Maggy Hunter Benson's blog

Amazing Ocean: Explore from Your Mobile Device

Amazing Ocean Mobile App
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Editor's note: Thank you for your interest in this app. Unfortunately, it is no longer available. 

Amazing Ocean is a brand new, free mobile app developed by the U.S. Department of State that features Smithsonian Ocean Portal and Sant Ocean Hall content. The app allows users to explore photos, videos, and rich ocean-themed content on their mobile devices.

A Guide to Earthquake Lesson Plans

Demonstrating an Earthquake's Seismic Waves
Map of the Magnitude 5.8 Virginia Earthquake of 2011
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It isn’t everyday that a magnitude 5.8 earthquake strikes the East Coast of the United States. But on August 23, 2011, people from Georgia to New England felt the rumble and shaking of an earthquake whose epicenter was in Mineral, Va. The East Coast is historically a low risk zone. What exactly happened and how might educators use this event in the classroom?

The JASON Project Live from the Shedd Aquarium

Dr. Sylvia Earle
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This week people representing federal, state, and local governments, academia, non-profits, and private industry are in Chicago for the biennial Coastal Zone Conference. This meeting will give more than 1,000 attendees the opportunity to discuss ocean issues, strategies, and solutions.

Demystifying Seafood

Guests at Smithsonian's 2010 Sustainable Seafood Event

Calling all fans of Bravo's "Top Chef" reality show: the Smithsonian Resident Associate Program is hosting Demystifying Seafood, a wine and dine event at the National Museum of Natural History on Thursday evening, June 9, 2011. "Top Chef" runner up Mike Isabella, fan favorite Carla Hall, season one contestant Sam Talbot, and over 30 other acclaimed chefs will be preparing "sustainable seafood" dishes for guests.

What Lives in the Gulf of Mexico? Exploring Marine Collections on Google Earth

Smithsonian Collections on Google Earth
Smithsonian Marine Collections on Google Earth

When he was 10 years old, Stephen Cairns lived in Cuba where he kept a collection of butterflies and sea shells. When his family moved to Louisiana, he could bring only one of the collections with him. He chose the shells. He says that is when he knew he was going to be a marine biologist.

Making Science Sing: The Longest Time (Coral Triangle Edition)

Coral Reef on Gangga Island, Indonesia
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How do you make science sing? Just ask a couple of female scientists to sing about their research interests and their passion is quickly conveyed in a quirky little tune. Informative, inspiring, and a little bit silly are all adjectives that aptly describe this music video performed and produced by a group of female graduate students from UCLA’s Barber Lab.

A Better Way to Measure Marine Life

Reef Monitoring Structure
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Collect, sort, identify, photograph, sample, record. Repeat a couple thousand times. This is what the students and researchers have been doing as the Indonesian Biodiversity Research Center (IBRC) project has seriously ramped up.

Scuba Diving Course a Success for IBRC Students

Scientific Diving Students from the 2012 IBRC Program

For the past week, the Indonesian Biodiversity Research Center (IBRC) diving class of 2012 has seen countless fish in shades of pink, blue, yellow, red, and green darting through corals and the overhangs of a shipwreck. They witnessed stunning bioluminescent plankton flash like fireflies in the dark ocean surf. Best yet, they have grown together as one unit, united through scuba diving.

Live from the Field: Bali, Indonesia

Sunset in Bali, Indonesia
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It’s not everyday that I get to collect and gather data right alongside our Museum’s researchers. So, imagine my recent delight when the opportunity was presented to me to travel half way around the world to Bali, Indonesia to participate in a research and education field project.

Earth Day 101: Students Set the Example

Pick Five for the Environment
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For more than 40 years, Earth Day has been a day to get your hands dirty—or wet! No act of green or blue is too small. Whether you choose to plant a tree or pledge to use less water, small collective acts add up. They also help raise awareness and inspire protection of the Earth and its ocean.

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