Seasons in the Sea — A New WhaleTimes Publication

WhaleTimes, Inc.  connects kids with the ocean and on-going ocean research in many ways, from classroom visits, live virtual events, curricula, and now, books! WhaleTimes is excited to announce their first book in a series about exciting ocean research in the Gulf of Alaska is out!

Seasons in the Sea: A Year in the Gulf of Alaska

Many know that halibut and red king crab are vital to fishing communities in the Gulf of Alaska. But did you know they depend on a tiny copepod that scientists call Neocalanus flemingeri? 

SEASONS IN THE SEA: A YEAR IN THE GULF OF ALASKA follows these  copeods, along with halibut, sand lance, and red king crabs.

Author Christy Peterson and artist Paul J. Lopez worked closely with Petra H. Lenz (Pacific Biosciences Research Center, University of Hawaii at Manoa) and science team members to bring you a fascinating look into the lives of  Neocalanus flemingeri and other animals that interconnect in the Gulf of Alaksa.*

Lively text and beautiful illustration illuminate these important relationships for young readers. Dive into SEASONS IN THE SEA…right now in this free pdf format!

SEASONS IN THE SEA  is also available for purchase in print and Kindle formats at Amazon.


*Research funded by National Science Foundation grants: OCE-1756767 and OPP-2222376

Happy Hagfish Day!

It’s here! The best day of the year, Hagfish Day

WhaleTimes created this day to celebrate the  beauty of ugly!

It’s time to slime. How are you celebrating? Making slime? Sending a hagfish bouquet to a friend?

We’re celebrating by joining Drs Amy Baco-Taylor (Florida State University),  Brendan Roark (Texas A&M), Katie Shamberger (Texas A&M), and the rest of the science team aboard the R/V Kilo Moana as they explore the recently discovered deep-sea coral reefs off the coast of Hawaii.*

WhaleTimes is also joining kids at the Moorcroft Library in Moorcroft, Wyoming to make slime, look through a deep-sea animal’s eyes, and find out how many kids it takes to be the size of a giant squid. 

Here are some excellent ways you can celebrate some slime time!



*Defying Dissolution: North Pacific Deep-Sea Scleractinian Reefs in Undersaturated Water funded by NSF # OCE-1851378

Creep into the Deep: Deep-Sea Coral Reef

Fantastic News!  WhaleTimes is joining another amazing group of scientists to study the deep sea! This time deep-sea coral reefs off the coast of Hawaii.

Amy Baco-Taylor (Florida State University), Katie Shamberger (Texas A&M University) , and Brendan Roark (Texas A&M University), along with a team of talented grad students and the ROV Jason team have arrived at their destination. They are more than 1,000 miles from the coast of Hawaii.

As the Jason ROV explores the depths, it will send live video footage to the Science Team. Plus, it will collect coral and water samples.

More to come!

Jake, the SeaDog, WhaleTimes

The grant: Defying Dissolution: North Pacific Deep-Sea Scleractinian Reefs in Undersaturated Water funded by NSF # OCE-1851378



Finally good news in 2021: Hagfish Day is here

While many are counting down the minutes to 2021, WhaleTimes’ wants you to stop for a moment and celebrate  the beauty of uglyHagfish Day!

Why hagfish? Why not? That slime, those knots, that face! Hagfish represent all the wonderful, amazing, unusual, and beautiful things about the ocean.  While we’re turning ourselves in knots metaphorically, they literally tie themselves in knots. While you’re thinking, I can’t believe they just said literally, hagfish could care less and oozed out another bucket of slime.

Hagfish Day celebrates the beauty of ugly to give us a laugh and remind everyone that the ocean is in trouble. While the popular animals, like dolphins, penguins, and clownfish get a lot of attention, the ocean is filled with bizarre beauties that need our attention. Things like spewing shrimp,  fantastic fish, and some we just say, “Goodness gracious what in the world is that?” (Heteropods, you know who you are). 

On a serious note, WhaleTimes created Hagfish Day because human caused problems such as overfishing, pollution, and habitat destruction touch the lives of every animal in the ocean.  ALL of us are part of the problem. So let’s have a good laugh, enjoy some slime time, and then be sure to figure out ways to become part of the solution to protect the hagfish and all the cool animals in the sea.

Make some slime, share a Hagfish Day Bouquet and meet our Hagfish Day Stars:

Snot Bombs (Aka Upside-Down Jellyfish)

Melon-headed whales

Giant Frigatebird

Hawaiian Monk Seal

And of course the lovely hagfish

Meet other Hagfish Day Stars, experts, and have a good slime with some Hagfish Day activities


New book, Below the Edge of Darkness, out now!

INCREDIBLE! That’s a perfect description of Dr. Edith Widder’s new book, Below the Edge of Darkness: A Memoir of Exploring Light and Life in the Deep Sea.

Friends of WhaleTimes have met Dr. Widder, but if you don’t know about her, Dr. Widder is a deep-sea explorer, submersible pilot, conservationist, and, as it turns out she is also one heck of a story teller!

WhaleTimes has been share Dr Widder’s research through the years including the incredible NOAA-OER Journey into Midnight research cruise where she and the team filmed a giant squid!

Below the Edge of Darkness is filled with true stories about her deep-sea exploration and amazing discoveries. This exciting read includes beautiful photographs, too.

If you love the the ocean, watching nature documentaries, or want to emulate someone with dogged determination for discovery, then this is the book for you!

Congratulation on another amazing success Edie!

Find the book at your favorite bookstore:
Below the Edge of Darkness: A Memoir of Exploring Light and Life in the Deep Sea
Random House, available Jul 27, 2021
ISBN 9780525509240



Celebrate Earth Day with an excellent book by Christy Peterson

Our Earth Day Celebrations might be smaller and quieter this year, and even with social distancing being the guiding rule, just being outside on a beautiful day is a wonderful way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this unique day.

How much do you know about Earth Day?  Find out by reading an excellent new book written by WhaleTimes’ own Christy Peterson, Earth Day and the Environmental Movement: Standing Up for Earth (Twenty First Century Books). It earned a starred review from Kirkus, as well as buzz from School Library Journal and Booklist.

Earth Day and the Environmental Movement: Standing Up for Earth (Twenty First Century Books) On April 22, 1970, an estimated twenty million people held in a teach-in to show their support for environmental protections. This new celebration, Earth Day, brought together previously fragmented issues under the same banner. It was the largest nationwide event ever, and lawmakers took notice. But one day didn’t change everything. Fifty years after the first Earth Day, climate change remains a dire concern. The divide between political parties continues to widen, and environmental policy has become an increasingly partisan issue. The spread of disinformation has also made climate change a debatable idea, rather than scientific fact. A new generation of advocates continues the fight to make environmental policy a top priority for the United States and for nations around the globe.

Order your copy today from your favorite bookseller.

Meet the Journey into Midnight Science Team

Our Journey into Midnight: Light and Life Below the Twilight Zone Virtual Research Mission has begun!

Despite being the largest habitat by volume on the planet, the water column remains one of the most poorly explored environments. This is especially true once one moves below 1000 m into the bathypelagic realm. Join world renowned deep-sea explorers Dr. Sonke Johnsen, Dr. Tamara Frank, Dr. Edie Widder, Dr. Heather Judkins, and Dr. Heather Bracken-Grissom as they share the research and discoveries from the NOAA Ocean Exploration and Research supported expedition, Journey into Midnight: Light and Life Below the Twilight Zone

Meet the Journey into Midnight: Light and Life Below the Twilight Zone team:

Teachers and librarians, there’s still time to join our virtual research team.

Copyright WhaleTimes Inc LOGO All Rights Reserved                              


For more information email us:    sigsbee at our website

The Squid Whisperer Strikes Again!

Gulf of Mexico, Wednesday, June 19, 2019: Dr. Edith Widder and Nathan Robinson called out into the deep to see what would answer. Something did, in a very big way. A GIANT SQUID!

This is only the second time a living giant squid has ever been caught on camera. And both times the videographer was Dr. Edith Widder. Both times Dr. Widder’s special deep-sea camera system, called the Medusa, did what no ROV or submersible has been able to do.

The Medusa is a stealth camera system that captures video footage in the deep. Because the Medusa uses red lights that are invisible to most deep-sea inhabitants and has no noise-generating thrusters, it can serve as a stealthy observer of light and life below the twilight zone. (It’s design is to be unobtrusive, unlike an ROV or submersible.)

How do you call a squid? Lights. In the deep, most animals use light. Animals use bioluminescence to find food,  communicate, and escape danger. The lights on the Medusa recreate the alarm lights of an atolla jellyfish. When startled, this jellyfish puts on a light show that beats anything in Vegas. Scientists believe the light show, like a car alarm, catches the attention of other predators. If the jellyfish is lucky, a larger predator will swoop in and eat whatever was trying to eat it. That allows the atolla jellyfish to slip away into the dark.

The Medusa uses specially designed lights that mimic the color and pattern of the atolla’s glowing scream for help.

Science Team member and cephalopod expert, Dr. Heather Judkins (University of South Florida St. Petersburg) quickly identified it as a giant squid — a 10-12 foot long juvenile giant squid.

This exciting discovery, and the on-going research in the Gulf of Mexico midnight zone (below 1,000 meters/3,280 feet) are part of the “Journey into Midnight: Light and Life Below the Twilight Zone” research cruise funded by NOAA’s Office of Exploration and Research.

Read more about this exciting news: Here Be Monsters: We Filmed a Giant Squid in America’s Backyard

K-6 teachers, join WhaleTimes’ this fall for Creep into the Deep: Journey into Midnight and learn more about Dr. Widder (aka the Squid Whisperer), Dr. Judkins…and the rest of this amazing research team and their discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico. Find out more.

Creep into the Deep: Journey into Midnight education program and the Journey into Midnight: Light and Life Below the Twilight Zone research sponsored by NOAA-OER