Guest Blog Posts

The Ocean Blog

Sophi Bromenshenkel is an unlikely shark -lover. She's eight years old and hails from Minnesota, a state that couldn't be further from the ocean. But a family vacation to Florida changed everything...
Lying in water only a foot deep, I watched the shark meander lazily through the mangrove, already exuding the confidence inherent of the supreme creature within its domain. It was hot here in Bimini...
As far back as I can remember, I have always been fascinated by sharks. My father introduced me to the ocean through books, documentaries and diving, and whenever we would see sharks on a dive in the...
Depending on whom you talk to, jellyfish are either fascinating, a nuisance, a toxic menace, or some combination of the above. Jellyfish plop into the media spotlight when their presence causes beach...
For more than two centuries, Boston Harbor has been a dumping ground. In 1773, colonists famously dumped shiploads of tea to protest taxes. But in recent decades, the harbor has received less tea and...
I have been at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History since 1966, studying and reporting on all kinds of octopuses and squids . But I’ve always had a particular fascination with the...
Over the past several decades, Florida’s coastal wetlands have been changing. Along the eastern shore, researchers have seen small mangrove trees appearing in areas further north than they usually...
With 1,400 named species of ribbon worms inhabiting every ecosystem on earth, seeking one out should be an easy proposition. But I quickly learned that it can be quite daunting when you’re looking...
In recent years, I have taken to watching flying fish along the Maine coast. Not the usual flying fish that skim over tropical seas, but fish dangling from the beaks of flying puffins. Puffins are...
In 1872, the United States did something remarkable. We set aside one of our greatest natural treasures, Yellowstone National Park , for future generations to enjoy and appreciate. The logic was...
Last week, the United Nations’ World Heritage Convention went blue. Two of the largest and healthiest marine protected areas on our planet—the Phoenix Islands Protected Area in Kiribati and...
If you are a bird watcher you have probably heard of the Christmas Bird Count. The first one occurred on Christmas Day in 1900 at a variety of locations throughout North America, and it has since...
I became interested in weather phenomena when I took physics in high school. At the time, I just wanted to understand how various things in nature worked. Unfortunately, most information about...
Humpback whales ( Megaptera novaengliae ) are the most abundant baleen whale in the nearshore waters around the Antarctic Peninsula. They, along with millions of penguins, seals, seabirds, and other...
Once upon a time, the ocean was considered the last place where we could still find an undisturbed environment. This was before the plague of man-made plastic trash flooded the seas. During my...
Sunday, November 21 marks World Fisheries Day , an annual occasion observed in many fishing communities around the world. It’s a great opportunity—even for those of us who do not fish for a living—to...
Animals, on land and in the ocean, live in a 3-D world, and they depend on their sense organs and brains to build the mental constructs that allow them to orient and navigate, which is crucial for...
Since the dawn of seafaring, humankind has had to deal with the pesky creatures that settle on ships—seaweeds, barnacles, and others that take advantage of the empty real estate provided by a clean...
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