Update from Smithsonian Ocean Hall - 04.15.2009

Elizabeth Ban
Over the past two months, Elizabeth has met with contacts from the COSEE network, NMEA, NOAA, NSF, National Geographic, Consortium for Ocean Leadership, and the Encyclopedia of Life. She just returned from the National Science Teachers Association conference and will be attending the COSEE Network meeting in May and NMEA conference in June.

The Smithsonian Ocean Portal team has selected a vendor to develop the technical and creative aspects of the Ocean Portal website. The site will be a unique, flexible, immersive and cutting-edge web site for trusted scientific information about the ocean. Scheduled to launch in late September, the Ocean Portal will offer authoritative content from the Smithsonian's marine science network and trusted collaborator organizations.

The Museum of Natural History team has been working on Sant Ocean Hall public programming as well. While Elizabeth has been working on developing a strategic plan for the Ocean Science Education program, recent and planned events focus on promoting the essential principles and fundamental concepts of ocean literacy:

  • The weekend of March 20 and 21, the Museum hosted three Sustainable Seafood events hosted by Alton Brown, including "Savoring Sustainable Seafoods", which offered seafood tastings prepared by 25 of Washington's top chefs, a panel discussion on fishery science, conservation and aquaculture, another on sustainability in the restaurant and home kitchen, and finally, a four-course luncheon prepared by some of the country's top sustainable seafood chefs.
  • The Museum will begin hosting an ocean-themed book and author series, beginning with Flotsametrics and the Floating World by Curtis Ebbsmeyer on Thursday May 7th. The series aims to draw in audiences who might not otherwise attend an ocean science program, as well as highlight the relevance of the ocean and ocean science in all aspects of life.
  • Sant Ocean Hall will be the main venue for One World, One Ocean - a World Ocean Day Festival on June 6. The event will offer opportunities to learn about our connections to and impacts on the ocean through activities, scientist speakers and information tables throughout the Museum.

For more information, please contact Elizabeth Ban at 202-633-1087 or

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