September 5, 2013
With my oldest child starting Kindergarten this year, "back to school" has taken on a whole new meeting in our family. As we prepared for the school year, I was reminded of the tremendous presence that NOS programs have in classrooms around the country. Here are some terrific resources that we share with K-12 teachers and students every day.
The National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) has an active education program that promotes ocean and environmental literacy. For example, the Estuaries 101 Curriculum is used by teachers to deepen student understanding about estuaries and how estuaries affect their daily lives. Research Reserves act as living classrooms for student field visits and teacher workshops. NERRS resources include a robust video gallery, data lesson plans, an estuary game, and much more which may be found here.
The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries also has a robust education program that includes teacher workshops and materials for students. The Ocean Guardian program encourages schools to commit to specific actions such as installing recycling bins and removing trash. ONMS has a cultural exchange program called Ocean for Life: One World, One Ocean that brings together students from Middle Eastern countries who participate in an immersive field study at a sanctuary.
NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program, brings coral reefs into the classroom with lesson plans, tutorials, and other resources. The program works closely with the National Science Teachers Association to provide coral reef science directly to teachers. For example, SciGuides are online "science toolboxes" for science educators aligned to the National Science Education Standards. The program has produced a comprehensive ocean acidification "educator portal" that contains presentations, multimedia, and in-depth material (also available as a DVD).
Finally, the Communications and Education Division in the NOS Management and Budget Office promotes ocean and climate literacy through an array of lesson plans, tutorials, and project ideas. Resources are grouped by topic, such as currents and global positioning. The group also leads NOAA's Climate Stewards Education Project. The project provides educators with ready access to reliable scientific information through professional development opportunities. Armed with this knowledge, NOAA Climate Stewards design and implement environmentally friendly action plans.
Holly A. Bamford, Ph.D.
National Ocean Service
Want to learn about science in a fun and innovative way? Explore NOAA's educational games for kids of all ages!
The NOAA Coastal Services Center introduced a combined online and in-class training course in Massachusetts that creates a more efficient delivery style for time-pressed coastal professionals. The new hybrid version of Coastal Community Planning and Development begins with participants completing an online component before participating in a one-day in-person workshop. Massachusetts community members from Falmouth, Mashpee, Plymouth, Yarmouth, Brewster, Chatham, Hingham, Sandwich, and Martha's Vineyard received the training, which teaches participants the benefits of smart growth and ways to engage stakeholders in the community planning process. This course was offered in coordination with the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve's Coastal Training Program. For more information, contact Susan Fox.
NOAA and partners including the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources co-hosted "NOAA Reef Smart: Partnering to Improve Hawaii's Coral Reefs" aboard the NOAA Ship Hiʻialakai in Honolulu. NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program leaders, members of the state legislature, their staff, state managers, and on-the-ground scientists discussed how their collaborative efforts foster management decisions that support healthy reefs and coastal communities. For more information, contact Jon Corsiglia.
Two stakeholder meetings were held in Seattle, Wash., to collect feedback and find avenues of collaboration for the upcoming tidal current survey performed in the Puget Sound region. For the Puget Sound Current Survey, the Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS) will deploy over 120 current profilers in Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca over three years starting in spring 2014. One group met in conjunction with the Puget Sound Harbor Safety Committee and focused on how the results of the current survey benefit pilots and the marine navigation community. The second meeting focused on research, ways to collaborate, and share data in conjunction with the survey. The results from the tidal current survey will update predictions in the Tidal Current Tables and the CO-OPS website. For more information, contact Gregory Dusek.
The National Geodetic Survey (NGS) participated in the Global Geodetic Observing System Inter-Agency Committee (GIAC) meeting and the International Association of Geodesy (IAG) conference in Potsdam, Germany, this week. The GIAC is a committee of delegates from the major geodetic agencies of 15 countries dedicated to advancing global collaboration on topics related to spatial reference systems and geodetic observing systems. GIAC's aim is to communicate with worldwide governments and organizations such as the United Nations with a common voice. After the GIAC meeting, NGS chaired a session on the Earth's gravity field and present two papers at the IAG meeting. For more information, contact Yan Wang.
On August 27, nearly 100 people were present as NOAA's Monitor National Marine Sanctuary dedicated the first of five USS Monitor Trail signs in honor of the 40th anniversary of the discovery of the Monitor's wreck site in 1973. Taking place at the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort, the event commemorated the efforts of the distinguished team of researchers who located the iconic vessel 111 years after it sank in a storm off the North Carolina coast. The Monitor Trail will be a series of wayside signs placed in various locations that are historically significant to the USS Monitor. In addition to the sign placed in Beaufort, additional signs are tentatively scheduled to be installed at The Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Va., where Monitor artifacts are being conserved; Ft. Monroe, Va., where the sailors were taken after the ship sank; and Cape Hatteras, N.C., where the ship sank in 1862. Future locations for Monitor Trail signs may include New York, where the ship was built and launched, the Washington Navy Yard, and the James River. For more information, contact Lauren Heesemann.
The Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) participated in a planning meeting to review current projects and begin forming the path forward for the Arctic theme of projects under NOAA's long-standing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Environment Canada. In 2012, OR&R began two 2-year projects under this MOU to address collaborative development of oil fate and behavior modeling and Arctic Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA). The meeting was in preparation for a leadership-level meeting between NOAA and Environment Canada planned for next month in Silver Spring. For more information, contact Amy Merten.