the rest of the world.

Biomes: Wild Arctic

This lesson investigates how sea ice is critical to the plants and animals that live in the Arctic. Students will learn key terms, including albedo, cryosphere, and forcings. They will also learn about how carbon emissions,...

NOAA’s Arctic Theme Page

Gain access to Arctic data and information from NOAA, including maps and data sets that describe the present state of the Arctic ecosystem and climate. The site also includes a wealth of photographs of various arctic sites.

All About Glaciers

The National Snow and Ice Data Center provides access to their data collection; as well as some general information on glaciers and the life story of a glacier.

Arctic Exploration Online

Join NASA and the U.S. Coast Guard on a trip up the Alaska coast. Meet the crew of the Coast Guard ship the Polar Star and get introduced to the places and people of Alaska.