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NOS Education

NOAA Planet Arcade


MEET: Peg Steffen

Education Coordinator, NOS Communications and Education Division

As the education coordinator in NOS’s Communications and Education Division, I work with a small team to develop professional opportunities for educators. We also produce online products, such as games and interactive science activities, for many age groups.

Peg Steffen


What do you like most about working at NOS?

The committed, passionate people who are part of my daily work life. I appreciate the environmental culture of the agency and the collaborative spirit of the education community.

What is the hardest part of your job?

Finding the time and energy to be a productive contributor to many interesting education projects. NOAA has a wealth of science that is fascinating to the public and especially to students. The agency’s work is so vast, ranging from marine mammals to corals, nautical charts to global positioning, and tide monitoring to weather and climate.  It can be hard to choose which topics to work on.

What is your educational background?

I have a bachelor’s degree in zoology and a master’s in curriculum and instruction. I spent 26 years teaching a variety of science courses to high school and college students.

What inspired your interest in the ocean and coasts?

I have always had a special interest in ecological systems and the flora and fauna of Planet Earth.  When I arrived on the East Coast after living most of my life land-locked, I bought a sailboat and lived on it for several years.  That solidified my love of the Chesapeake Bay area and its connection to the ocean.

How did you end up working at NOAA?

After teaching for many years, I accepted an Albert Einstein Fellowship at NASA Headquarters to work on education programs.  Six years later, as a civil servant, I was offered the opportunity to develop education programs at NOAA’s National Ocean Service. As a former science teacher, it's a great place to play. I mean, it’s a great place to work!

What advice do you have for young people wanting a career in the "ocean realm"?

Our world needs a lot of help and there are many ways to make a difference. I hope that every student finds his or her own special connection to the planet.  There will be many careers in the future that have not even been imagined yet.  A prepared, adaptable, and technologically savvy student will be ready to take advantage of new opportunities.