A program of the Lawrence Hall of Science that seeks to increase ocean literacy through informal and formal education initiatives
Marine Activities, Resources & Education

WHOI News

WHOI Selected for Bicycle Friendly Business Award

The League of American Bicyclists recognized the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) with a Silver Bicycle Friendly Business award, which acknowledges efforts by the Institution that promote cycling to help ease traffic congestion, reduce greenhouse gas and pollution emissions, and encourage a healthy lifestyle among its employees.

WHOI Hosts Public Event Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Discovery of Deep-Sea Hot Springs

The discovery of lush communities of deep-sea life at thermal springs on the seafloor in 1977 forever changed our perception of where and how life could exist on Earth. Ocean Explorer Robert Ballard will be keynote speaker at a free public forum, hosted by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) as part of the Morss Colloquia series.

WHOI Scientist Selected 2017 Recipient of Walter Munk Award

The Oceanography Society proudly announces that Dr. Andone C. Lavery has been selected as the 2017 recipient the Walter Munk Award for Distinguished Research in Oceanography Related to Sound and the Sea. Dr. Lavery is an Associate Scientist with Tenure in the Department of Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

New Technique Offers Clues to Measure Ocean Deoxygenation

The living, breathing ocean may be slowly starting to suffocate. More than two percent of the ocean’s oxygen content has been depleted during the last half century, according to reports, and marine “dead zones” continue to expand throughout the global ocean. This deoxygenation, triggered mainly by more fertilizers and wastewater flowing into the ocean, pose a serious threat to marine life and ecosystems.

Margaret Tivey to Become New Vice President and Dean of Academic Programs at WHOI

Dr. Margaret K. (Meg) Tivey has been selected as the next Vice President and Dean for Academic Programs at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). Tivey will oversee all academic programs at WHOI, which include the MIT/WHOI Joint Program (JP) in Oceanography/Applied Ocean Science & Engineering for graduate students, postdoctoral and undergraduate programs, and the graduate-level Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Program. Tivey has served since August 2010 as Associate Dean of Academic Programs and will transition to dean on Nov. 1, 2017.  

Only One Ocean CD: Rockin' Ocean Science

New on the howtosmile.org blog is an article about the Banana Slug String Band CD, Only One Ocean!

Howtosmile.org is an online tool that allows educators to search, collect, and share high-quality, hands-on science and math activities. Collections include inquiry-based learning resources from the Lawrence Hall of Science, Exploratorium, Science Museum of Minnesota, Children's Museum of Houston, New York Hall of Science, and ASTC. You can find many ocean sciences activities developed by MARE and our Communiciating Ocean Sciences partners on the site. 

Read the full article on the Only One Ocean CD below, or view the original howtosmile.org blog entry

 

Rockin' Ocean Science, by Deborah Lee Rose

Fab FourFrom the songs of humpback whales in the open sea, to the rhythm of waves against the shore, the ocean is full of music. Now, an award-winning music CD—created by musicians, scientists and educators—is inspiring and teaching kids about the science of the ocean.

Only One Ocean, with 14 rockin’, fact-filled songs, is a first-of-its-kind ocean literacy project, written and recorded by the popular Banana Slug String Band (seen here crossing "Crabby Road"). The entire CD was supported and reviewed for content by scientists and educators from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Marine Educators Association (NMEA), Centers for Ocean Sciences Excellence (COSEE), and Marine Activities, Resources and Education (MARE) program at UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science.

“We’re welcoming kids into a realm that’s both musical and scientific,” says musician and band co-director Doug “Dirt” Greenfield. The band spent more than two years creating the Only One Ocean CD, working with scientists from many specialties including marine biology, oceanography, geology and climatology.

Set to rock, folk, reggae, rap and other musical styles, the CD celebrates ocean organisms in songs like “Jellies Ballet” and “Kingdom of the Crab,” and introduces the seven principles of ocean literacy, with one song for each principle. The CD title and title song were inspired by principle #1: The Earth has one big ocean with many features.

“Ocean literacy means understanding the influence the ocean has on you and you have on the ocean,” says Craig Strang, Lawrence Hall of Science associate director and a leader in the Ocean Literacy Campaign, who conceived the CD project with the band. He believes merging science and art is a very compelling type of collaboration to get the ocean message out. “I was a little nervous going in,” he recalls, ”but the band took it as a challenge to get the science right and still make great music!"

The songs aren’t designed just for listening but for creative participation as well. For example, at the end of the song “Ocean Flow,” the band laid down an instrumental-only track, so kids could make up their own verses and sing along.

The CD has won a Parents’ Choice Award, and great reviews are coming in from all kinds of educators, including music teachers who have kids singing the songs as part of their classroom arts curriculum, and at school concerts and theatrical performances. The Banana Slug String Band is all for the songs being performed live, since the band has been teaching about the environment through high-energy, live concerts, with lots of audience participation, for more than 25 years.

One particular audience for the new songs still came as a surprise to the musicians. “We were playing the song about whales, called ‘Cetacea’, on a whale watching trip in Hawaii with the Pacific Whale Foundation,” Greenfield recalls. “As we were playing, the humpbacks we’d been watching from a distance came right up to our boat. One baby whale sort of rolled on its back and started making rhythmic movements—it looked like it was dancing with the music!”

With the full CD and individual songs widely available for download, the musicians and scientists behind Only One Ocean hope its musical/scientific message will reach listeners in all kinds of geographic areas, even kids who have never seen or touched the ocean.

 “A song can set the stage for learning in a very personal sense,” says “Solar” Steve Van Zandt, who wrote all the songs on the CD. “We’re sparking a sense of wonder, which is the basis of the inquiry method of science learning.”

“First we want kids to be amazed at the ocean,” adds Greenfield. From amazement, he says, can come scientific understanding of ocean processes, curiosity to learn more about incredible organisms, and concern about how to protect the ocean which is so critical to all life on Earth. In the meantime, learners of any age can rock along with the music just for the sheer joy of it. After all, observes Greenfield, who says saving the planet can’t be fun?