Schooling fish know that working together is better for everyone. The same is true on the Ocean Portal, where we are gathering a group of outstanding organizations in the fields of marine science, education, media, conservation, and other areas. By pooling our expertise and top assets, we can provide a richer experience than any one of us could alone. Get to know each organization by exploring their contributions on the OP and visiting their websites.
Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) is a regional Native nonprofit organization founded for the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people of Southeast Alaska. SHI was established in 1981 by Sealaska Corp., a for-profit company formed under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). SHI, formerly Sealaska Heritage Foundation, administers Sealaska Corp.'s cultural and educational programs.
The National Marine Educators Association (NMEA) brings together those interested in the study and appreciation of both fresh and salt water and provides a focus for marine and aquatic studies all over the world. The NMEA organization includes professionals in education, science, business, government, museums, aquariums and marine research.
The World Heritage Marine Programme was created in 2005 with the aim of establishing effective conservation of all unique marine areas protected under the 1972 World Heritage Convention. Today, about 50 World Heritage sites are located in marine or coastal areas. Together, they represent the 'Crown Jewels of our Ocean' and are recognized for their outstanding beauty, exceptional biodiversity, or unique ecological, biological or geological processes. They are selected under strict criteria and through a rigorous nomination, evaluation and inscription process. In cooperation with a variety of partners, the World Heritage Marine Programme is developing innovative ways to support site managers with their conservation challenges, while simultaneously advancing the application of the World Heritage Convention for protecting the planet’s most valuable and unique marine places. The World Heritage Marine Programme is one of the six thematic programme's of UNESCO's World Heritage Centre, headquartered in Paris, France.
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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 Ocean Portal team as a web content and social media producer 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.
Jessica is a PhD student at the University of Maryland, College Park and research student at the Smithsonian. She is broadly interested in marine invertebrate evolution and systematics, but her main focus has been primarily on opisthobranchs (sea slugs). Her research will focus on the systematics of a group of sea slugs called Cladobranchia and the evolution of nematocyst sequestration in that group.
Mark J. Spalding is the President of The Ocean Foundation and is an authority on international ocean policy and law. He is the former Director of the Environmental Law and Civil Society Program, and Editor of the Journal of Environment and Development, at the Graduate School of International Relations & Pacific Studies (IR/PS), UC-San Diego. Spalding has also taught at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD's Muir College, UC Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy, and University of San Diego's School of Law. He was a research fellow at UCSD's Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, a Sustainability Institute – Donella Meadows Leadership Fellow and a SeaWeb Senior Fellow. He is chair emeritus of the National Board of Directors of the Surfrider Foundation, and was the chair of the environmental law section of the California State Bar Association. He holds a B.A. in history with Honors from Claremont McKenna College, a J.D. from Loyola Law School, and a Master in Pacific International Affairs from IR/PS.
Laurence Yeung is currently a researcher at UCLA in the Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences. He studies how carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen are distributed in the environment, using their stable isotopes as tags to track how they move about the Earth system (more gory details are available on his webpage). You can also find him on Facebook or Twitter, where you can ask him about his experiences working on science communication projects with PHD TV and the Board on Life Sciences at the National Academy of Sciences as a Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Fellow.
My name is Madison Stewart, to my friends ‘pip’ (dads a pirate, mums a hippy, and so I became ‘pippy’) but probably now known better as ‘shark girl’. I began scuba diving at age 12, left school at age 14 to begin home schooling and picked up an underwater camera for the first time. I have always grown up in the oceans, living on a yacht form the age of two and then growing up on the water in Australia’s Gold Coast. At 12 years old I was a certified open water diver at Sundive in Byron Bay, where I now live. My next view of the underwater world was the Great Barrier Reef. Everyone has a special memory of wonder from their childhood, my obsession quickly became the Great Barrier Reef. I left school to start home schooling at age 14 and in an agreement with my father I traded my school fees for an underwater video system, a simple tape camera in a housing. From that point on, the sharks, the Great Barrier Reef, and the oceans worldwide became my normality, my classroom and my home.
I work for sharks, they are everything to me, and my story is one of loss at the hands of environmental injustice, and I work to take back what I believe is mine, and that is a future in an ocean that has sharks. The most important career I can hope to be involved in, is the protection of this planet, and thus my own future. I want a future with sharks in it, this is the end I am fighting for. I have seen a change in my lifetime, I am not an activist, or a conservationist, I am just a person, who refuses to believe they will loose their home in their lifetime, at the hands of governments and worldwide neglect of this species. Not now, nor has it ever been impossible for one person to make a difference.
Photo: Ernst Stewart