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What does the Ocean mean to me?

Blue Planet 2 | Episode 6 | Coasts

We have a tendency to take our coastlines for granted. It is by far the most accessible and relatable marine habitat, with thousands flocking there every day for their primary source of food, watersports, or just to relax. The UN estimates 40% of the world's population live in coastal areas. They provide the most extensive economic and social benefits of any natural habitat, encompassing 77% of the services provided to us by all ecosystems. Continue reading →

Blue Planet | Episode 4 | Big Blue

The open ocean may seem like a vast, featureless wasteland to us outsiders, but its inhabits are intrepid navigators that use its structures to embark on some of the most epic journeys known to science. Leatherback turtles have been shown to migrate across the entire Pacific Ocean. Two hatchling leatherbacks were once tracked moving 39km in 34 hours and 82km in 39 hours, an extraordinary distance for a baby weighing less than 40g in one of the first days of its life. Continue reading →

Blue Planet | Episode 3 | Coral Reefs

It is difficult to disagree that coral reefs are of global importance – the most biodiverse, the most colourful, and often associated with tropical paradise. As well as aesthetic beauty, reefs possess huge biological and socioeconomic value. They are the primary source of food for up to a billion people, act as natural storm barriers, bring in millions via tourism, have potential in medical research and provide a nursery for species from all over the rest of the ocean (1). Continue reading →

Heather Goring-Harford: What do the oceans mean to me?

I was born and raised in London. I didn’t live near the coast and I certainly never knew anybody - sailor, scientist or otherwise - who had much to do with the oceans. So I have often reflected that it is strange that I’ve been so strongly drawn to the seas from a young age. Nowadays I live and breathe them, seven days a week! Why am I so intrigued by the oceans and what do they mean to me? One answer is complexity. Continue reading →

Millie Watts: What does the ocean mean to me?

  Having written a similar post for the previous runs of the MOOC, I thought I would show a few photos of what the ocean means to me at the moment. My research group recently took part in some exciting fieldwork in Canada. I am part of the Sedimentology and Marine Geohazards research group, and we focus on studying the record left behind in marine sediments of natural disasters. Continue reading →

What does the ocean mean to you?

Hello MOOCers! Just a few short days until we get started with "Exploring our Oceans", the course is ready, the mentors and educators are excited and we cannot wait to get stuck into what promises to be an exciting course. Last time (our first run was in February) we asked staff at NOC (The National Oceanography Centre) and students on the course to share a picture with the rest of the course that shows what the ocean means to you. Continue reading →

Pretty Polychaetes!

Paris has already written about cutest sea creatures now I want to showcase the beauty of polychaete worms... For those of you unfamiliar with polychaete worms (bristle worms), they are segmented worms generally found in marine environments from shallow coastal waters to deep-sea abyssal plains.  On each body segment of a polychaete worm there is a pair of fleshy protrusions called parapodia, these bare many bristles called chaetae. Continue reading →