Learning marine biology from home can be surprisingly easy with all the free resources online today. Whether you’re a student, a researcher, or just an ocean enthusiast, there a variety of lectures, podcasts, readings, and videos to guide you in your learning.
Covid-19 has transformed the way people learn. Because of these vast changes in education, it’s imperative to explore online tools. Between Covid-19 Netflix binges and online toilet paper shopping, brush up on your marine biology with this ultimate at-home marine biology guide.
Check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s ‘Learning at Home’
To help people engage with marine biology, the Monterey Bay Aquarium offers free online classes and activities. Designed for all grades (pre-k through 12) and accessible in both English and Spanish, these classes cover a wide range of topics. For example, some courses investigate sea otters, while others explore the deep sea or shark biology.
Want to de-stress and color some cute fish? The Monterey Bay Aquarium can help with that too!
Listen and Learn Anywhere
While you clean that precarious mountain of laundry in your room or even while you try out that food kit you got in the mail, you can still learn marine biology. With the help of a speaker or a good pair of earbuds, you can tune into information-rich marine biology podcasts anytime and anywhere.
If you’re new to the podcast world and looking for way to dip your toes, here are few podcasts to try:
- Marine Mammal Science (podcast about current marine mammal research)
- So You Want to Be a Marine Biologist? (podcast about marine biology, conservation, and paths for becoming a marine biologist)
- Meet the Ocean Podcast (podcast focused on science communication and ocean-related storytelling)
All these podcasts are available for free via Spotify and Apple podcasts.
Channel Your Inner Bookworm
Were you the kid always getting in trouble for reading in class? If you were, I’d highly recommend checking out Libby.
Completely free and easy to navigate, Libby grants you access to your local library’s ebooks and audiobooks. Because of the vast breadth of knowledge your library holds, learning marine biology from home just got easier.
You can use Libby on your computer or download it to your smartphone via the App Store or Google Play.
Grab Some Popcorn and Watch a Documentary
One of the best parts about the ocean is that it’s astoundingly photogenic. So, grab some popcorn, lay back in that recliner chair, and let these documentaries show you just how beautiful and fascinating the ocean is.
Firstly, you’ll want to take a peek at YouTube. For instance, Netflix has a channel on YouTube with a number of their Our Planet nature documentaries available for free. To start your nature binge, start here with an episode about coastal seas.
Dive into NOAA’s Resources
When you’re searching for reliable free information, you’ll want to check out NOAA’s marine science resources. Here, you’ll find articles on topics, such as coral reefs, the carbon cycle, or ocean acidification.
To top it off, NOAA also has career information, additional readings, and experiments to try. If these resources spur your interest in research, check out this article to learn more about undergraduate research.
Learn via Old-School Textbook
Looking for a traditional way to learn marine biology from home? Sometimes we all need something familiar. Textbooks, which have been around forever, are a tried and tested way of learning. However, textbooks can be expensive (we’re talking nice weekend out of town expensive.)
Thankfully, some textbooks are free (sigh of relief). If you’d like a primer on oceanography, check out this free textbook through Roger Williams University.
Consider a Classroom-Like Setting
Perhaps, you’re missing that nostalgic feeling of sitting in a classroom jotting down notes. In that case, a lecture may do the trick. If you’d like to watch scientists from around the world discuss marine biology topics, such as red tides, whale songs, or climate change, check out the Jeffrey B. Graham Perspectives on Ocean Science Lecture Series.
With over 200 free lectures to choose from, there’s no better day than today to start watching.
Looking for a laugh? Check out some videos from the True Facts series on YouTube. For example, maybe try out this iconic gem about the mantis shrimp (P.S. humor/language may not be suitable for kids.)
Again, it’s free, informative, and hilarious.
You may be surprised to learn that even browsing your favorite aquariums or zoos on Instagram, may teach you something new. For instance, they may share fun facts alongside captivating photos. Whenever I’m scrolling on Instagram, I’ll always visit National Geographic, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, or the California Academy of Sciences to get my science fix.
No matter your occupation, background, or beach access, learning marine biology from the comfort of your own home can be easy and free. Therefore, give some of these methods a try, and comment down below which ones you enjoyed or which ones you’d like to add.
If you’re a current or prospective student looking to learn more about the marine biology major, check out this article.