New England Ocean Science Education Notes )
Number 10/April 5 2007
In This Issue:
  • News from Washington, D.C.
  • Reports and Publications
  • Conferences, Workshops, Online Courses
  • Announcements and Invitations
  • Student Opportunities
  • Events
  • Jobs
  • Educator Resources

  • News from Washington, D.C.

    House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on US Ocean Policy Priorities Last week, the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative Co-Chairs James Watkins, Chair of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, and the Honorable Leon Panetta, Chair of the Pew Oceans Commission, testified before the House Natural Resources Fisheries, Wildlife, and Oceans Subcommittee regarding the recommendations of the two commissions. In addition, Mary Glackin, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Program Planning and Integration at the NOAA, testified before the Subcommittee. House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall (D-WV) noted this was the first hearing held by the Committee since the two ocean reports were issued three years ago. In their testimony, the witnesses outlined threats to the health of oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes and the governance reforms required to address those threats effectively. They also reiterated the need for movement on other aspects of ocean policy and funding as outlined in the Joint Initiative's 2006 U.S. Ocean Policy Report Card and report to Congress, From Sea to Shining Sea: Priorities for Ocean Policy Reform. Congressman Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) called for a better coordination of ocean budgets across agencies. Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) inquired about the CZMA and encouraged the Committee and NOAA to keep it as a legislative priority. The witness testimony can be viewed online.

    Coastal and Ocean Observation Bill Introduced in Senate Also last week, Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME), along with several co-sponsors, introduced S. 950, The Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act of 2007. Some of the provisions of the Ocean and Coastal Observation System Act of 2007 include directing the President, acting through the Committee on Ocean Policy, to establish and maintain an integrated system of ocean and coastal observations, data communication management, analysis, modeling, research, education and outreach designed to provide data and information for the detection and prediction of changes occurring in the ocean, coastal and Great Lakes environment. The bill establishes the functions of the Committee on Ocean Policy as it relates to oversight, design and implementation of the observing system. The bill establishes NOAA as the lead federal agency for implementation and administration of the observing system. In addition, the bill authorizes NOAA for FY 2008 - FY 2012 for the implementation of the integrated ocean and coastal observing system (including the financial support for the Regional Association) at a level of $150 million annually. Observing systems have been developed in various coastal regions across the country; however, data from these various systems are often incompatible with one another, making it difficult to compile, manage, process, and communicate data across networks. As a result, these disparate systems may be unable to link their data and develop a comprehensive national picture of coastal and ocean conditions. The Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act of 2007 would attempt to rectify this situation by establishing, in cooperation with NOAA, an integrated system of ocean observing efforts. To view the bill, visit and search for "S. 950"

    Reports and Publications

    Oceanic Phytoplankton and Sea Surface Temperature A National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) scientist report of a biological feedback mechanism in which phytoplankton influence cloud formation, sea surface temperature, and climate will advance future climate change models. The mechanism and its importance to climate change models were presented at a March 16, 2007 seminar at Old Dominion University. Phytoplankton produce the climatically active chemical dimethylsulfide (DMS) in coastal and open ocean surface waters at rates that increase with environmental stress conditions, including nutrient limitation and solar ultraviolet radiation. When released to the atmosphere, the DMS is converted to fine particles that promote the formation of cloud droplets. These in turn reflect sunlight, and reduce solar radiation and heating in surface ocean waters. For more information, contact Bill Sunda, (252) 728-8754.

    National Coordination of Ocean and Coastal Water Quality Monitoring NOAA has released a new report online addressing the need for a national water quality monitoring network. Coordinated water quality monitoring is needed due to the many problems facing coastal water bodies, including nutrient over-enrichment, inputs of toxic contaminants and pathogens, and habitat alteration. A national, linked water quality system would facilitate cost effectiveness by integrating monitoring in ocean, coastal and estuarine areas with the upland areas that affect them.

    Oceanic Research Yields New Information About Marine Microbes New research conducted as part of the Sorcerer II Global Ocean Sampling expedition PKAL Volume IV: Wisdom from the Field - The PKAL- Keck Consultation Program On-campus consultations are a valuable dimension of institutional transformation, enabling a wider group of colleagues to meet with experienced reform practitioners, whether the issues relate to individual departments or programs, or are focusing on broader challenges such as facilities renewal. Over the years, with support from the W.M. Keck Foundation, PKAL provided consultant teams to colleges and universities that were facing barriers to advancing plans for reform and that recognized the need to gain external perspectives on their internal policies, programs and practices. Now, at the conclusion of the W.M. Keck grant, PKAL has assembled an archive of materials relating to the PKAL-Keck Consultation Program.

    Conferences, Workshops, Online Courses

    NMEA Conference Registration Open Registration is now open for Downeast 2007, July 23- 27, 2007, in Portland, Maine. The full conference fee of $375 covers all costs (except field trips), including keynote presentations, concurrent sessions, breakfasts, lunches, coffee breaks and snacks, cocktail parties, auction, dance party, Downeast lobster bake, sunset cruise on Casco Bay, and entertainment, featuring a concert by Schooner Fare, stand-up comedy by Maine humorist Tim Sample, visual travelogue by underwater photographer Bill Curtsinger, and inspirational performance by actress Kaiulani Lee as Rachel Carson. Go to the conference website to register, reserve your field trip, and find information for recommended accommodations. The deadline for applying to NMEA for scholarship assistance to support your attendance is May 1st. For more information, go to and click on Scholarships.

    National Geographic Online Teachers? Workshop This Earth Day, join the National Geographic and its magazine to explore the fate of our fisheries. Teachers are invited to bring this topic into the classroom and use it to stimulate learning across multiple disciplines. A free online teachers? workshop will be offered from April 16 ? 28 to examine the fate of fisheries from three perspectives: What is happening to a one of the most important commercial species in the ocean ? the blue fin tuna? How has the change of fisheries affected a region historically dependent on the ocean ? Newfoundland? How has New Zealand attempted to protect its fisheries and marine areas? Discussion will be led by Dr. Carl Safina. Dr. Greg Marshall, Project Manager for Crittercam, will look at what research is doing to help protect species. Dr. Michael Libbee, Director of the Michigan Geographic Alliance, will demonstrate how to make these topics an important part of your curricula, with new classroom applications and extensions. This workshop will also include lesson plans, video clips and a photographic archive that illustrate these issues to share with students. The National Geographic magazine will also provide online resources including ?Sights & Sounds?, full text of magazine articles, extensive photo galleries, maps, information graphics, and more. Registration for the workshop is free and is now open. A preview of the workshop is also available.

    Fundamentals of Environmental Education Online The Fundamentals of Environmental Education online course, developed by EETAP in collaboration with national EE experts, will be offered June 4-August 17, 2007 and September 10-November 23, 2007. The course is appropriate for both classroom teachers and for non-formal educators who work with students and/or teachers. The course provides educators with the knowledge and skills necessary to incorporate quality environmental education into their instruction. Participants discuss the history, definition, and goals of environmental education; develop an understanding of the professional roles and instructional methods of environmental educators; and interact with other educators from across the country. The deadline for summer registration is May 4, 2007; the fall registration deadline is August 10, 2007. Scholarships may be available. Visit online for more information.

    Teacher at Sea Opportunity Prior to scientific ocean drilling projects, marine geological research expeditions explore and map the areas proposed for drilling. The Ninetyeast Ridge Expedition, one such site survey of one of the longest linear features on Earth, will be conducted June 15-August 15, 2007. One educator will be selected as part of the Teacher at Sea Program, to participate and to interpret the expedition for a variety of shore-based audiences. The deadline for application is April 20, 2007. More information is available online about this and other JOI opportunities.

    NOAA Seminars NOAA offers a series of Science Seminars in Silver Spring, Maryland, which can be joined off-site through video, webcast, or by phone. You can view the schedule through Google Calendar, which offers links to a detailed description of the seminar along with viewing and listening methods when available. Contact Hernan Garcia to join the seminar email list.

    School of Rock Teacher Research Experiences The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program ? U.S. Implementing Organization offers hands-on research experiences for earth and ocean science teachers at the laboratories of the Gulf Coast Repository located at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. During School of Rock research experiences, July 22-28, 2007, educators will have daily opportunities to conduct geological, physical and/or chemical analyses of sediment and hard-rock cores. Scientists will instruct participants on topics such as mid-ocean ridges, composition and structure of the oceanic crust, paleoceanography, and more. The workshop will also provide educators with time to brainstorm and begin planning classroom activities based on their research and new knowledge.

    Announcements and Invitations

    Ocean Literacy Presentation Available If you are presenting at a conference or workshop about the Ocean Literacy Campaign; the Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts; why teaching about the ocean is important; or how the ocean fits into the science curriculum, here is a helpful resource. The NMEA Ocean Literacy Committee has created a Powerpoint presentation for your use, complete with presenter's notes. Please be sure to acknowledge the authors and to blog your presentations.

    Marine Science Curriculum Reviewers Needed A few marine educators are needed to volunteer to review up to 5 marine science exercises written at the high school/ college non-majors level. Comments and feedback would be greatly appreciated. Contact Paul Detwiler for more information.

    Publication Opportunity Hands-on Oceanography provides an opportunity for you and your colleagues to publish teaching materials developed for undergraduate and/or graduate classes in oceanography. All submissions are peer- reviewed. Details are available at: The latest issue of Oceanography has a column on coastal processes and nutrients by Lisa Adams and George Matsumoto (Oceanography volume 20(1): 200- 204).

    Teacher Sabbatical in Washington, D.C. The Joint Oceanographic Institutions are seeking an enthusiastic teacher for a one-year sabbatical in Washington, D.C. The teacher will work with JOI Learning staff to develop ocean science curriculum, produce teacher-training workshops, and assist in conference logistics. The position requires a minimum of 3 years experience teaching science in the classroom, a strong background in earth or ocean sciences, and temporary relocation to Washington, DC. Strong computer skills are a plus. The deadline for application is April 20, 2007. Visit online for more information.

    Student Opportunities

    Shoals Marine Laboratory Summer Undergraduate Courses For 40 years, Shoals Marine Laboratory has specialized in undergraduate education in marine science and sustainability. Over the last two years SML's curriculum has been expanded to better serve students from all over the country. This summer, more than two dozen college- credit courses will be offered at the facility on Appledore Island, Maine. View SML's complete list of college credit courses for Summer 2007.

    SEA Seminars for High School Students Sea Education Association (SEA) offers three distinct three- week-long programs for high school students interested in the sea, science, and sailing. Modeled after SEA?s college program, SEA Semester, the high school summer seminars consist of both shore and sea components. Time on shore is spent living in community and studying coastal ecology, general oceanography, navigation, and maritime history. The sea component is spent aboard one of SEA?s 134? brigantine sailing vessels, the SS/V Corwith Cramer or the SS/V Robert C. Seamans in either the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean, respectively. Students are immersed in all operations of a modern sailing research vessel: collecting scientific data, setting and striking sails, operating the ship?s diesel engine, and helping in the ship?s galley. Visit online for more information.

    Summer Camp in the Florida Keys The Partnering Archaeology with Science and Technology (PAST) Foundation is holding a summer camp in the Florida Keys for students, grades 9-10, July 22 - 28, 2007 in Key Largo, Florida. Students will explore the diverse aquatic ecosystems of this area, with snorkeling within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, learning how to catalog and monitor the shipwrecks, flora, and fish of the area. Students will meet professionals who work to protect the parks and sanctuaries, and apply their knowledge about the region?s ecosystems to issues confronting the sustainability of the protected resources. The deadline for application is June 1, 2007. Visit online for more information.

    Marine Technology Society Club The Marine Technology Society has launched the Marine Technology Society Club, a free club for students (grades 6-12) who have a thirst for knowledge about technology and the oceans. Club members will receive a bimonthly newsletter featuring information on careers, academics, student programs, and stories about technology and the people who use technology to investigate and understand the oceans. Members will also have access to a directory of experts, where they can ask questions regarding specific topics in the industry.

    Gulf Coast Research Laboratory College Courses The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Lab (GCRL) is now registering for marine biology college field courses to be offered at the GCRL this summer. Courses offered May 29- June 20 are marine biology, marine mammals, shark biology and marine ichthyology. June 21-July 13 courses are oceanography, marine invertebrate zoology, marine ecology and marine biology for teachers. Students who attend both terms can earn up to 12 semester hours of science credit. Options are also available for upperclassmen to conduct independent research under the direction of a GCRL scientist. Research areas with a marine focus include aquaculture, biodiversity, ecology, education, fisheries, pathology and toxicology. For information visit online or call (228) 872-4200.


    Right Whale Lectures A series of right whale lectures continues in both Boston and Brewster (Cape Cod) during April, sponsored by the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society. CSI Right Whale: A forensics look into the issues impacting right whales will be presented in Boston April 9 by Dr. Michael Moore of WHOI. The Urban Whale: North Atlantic Right Whales at a crossroads will be presented April 11 (Brewster) and April 23 (Boston) by Dr. Scott Kraus and Dr. Roz Rolland of the New England Aquarium. Visit the sanctuary home page for a copy of the program flyer

    Earth Week Beach Sweep Join New England Aquarium staff to clean our beaches in honor of Earth Day. Learn interesting facts about beach pollution and the creatures that inhabit our waters. Supplies will be provided (gloves, bags, water). The local communities will dispose of the trash. Come prepared ? it is cooler on the beaches than elsewhere. Waterproof boots, warm jackets and rain gear are suggested. Look for the New England Aquarium banner at the beach of your choice and join the fun!

    April 18: Wollaston Beach, Quincy

    April 19: Revere Beach

    April 20: Carson Beach, South Boston

    April 21: Duxbury Beach

    Sweeps will take place from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Participants who contribute at least an hour of their time will receive a free pass to the Aquarium. For more information, contact Vickie Cataldo .

    Meet the Crew of the Danish Research Vessel Vaedderen Thursday, April 12, 7:00 PM, in the Café, Main Building, New England Aquarium. The Danish vessel Vaedderen will visit Boston on its last leg of a year-long research expedition. The scientists have been studying biology, geology, history, culture, climate and the environment. They have traveled from Denmark to Greenland, Cape Town, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, the Galapagos, through the Panama Canal to the Caribbean and then to Boston. Hear about their research and adventures. The crew of nearly 100 includes scientists, journalists, photographers, TV crew members, students, teachers and seamen. The Danish Environment Minister, Connie Hedegaard will also be attending the lecture. The lecture is free but you need to pre- register. As an additional treat, the ship will be open free to visitors on Saturday, April 14 from 1-4PM at the Charlestown Navy Yard, Pier 1, next to the USS Constitution.

    Celebrate Science in the City at the first annual Cambridge Science Festival, presented by the MIT Museum. This public celebration runs from Saturday April 21 through Sunday April 29, showcasing Cambridge's contributions to science and technology. It features 9 days of science-and technology-related events, including creative exhibitions, plays, animals, robots, concerts, lectures, debates, and demonstrations. A multifaceted event based on themes including Innovations, Science & the Arts, Energy & the Environment, and Science of Everyday Life, the Festival makes science accessible, interactive and FUN, and highlights the excitement of discovery and the impact of science in all our lives.


    Herring Gut Learning Center, an aquaculture and marine science education center located in Port Clyde, Maine, has current openings for Director and Environmental Education Summer Intern. The job descriptions are available online or write to for more information.

    Summer Jobs in Puget Sound Salish Sea Expeditions is currently hiring for Deckhand and Marine Science Educator positions. Salish Sea Expeditions was founded in 1994 and is a marine science educational organization that introduces 5th- 12th grade students to Puget Sound and marine science through a two- to five-day research project, which is conducted from the decks of a sailboat. For more information visit the website or contact Lori Mitchell, Education Director, (206)780-7848.

    NOAA Career Website NOAA has announced the unveiling of a new comprehensive recruitment website that highlights career opportunities at NOAA. The website showcases a variety of career fields and allows a search for current vacancies by location or nationwide. In addition, the website offers links to student opportunities.

    Educator Resources

    Ocean Literacy Presentation Available If you are presenting at a conference or workshop about the Ocean Literacy Campaign; the Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts; why teaching about the ocean is important; or how the ocean fits into the science curriculum, here is a helpful resource. The NMEA Ocean Literacy Committee has created a Powerpoint presentation for your use, complete with presenter's notes. Please be sure to acknowledge the authors and to blog your presentations.

    Listserv for Marine Educators "Scuttlebutt", the Bridge discussion list, provides a forum for marine educators to talk informally about marine education ideas, issues, and questions. The Bridge staff monitors list activity and will assist in locating expertise to answer questions that teachers post to the list, as needed. All educators and scientists interested in marine science education are invited to subscribe. The list does not provide research services for students' assignments. Visit The Bridge to sign up.

    Online Shipboard Expedition to the Tropical Atlantic Follow a team of oceanographers to the western tropical Atlantic Ocean as they work to decode the complicated interactions among the ocean, atmosphere and global climate at 15°N, 51°W. As they trek across the ocean you can peer into their world by reading their blog, scanning images, asking questions and discovering what shipboard life is like hundreds of miles out to sea. Trace their voyage as they navigate offshore of the Caribbean islands from April 14th-28th. Experience the trade winds and warm waters as scientists uncover the mysteries of the tropical Atlantic. Join Mission 1551 or contact Karinna Sjo- Gaber with any questions.

    OAA?s Ocean Exploration Program is pleased to announce that additional data sets have been added to the Mapping Deep-Sea Habitats Lesson Plan, available online. The Appendix A ? Supplemental Data Sets added to this lesson plan contains two additional authentic bathymetric survey data sets, allowing students to create two-dimensional topographic maps and three-dimensional models of the Blake Ridge (a ridge/bank feature) and Hudson Canyon (a submarine canyon), in addition to the original activity involving Loihi Volcano (a submarine volcano). These data sets were added in response to requests from teachers who wanted to use this lesson plan in conjunction with the A Watered-down Topographic Map lesson plan activity available online. The original lesson plans are also available in ?Learning Ocean Science Through Ocean Exploration? curriculum book, available online. Both of these lesson plans are excellent resources when teaching geological features, mapping, ocean exploration, and the technology of ocean exploration (National Science Education Content Standards A, D, E, and G).

    Ocean Book of the Month Each month, The Ocean Project will highlight a book focused on our blue planet or environmental sustainability. Books for all age groups, non-fiction and fiction, prose and poetry will be covered.

    The Wyland Ocean Challenge: Clean Water for the 21st Century was created during the 1998 International Year of the Ocean to restore the quality of the world's waters by fostering a sense of responsibility in the next generation through art and science education. During the last seven years, the program has been expanded to provide more hands- on, interactive activities through a joint partnership between the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (UCSD), the Birch Aquarium at Scripps, and the Wyland Foundation. The Wyland Ocean Challenge is designed to instruct and inspire young people everywhere about marine science and the conservation of water quality on our planet. The online curriculum and teachers? guide meet all national science standards and are downloadable from any classroom around the world.

    Bridge?s NOAA Collection The Bridge now offers a special NOAA collection. This easy access collection includes more than 145 resources which have been reviewed by the Teacher Reviewers of On-Line Learning (TROLLs). The collection includes a roll-over navigation menu and a search engine, which allows for selection of resource by grade and resource type. The navigation menu is arranged by topic, including all science disciplines, habitat, virtual expeditions, and more. Each NOAA resource in the collection features the link to the resource, a brief description, the grade levels for which the resource is appropriate, and a related image.

    State Resources List The Environmental Literacy Council is developing state-by-state resource lists of local environmental education centers, parks, museums and natural resource agencies. The site can offer teachers a single place to start planning a field trip, contact experts, and more. The pages are still in development, and your suggestions are welcomed. Send them information about training opportunities, environmental education centers, and good sources of information for your local community. And check out what they?ve got for your state.

    Anatomy of Sea Turtles The Anatomy of Sea Turtles is available for downloading in English and Spanish. The manual provides background information, reference photos of normal anatomy, and diagrams. Species identification, standard dissection techniques, standard measurements, and basic anatomy are covered with a diverse audience in mind. Hard copies in English are no longer available, and only a limited number of Spanish hard copies remain.

    Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS) is a program of the Lawrence Hall of Science, the public science education center at the University of California at Berkeley. They offer specialized professional development workshops, an international support network, and science and math curriculum for teachers of grades pre-K thru 8. They have more than 70 teacher?s guides, a series of home activity kits, online activities and videos, an email newsletter, and more. GEMS offers a broad range of earth and ocean science related science units, including On Sandy Shores, Only One Ocean, and Ocean Currents. GEMS is also introducing a line of integrated science and literacy curricula entitled Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading, to be published by Delta Education, which will launch Fall 2007 with the title Shoreline Science.

    Project Evaluation Website Updated The National Marine Sanctuary's California B-WET Program has completed the second phase of the Education Project Evaluation website. The website includes information on how to plan, design, implement, and report on evaluation of your education project, along an evaluation overview and links to helpful resources.

    New JOI Learning Site JOI Learning develops programs and materials based on scientific research expeditions to strengthen students' mathematics, science and analytical skills for a lifetime of learning. Their vision of Teaching for Science, Learning for Life plays on the ability of scientific ocean drilling to provide a multidisciplinary approach to earth science education. The goal is to equip educators to teach about the earth using all the education disciplines ? from chemistry, physics, biology and math to engineering and technology to reading and writing. Using the world around us as a model or example for the other sciences provides a way to teach about the earth, even without a dedicated earth science class. Furthermore, it presents an archetype of how we can equip students to be better decision-makers, problem solvers, science-literate citizens and stewards of our planet.

    The next issue of Notes will be sent on April 19, 2007. If you have news or announcements of interest to members of the New England ocean science education community, please send to Catherine Cramer.

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