For Students

students observing a teacher holding a starfish

National marine sanctuaries are living classrooms that can be explored in person or through interactive digital labs and activities. In this section, you will find games, online story books, information on marine careers, activities, free materials and other cool stuff.

Games and Activities

kids and adult in a kayak

Games and Virtual Reality

Games, VR, coloring pages, and fun activities to help you learn about the national marine sanctuaries.

Protext out ocean activity book cover

Ocean Guardian Activity Book

Learn about the ocean and why it's important through word searches, games and coloring pages. You can also sign the Ocean Guardian Pledge to protect the ocean and all the creatures that live in it. The activity book is appropriate for children in Grades K-3.

Ocean Guardian kids club logo with an illustration of sanctuary sam

Ocean Guardian Kids Club

The Kids Club offers children a stimulating opportunity to express their insights, observations and understanding of their natural environment through the creation of original stories, poetry and visual art. All K-8 students are eligible and encouraged to join!

Creature Feature Videos

mobula ray

Mantas vs. mobulas

Do you know the difference between manta rays and mobulas? Learn how to tell them apart in our video!

cliff swallows gathering mud by the water

Cliff swallows

Every spring, cliff swallows migrate to Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in California to nest. Learn about their migration and nesting in our video!

venus flytrap anemone

Venus flytrap anemone

This Venus flytrap anemone may look like its terrestrial counterpart – but this deep-sea dweller is actually an animal, not a plant!

beach at sunset

Northern elephant seals

In the last century, northern elephant seals have made an amazing recovery!



These are not the droids you're looking for – they're hydroids! Learn about these odd invertebrates in our video.

hawaiian monk seal resting on a beach

Hawaiian monk seals

Hawaiian monk seals are found throughout Hawai‘i, including in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument and Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.



Though it may look like a jellyfish, a ctenophore – or comb jelly – is something else entirely.

sea cucumber

Sea cucumbers

Have you ever seen a sea cucumber swim? The NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research spotted this one swimming around in the deep waters of National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa.

white shark


Sharks: scary? We think not! Check out our video to learn more about the crucial role sharks play in sanctuary ecosystems.

sea lions underwater

Sea lions

Sea lions are found throughout the national marine sanctuaries of the West Coast. Watch this video to learn more about these friendly animals!

corals spawning

Coral spawning

Every August, the reef-building corals of Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary put on a fantastic spawning display.

view over a sea turtle's head

Leatherback sea turtles

How big are leatherback sea turtles? How do they swim? Find this out and more in this video about leatherbacks in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.



Barracudas are found throughout your National Marine Sanctuary System. Find out what makes them so special in our video!

skeleton of a whale on the sea floor

Whale fall

When a whale dies at sea, its body becomes a habitat for a wide array of organisms. Learn about whale falls in our video.

bluntnose sixgill shark

Bluntnose sixgill shark

Researchers aboard the E/V Nautilus got a treat when they spotted this bluntnose sixgill shark in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.

sea nettle jellyfish

Sea nettle

What's a sea nettle? Learn about these Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary dwellers in our video!

photo of a nudibranch


Nudibranchs may look something out of a science fiction movie, but they're actually closely related to snails! Find out more about these colorful creatures in our video. 

photo of a nudibranch


The National Marine Sanctuary System is home to a magnificent array of birds. Learn about them in our video! 

photo of a dolphin


From bottlenose dolphins in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary to spinner dolphins in Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, many species of dolphin frequent your national marine sanctuaries. 

graphic of turtle and yellow fish

Turtle cleaning station

What's a turtle cleaning station? Check it out in our video and learn more here

photo of an octopus


From Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary to Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary octopuses are found in many of our national marine sanctuaries. Check out our video to learn about these intelligent ocean creatures. 

photo of a whale tail out of the water

Humpback whales

Did you know that when baby humpback whales are born they are already 15 feet long and weigh as much as a small car? Watch this fun video to find out more.

photo of a sea lion

Seals and sea lions

What's the difference between seals and sea lions? Find out in our video!

photo of two sea turtles on the beach

Green sea turtles

Want to see a baby turtle hatchling making its way to the ocean and learn more about the turtles of the Hawaiian archipelago? Check out this video.

photo of a moray eel

Moray Eels

Did you know that moray eels have two sets of jaws? Find out more in this video.

Marine Careers

photo of woman assessing tidepools

Get introduced to a wide range of marine career fields and to people working in those fields at

photo of a woman teaching about the ocean

Women Exploring the Ocean

Our knowledge of Earth and its oceans has been pieced together through the work of many individuals. Increasingly women have made significant contributions to marine science. Meet a few woman oceanographers to learn about their ocean careers.

photo of a man looking at the ocean with binoculars

NOAA Careers

Unlock secrets in the deep ocean, track rapidly moving storms, operate state-of-the-art environmental satellites, chart the Nation's waterways, formulate models to forecast climate trends, protect and preserve our living marine resources.

photo of a diver

The Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence and the MATE Center have developed an ocean career Web site that allows you to explore over fifty ocean-related careers, as well as find: a college, university of training center that specializes in ocean-related education.

photo of a man looking out onto the ocean

Careers in Oceanography, Marine Science & Marine Biology

This career directory is divided into three sections: general guides for oceanography and marine science; guides for marine biology, marine mammals, zoos and aquariums; and other guides covering all of science.

Student Opportunites

photo of birds with empty plastic bottles

What Will You Do?

How much do you appreciate what the ocean has to offer? What will you do to see that it endures for your children?

ocean guardian kids club logo

Ocean Guardian Kids Club

Kids Make a Difference - Become an Ocean Guardian and join our kids club today!

photo of students participating in ocean for life

Ocean for Life

The Ocean for Life program is an initiative to increase cultural understanding through ocean science. Ocean for Life provides high quality, immersive ocean field studies to facilitate cross-cultural learning between multicultural students.

thank you ocean logo

Thank You Ocean

The ocean takes care of us. Let's return the favor. Discover ways to thank the ocean.

ocean guardian activity book

Ocean Guardian Activity Book

This activity book is for grades Kindergarten through 3rd to learn about the ocean and why it’s important through word searches, games, and coloring pages.


photo of the nancy foster scholars

Undergraduate and Graduate Student Scholarships

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) offers many scholarships, internships, fellowships and post docs for undergraduate and graduate students.