Those of us who teach general oceanography can scarcely believe our good luck. The marine sciences are at the threshold of a new age. The recent revolutions in biology and geology are being assimilated, and the road ahead seems clearer. Advances in the design of sampling devices, robot submersible vehicles, and data display have brought new vigor to oceanography. Satellite-borne sensors can provide data in an instant that would have taken years to collect using surface ships. Shipboard technology has become so sophisticated that Wyville Thomson or Fridtjof Nansen would hardly recognize our sensors or sampling devices. Our institutions offer us the opportunity to discuss the nature and process of science, and we use the story of Earth’s largest and most important feature to accomplish the task. Our students are bringing to class an unprecedented enthusiasm for things oceanic. We professors find ourselves cheerfully in the middle between a burgeoning body of knowledge and a growing number of citizens eager to know about it. It is the best of times.