Archived Webinars

The National Marine Sanctuaries Webinar Series provides educators, students, and the interested public with educational and scientific expertise, resources and training to support ocean and climate literacy. This series generally targets formal and informal educators that are engaging students (elementary through college) in formal classroom settings, as well as members of the community in informal educational venues (e.g. after school programs, science centers, aquariums, etc.). However, the series is open to anyone interested in the topics listed below.

For distance learning programs about marine mammals and other protected species in the wild, please visit our Wildlife Viewing Guidelines and the NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources' Marine Life Viewing Guidelines to ensure you are aware of the regulations.


left to right: Dr. Dan Polhemus, coral reef and aerial of an island

The World Does Not Stand Still - Understanding the Impacts of Climate Change in Papahānaumokuākea

August 19, 2021

Dr. Dan Polhemus, Aquatic Ecosystems and Environmental Contaminants program manager at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Pacific Islands

Current and future impacts from climate change are considered to be the single greatest threat to the long-term integrity of Papahānaumokuākea. The effects of climate change are already being observed, with rising sea levels leading to shoreline retreat, increasing ocean heat content producing more frequent and severe coral bleaching events, and a more westward trajectory for tropical cyclones inflicting severe damage to certain atolls, notably Lalo (French Frigate Shoals). Current modelling indicates that all these stressors will continue to impact the Monument to progressively greater degrees going forward, producing major resource management challenges. A climate change vulnerability assessment for the Monument was completed in 2016, and the managers are now moving forward to convert this into an action plan that will facilitate future climate adaptation.

This presentation is part of the Third Thursday By the Bay Presentation Series at Mokupāpapa Discovery Center that is the visitor center for Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in Hilo, Hawaiʻi. This State of the Monument lecture series is also supported by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation through a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Webinar Recording


Left to right: swannanoa river with marine debris, a fish trap in a river, dr david crandford standing in a hole he dug

Where the Water is Shallow and the Current is Strong: Stone Fish Weirs of the Eastern Woodlands

August 17, 2021

Though often overlooked, stone fish weirs are relatively common archaeological features in many swift-flowing rivers and streams above the fall-line across the eastern United States. Often seen as "V" or "W"-shaped stone alignments, these highly efficient fishing structures were used extensively throughout the pre-colonial and historic periods, some potentially dating back millennia and represent an important part of our cultural landscape.

For a variety of reasons, stone fish weirs have received only intermittent attention from the archaeological community and are rarely the focus of systematic surveys. New improvements in the quality and accessibility of satellite-based imagery, like Google Earth, have made the identification and recording of fish weir sites possible on a regional scale.

Join Dr. David Crandford for his presentation to learn about the many different types of fish weirs that can be found world-wide and how their shapes help determine where they are located. Learn about archaeological approaches to studying fish weir sites and hear about some of the initial findings and insights of the North Carolina Fish Weir Archaeological Project that has documented more than 800 potential fish weirs.

Webinar Recording


left to right: seagrass, aurora ricart and melissa ward and seagrass

Seagrass Meadows: Unsung Heroes in Combating Climate Change?

August 12, 2021

Aurora M. Ricart, Ph.D., Post-doctoral Researcher at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences and Melissa Ward, Ph.D., Post-doctoral Researcher at San Diego State University

Seagrass meadows can be found from the tropics to the arctic circle, with over 60 species in total. These meadows form the foundation of many marine food webs, while also serving to improve water quality, stabilize sediment, and buffer storm surge. More recently, scientists are investigating seagrasses as a natural-based solution in combating climate change. Research, including that of Drs. Aurora M Ricart and Melissa Ward, suggests that these habitats contribute to long-term climate mitigation through sediment carbon sequestration, while also serving to ameliorate the impacts of ocean acidification. In this talk, they will explore the capacity of seagrass ecosystems to help mitigate climate change effects and discuss the implications for the conservation and management of these coastal ecosystems.

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left to right: boat on the water tagging a shark and dr. salvador jorgensen tagging a shark

Tracking White Sharks! An Update on Population Changes off the West Coast of North America

August 11, 2021

Dr. Salvador Jorgensen, Marine Ecologist, University of California, Santa Cruz

This presentation will detail the latest developments in a long-term study of the northeast Pacific great white sharks. A combination of management practices and climate change have led to range shifting and population fluxes among juvenile and adult white sharks. These changes, along with surprising interactions with other predators, underscore the dynamic nature of this cryptic top predator and its important role in coastal and ocean ecology.

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people in a museum

Diving into Diversity

July 20, 2021

Lori Sanderlin and Katy Menne, North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport

Looking for ways to reach and engage a wider and more diverse audience and/or students? Gain some summer inspiration with Lori Sanderlin and Katy Menne of the North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport.

Navigate your way to this live webinar as Lori and Katy discuss how their small museum in southeastern North Carolina took on the big topic of Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion, with a special look at Accessibility and Inclusion. The museum is the first Certified Autism Center in the state of North Carolina and welcomes visitors of all abilities and their families.

Tune in for a unique take on how the maritime field can be adapted to reach a wider, more diverse audience. Learn how this small staff of three took on adapting programs, creating an American Sign Language (ASL) tour, and making physical alterations to create a more welcoming and inclusive experience for individuals and families with sensory sensitivities or special needs.

Webinar Recording


sea turtle and researcher measuring the a turtle

Hawaiian Honu take on Climate Change: Signs of a Fragile Recovery

July 15, 2021

Marylou Staman, NOAA Marine Turtle Biology and Assessment Program Marine Science Coordinator

Residing in the most geographically isolated island chain on the planet, the Hawaiian green sea turtle (known as honu in the Hawaiian Islands) population has been monitored by NOAA Fisheries' Marine Turtle Biology and Assessment Program for the last 45 years. Approximately 96 percent of the population nests on the islets of Lalo (French Frigate Shoals) in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. The long-term tagging study has produced a wealth of information about the status and trends of nesting females in the Hawaiian islands. There remains, however, limited data to assess the potential effects of climate change. Join Marylou Staman as she shares what we've learned so far, and what current research projects are building the foundation for understanding the population's resilience to climate change.

Marylou Staman is the leader of the NOAA Marine Turtle Biology and Assessment Program's green sea turtle population assessment project in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. As the leader of the field research, she has spent a total of 12 months living at Lalo over the past four years, where her favorite activities include stargazing and working with the hatchlings.

This presentation is part of the Third Thursday By the Bay Presentation Series at Mokupāpapa Discovery Center, which is the visitor center for Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in Hilo, Hawaiʻi. This State of the Monument lecture series is also supported by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation through a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Webinar Recording


various photos of people working with rovs

Engineering in the Classroom with Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicles

July 15, 2021

Shannon Ricles, Education and Outreach Coordinator for Monitor National Marine Sanctuary

Want to do engineering in your classroom? Through the excitement of underwater remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), Shannon Ricles will introduce educators to an exciting avenue for teaching engineering and design, while learning about our nation’s maritime heritage through the mystery of shipwrecks. Using problem-based learning and a plethora of activities using simple materials, learn how to help your students understand engineering design and the science behind ROVs, including Newton’s Laws of Motion, buoyancy, air pressure, Archimedes’ Principle, and more.

During this presentation, learn how to help your students design, engineer, build, and test an ROV to better understand the engineering process. With step-by-step instructions, learn how to create affordable reusable kits and how to implement the program into your classroom with as little as three class hours. The free ROV curriculum also guides you in engaging your students to connect to the scientists and maritime archaeologists of NOAA and Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. Discover how NOAA uses ROV technology in the real world to explore the Deep Ocean and search for historical shipwrecks. A complete set of free lesson plans filled with hands-on activities is showcased.

Webinar Recording


Left to right: George Mastumoto,rocky outcrop with coral attached, Hannah McDonald

Revealing the Mysterious Coral and Sponge Gardens of Sur Ridge in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

June 23, 2021

George Matsumoto, Senior Education and Research Specialist at Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and Hannah MacDonald, graduate student at the University of Rhode Island

Countless mysteries exist in the depths of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS), including Sur Ridge – a deep-sea rocky outcrop off the coast of Big Sur that is roughly the size of Manhattan. Thanks to state-of-the-art marine technology developed by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), the stunning deep-sea ecosystems of Sur Ridge are being revealed. Over the last decade, MBARI and MBNMS have partnered to explore and study this remarkable part of the sanctuary and better understand the growing impacts of climate change on the lush coral and sponge gardens discovered there. Join Hannah MacDonald, graduate student at the University of Rhode Island, and George Matsumoto, Senior Education and Research Specialist at MBARI, as they share how an upcoming expedition to Sur Ridge will further our understanding of these precious deep-sea habitats. There will be an opportunity for you to join the research expedition virtually so tune in to find out more!

Webinar Recording


left: orca breaching, center: 3 orcas swimming together, right: orca eating a fish

Salmon & Orcas: The Stories of Science with NOAA Fisheries & Lynda Mapes

June 17, 2021

Lynda Mapes, Seattle Times Journalist, Lynne Barre of NOAA's West Coast Regional Office Seattle Branch, and Brian Burke, Marla Holt and Brad Hanson of NOAA's Northwest Fisheries Science Center

The new book ORCA: Shared Waters, Shared Home, due out in June 2021, describes how NOAA Fisheries scientists seek to unravel connections between endangered Southern Resident killer whales, threatened Puget Sound Chinook salmon, and the rest of the marine ecosystem. Hear from those scientists and an award-winning journalist who covers them as they examine the smallest organisms in the ocean, looking for clues to understanding salmon survival. Hear also from the biologists who have recently identified the sources of Southern Resident prey across much of the West Coast. Together they will tell the stories of salmon survival and the native Northwest habitat our salmon and steelhead depend on -- and that we can all help restore.

Webinar Recording


left: headshot of a person, center: a shark swims above a reef, right: headshot of a person

Why We Need to Protect More of the Ocean

June 15, 2021

Dr. Enric Sala, Explorer-in-Residence, National Geographic Society and Dr. Alan Friedlander, Chief Scientist, National Geographic Pristine Seas

Without the ocean, human life on Earth would be impossible. But increasing overexploitation and global warming are depleting ocean biodiversity and bringing the ocean to a tipping point, beyond which we may never recover. The establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs) is a proven and cost-effective tool to ensure a healthy ocean and prevent catastrophe, yet currently less than 3% of the ocean enjoys strong protection. Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, established in 2006, and today celebrating 15 years of protections, was the first remote large-scale MPA and protects one of the most intact coral reef ecosystems on Earth. This predator-dominated ecosystem harbors unique biodiversity, numerous threatened and endangered species, and serves as a baseline for understanding how natural coral reefs function in the absence of humans. Over the past 15+ years, several dozen large-scale MPAs have been created, protecting some of the world’s last remaining “pristine” ecosystems and contributing significantly to global marine conservation efforts. New research strongly supports the case for protecting at least 30% of the ocean by 2030 (30x30) to preserve ocean biodiversity, enhance food security, and secure ocean carbon stocks to help mitigate climate change. Therefore, there is a critical need to increase the support for ocean conservation so that both people and nature can thrive.

This presentation is part of the Third Thursday By the Bay Presentation Series at Mokupāpapa Discovery Center that is the visitor center for Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in Hilo, Hawaiʻi. This State of the Monument lecture series is also supported by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation through a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Webinar Recording


left: headshot of a person, center: a canoe floats on water, right: a person sprays something on a canoe

Sometimes the Simplest Solutions are the Best Solutions: Re-Conserving the Lake Phelps Canoes

June 8, 2021 at 10 am Pacific / 12 pm Central / 1 pm Eastern

Tim Smith, Lake Phelps Canoe Conservator at Queen Anne’s Revenge Lab with North Carolina’s Office of State Archaeology

Join Tim Smith to learn about the Native American dugout canoes discovered in Lake Phelps and the conservation methods and treatments used to preserve them. Located in North Carolina’s Pettigrew State Park, Lake Phelps is North Carolina’s second largest natural lake and remains a beautiful mystery. Formed on a vast peninsula lying between the Albemarle Sound and the Pamlico River, the lake is believed to be more than 38,000 years old. This massive lake and surrounding big-tree forests offer a more than 10,000-year glimpse into the relation of human cultures and nature. Archaeologists have uncovered thousands of relics, but the most fascinating discovery is a collection of 30 dugout canoes buried in the lake. These canoes date as far back as 2400 B.C.

Most of the 30 canoes were reburied to protect them from deterioration, but four were recovered in 1986. Learn how these canoes were treated with sugar as a bulking agent to prevent serious damage upon drying. However, after many years of being stored in uncontrolled conditions, some of these canoes became unstable with sugar leaching to the surface and crystallizing, causing major concerns for their long-term preservation. Discover how a graduate of East Carolina’s Anthropology Program researched and devised a method for treating this problem that has proven effective at dissolving the sugar back into the canoes. Using the Lake Phelps canoes as a case study, listen as Tim discusses the advantages and disadvantages of treating waterlogged archaeological wood with sugar, as he reviews their history, treatment, and retreatment.

Webinar Recording


Jared underwood webinar banner sitting on the field

Monitoring and Managing Seabirds in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific: Past, Present & Future

May 20, 2021

Jared Underwood, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Superintendent for Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

Millions of seabirds use the remote atolls and islands that are found around Hawaiʻi and the Central Pacific Ocean. Marine National Monuments and National Wildlife Refuges in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific have long been recognized as important breeding and roosting grounds for a number of seabird species. Often these places are the only potential nesting habitat for hundreds or thousands of miles. Join Jared Underwood as he describes past, current, and future monitoring efforts for seabirds across these important locations. He will also discuss some key management actions to benefit seabirds, and particularly those that were discussed in the recent State of the Monument Report.

This presentation is part of the Third Thursday By the Bay Presentation Series at Mokupāpapa Discovery Center that is the visitor center for Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in Hilo, Hawaiʻi. This State of the Monument lecture series is also supported by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation through a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Webinar Recording


a collage of a model of the monitor, will hoffman and the monitor turrent

Conservation of USS Monitor. Past, Present, and Future

May 18, 2021

Will Hoffman, Director of Conservation and Chief Conservator at The Mariners' Museum and Park

In 1987, The Mariners' Museum and Park partnered with NOAA to be the official repository of artifacts raised from the nation's first national marine sanctuary. Starting in the late 1990s, archaeologists from NOAA, partnering with the U.S. Navy, began a major effort to recover the most significant components and artifacts from the wreck site of USS Monitor. As the first ironclad commissioned by the U.S. Navy in 1862, Monitor fought in the Battle of Hampton Roads on March 9, 1862, and just nine months later, sank off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

Objects retrieved from the vessel encompassed nearly the entire engineering section and its iconic revolving gun turret. With the arrival of the Monitor's turret in 2002, the museum held over 210 tons of archaeological material.

Will Hoffman, Director of conservation and Chief Conservator at The Mariners' Museum, will present an overview of the Monitor conservation effort to date, including the establishment of the USS Monitor Center and Batten Conservation Complex. During the lecture, he will also discuss the treatment of several high-profile objects, as well as outlining future conservation steps.

Webinar Recording


a collage of an admiral, sinking ship and Dr. Sal Mercogliano

The Submarine Blitzkrieg against North America and the U.S. Response - December 1941 to August 1942

May 11, 2021

Dr. Sal Mercogliano, Associate Professor of History at Campbell University

During World War II, the ships and men of the U.S. Merchant Marine transported vast quantities of war materials, supplies, equipment, and troops needed to fight the war. These merchant seamen faced many of the same dangers as U.S. Navy sailors. One in 26 merchant mariners serving aboard merchant ships during the war died in the line of duty, suffering a greater percentage of war-related deaths than all other U.S. uniformed services.

Join Dr. Sal Mercogliano, Associate Professor of History at Campbell University, to learn how and why the American East Coast became a strategic battlefield in the first five months after the U.S. entered World War II. Learn about the mistakes made, the men who made them, and the solutions found to turn the tide in the German U-boat war.

Dr. Mercogliano will discuss how the ships sunk off the East Coast represented some of the initial actions for the U.S. in the Second World War, but that they also demonstrated the global nature and issues facing the Navy and the merchant marine in their ability to transport the Arsenal of Democracy from the home front to the front lines. Learn how Admiral King, Adolphus Andrews (commander of the Eastern Sea Frontier), and Emory S. Land (head of the War Shipping Administration) vied for the best solution to the attacks against American commerce and fought over the limited resources available to defend it. Understand that the ones who suffered most were the crews of the 609 ships off American waters in the months after the United States entered the war.

Webinar Recording


Four images combined into one

Submerged North Carolina: World War II's Battle of the Atlantic - When the War Came to America

May 6, 2021

Shannon Ricles, NOAA's Monitor National Marine Sanctuary

In 1942, German U-boats stalked merchant and Allied vessels off the U.S. East Coast. In the first six months of 1942, over 80 ships sank off the North Carolina coast alone, with over 1,200 casualties. By war's end, 90 ships laid at rest on the bottom of the sea, and nearly 1,700 men made the ultimate sacrifice.

Join Shannon Ricles, Education and Outreach Coordinator with NOAA's Monitor National Marine Sanctuary to learn more about this American Theater of World War II and why the area off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, became the strategic hotspot for the Battle of the Atlantic. In this webinar, “dive” under the water to view the wrecks as they rest today and hear their stories of bravery and sacrifice. Dive even deeper with historical and underwater images and videos, along with 3-D representations and sonar images. Preview the free 204-page curriculum guide designed to help students understand the causes of the war, the role women played in the military and on the home front, the importance of the Battle of the Atlantic, and NOAA's role in preserving our nation's maritime heritage resources. This free curriculum guide, Battle of the Atlantic: Discovering and Exploring When the War Came Home, is for grades 6-12 and includes over 35 activities.

This webinar is presented by NOAA's Monitor National Marine Sanctuary and the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology in a series titled "Submerged NC."

Webinar Recording


weather image, a man, and noaa building images combined into one

Submerged North Carolina: Hurricane Hazards and Science -The National Hurricane Center's Role in Providing Life-saving Information

May 4, 2021

Andrew Latto, Hurricane Specialist, National Hurricane Center

Join Andy Latto, Hurricane Specialist at the National Hurricane Center, as he discusses the main impacts of hurricanes on the Carolinas and the mid-Atlantic region. Learn how these destructive storms form and when to expect the biggest threats to the area. Andy will also discuss the National Hurricane Center's forecast process, including tracking a storm and determining its intensity. He will illustrate some of the challenges and uncertainties faced each time they issue a forecast package. Be sure to register for this webinar to learn how to correctly interpret the National Hurricane Center forecasts and apply it to your plan to stay safe during hurricane season.

This webinar is presented by NOAA's Monitor National Marine Sanctuary and the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology in a series titled "Submerged NC."

Webinar Recording


5 photos into one image of people exploring their surroundings

Kid Power – How North Carolina Kids Took on Marine Debris

April 22, 2021

Jenna Hartley, North Carolina State University PhD student and Dr. Nancy Foster Scholar

Join Jenna Hartley, North Carolina State University PhD student and Dr. Nancy Foster Scholar, as she details her research project involving the power of young people as community change-agents on the topic of marine debris. Hear how 2,500 North Carolina 4th & 5th graders, across the state from the mountains to the sea, collected thousands of pounds of trash. Learn how they delivered creative presentations to the public and won over the hearts and minds of their local officials and politicians across the state. Also, get access to the freely-available educational marine debris curriculum used in the project, which was developed by the Duke University Marine Lab Community Science Initiative.

Jenna works for the North Carolina State University's Environmental Education lab, which focuses broadly on understanding and supporting positive human-nature relationships, particularly among children. They work to do research with and provide educational resources to educators within the state of North Carolina and beyond. Be sure to register for this webinar to hear about and be inspired by the young people today making waves on environmental issues in their local communities. This research has been supported by North Carolina Sea Grant.

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Three photos of Travis Marcoux side by side

Whale Sharks of Hawai'i

April 21, 2021

Travis Marcoux, Chief Technical Scientist, Hawaii Uncharted Research Collective

Whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) are known to be the largest fish in the world with some individuals measuring 20 meters (60 feet) long and weighing around 40 tons. Despite their tremendous size, they are gentle giants, using their nearly 1.5 m-wide (5-foot) mouths to filter plankton out of large volumes of water as they swim. Very little is known about whale sharks in Hawai‘i. The researchers at Hawai‘i Uncharted Research Collective started this non-profit organization for this very reason.

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Stephen Atkinson photos

Driven Ashore and Gone to Pieces – Beach Wrecks of North Carolina

April 20, 2021

Stephen Atkinson, Assistant State Archaeologist, North Carolina Underwater Archaeology Branch

Join Stephen Atkinson, Assistant State Archaeologist, as he explores the history behind the many beached shipwrecks that dot the North Carolina coastline. Learn the stories that tell us how they wrecked and the work done today to preserve their presence for future generations.

The North Carolina Underwater Archaeology Branch's beach wreck tagging program adopts the scuba centric mantra of “take only pictures, leave only bubbles” (or in this case, footprints!) and is intended to instill the notion of public stewardship of local archaeological sites. Discover the Underwater Archaeology Branch's past efforts in beach wreck cataloging, what they've been up to recently, and where their successful statewide partnerships will take them in the future.

Webinar Recording


Monk seals and people standing in the ocean

Hawaiian monk seal population update: signs of a fragile recovery

April 15, 2021

Thea Johanos, Research, Marine Biologist, Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program, NOAA Fisheries

The endangered Hawaiian monk seal population is estimated at 1,400 seals, with the majority of the population (1,100) residing within Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Juvenile seal survival is critical to monk seal recovery and has declined in most areas. This presentation focuses on recent impacts to the second largest monk seal population at Lalo (French Frigate Shoals) after the loss of two important pupping islets in 2018. Multiple interventions are conducted each year to increase survival, including disentangling seals caught in marine debris, rescuing seals entrapped in crumbling infrastructure, and translocating pups from areas of high shark predation to safer areas. Thea Johanos will discuss these and other contributions to recovery at both the individual seal and population levels as she prepares for the 2021 field season.

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Alexandra Rose

Women Making History: Alexandra Rose

March 25, 2021

Alexandra Rose, Science Editor, Professional Photographer and Diver, Ocean Geographic Magazine and Blue Ring

In celebration of Women's History Month, guest speaker Alexandra Rose is dedicated to protecting our world's most precious marine habitats through diving, writing, photography, education, and research. She is Science Editor for Ocean Geographic Magazine, Managing Editor for Ocean Geographic Explorers, founder of Blue Ring, as well as a professional photographer, violinist, Explorers Club Fellow, and PADI Divemaster. She will discuss how maximizing and leveraging the experiences we gain through travel can illuminate, inspire, and generate change. "Pictures have the power to convince the unconvinced, the ways we tell our stories can have major impacts on the people around us," says Rose. This year marks only the 40th anniversary of women being accepted in the Explorers Club, an international multidisciplinary professional society dedicated to exploration founded in 1904. Rose says, "In four decades, hundreds of incredible women around the world have been recognized as members and fellows, and it's an honor and responsibility for me to continue advancing this legacy."

Webinar Recording


uss conestoga crew and ship

Three Miles from Safety - USS Conestoga 100th Anniversary

March 25, 2021

Robert Schwemmer, West Coast Regional Maritime Heritage Coordinator for NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries; and special guests Peter Hess, family descendant of George Franklin Kaler, Chief Machinist's Mate USS Conestoga; and Alexis Catsambis, Archaeologist for Naval History and Heritage Command

On March 25, 1921, USS Conestoga departed San Francisco Bay's Mare Island en route to Pearl Harbor and vanished with 56 sailors. One of the top unsolved maritime mysteries in U.S Navy history, Conestoga's final resting place was unknown for 95 years.

During a NOAA Maritime Heritage cruise in Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary in September 2014, a previously undocumented multibeam sonar target thought to be a shipwreck was investigated. Utilizing a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) launched from the research vessel Fulmar, three survey dives were conducted to characterize the target, which proved to be a 170-foot-long steel-hulled steam-powered ocean-going tug of late 19th or early 20th century vintage.

On March 23, 2016, after additional investigation and research, NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and the U.S. Navy announced the discovery of the wreck of USS Conestoga within the sanctuary waters, closing the ship's final chapter and honoring the lost sailors.

Relive Conestoga's history, final voyage, and ultimate discovery. Learn about the technology and detective work that goes into shipwreck identification. Find out about NOAA maritime heritage resources and before the webinar, watch "Three Miles from Safety: The Story of the USS Conestoga," a Blue Ocean Film Festival finalist.

This webinar is presented by NOAA's Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary and the U.S. Navy History and Heritage Command.

Webinar Recording


left: a hand grabs an octopus, middle: close up of an octopus, right: a woman holding an octopus

Cephalopods of Hawai`i

March 24, 2021 at 9 am Hawai`i / 12 pm Pacific / 3 pm Eastern

Heather Ylitalo-Ward, PhD, Aquatic Biologist, State of Hawai`i, Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources

Join Heather Ylitalo-Ward, PhD, in her talk about cephalopods and why they are important in Hawai`i and beyond. Having studied octopus sexual selection in graduate school, Dr. Ylitalo-Ward now works for the State of Hawai`i Dept. of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources monitoring coral reef ecosystem health and populations. For this talk, she will discuss her experience working with these fascinating creatures and why she continues to be enamored with them to this day.

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kimberly kenyon and marine artifacts

Science of Conservation

Wednesday, March 23, 2021 at 7 am Hawaii / 10 am Pacific / 1 pm Eastern

Kimberly Kenyon, Senior Conservator for the Queen Anne's Revenge Shipwreck Project

Join Kimberly Kenyon, senior conservator for the Queen Anne's Revenge Shipwreck Project, as she shares why conservation is so critical to archaeology and learn about some of the processes involved. Discover how archaeology does not end once an artifact is unearthed. Learn how following excavation, an object may require months or years of conservation before it is stable enough for further research or exhibit. See why this is particularly true of artifacts from a marine environment, such as those submerged in the waters off North Carolina's coast.

Partnering since 1975, NOAA and the state of North Carolina work to research, honor, and protect the hallmarks of North Carolina's underwater cultural heritage: shipwrecks. From violent storms and dangerous shoals to world wars, the waters off North Carolina have claimed thousands of ships and lives over hundreds of years. These shipwrecks hold information about the ever changing technologies and cultural and physical landscapes. They serve as a uniquely accessible underwater museum and a memorial to generations of mariners who lived, died, worked and fought off our shores.

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jennifer idol diving

Women Making History: Jennifer Idol

March 18

Jennifer Idol, Professional Underwater Photographer and Storyteller

In celebration of Women's History Month, underwater photographer, videographer, and visual storyteller Jennifer Idol will discuss how her work connects people to the natural world so they can experience its wonders. Idol's book, "An American Immersion," documents her quest to become the first woman to dive 50 states. Her work has been shared in periodicals such as Diver, Scuba Diving, and Alert Diver. Her connection to local waters, including several national marine sanctuaries, led to her being recognized as a PADI Ambassadiver (2017 and 2018,) and as a member of the Ocean Artists Society and the Explorer's Club. Idol says, "Although exploration is traditionally viewed as traveling to exotic and distant locations, it refers to discovery of the unexpected." She will discuss how local waters can be redefined through exploration and influence how we manage these resources.

Webinar Recording


Aliens in Papahānaumokuākea banner

Aliens in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument: Some are Green, but None are Friendly

March 18

Alien and invasive species represent one of the top three threats to the marine and terrestrial ecosystems of Papahānaumokuākea. Over 400 species of marine, non-indigenous/alien species are recorded in the Hawaiian Archipelago, but only 10-15% are known to be established in the Monument. Join Brian Hauk, the Resource Protection Specialist for NOAA's Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, as he shares information on alien and invasive species in Hawaiʻi and efforts to manage and prevent them from entering into the habitats of the Monument.

This presentation is part of the Third Thursday By the Bay Presentation Series at Mokupāpapa Discovery Center that is the visitor center for Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in Hilo, Hawai`i. This lecture series is also supported by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation through a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Webinar Recording Presentation Slides


collage of marine life and a photo of jennifer hagen

Quileute Indian Tribe: Marine Resource Protection and Research

March 17, 2021

Jennifer Hagen, Quileute Indian Tribe Staff Marine Policy Advisor and Marine Biologist

Join Jennifer Hagen, Staff Marine Policy Advisor and Marine Biologist for the Quileute Indian Tribe, who will present a brief overview of the Quileute Natural Resource Program and highlight marine resource protection and research activities the tribe has undertaken over the last decade. Topics include: Phytoplankton monitoring, biotoxin detection in water and shellfish, harmful algal bloom events and implications for management of shellfish and crab, monitoring ocean conditions for hypoxia, and opportunities presented by remote sensing technology.

Webinar Recording


a sonart scan of a shipwreck

Oases for Marine Life - Shipwrecks in 3D

March 16

Dr. Avery Paxton, Research Associate, NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science

Join Dr. Avery Paxton to explore how North Carolina shipwrecks form homes for a diversity of marine life. Learn how for the past decade, Monitor National Marine Sanctuary and National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science Beaufort Lab have led an effort off the coast of North Carolina to document shipwrecks from the Civil War to the Battle of the Atlantic that brought World War II to our shores. This research honors the sacrifices of all who worked, fought, and died in defense of freedom, as well as recognizing the role these nationally significant shipwrecks play in the region's health as habitat for marine ecosystems.

This presentation will highlight the role that shipwrecks play as oases for marine life and showcase advanced technologies, including echosounder surveys to create 3D visualizations of shipwrecks and the surrounding marine life. Along with collecting data to interpret this underwater battlefield, the project also demonstrates the significance of these shipwrecks as both ecological and historical wonders. This project is an example of NOAA offices collaborating to use their best assets to document the incredible maritime history and marine life off North Carolina's shores.

Webinar Recording


Ocean Classroom Logo

2021 Virtual Ocean Classroom Teacher Workshop

March 16 and 17

Hosted by Allen Tom, Superintendent, Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary

Presenters:
Dr. Andrew Rossiter, Mary Roney, and Dean Spencer, Waikiki Aquarium
Patty Miller, Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary
Andy Collins, Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument
Isabel Gaoteote, National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa

Join educators from the Waikiki Aquarium and NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries to learn about new lesson plans for teachers that students can complete either virtually or in a classroom. The workshop is geared towards teachers (grades 3-8), but open to any interested member of the public. Over two days, teachers will learn about the three national marine sanctuaries in the Pacific Islands region, as well as programs from the oldest public aquarium west of the Mississippi River—the Waikiki Aquarium. Lessons will include topics such as humpback whale biology and coral reef ecosystems.

While geared towards school teachers in Hawaiʻi and American Samoa, the webinar is open to all interested members of the public.

Webinar Recording


speaker profile pictures and a outbreak of purple sea urchins

Dive into a Changing Ecosystem: From Lush Kelp Forests to Urchin Barren

March 11, 2021

Kate Vylet, underwater photographer, scientific diver, and divemaster anchored in Monterey Bay, California, Josh Smith, Ph.D. Candidate and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California Santa Cruz, and Karen Grimmer, Resource Protection Coordinator with NOAA's Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Tucked along California's coast is a vibrant underwater forest of towering kelp and diverse wildlife. In the last six years, unprecedented outbreaks of purple sea urchins have decimated kelp forests within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, lending several questions: What caused the urchin outbreak? How have sea otters responded? Will intervention and urchin culling enhance kelp recovery? Through underwater photography and observations by Kate Vylet, and a scientific discussion by Josh Smith and Karen Grimmer, this talk will outline how science, art, and community observation intersect to inform the path forward.

This presentation will be hosted by Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and O'Neill Sea Odyssey.

Webinar Recording


monitor crew sitting on deck

USS Monitor – America's Most Historic Ironclad

March 4, 2021

Shannon Ricles, Education and Outreach Coordinator, Monitor National Marine Sanctuary

Step back to 1862 to learn how the USS Monitor was key in saving the Union. Learn about the ship's inventor and its construction in just 98 days! Explore the role the ship played during and after the Battle of Hampton Roads, and discover how it sank.

Relive its discovery and how it became our nation's first national marine sanctuary, while diving into the recovery and conservation of iconic Monitor artifacts. Look at the recreated faces of two Monitor sailors, whose remains were discovered inside the turret, and learn the science behind their recreation. Find out about free USS Monitor and NOAA resources and programs.

This webinar is presented by NOAA's Monitor National Marine Sanctuary and the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology in a series titled "Submerged NC."

Webinar Recording


An ROV manipulator arm collecting samples from a rhodolith bed at West Flower Garden Bank

Remarkable Algae in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary

February 24, 2021

Dr. Suzanne Fredericq, Professor of Biology, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Extensive sampling of deepwater macroalgae in FGBNMS and the northwestern Gulf of Mexico has resulted in an innovative approach to exploratory research for the discovery, identification, and classification of algal diversity. The research of Dr. Suzanne Fredericq, Professor of Biology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, focuses on rhodolith or algal nodule beds, which represent an important component of marine diversity that contributes to major ecosystem functions. The critical importance rhodoliths play in the life cycle of algae has revolutionized preconceived ideas about the ecological importance of this unexplored ecosystem.

Webinar Recording


left: Dr. Randy Kosaki, middle: a school of fish, right: a white fish with black stripes

Understanding Marine Biodiversity in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

February 18, 2021

Dr. Randy Kosaki, NOAA Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument Research Coordinator

The recent State of the Monument report assessed the status of marine biodiversity in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument as "good". The waters of the monument are home to an abundant array of corals, algae, invertebrates, and fishes, including a very high percentage of endemic species. Join Dr. Randy Kosaki, the Research Coordinator for NOAA's Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, as he shares updates about the abundant array of corals, algae, invertebrates, and fishes.

This presentation is part of the Third Thursday By the Bay Presentation Series at Mokupāpapa Discovery Center that is the visitor center for Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in Hilo, Hawai`i. This lecture series is also supported by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation through a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Webinar Recording


top left: a person points at a monitor, top right: a whale surfaces for air, bottom left: an illustration of a whale near a boat, bottom right: Dr. Yvonne Barkley

New Developments for Passive Acoustic Monitoring of Sperm Whales in Hawaiian Waters

February 17, 2021

Dr. Yvonne Barkley, PhD candidate at the University of Hawaii at Manoa

Dr. Yvonne Barkley shares research findings related to tracking whales using passive acoustic monitoring. This talk will discuss a new approach for localizing passive acoustic data of sperm whales collected using towed hydrophone arrays and demonstrate how this information can be incorporated into species distribution models to improve our understanding of sperm whale habitat preferences in Hawaiian waters.

Webinar Recording


left: Tane Casserley, center: the wreck of the uss monitor, right: Chris Southerly

Hidden Beneath the Waves - Exploring North Carolina's Underwater Cultural Heritage

February 16, 2021 at 8 am Hawai`i / 10 am Pacific / 1 pm Eastern

Tane Casserley, Resource Protection and Permit Coordinator, NOAA's Monitor National Marine Sanctuary and Chris Southerly, Deputy State Archaeologist - Underwater, North Carolina Office of State Archaeology

NOAA's Monitor National Marine Sanctuary and the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology presents the first webinar in a year-long series titled "Submerged NC."

Partnering since 1975, NOAA and the state of North Carolina work to research, honor, and protect the hallmarks of North Carolina's underwater cultural heritage: shipwrecks. From violent storms and dangerous shoals to world wars, the waters off North Carolina have claimed thousands of ships and lives over hundreds of years. These shipwrecks hold information about the ever changing technologies and cultural and physical landscapes. They serve as a uniquely accessible underwater museum and a memorial to generations of mariners who lived, died, worked and fought off our shores.

Learn how the discovery of the USS Monitor in 1973 and its designation as our nation's first national marine sanctuary brought NOAA and the Office of State Archaeology together. Hear how these agencies have worked together for over 45 years to tell the stories of the USS Monitor and the many other shipwrecks to celebrate North Carolina's underwater cultural heritage.

Webinar Recording


Large manta ray with jacks swimming underneath and divers in the distance

Manta Rays: The Mysterious Giants in our Backyard

February 10, 2021

Dr. Joshua Stewart, Associate Director, The Manta Trust

Manta rays are some of the most poorly studied ocean giants, and are threatened by fisheries, ship strikes, habitat degradation, and a suite of other human impacts. Many populations around the world are in decline, and the species was recently listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act and the IUCN red list. Meanwhile, an undescribed species of manta ray has been hiding in plain sight in the Atlantic, including at Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. What are these rays doing off the coast of Texas? What are scientists learning about this population, and what remains to be discovered? Join Joshua Stewart, Associate Director of The Manta Trust, to find out.

Webinar Recording


left: an aerial shot of a Hawaiian island, right: a woman sits on a beach under a dock

Hanalei Ahupua`a (Watershed) Management in Contemporary Times

February 9, 2021

Maka‘ala Ka‘aumoana, Founder of the Hanalei Watershed Hui

Maka‘ala Ka‘aumoana will discuss the Hanalei ahupua'a area on the North shore of the island of Kaua‘i. She will discuss the area's unique history, issues, and future. This area is directly adjacent to the Kaua‘i boundary of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine sanctuary. Maka‘ala is also the vice chair of the HIHW Sanctuary Advisory Council and is the director and founder of the Hanalei Watershed Hui.

Webinar Recording


small coral outplants growing on a reef in Looe Key

Mission: Iconic Reefs, An Ambitious Plan to Restore 7 Sites in the Florida Keys

February 3, 2021

Sarah Fangman, Sanctuary Superintendent, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

Over the last 40 years, coral reefs in the Florida Keys, like reefs worldwide, have suffered dramatic declines. Nearly 90 percent of the live corals that once dominated the reefs have been lost. Emergency action is required to change the trajectory of the health of coral reefs in the Keys. NOAA and partners have developed an ambitious approach to restore corals at seven ecologically significant sites in the Florida Keys. Sarah Fangman, Sanctuary Superintendent of Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, will describe the Mission: Iconic Reefs initiatives and talk about the exciting advancements in restoration science and practice that support the mission.

Webinar Recording


Three photos of Ed Bowlby side by side

Adventures of a Marine Mammal Biologist from Pole to Pole

January 26, 2021

Ed Bowlby, retired marine biologist formerly of NOAA's Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary

Join Ed Bowlby, retired Marine Biologist, as he shares stories and photos from some of his marine mammal research and adventures in the Arctic, Antarctic, West Coast, and tropics. Over his multi-decade career Ed has investigated a variety of marine mammals ranging from Hawaiian monk seals to sea otters and many species of whales. Ed is also a prolific writer evident in his 16 co-authored articles and technical reports.

This webinar event is part of the 2021 Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary and Feiro Marine Life Center Speaker Series.

Webinar Recording


10 Years of Status and Trends of Resources in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

How are we doing? 10 Years of Status and Trends of Resources in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

Jonathan Martinez, Ph.D., Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

January 21, 2021

The Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument recently conducted an assessment of 10 years of status and trends of living resources, habitats, ocean conditions, maritime and cultural archaeological resources, and the human activities and natural events that affect them. The findings are detailed in the 2020 State of the Monument Report on the status and trends of monument resources from 2008-2019. The report supports ongoing adaptive management of the monument by helping to identify not only the status of resources, but also gaps in current monitoring efforts. Jonathan Martinez, Ph.D, the lead editor and author of several sections, will present findings from the report across all resource areas with an emphasis on assessments for coral reef ecosystems during this talk.

This presentation is part of the Third Thursday By the Bay Presentation Series at Mokupāpapa Discovery Center that is the visitor center for Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in Hilo, Hawai`i. This lecture series is also supported by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation through a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Webinar Recording


Three photos of Terri Williams side by side

2020 Ed Ricketts Memorial Award and Lecture

From "Doc" and Dogs to Denizens of the Deep: How understanding biological design will save the oceans and ourselves

January 21, 2021 at 4 pm Hawai`i / 6 pm Pacific

The 2020 Ricketts Award recipient Dr. Terrie M. Williams will present her collaborative research examining how evolutionary processes in animal design conspire with modern anthropogenic pressures to challenge the survival of marine-living mammals.

The Ed Ricketts Memorial Lecture was created to honor scientists who have exhibited exemplary work throughout their career and advanced the status of knowledge in the field of marine science. Recipients are selected by the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Research Activity Panel.

For Ed Ricketts Memorial Award information and the complete lecture abstract click here.

Webinar Recording


left: Jane Lokomaika‘ikeakua Au, right: A humpbackwhale just below the surface

He Hulikoʻa Kanaloa—Seeking the Depths of Kanaloa: Hawaiian Religious Understandings of the Ocean

January 7, 2021

Jane Lokomaika‘ikeakua Au, Program Director of the non-profit group ʻĀina Momona on the island of Molokai

This lecture details ancestral Hawaiian understandings of the primary oceanic deity in the Pacific, Kanaloa. The topic aims to provide an overview of how the Native Hawaiian community perceives both Kanaloa and the ocean realm, from a religious and cultural perspective. It makes use of rarely accessed Hawaiian language resources, sharing information that is largely inaccessible to those outside of the Hawaiian language speaking community. This lecture poses the question: In looking at how ancestral Hawaiians understood Kanaloa as a deity, what can be revealed in their understanding of the oceanic realm he represented?

Webinar Recording


diagrams of satellites, headshots of 4 people and satellite images of the ocean

How NASA Satellites Help Protect the Coral Reefs of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

December 17, 2020

Keolohilani H. Lopes Jr., JIMAR Field Logistics Technician for Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument and Remote Sensing Ph.D. Student at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

An extensive outbreak of a newly identified algae, Chondria tumulosa, threatens the survival of the coral reefs at Manawai (Pearl and Hermes) with the potential to spread to nearby atolls in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Due to the remote location of these atolls and the impacts of this alga, Keolohilani and his project team participating in NASA's DEVELOP program created a tool in Google Earth Engine that enabled partners to remotely monitor ocean conditions and determine the potential primary driver(s) that may have contributed to the pervasive spread of the nuisance red algae.

Webinar Recording


left: Hannah Bernard, Top right: A sea turtle, Bottom right: A person photographs sea turtles on a beach from a distance

24 Years of Maui Sea Turtle Conservation with Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund

December 9, 2020

Hannah Bernard, Executive Director of Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund

Hannah Bernard is the executive director of the Hawai'i Wildlife Fund, a non-profit organization whose mission is to protect native wildlife, focusing on coastal and marine wildlife species in the Hawaiian Islands, including the hawksbill sea turtle (honuʻea) and the Hawaiian green sea turtle (honu). She will discuss the latest information on their work with the various sea turtle species found within the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.

Webinar Recording


left: a whale breching, center: a whale underwater, right: Solomon Pili Kahoʻohalahala

The Cultural Significance of Humpback Whales in Hawaiʻi

November 30, 2020

Solomon Pili Kahoʻohalahala, seventh generation native Hawaiian descendant, kupaʻāina, from the small island of Lānaʻi

Whales are known as koholā in Hawaiian and have long had a place in the Hawaiian culture. The Kumulipo creation chant speaks about the birth of the whale, “Hanau ka Palaoa noho i kai” (born is the whale living in the sea). The koholā was believed to be a manifestation of Kanaloa, the god of the ocean, and is said to be responsible in helping the Polynesians discover the Hawaiian Islands. Join Solomon Pili Kahoʻohalahala as he shares that whales are also revered as ‘aumakua (spiritual protector) to specific families and were generally viewed as divine beings.

This presentation is in celebration of November, which is Hoʻi Koholā (Return of Humpback Whale Month).

Photos taken with NOAA Permit 14682-37906 and Permit 782-1438.

Webinar Recording


left: a Bioluminescent bloom in the ocean at night, center: a head shot of a person in front of an rov, right: a head shot of a person in front of the ocean

Bioluminescent Blooms

November 19, 2020

Dr. Steve Haddock, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and Johnny Chien, Nature Photographer

Join Dr. Steve Haddock, senior scientist at Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and nature photographer Johnny Chien as we explore the phenomenon of Bioluminescence or "glowing waves" from two unique perspectives. The event will be a pairing of science and art, focusing on plankton blooms in Monterey Bay in a changing climate, and the light producing organisms that spark the firework blooms we witnessed in the crashing waves at night.

Webinar Recording


left: a bird sits on a rock wall, center: sunset over the ocean, right: A headshot of a man

Reframing wahi kūpuna: The tangibles and intangibles of cultural heritage in Papahānaumokuākea

November 19, 2020

V. Kalani Quiocho Jr., Native Hawaiian Program Specialist, PMNM

As Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM) celebrates 10 years as a natural and cultural World Heritage site and over two decades of protections, Hawaiian community leaders continue to be active agents of biocultural conservation and restoration in PMNM. Innovative practitioners within the Hawaiian cultural resources management (CRM) community have led a resurgence in ʻŌiwi (Indigenous) institutions and methodologies and conducted (re)search on (k)new information and ancestral memories about the functions of cultural land- and seascapes. This presentation provides a brief history of research on cultural resources, and several examples illustrating how the concept of cultural resources is (re)framed and implemented in PMNM management.

Webinar Recording


left: a humpback whale swimming, right: a man aboard a boat removing debris from the water

The Occurrence of Humpback Whales Across the Hawaiian Archipelago Revealed Through Acoustics

November 6, 2020

Dr. Marc Lammers, Research Coordinator at NOAA's Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary

This presentation describes recent fluctuations in the presence of humpback whales in Hawaiʻi over the past several years and the science being conducted to understand these trends. Dr. Marc Lammers discusses the application of novel tools to understand the occurrence of humpback whales in remote habitats, including the use of a Wave Glider and machine learning algorithms to detect the presence of whales in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.

This presentation is part of the Kauai Ocean Discovery speaker series that is celebrating November, which is Ho`i Koholā (Return of Humpback Whale Month).

Webinar Recording


Aerial view of a small bay

What Has Happened at Hanauma Bay Without Direct Human Impact?

November 2, 2020

Sarah Severino, University of Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology

Hanauma Bay located within the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary is one of the most famous and popular visitor destinations in all of Hawaiʻi. During normal times, Hanauma Bay attracts over over three million visitors per year and suffers greatly from overuse. Hanauma is both a Nature Preserve and a Marine Life Conservation District (the first of several established in the State of Hawaiʻi). Visitors are required by law to refrain from mistreating marine animals or from touching and walking on the coral reefs.

However, since March 2020, the Bay has been closed to all public uses. This has allowed researchers from the University of Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology to study the impact of humans on the park's diverse marine life. Join Ms. Severino as she discusses what researchers have learned so far and how this data can add to our knowledge of what happens to marine protected areas when human uses are taken out of the equation.

Webinar Recording


Giant sea bass swimming

Giant Seabass: Kings of the Kelp Forest

October 22, 2020

Dr. Ryan Freedman, Research Ecologist, NOAA's Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary

Giant Seabass are a species of large fish that live in the cool waters off the coast of California. This fish is the top predator of the kelp forest ecosystem, but the population has been low because of overfishing. Thanks to government protections in California, Giant Seabass are beginning to return to Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and NOAA is working with other groups to study them. The fish is unique because scientists believe it uses sounds to communicate. NOAA is working to record these sounds in the wild and study how these fish move around Santa Barbara Island, a small offshore island in the sanctuary.

Webinar Recording


multiple image of people tagging sharks

Revealing the Secret Lives of Sharks

October 15, 2020

Carl Meyer, PhD, Associate Researcher, Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology

The ocean conceals the daily lives of its inhabitants from our view. For us to learn about the natural behaviors of elusive marine animals like sharks, we need a way to remotely unveil what is happening beneath the surface and beyond our sight. Recent decades have seen the development of increasingly sophisticated, animal-borne electronic devices that are providing surprising new insights into shark biology and guiding management and conservation strategies. Within Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, long-term tracking studies have followed individual sharks and ulua for up to 11 years revealing their daily and seasonal migrations, discovering some unexpected journeys and providing a portal into predator responses to a destructive hurricane strike.

This presentation is part of the Third Thursday By the Bay Presentation Series at Mokupāpapa Discovery Center that is the visitor center for Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in Hilo, Hawai`i.

Webinar Recording


left: e/v nautilus, center map of west coast of u.s. highlighting the expedition locations, right: a whale fall with marine life all over the whale bones

Explore Deep-Sea Coral Communities off the West Coast in Real Time without Going to Sea

September 29, 2020

Julie Bursek and Laura Francis of Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, Jennifer Stock of Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, Melissa Baffa, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, and Megan Cook of Ocean Exploration Trust

The NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries is partnering with Ocean Exploration Trust remotely aboard Exploration Vessel Nautilus to seek out new discoveries on little known regions of the deep sea along the North American West Coast. Scientists on board Nautilus and on shore participating via telepresence will conduct research that focuses on deep-sea coral habitats and an extensive octopus aggregation in our national marine sanctuaries. Most of the world's deep ocean remains largely unexplored, leaving significant gaps in knowledge needed to manage and protect ocean resources and to understand and predict future change. Learn about deep-sea coral resources that are available for teachers and students to understand these important deep-sea communities and opportunities to explore alongside researchers during the expedition.

Webinar Recording


3d models of coral reefs

3D Modeling Coral Reefs: How Data Science Helps Us Better Understand Coral Reef Ecosystems

September 17, 2020

John Burns, PhD. University of Hawai`i at Hilo

Coral reefs are both culturally and economically important, yet these ecosystems still remain poorly understood. Join Dr. John Burns to learn how the Multiscale Environmental Graphical Analysis Lab uses cutting-edge 3D technology to map reefs in high-resolution. These 3D reconstructions are then layered with real-world data to improve our understanding of the biology and ecology of these habitats. This work has helped us to learn how coral reefs are changing over time, and how these changes affect associated reef organisms and the services we as humans depend on. Ultimately, our goal is to use innovative technologies to improve our understanding of coral reefs and develop techniques to help protect and preserve these ecosystems for future generations.

Webinar Recording


Photo of James Lindholm next to 3 book covers

Into The Deep: Literally, Virtually, and Fictionally

September 10, 2020

Dr. James Lindholm, Author and James W. Rote Distinguished Professor of Marine Science and Policy at CSU Monterey Bay

Come hear Dr. James Lindholm share tales of undersea exploration, including on-going projects in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and beyond. Immersive, virtual dives will take you along the journey, and you'll also discover how it all reappears in a new series of undersea adventure novels.

Webinar Recording


A scan of a shipwreck overlayed with headshots of Dr. Avery Paxton, Tane Casserley, and Dr. Chris Taylor

Living Shipwrecks 3-D: Exploring North Carolina's World War II Heritage

September 2, 2020

Dr. Avery Paxton, Tane Casserley, and Dr. Chris Taylor

In honor and commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, researchers will discuss how NOAA is honoring that heritage both above and below the waves.

For the past decade, Monitor National Marine Sanctuary (MNMS) and National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) Beaufort Lab have been leading an effort off the coast of North Carolina to document shipwrecks from the Battle of the Atlantic that brought World War II to our shores. The research conducted by MNMS and NCCOS honors the sacrifices of our Allied seamen and the heroism of the U.S. Merchant Marine, as well as recognizing the role these nationally significant shipwrecks play in the region's health as habitat for marine ecosystems.

This presentation will highlight the advanced technologies that MNMS and NCCOS utilize, including acoustic surveys aboard the NOAA ship Nancy Foster, to document the shipwrecks and create acoustic fish visualizations of the surrounding marine life. Along with collecting critical data to interpret this naval battlefield, the project also demonstrates the significance of these shipwrecks as both ecological and historical wonders. This project is an example of NOAA offices collaborating to use their best assets to document the incredible maritime history and marine life off North Carolina's shores.

Webinar Recording


students posing on the deck of a ship

Using Film to Drive Social Change

September 3, 2020

Tirrea Billings

Five high school students undertook the adventure of a lifetime during Project Shiphunt: hunt for a shipwreck, investigate its identity, and document it in 3D for future generations. Accompanied by a team of scientists and historians from the NOAA, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and other partners, the students conducted a full-fledged research mission, as they searched the deep waters of northeastern Lake Huron. Join Tirrea Billings to learn more about this experience and how it helped shape her love for film and storytelling, her journey as an entrepreneur, and how she uses her gifts as an activist in digital spaces.

Tirrea Billings is a multidisciplinary storyteller, social justice entrepreneur, and aspiring scholar in communication, culture, and documentary media. She is driven by her passion to tell stories and committed to ensuring that marginalized communities have a space to share their lived experiences. Everyone has a story, and she wants to make certain that underrepresented voices also have a seat at the table and a chance to be heard.

Tirrea holds a Bachelor of Arts in Film/Video/Media studies and a Master of Arts in Communication, both from Western Michigan University and is the Creative Director and Co-Founder or Reflct Media, LLC.

Webinar Recording


kids and mentor working on a rov

Unleashing the Innovator in Every Child

August 20, 2020

Christian Wong, Hawaii Science and Technology Museum

Join Hawaiʻi Science and Technology Museum Executive Director Christian Wong for his talk about community robotics and mentoring the next generation of science and engineering leaders. In partnership with NOAA's Mokupāpapa Discovery Center in Hilo, Christian and HSTM developed the Kenyan K. Beals Community Robotics Center in support of student engineering and robotics projects and are currently preparing to launch a small satellite they helped develop to take measurements of the thermosphere. Christian will also talk about how the museum is adjusting to providing STEM education during the pandemic, and the role innovation plays in education and developing a sustainable economy for Hawaiʻi Island.

Webinar Recording


side by side image showing the effect of ocean acidfication

Understanding Ocean Acidification: Using NOAAs New Educational Tools

August 13, 2020

Amy Dean, affiliate to the NOAA Office of Education and NOAA Satellite and Information Service

Data in the Classroom is designed to help teachers and students use real scientific NOAA data to explore dynamic Earth processes and understand the impact of environmental events on a regional and global scale. The interactive module provides authentic research questions and scaled data interactions that give students the opportunity to explore this question (and more). In this presentation, participants will dive deep into Data in the Classroom's Ocean Acidification Module to explore the processes that cause acidification, examine data from across the globe and take a virtual tour of the new web-based curricular modules and data tools.

Webinar Recording


side by side image, left: man holding a fish, right: view of the beach from shore

Gone Fishing! in Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary

July 24, 2020

Daniel Studt, NOAA Fisheries

Join us as we fish for answers on how to catch the big one. Daniel Studt from NOAA Fisheries will provide some great tips to enjoy sustainable recreational fishing in Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. Topics will include fish identification tricks, safe handling, and release techniques, and of course some good ole fishing stories from the wild Olympic Coast!

Webinar Recording


side by side, left: people on a boat spotting birds, right: bird with fish in it's beak

Seabirds 101

July 23, 2020

Wayne Petersen, Massachusetts Audubon Society

Seabirds are among the most widely traveled and extraordinary navigators in the bird world. Find out from Wayne Petersen, Mass Audubon's Important Bird Area Program Director, how these remarkable birds are supremely adapted to spend most of their lives in some of the most remote and hostile environments on the planet. We will trace the travels of some of these amazing birds as they seasonally utilize Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, and learn what they are telling us, both about the marine environment and ourselves.

Webinar Recording


deck of the nautilus

2018 Exploration of Strange "Off-Ridge" Seamounts in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

July 16, 2020

Dr. Christopher Kelley, University of Hawaii

Join Dr. Christopher Kelley as he discusses the 2018 Exploration Vessel Nautilus expedition to Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument where they explored 10 unusual seamounts located north of the Hawaiian Ridge. The origin of these seamounts is enigmatic since they form a line parallel to, but well north of the islands, atolls, banks, and seamounts created when the Pacific Plate moved over the Hawaiian hotspot. Figuring out how and when they formed, as well as what sea creatures live there were the objectives of the project. Both multibeam mapping and ROV dives were conducted during the cruise that yielded high resolution images of the seamounts, rock samples for Ar/Ar dating and chemical analyses, biological specimens of potential new species, and high resolution video of their geology and biological communities. An update on the process of analyzing these samples/specimens and video will be provided, as well as a preview of a follow up cruise by the Nautilus currently being planned for 2021.

Webinar Recording


an open cocount with mixed food inside next to photo of man smiling at the camera.

Notorious & Delicious: Exploring Sustainable Seafood

July 9, 2020

Allen Susser, James Beard Award Winning Chef

James Beard Award Winning Chef, Allen Susser, is on a mission to motivate people to eat Sustainable Seafood, which rewards them with a delicious meal and benefits the ocean's health today and into the future. His cookbook, Green Fig & Lionfish, Sustainable Caribbean Cooking focuses on lionfish, nonetheless, these bold flavors and unpretentious fish cooking techniques can be applied to most fish and shellfish. Chef Allen will discuss what can be sustainably harvested within your national marine sanctuaries, and lessons on the best way to cook it. His cooking lessons could be a unique way to educate your audiences and students on sustainable seafood. Join the discussion of sustainability, which like all good fish tales, is growing greater each day.

Webinar Recording


Left: an ROV is launched into the water; Middle: Underwater shot of coral; Right: Octopus feed on fallen whale

Exploring National Marine Sanctuaries: Diving into Telepresence Education Programs and Resources

June 16, 2020

Hannah MacDonald, Education Specialist for the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

Much of the ocean remains unexplored, even areas of your national marine sanctuaries have still not been seen by humans. NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries works with partners to expand our understanding of sanctuaries through deep-water exploration and research. While these Telepresence expeditions occur, we bring them to you through real-time video feeds and programs. Through this webinar, learn how you and your students can become virtual explorers in national marine sanctuaries and how to further bring the expedition into the classroom through our education resources.

Webinar Recording


manta ray from below

Shocking New Evidence Reveals Two Genetically Distinct Hawai`i Manta Ray Populations Separated by a Mere 50 KM

June 5, 2020

Mark Deakos, Hawaii Association for Marine Education and Research

New evidence confirms Hawai`i manta rays take social distancing to a whole new level; implications for management.

Our knowledge of manta rays worldwide has come a long way in the past 15 years, but are we doing enough to ensure small, slow-growing, island-associated populations, and the habitats they rely on for survival, are getting the protections they need? This talk will explore what research techniques have been used to study manta rays and why new evidence of social distancing in Hawai`i's populations are sounding the alarms. Learn how you can become part of the solution!

This distance learning event is an extension of the Kauai Ocean Discovery First Friday Speaker Series.

Webinar Recording


side by side images of a movie shark vs a real shark

Hollywood Sharks vs. Real Sharks

May 21, 2020

Doug Perrine, World Famous Marine Photographer and Author

Over a lifetime, Doug Perrine has traveled the planet studying and photographing the marine environment with a particular passion for some of the oceanʻs largest and least understood animals -- sharks. In this presentation, Doug will deconstruct the media bias concerning this large and diverse class of fishes, and show how sharks portrayed in Hollywood and in the media are very different from the real behavior of these fascinating, ancient, and ecologically important animals. Through vibrant imagery, as well as intimate observations of these sometimes secretive animals, Doug will shed light on their real behavior and life history.

Doug is widely regarded as one of the world's foremost marine wildlife photographers. His photographs have been reproduced in virtually every major nature magazine in the world, as well as in thousands of books, calendars, greeting cards, posters, etc., including more than 100 covers. His photography has won a number of awards, including the prestigious BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition as the overall winner (2004), and also winner of the animal behavior category and the Nature's Best/Cemex competition in the Professional Marine Wildlife category. He is also the author of seven books on marine life and numerous magazine articles. Please join us for what is certain to be an enlightening encounter with a very misunderstood group of animals.

This live event is an extension of the Mokupāpapa Third Thursday By The Bay lecture series.

Webinar Recording


orca leaping out of the water

What the orcas teach us: the southern residents' battle against extinction and state of our watersheds

May 19, 2020

Lynda Mapes, Seattle Time journalist

Over 18 months, the Seattle Times took a deep look at the southern resident orca extinction crisis to explore and expose the roots of why these animals, the top predator in our marine waters, are struggling to survive. Lynda Mapes, the lead journalist on the newspaper's award-winning series Hostile Waters will explain what the newspaper learned and solutions that will benefit people and orca alike.

Lynda Mapes is the environment reporter at the Seattle Times. She has won numerous international and national awards for her work covering environmental topics, and is the author of five books, including Orca forthcoming from the Mountaineers Books in Spring, 2021. She was a Knight Fellow in Science Journalism at MIT and a Bullard Fellow in forest research at the Harvard Forest, where she wrote her most recent book, Witness Tree, (UW Press, 2019) that looks at the story of climate change through the life of a single, 100-year old oak.

Webinar Recording


3 sea turtles lined by images of other sea creatures above

Earth is Blue: Educational Videos About Your National Marine Sanctuaries

May 14, 2020

Nick Zachar and Shannon Shikles, NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

Did you know that every week the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries posts an educational video about your ocean and Great Lakes? Come along as Video Production Coordinator Nick and Multimedia Coordinator Shannon walk you through how we create these resources, how you can access and use them, and how you can even contribute to our Earth is Blue campaign.

Webinar Recording


whales and dolphins

Studying Whales and Dolphins in the Hawaiian Archipelago

May 1, 2020

Robin Baird, Research Biologist, Cascadia Research Collective

Long-term small-boat based studies in the main Hawaiian Islands have revealed amazing information on 11 resident species of whales and dolphins, as well as migratory and open-ocean species that visit the islands. Studies in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands have been more limited due to logistics of vessel surveys. Comparisons of sightings and tagging data from the two areas suggest that there are resident populations of many species of dolphins and whales in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument that have yet to be recognized. Join research biologist Robin Baird of Cascadia Research Collective who will compare what is, and isn't, known about whales and dolphins throughout the Hawaiian archipelago.

This distance learning event is an extension of the Kauai Ocean Discovery First Friday Speaker Series.

Webinar Recording


A diver working to restore coral

Gardening Corals for Reef Restoration

April 23, 2020

Katie Lohr, Conservation Science Fellow for the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries through the Sea Grant John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program

As coral reefs decline globally, interest in using coral gardening techniques for reef restoration is increasing. This webinar presentation will review well-established and cutting-edge techniques for propagating and restoring corals, as well as experimental work focused on identifying corals that can survive future ocean conditions.

Webinar Recording


map showing a marine heatwave

Understanding the Marine Heatwaves in the Pacific Northwest

April 24, 2020

Dr. Jan Newton, senior principal oceanographer with the Applied Physics Laboratory of the University of Washington, executive director of NANOOS, and Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON) co-chair

Join Dr. Jan Newton as she explains how marine heatwaves are influencing life in the waters off the Washington coast in the Pacific Northwest. This webinar is part of a speaker series in partnership with Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, Feiro Marine Life Center, and the Peninsula College STEM Club.

Webinar Recording


satellite view of changes to an island over time

How will the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands respond to climate change? A look at past, present, and future sea level change and storms within Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

April 16, 2020

Haunani Kane, PhD, National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Biology at the University of Hawai'i

The future existence of low lying atoll islands is of global concern, as entire island nations and highly evolved ecosystems are projected to become uninhabitable in the next 30-50 years due to sea level rise. Despite this recognized vulnerability, most studies fail to account for the biological controls upon island resiliency. Typically, sea level research instead assumes atoll islands are static and do not recover from environmental stressors. Join Haunani Kane, PhD, National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Biology at the University of Hawaiʻi as she shares data from the fossil record, kaʻao (Hawaiian legends), and future climate projections that give a glimpse of how islands at Lalo respond to past, present, and future changes in sea level and storms.

This live event is an extension of the Mokupāpapa Third Thursday By The Bay lecture series.

Webinar Recording


Left: A woman floats on gher back in water; Center: A child wearing VR goggles; Right: Marine debris world scramble

Bringing the Ocean to You

April 7, 2020

Claire Fackler, National Education Liaison, NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

The NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries brings the ocean to you through a wide variety of online resources appropriate for teachers, students, and even families. This webinar provides an opportunity to learn more about America's underwater treasures and our Virtual Reality content; Earth Is Blue videos; lesson plans; Ocean Guardian Kids Club; online marine science games, and much more.

Webinar Recording


Children participating in various outdoor activities

Ocean Guardian Schools: Learn how to get involved

March 26, 2020

Naomi Pollack, Ocean Guardian School Program Coordinator

​What do 134 schools with over 61,000 students from around the country have in common? They have all made a commitment to protect the health of their local watersheds, one ocean and special ocean areas like national marine sanctuaries. ​Since 2009, NOAA's Ocean Guardian School program has supported K-12 schools to conduct hands-on watershed/ocean stewardship projects on campuses and in local communities. Please join Naomi Pollack for a program overview and learn how your school can participate and become recognized by NOAA as an Ocean Guardian School.

Webinar Recording


A group of people gathered on a shore

Empowering Young Water Scientists with the EarthEcho Water Challenge!

March 4, 2020

Sean Russell, Associate Director of Youth Engagement and Partnerships for EarthEcho International

​Protecting and improving the health of our watersheds is critical to the future of our National Marine Sanctuaries and the sustainability of our planet. The EarthEcho Water Challenge has engaged over 1.6 million participants in 146 countries – providing young people with the tools to monitor water quality, share their data, and take action to protect their local waterways.

Through this webinar, join Sean Russell from EarthEcho International to learn how to use the EarthEcho Water Challenge platform to collect and share citizen science water quality data, access tools to analyze your results, and learn about the inspiring work of young people protecting our National Marine Sanctuaries and their local watersheds.

Webinar Recording


Three different women and acoustic monitoring equipment

Passive Acoustic Monitoring in California's National Marine Sanctuaries

February 19, 2020

Samara Haver, Ph.D candidate at Oregon State University; Angela R. Szesciorka and Vanessa ZoBell, Ph.D. candidates at Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Acoustic signals travel quickly and efficiently over long distances in the aquatic environment; thus, sound has become the principal sensory modality used by many marine animal species. This is particularly true for acoustically oriented marine mammals that rely on sound to communicate, perceive their environment, detect and avoid predators, forage for food, and navigate. Passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) is used to measure, monitor, and determine the sources of sound in underwater environments, enabling scientists to eavesdrop on the acoustic behavior of marine animals (e.g., whale song, fish chorusing, snapping shrimp), natural abiotic sounds (e.g., wind, earthquakes), and human generated sounds (e.g., cargo vessels). By utilizing PAM tools in national marine sanctuaries, researchers are able to collect data to answer questions about these valuable marine habitats and provide important condition information to managers and policymakers. In this webinar, three Ph.D. candidates that are NOAA Dr. Nancy Foster Scholars will discuss current PAM research efforts taking place in some of California's national marine sanctuaries.

Webinar Recording


A split image showing, intense sun, cracked airid land, a hurricane, wildfires and melting ice caps

Managing National Marine Sanctuaries in a Changing Ocean

January 14, 2020

Zachary J. Cannizzo, Ph.D., National Marine Protected Areas Center and NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries Fellow through the Sea Grant John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program

As a system of nationally significant places managed by NOAA, national marine sanctuaries are directly experiencing climate impacts, and serve as important assets for climate-informed management, science and education. Learn more about how the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries is actively incorporating climate into site management plans, facilities management, science and assessment, and education and outreach. This presentation will discuss how sanctuaries work with partners to use NOAA climate information in management, our role as climate educators, building a network of sentinel sites, and challenges in managing sanctuaries in a changing ocean.

Webinar Recording


 Mats of purple colored Cyanobacteria buoyed up by Methane and Hydrogen Sulfide gas produced underneath them at Middle Island Sinkhole in Lake Huron

Sinkholes to Stars: Exploring Microbial Ecosystems in Lake Huron's Sinkholes

December 5, 2019

Bopi Biddanda, Annis Water Resources Institute at Grand Valley State University

Join Professor Bopi Biddanda as he shares the excitement of over a decade of exploration of life in Lake Huron's sinkholes carried out in collaboration with NOAA's Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. He will ponder the relevance of these findings to major issues of both scientific and societal interest such as Earth's current biologic and physiologic diversity, oxygenation of early Earth in the distant past, and humanity's ongoing search for extraterrestrial life. For an introduction to life in Lake Huron's sinkholes, see this overview educational article.

Webinar Recording


A split image of a n areiel view of mallows-bay and two kayakers

Announcing the United States' Newest National Marine Sanctuary in Nearly 20 Years: Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary

November 21, 2019

Paul Orlando, Chesapeake Bay Regional Coordinator for the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

The NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries announces that a new national marine sanctuary has been designated for the first time in nearly 20 years. We introduce to you Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary in Maryland. Mallows Bay is most renowned for its "Ghost Fleet," the partially submerged remains of more than 100 wooden steamships that were built in response to threats from World War I-era German U-boats that were sinking ships in the Atlantic. Although the ships never saw action during the war, their construction at more than 40 shipyards in 17 states reflected the massive national wartime effort that drove the expansion and economic development of communities and related maritime service industries.

Webinar Recording


2019 Ocean Report cover

OceanReports: The first intelligent web application for marine spatial analysis of the entire U.S. EEZ

October 8, 2019

Dr. James A. Morris, Jr., Marine Ecologist at NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science

OceanReports is the most comprehensive web-based spatial assessment tool for the ocean in the U.S., designed to improve decision-making and increase transparency for ocean and coastal users, and resource managers. The tool contains approximately 100 distinct data layers capable of analyzing energy and minerals, natural resources (including species and habitats), transportation and infrastructure, oceanographic and biophysical conditions, and the local ocean economy for any area of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Learn more about OceanReports from Dr. Morris and help NOAA determine how formal and informal educators can utilize this robust online product.

OceanReports was developed through a partnership between the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, NOAA, and the Department of Energy, and utilizes new and authoritative data from MarineCadastre.gov and other trusted sources.

Webinar Recording


Richard coleman and two fish

Where are all the fish going? Identifying patterns of genetic connectivity across the Hawaiian Archipelago

September 24, 2019

Dr. Richard Coleman, former Dr. Nancy Foster Scholar at Hawai`i Institute of Marine Biology

Understanding connectivity and dispersal pathways, as well as identifying the underlying mechanisms influencing these patterns are essential to properly understand how biodiversity is generated in the sea and to inform management strategies. Since direct observation of larvae is impractical, a variety of genetic methods have been developed to characterize connectivity and dispersal patterns in marine organisms. Join Dr. Coleman as he explains how he incorporated several genetic-based approaches to assess connectivity of two recreationally important reef fishes across the Hawaiian Archipelago to assess connectivity between the Main Hawaiian Islands and the Papāhanaumokuākea Marine National Monument.

Webinar Recording


Whale with fishing line wrapped around it's tail

Catch and Release: Large whale entanglements and response efforts to mitigate the threat

July 10, 2019

Ed Lyman, Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary

Entanglement or by-catch is a global issue that affects many marine animals, including large whales like the charismatic humpback whale. Hundreds of thousands of whales die worldwide each year, but the impacts go beyond mortality. When conditions and resources allow, trained responders under NOAA's Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program attempt the dangerous task of freeing whales from life-threatening entanglements. However, the ultimate goal is to gain information to reduce the threat for whales and humans alike. The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary working closely with its partners and the community, coordinates response efforts for Hawaii, the principle breeding and calving ground of humpback whales in the North Pacific. The effort represents a unique and valuable opportunity to gain a broader understanding of large whale entanglement threat. Learn more about whale entanglements and response efforts from expert Ed Lyman.

Webinar Recording


side by side images of a cargo ship and blue whales swimming

Protecting Blue Whales and Blue Skies – Vessel Speed Reduction in California

June 11, 2019

Jessica Morten, Resource Protection Specialist, contractor to NOAA's Channel Islands and Cordell Bank national marine sanctuaries through the Greater Farallones Association

California's nutrient-rich coastal waters are home to several species of large whales, including gray whales and endangered blue, humpback, and fin whales. The state is also home to four major shipping ports – San Diego, Long Beach, Los Angeles, and Oakland – that result in thousands of large container and tanker transits taking place within California national marine sanctuary waters. In the past decade, over 10 whale fatalities have been recorded along the California coast as a result of ship and whale collisions, and recent research suggests that many more of these ship strikes are going undetected each year. To address this global issue, national marine sanctuaries along the West Coast have been working with a number of partners to better understand the issue of ship strikes and slow vessels down to reduce harmful air emissions and protected endangered whales.

Webinar Recording


deepsea coral

Estimating Coral Feeding Habits from Space

May 21, 2019

Dr. Michael Fox, Postdoctoral Scholar at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Reef-building corals rely on a symbiosis with microscopic algae for much of their energetic needs. Rising ocean temperatures threaten this symbiosis and can cause it to break down in a process known as coral bleaching, which is one of the primary threats to the persistence of coral reef ecosystems globally. Corals are not helpless, however, as they are also excellent predators and if they can capture food to maintain their energy budgets while bleached they may have a greater chance for survival. Learn more how natural variation in food availability on reefs around the world and how this may influence coral resilience and recovery from bleaching events.

Webinar Recording


dolphins swimming by a drifting hydrophone

Listening to "See" Beneath the Waves: Soundscape monitoring in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary

April 9, 2019

Dr. Lindsey Peavey Reeves, Research Specialist for NOAA's Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary

National marine sanctuaries are special places that support many human uses simultaneously, like fishing, recreation, and commercial shipping. At the same time, sanctuary habitats support thriving animal communities made up of some species that can move great distances, and some that remain relatively stationary. Like all marine environments, sanctuaries experience a variety of seasonal conditions and weather each year, like wind-driven upwelling and storms. Each of these sanctuary elements have one thing in common: they produce sound. It is rarely the case that researchers can visually observe all, or even some of these things, and so we need additional tools to "see" beneath the waves to better understand and protect sanctuaries. Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary has been a hot spot for passive acoustic monitoring for years, and in this webinar we'll explore various ways in which the Channel Islands sanctuary and partners are characterizing the sanctuary soundscape, what we've been able to learn so far, and what we are still seeking to understand.

Webinar Recording


deepsea Ship wreck

Home Front Hawai`i: a Naval Legacy beneath the Sea

February 5, 2019

Hans Van Tilburg, Ph.D., NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

Shipwrecks and other submerged properties tell stories of the past, and some of those stories are about World War II in the Pacific. The Hawaiian Islands were very different during the war period, a plantation territory suddenly witness to the initial attack on Pearl Harbor and subsequent years of intensive combat training both on land and sea. The events of this critical period have left a legacy of sites that act as windows on history, a heritage landscape was shared in this presentation.

Webinar Recording


fishing around the world

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish...What Fish?

December 10, 2018 at 6 pm Eastern / 3 pm Pacific

Alexandra M. Avila, Dr. Nancy Foster Scholar at Oregon State University

Are all the fish dying? Have we over fished everything? What are sustainable fisheries? Can I eat tuna? Learn more about the fish you eat, where it came from, and how/where it was caught to help you make sustainable choices to help protect our ocean.

Webinar Recording


dungeness crab

Be a Claw Abiding Citizen: Learn how Ocean Acidification could Affect Dungeness Crab

October 17, 2018 at 6 pm Eastern / 3 pm Pacific

Dr. Shelly Trigg, NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center and U.S. School of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences

What is ocean acidification? And how could it affect the future of Dungeness crab, one of our favorite seafoods? Join us as we walk through a new national marine sanctuaries educational toolkit to equip you for teaching others about what ocean acidification could mean for the Dungeness crab, how this is currently being investigated, and resources to get more involved.

Webinar Recording


microplastics on the beach

Plastics in the Ocean: Facts, Fiction, and Unknowns

September 25, 2018 at 6 pm Eastern / 3 pm Pacific

Anna Robuck, Dr. Nancy Foster Scholar at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography

Although plastics are vital in a slew of consumer applications, plastic pollution in the ocean has turned out to be a not-so-fantastic outcome of modern day plastic dependence. This presentation provides an overview of the ocean plastic pollution problem, explaining the difference between marine debris and microplastics. It also will outline the current state of knowledge about microplastic impacts in the ocean and marine food webs, and provide insight into an ongoing research project using seabirds as indicators of plastic pollution in the Northwest Atlantic.

Webinar Recording


diver looking at a clipboard while swimming over seaweed

The Devil (Weed) is in the Details: The Spread and Ecology of an Invasive Seaweed

August 22, 2018

Dr. Lindsay Marks, California Sea Grant Fellow for Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and former Dr. Nancy Foster Scholar

Invasive species are the second-greatest driver of biodiversity loss worldwide, and invasive seaweeds represent a major challenge to ocean health. This talk will share what has been learned about a Japanese seaweed called Devil Weed, which is rapidly spreading rapidly across the reefs of southern California. Topics that will be discussed include: why this seaweed is a successful invader; the ways in which it may affect native species; the role that Marine Protected Areas can play in resisting its spread; and techniques that can be used to control this and other invasive seaweeds.

Webinar Recording


deep sea

Beyond the Last Frontier: The Deep Ocean and Why It Matters

July 10, 2018

Lisa Levin, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

The deep ocean below 200 meters represents over 90% of the habitable space on this plant. This presentation will consider what is special about deep-sea ecosystems and how human interests and impacts are affecting them. The importance of understanding, conserving and managing deep-ocean ecosystems will be highlighted.

Webinar Recording


common dolphins swimming

Dolphin Tales: Studying the Who, When, and Where of Habitat Use

June 6, 2018

Tammy Silva, Ph.D., Former Dr. Nancy Foster Scholar

Dolphin species often play key roles in ecosystems and also use habitats that overlap with areas of human activity. Learn more about when and where dolphin species occur so that the research can inform ecosystem management and mitigate human impacts. This presentation will focus on the biology and ecology of dolphins, current threats, and how technology is helping us learn about their occurrence and distribution.

Webinar Recording


planet earth graphic

Understanding El Niño - Using NOAA's New Educational Tools

March 13, 2018

Amy Dean, National Estuarine Research Reserve System

People all over the world experience impacts from El Niño and La Niña, the recurring climate pattern that occurs across the tropical Pacific Ocean. As this year's La Niña subsides, join us for a science-based exploration of this powerful phenomena. In this presentation, participants will dive deep into Data in the Classroom's El Niño Module to examine decades of observations from Earth observing satellites and take a virtual tour of the new web-based curricular modules and data tools. Data in the Classroom is designed to help teachers and students use real scientific data to explore dynamic Earth processes.

Webinar Recording


diver photographing big mama coral in amercian samoa

Virtual Dives into America's Underwater Treasures

February 21, 2018

Mitchell Tartt, NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

Immerse yourself in the ocean and your national marine sanctuaries without getting wet! These Virtual Reality (VR) voyages use 360-degree images to highlight the amazing habitats, animals, and cultural resources you can find in each national marine sanctuary. Learn more about VR technology and dive into our underwater treasures using your desktop or mobile devices.

Webinar Recording


before and after photos of a bleaching event

What is Coral Bleaching?

December 6, 2017

Kelly Drinnen, NOAA Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary

Coral bleaching is one of the side effects of an increasingly warmer ocean. Episodes of coral bleaching are happening more regularly and with greater severity as the years progress. But, what exactly is coral bleaching? Is bleached coral, dead coral? Is bleaching preventable? Can coral recover from bleaching? Join us to look at the biology of corals to understand what coral bleaching is and its potential long-term effects on coral reefs.

Webinar Recording


marine debris

NOAA Marine Debris Toolkit for Educators: Incorporating Citizen Science and Community Action into an Educational Setting

October 18, 2017

Alyssa Nally, NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

The Marine Debris Toolkit serves as a unique collaborative effort between NOAA's Marine Debris Program and Office of National Marine Sanctuaries to reduce our impact on the ocean through hands-on scientific monitoring, targeted education, and community outreach. Composed of teacher resources, data collection and analysis guidelines, and community engagement and outreach activities, this toolkit empowers students to become ocean stewards by taking action against marine debris on campus, in their local community, and at home. During this presentation, participants will receive an in-depth look into this free education tool.

Webinar Recording


photo of manta ray

Manta Rays: Studying an Ocean Icon

September 20, 2017

Joshua Stewart, Dr. Nancy Foster Scholar at Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Manta rays are one of the most iconic marine megafauna in the ocean, reaching wingspans of over 20 feet and delighting divers and snorkelers with their gregarious behavior. Dr. Nancy Foster Scholar Joshua Stewart will give a presentation on the biology and ecology of manta rays, current threats and conservation action, including his latest research on mantas, and how new technology is providing insights into these mysterious creatures' lives.

Webinar Recording


photo of monk seal

Forty Years of Conserving Hawai`i's Native Seal

Charles Littnan, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service

May 23, 2017

In honor of 2017 Year of the Monk Seal, join Dr. Charles Littnan on a four decade journey that tracks the history and challenges of monk seal conservation in Hawai`i. This presentation will highlight a number of threats to the species and the evolution of a rag tag research program into the most proactive marine mammal recovery program on the planet.

Audience: Formal and informal educators

Webinar Recording


photo of World War II, graduates of the Tuskegee pilot

Lake Huron Red Tails! The Tuskegee Airmen Project

Stephanie Gandulla and Wayne Lusardi, NOAA's Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

April 12, 2017

During World War II, Michigan was home to several African American air combat units including many graduates of the Tuskegee pilot training program. As with many similar training programs during the war, dozens of accidents occurred that resulted in the loss of both aircraft and crewmen. Two Tuskegee airplanes have been discovered in Michigan waters near Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Learn about these submerged aircraft and a project where members of the National Association of Black Scuba Divers and Diving with a Purpose participated to document one of the aircraft wrecks in Lake Huron.

Presenters: Stephanie Gandulla and Wayne Lusardi, NOAA's Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Audience: Formal and informal educators

Education Materials

Presentation Slides

Download PPT

Webinar Recording


photo of a student building an rov

Explore Your Own Watershed with Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs)

Sarah Waters, NOAA Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

March 22, 2017

Building your own ROV is not as complicated as you think! Find out how students near Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary are designing and building their own ROVs to explore the Thunder Bay River and Lake Huron, as well as participate in environmental stewardship projects. This webinar will showcase how ROVs are used to explore our national marine sanctuaries and provide a basic overview of designing and building ROVs with students for your own explorations!

Webinar Recording


photo of a northern elephant seal

Males vs. Females: Feeding Behavior of Northern Elephant Seals

Sarah Kienle, Dr. Nancy Foster Scholar, University of California, Santa Cruz, Long Marine Lab

February 23, 2017

Male and female northern elephant seals exhibit dramatic differences in size, shape and behavior. My research compares the feeding behavior of male and female seals to understand how the sexes use marine resources throughout the North Pacific Ocean.

Education Materials

Resource List

Presentation Slides

Webinar Recording

photo of a various marine life

Deep Sea Science in the Classroom: Exploring Coral Communities of the West Coast National Marine Sanctuaries

Rietta Hohman, Greater Farallones Association

January 18, 2017

Take your students on an incredible journey hundreds of feet beneath the surface of the ocean, without ever leaving the classroom! Using research footage from Remotely Operated Vehicles, your students will be able to utilize real scientific methods to explore the unique deep sea coral communities found in our West Coast National Marine Sanctuaries. They will investigate threats, such as ocean acidification, that these precious ecosystems face and learn the importance of long-term scientific monitoring and protection. This program is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards and all materials are available for teachers to download from the web free of cost.

Education Materials

Deep Coral Communities Curriculum

Presentation Slides

Webinar Recording

photo of a lionfish

Lionfish: Alien Invaders from the Indo-Pacific

Kelly Drinnen, NOAA Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary and Marlies Tumulo, NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

Audience: Formal and informal educators

December 1, 2016

Education Materials

Flower Garden Banks Invasive Lionfish Lesson Plan

Lionfish Tag Classroom Activity

Lionfish Reporting Mock Scuba Dive Activity

Lionfish Reporting Worksheet

Lionfish Classroom Slides and Videos

Presentation Slides

Webinar Recording


photo of children and teachers in a marsh

Rivers to Reefs: Understanding the Vital Connections Between Rivers and the Ocean

Cathy Sakas, Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary Foundation

Audience: Formal and informal educators

October 11, 2016

Education Materials

Resource List

Presentation Slides

Webinar Recording


photo of children in classroom

Bring the Ocean into Your Classroom with National Marine Sanctuaries

Claire Fackler, NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

Audience: Formal and informal educators

September 21, 2016

Education Materials

Resources

Presentation Slides

Webinar Recording


photo of logo of winged ambassador program

Sharks of the Channel Islands

Ryan Freedman, NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary

Audience: Formal and informal educators

August 23, 2016

Education Materials

Resources

Presentation Slides

Webinar Recording


photo of logo of winged ambassador program

Communicating Climate Change: Resources for Making it Stick

Marlies Tumolo, NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and Bruce Moravchik, National Ocean Service

Audience: Formal and informal educators

May 25, 2016

Ever wonder the best way to talk about climate change? Felt unsure if your message is clear and connects to your audience? Effectively communicating complex issues involves sound science and an element of artistry. This webinar shares climate communication tools from the National Network of Ocean and Climate Change Interpreters (NNOCCI), as well as a way to get involved in the NOAA Climate Stewards Program.

Webinar Recording


photo of diver and shipwreck

Great Ships on the Great Lakes

Sarah Waters, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Audience: Formal and informal educators

April 13, 2016

Education Materials

Preservation through Education: Activities & Programs

Piecing it Together: Photo Mosaic Activity Lesson Plan

Shipwreck Detectives Lesson Plan

Other Thunder Bay Lesson Plans

Presentation Slides

Webinar Recording


photo of logo of winged ambassador program

Winged Ambassadors: Ocean Literacy Through the Eyes of Albatross

Jennifer Stock, Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary

Audience: Formal and informal educators

March 24, 2016

Webinar Recording


photo of coral

Underwater Exploration in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

Daniel Wagner, Ph.D., Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument

Audience: Formal and informal educators

February 17, 2016

Webinar Recording


photo of diver and shipwreck

Maritime Archaeology: Exploring and Discovering Shipwrecks

Shannon Ricles, Monitor National Marine Sanctuary

Discover how to integrate STEM and social studies as you explore the underwater world of shipwrecks and the tools of maritime archaeologists.

Audience: Formal and informal educators

January 13, 2016

Educational Materials:

Maritime Archaeology: Discovering and Exploring Shipwrecks Curriculum

Shipwreck of the Deep Educator Guide

Presentation Slides

Webinar Recording