New England Ocean Science Education Notes )
Number 13/May 18 2007
In This Issue:
  • News from Washington
  • Reports and Publications
  • Workshops, Seminars and Online Courses
  • Conference Announcements and Invitations
  • Grants
  • Student Opportunities
  • Events
  • Jobs
  • Educator Resources
  • Website of Note

  • News from Washington

    Capitol Hill Ocean Week 2007 This year's Capitol Hill Ocean Week will take place on June 5, 6, and 7. Now in its seventh year, this event will continue its tradition of bringing together a wide range of stakeholders to discuss ocean and coastal issues. Panel speakers will include Members of Congress, as well as representatives of federal and state governments, industry, academia, and nonprofits. More information about Capitol Hill Ocean Week 2007 is available online.

    Senate Panel Holds Hearing On The Threats To Marine Resources This week the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard held a hearing on the Effects of Climate Change and Ocean Acidification on Living Marine Resources. Testifying before the committee were representatives from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, NOAA, Stoney Brook University, World Wildlife Fund, Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, and the University of Alaska. Recent studies indicate that acidification highly impacts ocean ecosystems and could pose significant ecological and economic consequences. Admiral James Watkins, Co-Chair of the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative underscored the need for a federal ocean governance regime that encourages interagency coordination on ocean spending. He also pointed out many people fail to recognize the important role oceans play in regulating climate and the need to consider oceans in the climate change debate. The archived webcast contains additional details.

    Reports and Publications

    Students Benefit from Undergraduate Research Opportunities Undergraduate students who participate in hands-on research are more likely to pursue advanced degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, according to a new study. The study's authors state that National Science Foundation (NSF) and other entities' efforts to encourage representation of underrepresented groups in STEM fields appear to be effective. For example, students who entered 2-year colleges were as likely as those who entered 4-year colleges or universities to participate in research. And undergraduate researchers were more likely than non-researchers to pursue a doctorate. Read the summary for more information.

    Real-Time Seismic Monitor Installed on Growing Underwater Volcano Kick'em Jenny is its name, and for oceanographers working in the southeastern Caribbean Sea, this undersea volcano has been a handful. Now, a team of marine scientists funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and affiliated with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) may have figured out how to tame it. This week, the researchers will begin using radio telemetry to monitor the rumblings of Kick'em Jenny from a real-time seismic monitoring device installed on the volcano. Read the summary for more information.

    Antarctic Treasure Trove Found An extraordinarily diverse array of marine life has been discovered in the deep, dark waters around Antarctica. Scientists have found more than 700 new species of marine creatures in seas once thought too hostile to sustain such rich biodiversity. Groups of carnivorous sponges, free-swimming worms, crustaceans and molluscs were collected. The findings, published in the journal Nature, could provide insights into the evolution of ocean life in this area. Read the full story for more details.

    Deep Ocean Waters Don't Run Still To understand how our climate operates, we need a deeper understanding of how our ocean's operate. In particular, we need a deeper understanding of the oceans circulation in the abyss. Can sticky isotopes help us measure how water flows deep in the ocean? Read the complete article.

    Greenhouse Gas Stored in Oceans' Twilight Zone Climate experts have relied on the oceans to absorb enough of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide to slow global warming, but new research by an international team of scientists shows that the oceans may have little impact on changes in the atmosphere or climate. The research indicates that instead of sinking, carbon dioxide is often consumed by animals and bacteria and recycled in the "twilight zone," a dimly lit area 100 to 1,000 meters below the surface. Because the carbon often never reaches the deep ocean, where it can be stored and prevented from re-entering the atmosphere as a green-house gas, the oceans may not be able to perform the crucial role in greenhouse gas absorption and storage that has been assumed. The research, funded by the National Science Foundation, is the result of two international expeditions to the Pacific Ocean, and is reported in the April 27 issue of the journal Science. The study adds a new complication to proposals to mitigate climate change by fertilizing the oceans with iron. The iron was supposed to promote blooms of photosynthetic marine plants and transfer more carbon dioxide from the air to the deep ocean. Ken Buesseler, a biogeochemist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and lead author of the new study, noted that unless the carbon goes all the way down into the deep ocean and is stored there, the oceans will have little impact on climate change. Visit online for more information.

    Shifting Priorities Imperil Satellites Crucial to Tracking Climate Change Decades ago, a shift in NASA priorities sidelined progress in human space exploration. As momentum gathers to reinvigorate human space missions to the moon and Mars, we risk hurting ourselves, and Earth, in the long run. Our planet -- not the moon or Mars -- is under significant threat from the consequences of rapid climate change. Yet the changing NASA priorities will threaten exploration here at home. Read the full story.

    Access to the Waterfront: Issues and Solutions Across the Nation Fishermen forced off the docks in Alabama. Waiting lists for moorings in Massachusetts. Public paths to the beach blocked in California. Commercial waterfronts eclipsed by private residences in Maine. Coasts transformed by condominiums in North Carolina. Marinas and boat ramps crowded in Florida. These scenes are not featured on the postcards of today, yet they are real and they are happening all around the U.S. coastline, according to a report released by Maine Sea Grant. The full report is available online.

    New Handbook on Integrated Coastal and Ocean Management The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), together with numerous partners including NOAA, has produced a handbook for measuring the progress and outcomes of integrated coastal and ocean management. This handbook is now available online.

    PKAL Volume IV In the May 4, 2007 posting of PKAL Volume IV, pioneering educator P. Uri Treisman, in his 1993 paper for PKAL, poses some critical questions: How do we link local solutions to national problems? What can we learn from those who have solved particular problems in particular environments to advance local efforts toward reform? What are the characteristics of the students who will be learning in our STEM classrooms and labs? Craig Nelson examines the implications of Treisman's work for campuses seeking to celebrate student diversity and broaden participation in the study and practice of STEM fields. As with Treisman, he calls for fundamental changes in pedagogical paradigms, including to change from measuring teaching by what is taught to measuring what is learned. Eugenia Etkina and Jose Mestre outline implications of learning research for teaching science to non-science majors. Moving from a definition of constructivism, they conclude that [t]he autonomy felt by a student who can function like an investigative scientist is a great motivator. Read the posting.

    Breaking Waves is a daily digest of ocean news from more than 200 media sources around the world compiled by the World Ocean Observatory.

    Short Circuit Discovered in Ocean Circulation Scientists have discovered how ocean circulation is working in the current that flows around Antarctica by tracing the path of helium from underwater volcanoes. The details were published in Nature last week. The team of scientists, led by Alberto Naveira Garabato of the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton has discovered a 'short-circuit' in the circulation of the world's oceans that could help predictions of future climate change. This process in the Southern Ocean allows cold waters that sink to the abyss to return to the surface more rapidly than previously thought. This affects the Southern Ocean circulation, which links all the other oceans, and is also relevant to uptake and release of carbon dioxide by the sea - transport between the deep and surface waters in the Southern Ocean is particularly important for this process. The findings, presented in a paper in this week's issue of the journal Nature, show that much of the overturning circulation - how water moves and mixes vertically - around Antarctica takes place just around the tip of South America and in the small region in the Atlantic south of the Falklands, called the Scotia Sea. Leading author Dr Alberto Naveira Garabato, from the University of Southampton's School of Ocean and Earth Science at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, said that the findings represented an important shift in how scientists think that the ocean circulation is driven. Read the story.

    Workshops, Seminars and Online Courses

    The Microbial Sciences Initiative (MSI) announces a new summer teacher workshop: Windows to the Invisible Microbial World: Introduction to Microbial Sciences (June 25-27) at Harvard University. Presented by members of the MSI faculty, targeting middle school and high school science instructors (biology, chemistry, and physics), including lectures, hands-on demonstrations, and lab experiences. Applications due Mon, June 11, 2007. Applications available online.

    2007 PKAL Summer Institute Focusing on Leadership, Student Learning & Institutional Transformation. Westfields Marriott Washington Dulles, Chantilly, Virginia, June 13 - 16, 2007. Register now!

    MSU Teachers in Geosciences Program The Teachers in Geosciences program at Mississippi State University provides you with the opportunity to earn a Master of Science degree through distance learning. All of the core courses in meteorology, geology, astronomy, oceanography, hydrology, and environmental geoscience are taught online. The program concludes with a nine-day capstone field course taught during the summer at a variety of locations (including Yellowstone, Upstate New York, and the Bahamas). All students qualify for in-state tuition rates. It is not too late to apply for the Fall 2007 semester! Visit the website for additional information.

    Science and Engineering Program for Teachers RIDE announces the second annual Science and Engineering Program for Teachers (SEPT) will take place from June 25th through June 29th at the Coastal Institute located at the Narragansett Bay Campus of URI. This program will be simulcast live from MIT via interactive, telepresence technology. Included in the program are lectures from MIT and URI-GSO faculty as well as tours of the laboratories and other facilities at GSO. In addition to 40 RIDE contact hours participants can apply for credit in OCG930 at URI. Cost to participants is $90 for the week, which includes lunch and refreshments, payable at the first session. Workshop is limited to 50 participants and preference will be given to those who did not participate in SEPT '06. Application deadline is Thursday, June 21, 2007. Registration is available online.

    NOAA's Ocean Exploration Program at NMEA NOAA's Ocean Exploration Program will provide a professional development workshop for educators in conjunction with the National Marine Educators Association 2007 Conference in Portland Maine, Monday, July 23, 2007, 9:00 am - 3:30 pm. Join Dr. Valerie Chase, biologist and science education consultant , formerly with the National Aquarium in Baltimore, as you do inquiry- and standards-based activities tied directly to ocean expeditions. Receive a copy of the Learning Ocean Science through Ocean Exploration curriculum and CD-ROM's interpreting these multidisciplinary ocean discovery voyages using "new technological eyes" to study earth and life science on the ocean floor. Use these inquiry-based activities in biology, earth, physical, and marine science courses to connect your students to the excitement of NOAA Ocean Exploration as they travel from the Galapagos Rift to the Arctic Ocean, from Alaskan and New England seamounts to those in the Hawaiian Islands. Registration is free, but pre-registration is required and space is limited. A printed copy of the curriculum with CD-ROM's, Certificate of Participation, lunch, and more will be provided for each participant. Registration deadline is July 9, 2007.To register, send your name, home address, and e-mail address to Dr.Valerie Chase at: Dr. Chase will respond via e-mail with confirmation and location information.

    One NOAA Science Discussion Seminars This is a joint effort to help share science across NOAA. NOAA partners (so far): NODC, NOS, OHC, ARL, OHD, NMFS, NWS, NOAA Library, NCBO & Office of Ocean Exploration. For online public access (no login/password required) visit GoogleCalendar

    Conference Announcements and Invitations

    Five Special Strands Highlight Detroit NSTA Conference Come join NSTA at the Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan October 18-20 for three days of intense professional development. For educators who want to plan their program attendance, there are three strands (Technology, Science and Literacy, and Engineering) to help you schedule your time effectively. Registration information is available online.

    Informal Science (IS) at the Boston 2008 NSTA National Conference The Informal Science Division of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) will present a full day focusing on Informal Science (IS) at the Boston 2008 NSTA National conference. Informal Science Day is intended for all science educators: those directly involved in informal science education, and those interested in learning more about informal science education and its resources. The deadline for submitting proposals for Informal Science Day Boston 2008 is May 20, 2007. Submit your proposal online. For more information contact Elsa Bailey, Informal Science Division Director, at

    Fifth International Conference on Bioinvasions at MIT The Fifth International Conference on Marine Bioinvasions will be held on May 21-24, 2007 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA. Experts in marine invasive species from throughout the world will be attending to discuss the marine portion of biological invasions-what the magazine Nature billed as "the world's largest environmental problem" in 2003. The conference is co-sponsored by the MIT Sea Grant College Program, the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES), and the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES). For more information, visit online.


    Funding Available for Education Programs NOAA's Office of Education is requesting applications to establish an institutional award for the purpose of supporting a professional development program for educators that is designed to improve their knowledge of atmospheric and ocean sciences. For more information, read the funding announcement. In addition, NOAA is inviting applications for a technology-based science experiential learning program for 4th through 9th grade students and teachers. Additional details are provided in the funding announcement. The deadline for both proposals is 5pm EDT on June 7, 2007. For more information, contact or

    Student Opportunities

    Conservation Law Foundation is looking for advanced undergraduates, or a graduate student/post grads, who might be interested in an 8 to 10 week internship at CLF this summer. CLF is a small non-profit environmental advocacy organization with a variety of program areas that can be reviewed on the CLF website. Of particular interest are individuals with some background in science and/or engineering, and good writing skills. Science interns typically contribute to a variety of projects through directed literature research other assorted activities. For more information, contact John D. Crawford, PhD, Senior Scientist,

    Oceanography Explorers Day Camp at University of Rhode Island Youngsters entering grades 6-8 can participate in a unique and fun opportunity to learn oceanography during the summer. Each day, URI Outreach Scientists will cover basic oceanography concepts and escort campers into the field to examine marine life at both the microscopic and macroscopic levels. Excursions to several coastal sites in Southern Rhode Island, a cruise aboard a working research vessel, and a behind the scenes tour of the Mystic Aquarium and Institute for Exploration are all included. The camp runs from July 9 through July 20. To register, call 401-874-6211.


    Lecture at NEAq Tuesday, May 22 - 7:00 PM Is Global Warming Impacting North Atlantic Right Whales? presented by Robert Kenney, Ph.D, University of Rhode Island. For more information and to pre-register visit online.

    Sustainable Seafood Dinner at NEAq Enjoy a three course meal highlighting ocean-friendly seafood, paired with accompanying wines. Chef Tim Ridge will perform cooking demonstrations and Aquarium experts will discuss making smart seafood choices, Tuesday May 29, 7-10 PM. Visit online for more information.

    Save the Date: New England Ocean Science Education Collaborative (NEOSEC) Meeting Plan to join NEOSEC (host of the November 2006 Ocean Science Literacy Summit) for a Summit follow-up meeting on July 22, 2007 at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland Maine from 12 to 3pm (lunch provided). We will identify joint actions for the coming year, based on presentations from subcommittees currently considering options including:

    -Establishing an online resource-oriented compilation of programs implemented and offered each year around New England, which could then form the basis of an annual "show & tell" conference.

    -Establishing a distinctive voice/name/brand, and using media and events wisely to make ocean awareness a regional priority.

    -Identifying new audiences for Ocean Literacy, and means for reaching them (e.g., much as the existing OL brochure is targeted to formal educators).

    The meeting date and location coincide with Downeast 2007, the National Marine Educators' Association annual conference. Consider attending both! For more information, email Pam DiBona.


    The Woods Hole Research Center has a Research Associate position open with responsibilities in remote sensing and programming for analyzing and monitoring land-use change and informing ecosystem models applied to research on stream ecosystems, parks and protected area management, and ecosystem responses to climate change. The work is focused in the North America, including Alaska. The position will support projects related to the use of land cover and landscape change information in ecosystem models to assess hydrologic runoff and plant productivity. The application deadline is June 8, 2007. For more information see online

    Delaware Sea Grant Production Coordinator Marine and Earth Sciences Delaware Sea Grant and the University of Delaware College of Marine and Earth Studies have an exceptional opportunity for a Production Coordinator. Visit online for the position description.

    Educator Resources

    OceanGLOBE has field guides to plankton, marine mammals, and classroom activities. Everything on the website is available for anyone to use. To download the PowerPoint shows, e-mail Peggy Hamner at for the user name and password.

    Sea Stories, an online journal of creative writing and art about the world's oceans sponsored by Blue Ocean Institute, features contributions by ocean-lovers from all backgrounds and walks of life - writers, artists, educators, students, scientists, fishers, conservationists, explorers, and just regular people. Educators are invited to use Sea Stories in the classroom or as a publishing opportunity for yourself or your students.

    NSTA SciGuides Provide Teachers With Reliable Resources Whether you are looking for quality web resources on Force and Motion, Estuaries, or Organisms, NSTA's SciGuides may have just what you are looking for. A SciGuide is a classroom resource for science teachers interested in integrating the web into their teaching. Each guide consists of approximately 100 web-accessible resources (URLs) that have been aligned to the National Science Education Standards (NSES). These URL resources have been assembled in a thematic drill-down structure with linked lesson plans, vignettes, samples of student work, and MP3 files that demonstrate how the Guide's URLs can be used in a classroom. Ultimately, a SciGuide is a resource that helps educators focus on the task at hand by providing exemplary web resources. The complete article from the May issue of NSTA Reports is available online.

    The new Sea Grant acquisitions list for April 2007 is now available. Copies of these documents are usually available from the originating Sea Grant program or may be borrowed from the National Sea Grant Library. Some of these titles are currently available online, as well, and several others will be available electronically in the near future.

    NOAA's Ocean Service Education Website has just launched a new online tutorial, roadmap to data resources and formal lesson plans on ocean currents. The Ocean Currents Tutorial presents an overview of some of the major factors that cause coastal and open ocean currents including tides, winds, and changes in water temperature and salinity. Longshore, rip currents, and upwelling events are discussed in the context of the coastal environment. Coriolis, the Ekman spiral, and thermohaline circulation are discussed in relationship to the open ocean. Methods for measuring currents and their effects on our lives are also presented. Visit the Ocean Currents Tutorial online.

    The Roadmap to Resources presents data and information on ocean currents from NOAA's Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services, NASA's Physical Oceanography Program, Texas A&M University, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, University of Miami, as well as Rutgers and Columbia Universities. Additional educational resources are presented from The Bridge. View the Ocean Currents Roadmap to Resources online.

    Ocean Currents Lesson Plans Two inquiry-based, lesson plans emphasizing hands-on activities using online data, and correlated to National Science Education Standards have been developed for students at the high school level. The lessons: Motion in the Ocean and Ready, Set, Drift! focus on the causes of ocean currents and navigating in coastal ocean currents. Visit online to view the Ocean Currents Lesson Plans.

    NOAA Deploys First "Smart Buoy" to Support Chesapeake National Historic Water Trail The NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office has deployed its first "smart buoy" as part of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail - the nation's first water-based National Historic Trail. The buoy, positioned off Jamestown, VA, is the first observation platform to be launched as part of the Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System. The buoys collect chemical, optical, and physical observations, among others, and transmit them wirelessly in near-real time. These measurements, as well as historical and cultural information about the Bay, can be accessed online.

    International Polar Year Web Portal Offers E-mail Alerts for Educators Teachers can now sign up for e-mail alerts immediately informing them when news about federally funded educational materials, classroom resources and information about opportunities to assist scientists in the field is added to the U.S. government's Web portal for the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-2008. Launched in February, the newly redesigned interagency portal now offers two RSS (short for "Real Simple Syndication") feeds to the public--one on "news and features" and one on "educational resources." Once users have set up their computers to read the RSS feeds, they automatically will receive e-mails as new links are added to the portal.

    Ocean Tube: Movies and Animations COSEE-West is collaborating with the USC Division of Animation and Digital Arts to begin producing a series of animated shorts focused on ocean concepts and current research by USC ocean scientists. Check out some of the pilot movies created by DADA graduate students and ocean scientists!!

    Website of Note

    Encylopedia of Life The Marine Biological Laboratory is among the world's leading scientific institutions who recently announced the launch of the Encyclopedia of Life, an unprecedented global effort to document all 1.8 million named species of animals, plants, and other forms of life on Earth. For the first time in the history of the planet, scientists, students, and citizens will have multi-media access to all known living species, even those that have just been discovered.

    The next issue of Notes will be sent on June 07, 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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