Getting started

As of February 2017, OpenChannels has over 11,000 pieces of content. There's a lot here! So, where should you get started?

The OpenChannels Family of marine conservation

OpenChannels.org is the parent website for a series of ocean conservation portals:

  • www.OpenChannels.orgOpenChannels is the knowledge hub for the global community of ocean conservation and management. Much of the content from our sibling sites is also shared on OpenChannels.*

  • MareNostrum.openchannels.org: The Mare Nostrum Network aims to serve as a support platform for civil society organizations involved in coastal and marine conservation in the Mediterranean.

  • MarineDebris.openchannels.orgMarineDebris.Info focuses on marine debris and marine litter.

  • MEAM.openchannels.orgMEAM (Marine Ecosystems and Management) focuses on ocean planning and ecosystem-based management.

  • MPANews.openchannels.orgMPA News focuses on planning and management of marine protected areas (MPAs).

OpenChannels Community Member user accounts are shared between these websites: for example, your user account from OpenChannels will also allow you to share content on MarineDebris.Info. If you have content you'd like to share with a particular portal, please share it from that portal.

*If you find content which is not shared on a particular portal, you'll meet our friend the Accidental Octopus. Follow the links she gives you to find the content on the appropriate site(s).

Newsletters

We send out five newsletters on a regular basis:

  1. Each Wednesday, we send out the OpenChannels Literature Update. The Literature Update includes a listing, sorted by topic, of all the academic literature and reports we've added over the course of the week. You can subscribe to the Literature Update by selecting the box on your OpenChannels User Account (just click to edit your account, select the Literature Update near the bottom, and click save). You can also read archives of the Literature Update.

  2. Each Friday, we send out the OpenChannels Weekly Update. The Weekly Update highlights the "best of" content we've shared over the course of the week: news, literature, blogs, webinars, videos, conferences, grants, jobs, etc. You can subscribe to the Weekly Update by selecting the box on your OpenChannels User Account (just click to edit your account, select the Weekly Update near the bottom, and click save). You can also read archives of the Weekly Update.

  3. About once per month, we send out our Upcoming Events. You can subscribe to the Upcoming Events list by selecting the box on your OpenChannels User Account (just click to edit your account, select Webinars and Events near the bottom, and click save). You can also see a list of our upcoming events, and subscribe to our Google Calendar feed via HTML or ICS.

  4. MPA News is the information service on planning and management of marine protected areas (MPAs). It serves the global MPA community with news, views, analysis, and tips gathered from experts around the world. It is sent out once per month.

  5. Marine Ecosystems and Management (MEAM) is the monthly information service on ocean planning and ecosystem-based management. It is also sent out once per month.

Listservs

We maintain a number of discussion listservs on many topics in ocean conservation:

  • Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) Tools Network Announcements: The Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) Tools Network is one of the premier sources of information about coastal and marine planning and management tools in the United States and internationally. Coastal and marine planning and management tools help practitioners incorporate scientific and socioeconomic information into decision making. The mission of the Network is to promote healthy coastal and marine ecosystems and communities through the use of tools that help incorporate ecosystem considerations into management. 

  • EBM Tools Discussion List: This distribution list provides an interactive forum for coastal and marine conservation and management practitioners and tool experts to share information about tools and methods that can be used for improving coastal and marine conservation and management.

  • MarineDebris.Info List: MARE launched MarineDebris.Info to provide a free and continuous forum for global discussion and announcements on marine debris. Our community includes marine debris scientists, resource managers, policymakers, industry, conservation organizations, and other stakeholders around the world.

  • MPA List: Created by MPA News and OpenChannels, the MPA List provides a simple way for managers, researchers, and others to share knowledge, discuss current issues, and stay up-to-date on the latest news and announcements.

  • Ocean Planning Community: This email discussion group - the Ocean Planning Community listserv - is for people on the front lines of MSP in North America and worldwide. It's designed to help you and your peers share experience and good practices with one another: what worked, what didn't, what you learned. The listserv is hosted by OpenChannels.org and co-produced by The Nature Conservancy, TNC Canada, University of Rhode Island, Sound Seas, and MARE.

Get email notifications of new content

You can receive immediate email notifications when new content is added to OpenChannels. Notifications are enabled/disabled by content type; meaning, you can choose to receive notifications of just Literature items, or News, or Grants, or any combination you choose. You may receive notifications for new News items, Blogs, Grants and RFPs, Literature, Upcoming Events, Webinar Archives, Job Postings, and Videos.

To signup for new content notifications, first sign-in with your OpenChannels Community Member account or create one for free. Then, visit the Manage Your Subscriptions page.

Sharing content

Verified OpenChannels Community Members** can share News and Jobs, and write Blogs, directly on OpenChannels. Use the Share Content menu (on small-screens, this is in the User menu) in the top-left corner of the site to get started. Other types of content may be submitted using this form, or you may email them directly to OpenChannels Project Manager, Nick Wehner, at nwehner [at] openchannels.org.

**Anyone can make a free OpenChannels User Account. However, we must first verify that you are not a spammer. It helps us to verify you if you fill in more than simply your name and email address. We verify user accounts during normal business hours in Seattle (8am to 5pm US Pacific Time, Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays). If your user account is not verified, please email OpenChannels Project Manager, Nick Wehner, at nwehner [at] openchannels.org.

Searching for existing content

When searching for content on the site, be sure to take advantage of the filters. For example, you can sort by Content Type such as Literature, News from OpenChannels, shared news, webinars, and plenty more. Just use the filters to the right (or for small-screens, below) the list of search results.

When looking for specific Literature items, you can always browse by tag.

Need help?

We're here to help you help the oceans! Email Allie Brown, OpenChannels Project Assistant, at abrown [at] openchannels.org or tweet us at @OpenChannelsOrg.

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