After over 30 years of research using the SEM, the NWFSC has archived a set of unique images that best illustrate the complexity of marine organisms that can’t be seen any other way. Images generated from research projects are often only seen by a handful of scientists or printed in scientific journals not widely available to the general public. However, the NWFSC recognized that the unique visual impact of these images also makes them a powerful tool for educating students, teachers, and life-long learners about microscopic features of aquatic organisms, illustrating the extraordinary beauty of science, and improving public awareness of NOAA’s role in conserving our living marine resources.
In 2009, the NWFSC partnered with Seattle Aquarium to bring a series of spectacular SEM images of marine life that cannot be seen by the naked eye to the public eye. The resulting “Sea Unseen” exhibit featured highly-magnified images of fish skin and scales, diatoms, dinoflagellates, marine worms and octopus suckers, among other intricate structures and sea creatures found off the Pacific Northwest coast.
“Sea Unseen” appeared at the Seattle Aquarium from April 2009 until January 2010 and at the Oregon Coast Aquarium from March 2010 until September 2010. A modified version of the exhibit was on display at the Poulsbo Marine Science Center from May 2010 until December 2010.
“Sea Unseen peers beneath the waves with a microscope,” Florence KVAL TV, April 8, 2010.
“A closer look at marine life,” The Oregonian, April 20, 2010.
“Marine Science Center exhibit delves into unseen sea,” North Kitsap Herald, May 7, 2010.
“New photography exhibit utilizes electron microscopy,” Oregon Coast Aquarium.