A drop of seawater contains hundreds, even thousands of tiny phytoplankton, organisms so small they can only be seen with a microscope. They’re so beautiful that everyone should be able to peek into the invisible world of plankton. And now you can.
Archive | Ocean Observatory Stories
Why are ocean observing systems important?
The Ups and Downs of a Life at Sea
This is the story of a legion of torpedo-shaped robots moving effortlessly through our seas. Argo floats bob up and down in the ocean, gathering data and beaming it into the sky every time they surface.
Is it Safe to Walk your Dog on the Beach?
In May of 2007, Wally, a 12 year-old Basenji became ill and almost died after eating dead sand crabs on Del Monte Beach. Deidre Sullivan used her knowledge of the ocean and harmful algal blooms to track down the probable cause of Wally’s illness.
Knowing when to Evacuate: One Woman’s Push Towards an Ocean-literate Nation
Knowing when to evacuate from an oncoming hurricane can seem like a daunting decision – even for someone immersed in ocean education. Chris Simoniello shares with us how one educator reacted to the oncoming threat of Hurricane Katrina to her coastal community, and how in the aftermath she gained a new motivation to help educate […]
The Challenge of Understanding Measurements
As an informal educator, Katie Gardner works hard to help students understand how scientists observe and monitor the ocean. She even replicates many of the common problems scientists run into in the field, so students can appreciate how difficult it is. Even still, she wonders whether the path ahead to engaging students in ocean observing […]
Taking Data to Heart
When you show students how to use real-time data, you might be surprised to find out that they continue using the data long after the lesson is over. In this story, Leisl Hotaling shares with us an unexpected outcome she encountered while teaching students about Air Pollution.
Small Plants, Big Ocean
Dr. Jim Yoder has always been fascinated by the microscopic plants that grow in the ocean. Early in his career he studied them in his lab and wondered if his flasks really matched the ocean environment. Little did he realize how new technologies like satellites would soon be able to give him a much larger […]
First Launch, First Visit
As OOS educators, we try to engage students in hands-on science experiences to connect them with the ocean environment. In this story from Hawaii, we discover how Mahina’s experience collecting ocean data made her rethink how humans impact the ocean.
Where’s the dock?
Observing the ocean at the ends of the earth is never easy. Senior WHOI Scientist, Al Plueddemann, shares his tale of how tricky even loading a boat with equipment can be in Barrow Alaska. But, as difficult as it was, observing the ocean with a small and nimble ROV turned out to be the easiest […]
Catching the $250,000 "Fish"
Researching the ocean’s many mysteries is never easy, especially when you’re using the latest in robotic technology. This is why programs for teachers generally include a field component where oceanographers can demonstrate how they conduct their research and the challenges they face. But in this story from Virginia Institute of Marine Science, you’ll never guess […]