Webinar Series

fish swimming around a coral reef

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.

Upcoming Webinars

top: lighthouse overlooking a rocky shoreline; bottom left to right: a rhinoceros auklets swimming: a rhinoceros auklets taking flight from the water; Dr. Eric Wagner look to the sky

The View from Destruction: One Island, Twelve Thousand Birds or So, and the Futures

March 21, 2023 at 3 pm Hawai`i / 5 pm Pacific / 7 pm Central / 8 pm Eastern

Dr. Eric Wagner is a researcher at the Center for Ecosystem Sentinels at the University of Washington

Every spring, more than ten thousand rhinoceros auklets arrive at Destruction Island, off the outer coast of Washington, to breed. And for more than ten years, a small team of biologists has visited Destruction to monitor how the auklets are faring. The northeastern Pacific where Destruction Island sits is one of the most productive ecosystems on the planet, but this part of the sea-world has of late experienced a variety of shifts and upheavals. Are all these shifts and upheavals abnormal? Or are they the new normal? In this talk, biologist Eric Wagner will discuss the ongoing research on the rhinoceros auklets of Destruction Island (and beyond), and talk about what these furtive birds can show us about the larger world in which they try to make their living.

This webinar is co-sponsored by NOAA's Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary and Feiro Marine Life Center.


Left to right: A vibrant rocky reef; large baleen whale tail coming out of the water; and a green sea turtle at a fish cleaning station underwater.

Managing for Climate Change in MPAs: Stories and Tools from National Marine Sanctuaries and the National MPA Center

April 27, 2023 at 7 am Hawai`i / 10 am Pacific / 12 pm Central / 1 pm Eastern

Presented by: Lauren Wenzel of the NOAA National Marine Protected Areas Center, Zac Cannizzo of the NOAA National Marine Protected Areas Center and Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, Sara Hutto of the Greater Farallones Association and Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries, and Jillian Neuberger of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and National Marine Protected Areas Center

U.S. National Marine Sanctuaries and the National Marine Protected Areas Center are leaders in MPA management in a changing ocean. By leveraging the diversity of ecosystems, geographies, cultures, and experiences represented in the National Marine Sanctuary System, they have developed a suite of products that can help other MPA managers advance and accelerate climate-smart management of their MPAs. This webinar will highlight climate monitoring, assessment, and adaptation experiences from the National Marine Sanctuary System and share a number of new products and tools from the National MPA Center, including an MPA Climate Vulnerability Assessment Guide and Climate Adaptation Story Map, designed to help MPA managers accelerate and enhance climate monitoring, assessment, and adaptation within their own MPAs.


 Left to right: Seagrass; humpback whale breaching out of the ocean; and a mangrove tree, which are all carbon sinks.

The Ocean as a Carbon Sponge: why blue carbon is important

May 11, 2023 at 11 am Hawaii / 2 pm Pacific / 4 pm Central / 5 pm Eastern

Sara Hutto, Conservation and Climate Program Coordinator, Greater Farallones Association and Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries

This engaging presentation will cover the basics of blue carbon - what it is, why it’s important - and will focus particularly on the role of marine plants, algae, and animals in sequestering carbon and keeping it out of the atmosphere. We’ll also discuss actions that can be taken to ensure blue carbon is protected and, when necessary, restored.


Left to right: Researcher attaching a scientific tag to a whale; divers underwater documenting a shipwreck; and a male researcher holding a seabird.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: How Visitors Help Sanctuaries Monitor Climate Change

September 19, 2023 at 9 am Hawaii `i / 12 pm Pacific / 2 pm Central / 3 pm Eastern

Presenters: Dr. Tammy Silva, Research Marine Ecologist, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, Brenda S. Altmeier, Maritime Heritage Coordinator, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, and Dr. Zachary Cannizzo, Climate Coordinator, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, National Marine Protected Areas Center

From severe storms to ocean warming to sea level rise, climate change poses a clear and present threat to treasured places, critical biodiversity, and cultural resources across the national marine sanctuary system. Sanctuaries need to monitor climate change's impact within their sites and on natural resources, so they can identify and respond to these impacts. Everyone who visits and uses sanctuaries can play an invaluable role in ensuring their continued prosperity by helping to monitor for climate change impacts. Join us to learn more about the importance of climate change monitoring in sanctuaries, and how all kinds of visitors - from divers, to teachers, to fishers - are helping to monitor and educate about climate change impacts in Stellwagen Bank and Florida Keys national marine sanctuaries. Solving the climate crisis is going to take all of us working together, how can you support climate monitoring at your local sanctuary?


Left to right: A woman on a research boat holding a line off the boat; satellite image of the Great Lakes; and a woman on a pier talking to educators.

Why Should We Care About Freshwater Acidification? Science and Stewardship in Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Presenters: Dr. Reagan Errera, NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory and Stephanie Gandulla, NOAA’s Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

October 17, 2023 at 10 am Hawaii `i / 1 pm Pacific / 3 pm Central / 4 pm Eastern

Rising freshwater acidification levels have the potential to severely impact the Great Lakes environment. In 2022, scientists began an important research initiative to monitor acidification levels in Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The research will improve our understanding of lake acidification and its potential impacts to natural and maritime heritage resources in the Great Lakes. The data generated from this ongoing research in Thunder Bay sanctuary will result in the first baseline study specific to freshwater acidification in Lake Huron. During this webinar, learn about the working partnership with NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Program and the Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab, Thunder Bay sanctuary, and the local northern Michigan community. Find out what freshwater acidification is, why we should care, how acidification research is conducted, and how the community is involved in this effort to create a baseline of data. We will also discuss resilience to climate change in the Great Lakes.