The Ocean

Barbara J. Feldman

Although it covers nearly three-quarters of Earth, scientists call the ocean our planet’s last frontier, and say that we know more about the moon then we do the sea floor. While oceanographers are racing to learn more about the deep secrets of the ocean floor, you can start your ocean journey at the following sites.

  • AMNH: OLogy: Marine Biology5 stars

    "OLogy means ‘the study of.' And here on the American Museum of Natural History's OLogy website, you can study and explore many cool OLogies." This particular section is all about Marine Biology at an elementary and middle-school level. For an introduction to oceans, start at "What's the Big Idea." To explore related concepts, follow the little red asterisks that pop open multimedia lessons. Free registration allows you to collect cards from each station, and to submit projects for possible publication.

  • Monterey Aquarium: Animals & Experiences5 stars

    This page is a fabulous collection of the best Monterey Aquarium pages for both kids and grownups. My favorites are the live web cams (keep in mind that these operate on Pacific Standard Time), activities and games (from K to 12), and the animal guides (sea otters, penguins, jellies and more.) Another great find is the 168-page printable Sea Searcher's Handbook chock full of articles and hands-on activities.

  • National Geographic: The Ocean5 stars

    Gotta love those big, beautiful National Geographic photos! Best clicks are the Photo Galleries, Ocean Quizzes, along with any of the articles or videos. "Ninety percent of the large predators in the ocean are gone and their populations have collapsed. The reason for this is that we have taken too many fish out of the sea, and we keep taking more before the remaining populations are able to reproduce. Watch this video [Weird Fish Marine Reserve] where Mel, the ‘very weird' fish, will show you how marine reserves can help fish populations recover, and why we need many more."

  • NOAA: Ocean Facts5 stars

    What is the longest-lived marine mammal? What is an artificial reef? Are mermaids real? Find answers to this questions (and more) with these FAQs and fast facts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "Scientists agree that the bowhead whale has the longest lifespan of all marine mammals. Whales are the largest animals on Earth and live longer than all other mammals in the contemporary animal kingdom. While many ocean lovers can easily identify the iconic sperm whale, the charismatic humpback and the wily orca, not all are familiar with the bowhead."

  • Shedd Educational Adventures5 stars

    Based on the Wild Reef exhibit at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Shedd Educational Adventures (SEA) brings the ocean to life with fact sheets and multimedia activities and games. To find something that interests you, search by grade level, or wander through the fact sheets (Explorer's Guide.) The games are outstanding (look for them in Interactives) and most come with a list of related resources. For example, Build a Fish (for grades three through six) is accompanied by a lesson plan, and eight printable fact sheets. "Build a Fish by choosing a body, mouth, and color/pattern, then release it into the reef! You can drive your fish around the reef in search of food and to evade predators. Can your fish find enough food without being eaten?"

  • Honorable Mentions

    The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!

    Cite This Page

  • Feldman, Barbara. "The Ocean." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 3 Jun. 2014. Web. 4 Dec. 2014. < >.

  • About This Page

  • By . Originally published June 3, 2014. Last modified June 4, 2014.

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