In FY 14, 100 new educators joined the NOAA Planet Stewards Education Project, which provides professional development opportunities and a collaborative online learning community to engage educators in active stewardship projects. Participants represent 43 states, Washington, DC, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Panama, and include formal and informal educators from K-12 schools, community colleges, universities, and informal learning institutions including zoos, aquaria, and nature centers.
Project educators completed 2,060 contact hours of professional development through monthly webinars and book discussions, teleconferences, workshops, and online resources. The Project partnered with the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Ice Core Drilling Program, American Meteorological Society, and National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) to offer participants a variety of experiences.
In cooperation with some of these partners, the NOAA team organized and hosted a climate workshop at the NSTA annual meeting that attracted more than 170 educators.
In response to a request for federal science specialists to work with the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, the education team leader of NOAA's National Ocean Service (NOS) developed training materials about climate science and adaptation for leaders in Vietnam provinces. Vietnam's long coastline, geographic location, diverse topography, and microclimates contribute to its being one of the most hazard-prone countries in the Asia-Pacific region, with storms and flooding causing both economic and human losses.
Tasks included selecting and editing appropriate climate materials, selecting university professors as in-country trainers, and providing training for the trainers. A pilot training for 70 top government officials from Thanh Hoa province incorporated websites, resources, and new simulation strategies from NOAA and NOS, along with relevant local information and climate predictions for Vietnam. Topics included the causes and impacts of regional climate change, adaptation and mitigation strategies, climate vulnerability, disaster risk reduction, coastal resilience, and Green Growth opportunities for economic development.
Evaluation of the training outcomes showed a significant growth in understanding about climate change and a desire for additional training. The trainers will assist with climate training in other provinces and support Vietnam's growth in climate literacy.