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Two Hawaiian monk seals on the beach
Press Release

Monk Seal Hospital Launches School Program to Inspire Conservation Actions for Upper Elementary

  • Species conservation

New virtual program brings award-winning educators live in the classroom to inspire students to find conservation solutions through everyday actions.

The Marine Mammal Center, the world’s largest marine mammal hospital, is launching a new live, virtual program for upper elementary teachers and their students across the state of Hawai‘i. 

The program, Seal Stories, encourages students to find solutions to the state’s most challenging conservation threats. The six-session program fills a critical void in conservation education in the state and allows teachers and students to connect with Center experts on a full set of environmental challenges.

“The global pandemic has created many obstacles to fill a critical gap in in-person programs and lessons. Through Seal Stories, we are excited to provide an exciting live, virtual learning opportunity for upper elementary youth throughout Hawaiʽi State,” says Wendy Marks, School and Youth Programs Manager—Hawaiʽi, at The Marine Mammal Center. 

By engaging students around their passion for ocean conservation, we hope to build a community of leaders to tackle some of today’s most pressing local environmental challenges.

The Marine Mammal Center’s hospital, Ke Kai Ola, located in Kailua-Kona, HI, is dedicated to the conservation of the endangered Hawaiian monk seal. The Center’s team of staff and volunteers has rehabilitated more than 33 monk seals and reaches thousands of people annually through its community and education programs.

The Center’s award-winning educators crafted Seal Stories to feature uplifting messages of hope and empowerment on current environmental issues. Each virtual session includes Hawaiian monk seal patient stories, guest panelists and follow-up classroom activities. 

Sessions feature stories of individual Hawaiian monk seal patients, as well as offering solutions for the threats facing marine mammals and our ocean, such as climate change, ocean trash, diseases, and impacts of human interaction.

The program launches March 30, 2021, and runs weekly through May 4, 2021. Participants have the option to register for any or all of the six sessions. There is no cost to participate in the program, but teachers must register in advance to get the Zoom link for each session through the Center’s website.

Full Session Schedule: 

  • Tuesday, March 30 | 9:30 am HST: Seal Stories Session 1 - Hawaiʽi Island Seals
  • Tuesday, April 6 | 9:30 am HST: Seal Stories Session 2 - Maui Nui Seals
  • Tuesday, April 13 | 9:30 am HST: Seal Stories Session 3 - Oʽahu Seals
  • Tuesday, April 20 | 9:30 am HST: Seal Stories Session 4 - Kauaʽi Seals
  • Tuesday, April 27 | 9:30 am HST: Seal Stories Session 5 - Papahānaumokuākea Seals (Part 1)
  • Tuesday, May 4 | 9:30 am HST: Seal Stories Session 6 - Papahānaumokuākea Seals (Part 2)

Participants can register online:

The Center’s online learning resources and programs reach thousands of students across the United States, including those who do not live on the coast, connecting them to marine mammals and our ocean. 

By expanding communities’ access to ocean conservation and marine science learning opportunities, the Center aims to provide the next generation of engaged citizens with not only inspiration, but also opportunities to address ocean health threats.

All programs at The Marine Mammal Center including Seal Stories are aligned or connected with Next Generation Science Standards and the Common Core Curriculum.

For more information or to set up an interview on this topic, please contact us at


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species conservation
Wendy Marks
Hawaiian Monk Seal