Webinar Series

photo of collage of deep coral sea life

The National Marine Sanctuary Webinar Series provides educators with educational and scientific expertise, resources and training to support ocean and climate literacy in the classroom. This series 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.).

To learn more about safely viewing marine mammals and other protected species in the wild, please visit NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources' Marine Life Viewing Guidelines.

Upcoming Webinars

Aerial view of a small bay

What Has Happened at Hanauma Bay Without Direct Human Impact?

November 2, 2020 at 10 am Hawai`i / 12 pm Pacific / 3 pm Eastern

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.


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 at 12 pm Hawaiʻi / 2 pm Pacific / 5 pm Eastern

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

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


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 12 pm Hawai`i / 2 pm Pacific / 5 pm Eastern

V. Kalani Quiocho Jr., Native Hawaiian Program Specialist, Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

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.

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.


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 at 4 pm Hawai`i / 6:00 pm Pacific

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.


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

The Cultural Significance of Humpback Whales in Hawaiʻi

November 30, 2020 at 10 am Hawaiʻi / 12 pm Pacific / 3 pm Eastern

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.