Ocean First Education brings the sea to life through high-quality, innovative marine science education and creates lifelong students and stewards of the sea.
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A Rising Tide Continues

A new school year is underway and with it the continuation of A Rising Tide, well, sort of. All eight of the year one scholars were given the opportunity to apply for a year two scholarship to continue the adventure in diving, marine science, and conservation. From the applications submitted, three students were awarded full scholarships that would cover their future dive courses, and not one, but two trips over the course of the entire school year. Congratulations to our year-two scholars: Mica, Emily, and Zoe!

New to the program this year is a community outreach plan. Each of the scholars is required to get the word out about the perils facing the ocean to their landlocked Colorado community. This includes devising an action plan to get out into their communities and do something locally to reduce our negative impacts on the ocean. Not only will these intrepid young women continue their dive education, they will begin to implement their plan to change the world by bringing ocean awareness to their friends, classmates, and neighbors, right here in Colorado!

Keep up with the behind the scenes episodes of A Rising Tide by subscribing to our YouTube Channel.

In the News
What is a Hurricane?

It’s that time of year again and all eyes are on the Atlantic Ocean looking for swirling masses of warm atmosphere swooping over from Africa towards North America. Hurricanes bring with them powerful winds and copious amounts of rain, but what is a hurricane, how do they form, and what powers them?

Simply put, hurricanes are large, swirling storms that form over tropical and subtropical locations. Also known as cyclones and typhoons, depending on where they form, hurricanes are the most violent storms on Earth. Scientifically, they are known as tropical cyclones as, regardless of where they develop, they need warm ocean waters to fuel them.

Hurricanes generally get their start along the Equator where the ocean is warmest. The warm, moist air at the surface of the ocean rises causing an area of low pressure. This creates a space for cooler high pressure air to fill. As the space is filled, the once cool air becomes warm and moist and rises into the atmosphere. The cycle continues: warm, moist air rising, cool air filling the void, becoming warm and moist, rising and so on in a circular motion, all powered by the heat of the ocean. Due to the rotation of Earth on its axis, storms that form north of the equator will spin counterclockwise, while storms developing south of the equator will spin clockwise.

As the storm circulates faster and faster, an eye forms in the center. The eye is an area of low pressure; this is where high pressure air from above flows into the hurricane, keeping the conveyer of warm, moist air going. Once the winds that make up the storm reach 74 mph, it is officially a hurricane. Hurricanes generally weaken when they are over land because they are no longer powered by the heat energy from the ocean; however, they will continue to release inches of rain and can sustain winds in excess of 150 mph.

You can learn more about hurricanes from NOAA here and watch how hurricanes form in this short video from National Geographic.

Ocean View
The Next Chapter

Winner-winner, seafood dinner! Hi, I'm Mica and I'm one of the lucky TIDES 2 scholarship recipients! I've dreamed of becoming a marine biologist since I was nine years old. Last fall, at the beginning of my freshman year of high school, I was looking for a marine science and scuba program to apply to for the next summer. I was just beginning to lose hope of finding something extraordinary and affordable when a friend mentioned the scholarship contest from Ocean First for “A Rising Tide”. I went to an informational meeting the next night and knew that this was the opportunity I was looking for; the program included SCUBA certification, marine science, travel, and the best news of all was that Ocean First is practically right in my backyard! I mean, how many marine science programs are in Colorado, much less Boulder, right at the base of the famous Flatirons?

Read more about Mica’s adventures as part of A Rising Tide in her blog post.

1 Topic : 5 Facts
How well do you know the ocean?
This regular feature will help acquaint you with our blue planet.
Topic: Nudibranchs
  1. Nudibranch comes from the Latin word ‘nudus’ and the Greek word ‘brankhia,’ meaning ‘naked’ and ‘gills’ respectively. This is applicable given the feathery protrusions on the back of these sea slugs are their exposed, or naked, gills.
  2. Nudibranchs are hermaphrodites, each one is simultaneously a male and a female – they possess reproductive organs of both sexes, yet do not fertilize themselves.
  3. The ‘horns’ of a nudibranch, on top of the head, are called rhinophores, which comes from the Greek words ‘rhino’ meaning ‘nose’ and ‘phore’ meaning ‘carrier’. These are chemical receptors that allow the nudibranch to “sniff out” food and mates.
  4. Nudibranchs can be as small as 0.25 inches or as large as 12 inches long, such as the Spanish Dancer.
  5. Nudibranchs are omnivores grazing on algae, sponges, anemones, corals, barnacles, and even other nudibranchs.
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