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About this Site

Purpose and Organization

The Ocean Today website provides access to the current and archived videos that play on the Ocean Today multimedia exhibit. Ocean Today was designed as a highly dynamic, visitor-friendly experience at the Sant Ocean Hall in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. It has expanded to many other locations around the world.

The Ocean Today website is an online archive of the videos that appear on the physical kiosks. The videos are categorized in the seven theme areas: Collections, Danger Zone, Exploration, Fix the Ocean, Go Fish, Marine Life, and Research. A description of Ocean Today, kiosks locations, how to obtain a kiosk and requirements, and contributor information can found in the “What is Ocean Today” section.



Every attempt has been made to make this site compliant with Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act. Additionally, we have provided a link to a detailed Site Map on every page. This index provides a direct link to most pages in the site for simple text navigation.

Please notify us of any specific accessibility problems that you encounter, or any suggestions you might have on how we can improve the site's access. E-mail comments and suggestions to: nos.otkadmin@noaa.gov.

Website Editorial Policy

This site is managed by the National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. As a federal government site, all federal editorial policies apply, such as those regarding privacy, copyright, commercial promotion, etc.

Materials posted on this site are reviewed by NOS professional staff prior to publishing. Final decisions are made by the site's editorial board. Except where noted, all material on the site resides in the public domain and can be freely distributed. Use of appropriate video, photo and image credits is requested.

Looking for our video editorial policy? This can be found under Contribute a Video.


Technical Information

Access Time. This site is very video intensive. As such it may take a long time to cache the videos prior to them running. All videos have been provided with captions to enable user who cannot load videos immediately to select specific videos for viewing. Pages have been developed to load text first.

Links. Links are provided to many external Web sites for reference or supplemental material. All have been carefully selected and include a short description of what the link contains. External sites that are accessed by these links will launch a new browser session in a single, separate browser window. Any external site that is accessed will appear in this same browser window until the window is closed. A number of links to non-U.S. government sites are included. Users are notified that they are leaving a U.S. government Web site by a separate page that appears on screen for approximately 20 seconds.

Fonts and Type Sizes. Verdana is the default font for this site; 10 point is the default size. All browsers allow users to select specific fonts and type sizes for display. Some users select large type sizes for ease of reading, or specific fonts to suit personal tastes. The text and layout should not be adversely affected by a user's selection of alternative fonts and type sizes.

Printing Pages. This site has been designed to ensure simple printing via a print style. We recommend printing in portrait format at a scale of 100 percent. In some cases, scaling the print job may be necessary in order to obtain the entire contents of the page.

Downloadable Documents. Some documents are available on this site as downloadable files in Portable Document Format (pdf), Microsoft Word (doc), and Zip archive (zip). The pdf files can be viewed on microcomputers equipped with recent versions of Adobe Reader. Adobe Reader can be downloaded for free. There are some known issues with downloading PDF documents, particularly on Windows systems, due to conflicts in the way in which Acrobat Reader and various browsers "talk" to one another. But there is a simple work-around: if you right-click (Windows) or option-click (Macintosh) on the link, the entire file will be sent to your machine, and then you can open it off your own hard drive using Adobe Reader.

The Microsoft Word documents are provided to aid in the filling out of form data. They are not required but provided as supplements to the Adobe Acrobat files. The zip archive files are provided as a means of packaging up several dependent files into one file. Tools are built into modern operating systems that allow for the de-archiving of these materials by right-clicking (PC) or option-clicking (Mac).

Navigation. Navigation through the site is straightforward. There are two levels of navigation. The first level, access to the major sections of the site, is via the titles at the top of each page directly under the Ocean Today banner. Pull-down menus provide access to specific parts of each major section. The second level is via the right-hand column, or via links found directly on each page.

Site map and Search This Site. Link to the site map and the search box appear on every page. The Site Map is a complete listing of every major page on the site and includes links to each of those pages. Search is a standard word/phrase search capability for all text and documents (pdf, doc) on the site's pages.

Multimedia Features. To view the video stories, users will need any modern browser. Downloadable versions are in .mp4 format which can be ready by QuickTime or Windows Media Player software. A high-speed Internet connection is highly recommended. For users with slower Internet connection speeds, we recommend that text is used to avoid the frustration of waiting for video files to load. Please be patient while waiting for the video to download.

Technical Information. For questions or comments about the technical aspects of this site, e-mail: nos.otkadmin@noaa.gov.

If you have any questions, please contact Mike Shelby at oceankiosk@noaa.gov.