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October 2002

UN Atlas of the Oceans
Dive into an ocean of information!
Grade Level: Adult, Professional, 9-12

The UN Atlas of the Oceans is a one-stop source for information pertaining to the "sustainable development of the oceans". It presents maps, images, statistics, and other factual information gathered by such governmental agencies as the United Nations, the Russian Head Department of Navigation and Oceanography (HDNO), and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The site has an appealing format that allows the user to "look before they leap. By rolling the mouse over the pictures, the user obtains a description of the content available via that link.
Visitors can choose from a variety of ways to navigate the site. In addition to the graphical links on the main page, there is a left side menu, a site map, and an onsite search tool.
Information in the Atlas is divided into four major areas: About, Uses, Geography and Issues. In addition to the research, statistics, maps, and history, a wide variety of topics on the utilization of the oceans are covered such as energy, recreation and tourism, shipping and mining, and much more. Visitors will also find an exploration of current issues such as economics, food security, governance, and pollution and degradation that affect sustainable development. K-12 teachers will find valuable background information within the seventeen sub-topics in the About section (one of the four main links from the homepage). Sub-topics include Biology, Ecology, How the Oceans Were Formed, How the Oceans Are Changing, Physical and Chemical Properties, and Ocean Dynamics. A glossary is available via the top navigation bar, and an image gallery is in the works.

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