With DEEPEST Gratitude to Jacques Piccard, National Geographic Bestows its Highest Honor

After their successful nine-hour dive in January 1960 to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean??'s Mariana Trench, Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard emerge from the bathyscaphe Trieste. Walsh and Piccard were the first to reach the trench??'s lowest point, Challenger Deep, some 35,800 feet below the ocean surface.  Piccard, who died in 2008, was posthumously awarded the Hubbard Medal, the National Geographic highest honor, at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on June 14, 2012. (Photo: Thomas J. Abercrombie)

After their successful nine-hour dive in January 1960 to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench, Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard emerge from the bathyscaphe Trieste. Walsh and Piccard were the first to reach the trench’s lowest point, Challenger Deep, some 35,800 feet below the ocean surface. Piccard, who died in 2008, was posthumously awarded the Hubbard Medal, the National Geographic highest honor, at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on June 14, 2012. (Photo: Thomas J. Abercrombie)

Only three men have ever reached the ocean’s deepest point. Capt. Don Walsh and the late Jacques Piccard in 1960 and earlier this year, James Cameron. On June 14th, 2012, National Geographic bestowed its highest honor, the Hubbard Medal, posthumously to Jacques Piccard for his record-breaking dive to the Mariana Trench with Don Walsh in the bathyscaphe Trieste to a depth of nearly seven miles. Many of his efforts greatly contributed to the fields of oceanography and conservation.

Piccard comes from a family of explorers. His father, Auguste, was a physicist and the first man to take a balloon into the stratosphere. In 1999, Jacques Piccard’s son, Bertrand Piccard, together with Brian Jones, completed the first ever nonstop circumnavigation of the globe in a balloon.

Presenting the Piccard family with the Medal was Don Walsh, who received the Hubbard Medal in 2010 and James Cameron, the last and only other man to reach this depth.

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Eating Our Way Out of the Ocean’s Problems — A Chef’s Perspective

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August 15, 2011: Our special guest is National Geographic Fellow and acclaimed chef, author, and speaker Barton Seaver, who seeks to restore our relationship with the ocean, the land, and with each other through dinner. His new book is For Cod and Country: Simple, Delicious, Sustainable Cooking. If you’re not hungry, you will be by the end of this show! Also: A giant sea monster discovered in the UK and a close encounter with the largest animal that’s ever lived.

The Ocean Doctor airs weekly on WebTalkRadio.net. Want to listen on your iPod, iPhone or mp3 player? Download the mp3 file or subscribe on iTunes and don’t miss a single episode. Or listen to us on your iPhone, Android phone, WebOS phone, BlackBerry or tablet, including the iPad, with the free Stitcher SmartRadio app.?See the complete list of episodes. Follow The Ocean Doctor on TwitterBecome a Fan on Facebook! Submit a question and I’ll try to answer it on the air. Even better, record your question or comment on our special message line and I might play it on the air. Call: (805) 619-9194. You can also leave questions and comments for this episode below. Like the show? Learn how to become a sponsor. [Read more...]

National Geographic’s Newest Explorer

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August 1, 2011: We visit National Geographic Headquarters in Washington, DC to meet the newest National Geographic “Explorer in Residence,” Dr. Enric Sala and his important work on the “Pristine Seas” program with expeditions to the last remaining pristine areas in the ocean. We also hear the incredible story of a humpback whale, rescued at the brink of death, that said “thank you” to its human rescuers. And we hear the tragic story of the loss of one of our colleagues in Cuba.

The Ocean Doctor airs weekly on WebTalkRadio.net. Want to listen on your iPod, iPhone or mp3 player? Download the mp3 file or subscribe on iTunes and don’t miss a single episode. Or listen to us on your iPhone, Android phone, WebOS phone, BlackBerry or tablet, including the iPad, with the free Stitcher SmartRadio app. See the complete list of episodes. Follow The Ocean Doctor on TwitterBecome a Fan on Facebook! Submit a question and I’ll try to answer it on the air. Even better, record your question or comment on our special message line and I might play it on the air. Call: (805) 619-9194. You can also leave questions and comments for this episode below. Like the show? Learn how to become a sponsor. [Read more...]

A Fragile Empire: National Geographic Examines Threats to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

"A Fragile Empire" can be found in the May 2011 issue of National Geographic magazine on newstands April 26

“A Fragile Empire” can be found in the May 2011 issue of National Geographic magazine on newsstands April 26 (Photo: National Geographic)

Earlier this year, World Resources Institute released its “Reefs at Risk Revisited Report” (featured on The Ocean Doctor Radio Show) which spelled out a rather grim future for coral reefs due to both local and global threats, should we fail to take action. One of the bright spots in its report was Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, which has fared better than many other reefs around the world and has in place strong protections and management practices. But even this massive and remote reef system isn’t immune from the impacts affecting coral reefs worldwide. In “A Fragile Empire” National Geographic Magazine (May 2011) writer Jennifer S. Holland explores the various factors that are threatening Australia’s monumental reef. From rising water temperatures, to bleaching, massive flooding and high levels of acidity, the reef is in danger of collapsing and the prospect for recovery is uncertain.

A warming climate is pushing corals against the upper limit of their thermal tolerance, evidenced by mass bleachings like the one in 1997-98. A 60-year decline in ocean phytoplankton — microscopic organisms that form the base of the food chain — may also be playing a role. Recent flooding in Australia washed enormous plumes of sediments and toxins far offshore to the reef tract. And now, thanks to increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, the oceans are becoming more and more acidic as more of this atmospheric carbon dioxide dissolves in seawater. As the oceans become more acid, limiting the ability of organisms, like corals and shellfish, to build their limestone shells and skeletons.

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Artificial Reefs: National Geographic Shows Us the Beauty, the Science & the Controversy

"From Relics to Reefs" can be found in the February 2011 issue of National Geographic magazine, on newsstands January 25, 2011

“From Relics to Reefs” can be found in the February 2011 issue of National Geographic magazine, on newsstands January 25, 2011

They’re favorites among divers and fishermen, they’re teeming with life, and they’re heralded as a way to rebuild dwindling fish populations. They’re also controversial. With the breathtaking imagery of renowned National Geographic photographer David Doubilet, the February 2011 issue of National Geographic Magazine brings us deep into the heart of the artificial reefs found throughout our ocean waters. [Read more...]

Getting to Know Your Neighbors Below the Surface

Over the last 10 years, thousands of scientists have collaborated on an enormous research effort to catalog the plants and animals in the world’s oceans.

Read the full article in the New York Times…

Note: Newswire stories are provided as a courtesy of OceanDoctor.org. Content of these articles is provided by external sources.

Wild and Crazy: A Worm Named Bob Marley and the Fish With a See-Through Head

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November 8, 2010: In the oceans, Mother Nature continues to surprise and delight us with mesmerizing, jaw-dropping marine life that often wildly exceeds our imagination. Released at the completion of the decade-long Census of Marine Life, the? new book from National Geographic, Citizens of the Sea: Wondrous Creatures From the Census of Marine Life,? is not only rich with the captivating images you’d expect from the seasoned underwater photographers of National Geographic and the Census of Marine Life, but its delightful prose by author Dr. Nancy Knowlton — Sant Chair for Marine Science at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and a scientific leader of the Census of Marine Life — brings these photographs to life in captivating vignettes that will playfully bend your brain with utterly amazing facts about these utterly amazing creatures, including the Bob Marley Worm and a fish with a head you (and it) can see right through. We visit with Dr. Knowlton at her office at Smithsonian and take a field trip to the Smithsonian’s latest and wildly popular exhibit, the “Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef.”

The Ocean Doctor airs weekly on WebTalkRadio.net. Want to listen on your iPod, iPhone or mp3 player? Download the mp3 file or subscribe on iTunes and don’t miss a single episode. See the complete list of episodes.

Submit a question and I’ll try to answer it on the air. Even better, record your question or comment on our special message line and I might play it on the air. Call: (805) 619-9194. You can also leave questions and comments for this episode below.

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Video: Lessons from Ocean Explorers – Why Conservation Needs Exploration

A Special ExpeditionCasts Presentation: Lessons from Ocean Explorers: Why Conservation Needs Exploration. Renowned ocean explorers and adventurers gathered at the Carnegie Institution for Science on March 7, 2009 to kick off the Blue Vision Summit, a project of the Blue Frontier Campaign. With stunning imagery and stories from the deep, this unique panel discusses the importance of ocean exploration, its future, and how exploration is vital to the advancement of the conservation of the oceans. (You can watch this video below or on your iPod or compatible MP3 player by subscribing free to ExpeditionCasts in iTunes.) [Read more...]

Google Earth 5.0 ? Now With Genuine Ocean!

The ExpeditionCasts podcast is back! The series returns with the video version of the Ocean Doctor’s popular blog post, “Attacked by the Giant Squid’s Cousins.” (You can access the video version below.) That’s big news. But the GINORMOUS news is that ExpeditionCasts returns along with a new version of Google Earth. Version 5.0 of Google Earth allows you to explore the other 70 percent of the planet — the world’s oceans — and access stunning underwater video content from around the world.  We have been privileged to be a contributor to this enormous, er, GINORMOUS project, and you’ll find five ExpeditionCasts videos among the others Google Earth 5.0. Look for them in Alaska’s Bering Sea and off the northwestern coast of Cuba.

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