The bathysphere was a hollow metal ball that typically held two people; it was lowered from a ship and enabled people to explore ocean depths.

Cousteau, Jacques
Cousteau was a French marine explorer and a prolific author who wrote about oceans, marine life, and underwater archeology.

Deep-Sea Drilling Project
The DSDP was a scientific program for drilling cores of sediment and crust beneath the deep ocean and recovering them for study.

H.M.S. Challenger
The Challenger was a British ship that made the first circumnavigation of the Earth for scientific purposes, mapping the ocean floor, describing temperature and chemical distribution, and discovering previously unknown species.

hydrothermal vent
Hydrothermal vents are fissures, or openings on the deep ocean floor from which heated water continually issues. They support unusual communities of organisms.

Maury, Matthew Fontaine
Maury, an American naval officer, was the first individual to undertake a systematic and comprehensive study of the oceans.

The scientific study of oceans is called oceanography.

Piccard, Auguste
Piccard was a Swiss-born explorer of the atmosphere and the deep oceans.

Any vessel capable of operating underwater is considered a submersible.

Humans have observed and explored the oceans since ancient times. But it wasn't until the 19th century that the scientific study of oceans began. The first major scientific expedition, and the one that firmly established the field of oceanography, was the around-the-world voyage of H.M.S. Challenger. Setting out from England in 1872, the Challenger spent almost three and a half years gathering a wealth of information about seawater, sea life, and the ocean floor. Major oceanographic expeditions since then have included the South Atlantic voyage of the German ship Meteor in 1926 and the Deep-Sea Drilling Project from 1968 to 1983. Numerous individuals also have played important roles in advancing our understanding of oceans, beginning with Matthew Fontaine Maury in the mid-1800s; his work on oceanography and navigation led to a uniform system of weather reporting at sea. Since Maury's time, oceanography has progressed tremendously. Early oceanographers had to contend themselves with tossing buckets overboard to see what they might haul in. Today's oceanographers are equipped with space images, supercomputer models, and deep-sea robots that can crawl along the seafloor. As they set goals for the future, some oceanographers even dream of pursuing research in permanently manned stations on the bottom of the oceans.

Here are some topics to explore that relate to ocean exploration. Looking at the articles, pictures, and other materials in this Research Starter may give you more ideas.

H.M.S. Challenger and the beginnings of modern oceanography.
Challenger Expedition

Diving to hydrothermal vents.
diving, deep-sea

Auguste Piccard and his bathyscaphes.
Piccard (family)

Accomplishments of the Deep-Sea Drilling Project.
Deep-Sea Drilling Project

Jacques Cousteau's contributions to Oceanography.
Cousteau, Jacques Yves

Challenger Expedition
Cousteau, Jacques Yves
Deep-Sea Drilling Project
diving, deep-sea
ocean and sea
Dimensions of The Ocean and Marginal Seas
Piccard (family)

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West's Geology Directory - Contents and Index
Extensive index of Web sites relating to geology and earth science. Includes bibliographies. Maintained by Dr. Ian West, Department of Ocean and Earth Science, at England's University of Southampton.

Well-illustrated account of the voyage of the Challenger, part of a reference source for marine biology student research offered by the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

The Cousteau Society
The Cousteau Society offers information on its unique explorations of ecosystems throughout the world focusing on the global ocean system. Also includes a profile and a complete list of books by Jacques Yves Cousteau.

NOVA Online : Lincoln's Secret Weapon
Online companion to NOVA broadcast 'Lincoln's Secret Weapon,' which chronicles the expedition to study the USS Monitor. This comprehensive site includes a virtual tour, historical accounts, and a teacher's guide.

West's Geology Directory - Contents and Index
Extensive index of Web sites relating to geology and earth science. Includes bibliographies. Maintained by Dr. Ian West, Department of Ocean and Earth Science, at England's University of Southampton.

Based on a PBS documentary series devoted to the danger and beauty of the seas, this Web site offers data on waves, tsunamis, winds, cyclones, icebergs, and global warming. Features a wave simulator and a deep-sea simulator.

NOVA Online : Submarines, Secrets, and Spies
Online companion to NOVA program on exploration of Cold War-era U.S. submarines. Contains valuable historical information, a virtual tour, images from the expedition, and a teacher's guide.

Frank Potter's Science Gems: Physical Science I
Dozens of sites for physical science education are identified by category, subcategory, and grade level by physicist and educator Frank Potter and his associates. A treasure trove for teachers, parents, and students. Very easy to navigate. Recommended.

Remote Sensing Tutorial
Goddard Space Flight Center offers a detailed online tutorial on remote sensing. Covers sensor devices and their applications, from geology, mapping, and traffic control to space exploration, ecology, and weather forecasting.

WWF International
News and information relating to environmental concerns from the World Wide Fund for Nature; with several photo galleries and a video library. Includes sections on climate change, seas, forests, water resources, endangered species, and toxic chemicals.

The National Maritime Museum - Greenwich, London
National Maritime Museum, U.K., offers numerous online exhibits devoted to maritime navigation, exploration, transportation, maritime art, and the ecology of the sea, with a time line on each topic.

The United States national organization of the World Wildlife Fund provides information about WWF's work to address global ecological threats. Includes pages on endangered species and spaces, forests, oceans, climate change, and toxic chemicals.

Oceans Alive!
Online exhibit on oceanography geared to middle school students. Covers physical features, geological history, hydrologic cycle, marine life, and research. Includes maps, photos, graphs, and satellite images. From the Museum of Science in Boston.

Year of the Ocean
Includes documents discussing the oceans, their resources, and marine conservation efforts and concerns. Prepared for a 1998 'Year of the Ocean' meeting of government, industrial, environmental, and academic representatives.

The Clean Water Network
The Clean Water Network, an alliance of some 1,000 organizations, presents its "National Agenda for Clean Water" as well as clean-water fact sheets, press releases, member home pages, advocacy tools, and links to state clean-water resources.

Introduction to Physical Oceanography
Thorough introduction to physical oceanography. Based on lecture notes for the physical oceanography part of the first-year undergraduate topic 'Marine Sciences' at the Flinders University of South Australia in Adelaide. In English and in Spanish.

EPA's Office of Water Homepage
The office that protects the nation's waters offers news, information on national water programs, state water-quality fact sheets, databases and models, a clean-water action plan, online publications, environmental links, and a laws/regulations section.

BEACH Watch Homepage
Describes the EPA's program to reduce waterborne illness at the nation's beaches and recreational waters. Includes the latest 'Beach Health Survey,' reports and references, FAQ, event listings, and annotated links to related state and regional Web sites.

World Wide Web Virtual Library: Oceanography
Large directory of resources for worldwide ocean study includes newsgroups, electronic publications, societies, conferences, animations, access to real-time data, and other relevant Internet sites.

Ocean Planet
Excellent Smithsonian Institution multimedia exhibit presents technical information, popular science articles, fictional writings, folklore, and photographs of the oceans and how they impact on our lives.

Oceanography on the Net: Scripps Institute of Oceanography
Extensive directory of electronic data and image sets, publications, organizations, and other information resources on the oceans.

Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State University, in Columbus, Ohio
Web site of the Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State University provides reports on Arctic and Antarctic research in the fields of meteorology, glaciology, geology, and oceanography.

Home @
This collection of electronic magazines produced by the National Geographic Society is headed by the renowned 'National Geographic.' Outstanding searchable, interactive resource on geography, travel, and the diversity of human experience.

Welcome to Scripps
Scripps Institution of Oceanography provides a wide variety of resources in the field, including excellent online library archives. A time line and a photo gallery illustrate the role of the Scripps family in the history of the institution.

Paul Yancey's DEEP-SEA PAGE
Color photos of sea creatures observed or caught at different ocean depths. Also provides links to information on marine ecology. Maintained by biology professor Paul Yancey of Whitman College.

Deepest Ocean Creatures
Images and descriptions of fish from some of the deepest known habitats. Includes definitions of the ocean zones and links to other deep-sea and marine-biology pages. Maintained by Extreme Science.

The World-Wide Web Virtual Library: Oceanography
Oceanography-related information on the Web, categorized by region and subject.

Marine Biology Web page supplements Prof. Jeffrey Levinton's course at SUNY-Stony Brook. Includes hierarchically arranged reference lists, links to marine laboratories offering courses and internships, tide information, glossary of terms, and more.

NOAA Home Page
Outstanding Web site of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides extensive information on a large variety of topics, with links to affiliated organizations, subdivisions, and educational resources.

Ocean Planet: Popular Science - Creatures of the Thermal Vents

Discussion of the types of creatures living around hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor. Maintained by the Smithsonian Institution.

CAP: World Wide Web Sites for Palynologists
Links to Web sites pertaining to the study of pollen and spores; maintained by the Canadian Association of Palynologists.
Eric's Treasure Trove of Scientific Biography
Collection of brief, yet extensively hypertext-linked, biographies in the areas of astronomy, chemistry, mathematics, music, and physics; biographies compiled by research scientist Eric Weisstein. References for further reading are included.