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New England Ocean Sciences Education Collaborative  



Ocean Science Literacy Summit November 4, 2006

University of Massachusetts Boston

November 4, 2006





Note:  To reflect the enthusiasm demonstrated by Summit attendees toward working together in the future, these proceedings begin with the closing discussion of the Summit, where we considered next steps for NEOSEC.  Consider these the outcome of the work carried out in breakout sessions and panel discussion that took place earlier in the day, possible actions that will promote Ocean Science Literacy in New England.

Joint Session: Where do we go from here?

Many, many ideas were offered – on flipcharts stationed around the room, during group discussion, and in attendees’ program evaluations – to meet the needs identified throughout the day. 

The group discussion focused on setting NEOSEC’s goals for the next year.  Attendees suggested that NEOSEC should:


  • Gather real stories, examples of what has worked, and program templates produced by member organizations.  Rather than disseminate these on an ad-hoc basis, NEOSEC should consider compiling these materials as a package, perhaps an Annual Report on Ocean Science Education in New England with a map showing regional coverage. 
  • Specifically identify its target audiences for ocean sciences education, and determine their needs.  For example, should science teachers/district science coordinators be a target audience?  If so, state-wide science teachers’ associations should hear from NEOSEC about the importance of ocean science literacy, and NEOSEC should learn from them how it fits into existing curricula. 
  • Conduct more outreach regarding ocean science literacy, perhaps associated with events already on the calendar – World Oceans Day, the National Marine Educators Association’s Annual Meeting.  Consider using online conferencing to facilitate additional outreach and training.
  • Facilitate collaboration across boundaries – connect science teachers with humanities teachers, and informal educators with education administrators, for example.
  • Consider raising funds to support existing programs – a bus-money fund, for example, to help teachers visit informal education centers.  


Postings on flipcharts identified outstanding issues and needs that NEOSEC should consider in planning next steps:


  • Have higher ed outreach programs survey teachers before developing programs.
  • Publish lists of NSF-funded researchers and their areas of research so that high school teachers can offer research scientists the opportunities for outreach.
  • Hold summer curriculum-writing workshops, with stipends for teachers.
  • Informal education institutions want to share resources, but not all teachers can get students there (e.g., buses, limits on field trips)


  • New England (and whole East Coast) has continuous coastline, yet it crosses political boundaries. Is this an impediment to providing educational resources?
  • Target 12-16 year olds; then they will major in oceans.


Evaluations revealed additional recommendations in response to survey questions; responses are grouped here by type of action proposed:

Question:  Given that NEOSEC is a New England-based, regional collaborative, what do you think should be the focus of the group’s work?  What are the most important steps for NEOSEC to include in its Action Plan?


  • Continued collaboration, interconnecting,  & networking; additional summits; facilitate information exchange and sharing; align complementary efforts among stakeholders from many disciplines – economics, health, environment; link up with other regional collaboratives
  • Compile existing resources, including online resources, event listings, into a searchable clearinghouse
  • Deliver services that meet existing needs, for example future meetings of this group, summer sessions to help (not only science) teachers write lesson plans, create regional education programs that can be used by both formal and informal educators, and set a date to do more.
  • Make ocean awareness a regional priority, by establishing a distinctive voice/name/brand, and using media and events wisely (a la NASA).



Keynote Speech: 

- Wally Broecker, Columbia University


Wally challenged attendees to think big and act fast to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide buildup that exacerbates global warming.  Paleoclimate records and evidence of ancient droughts and floods provide a hint as to one of our possible futures, anticipated by Dr. Broecker, of drastic redistribution of rainfall, if not a slowdown or shift in the ocean’s global conveyor system.

Current efforts to reduce fossil fuel use and shift energy sources are either too little, too late, or yet too undeveloped to halt CO2 buildup, Wally asserted.  He advocates capturing atmospheric CO2 using technologies devised and promoted by Klaus Lackner (Dr. Broecker’s colleague at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory), and burying it using one of several disposal options, including marine disposal.

Dr. Broecker recently published these ideas in the Chinese Science Bulletin, an article titled Global warming: Take action or wait? 


Concurrent Sessions:  The Basics

A: Introduction to Ocean Science Literacy & Principles

- Bob Chen, UMass Boston


Bob Chen described the impetus for and results of a national effort to define ocean science literacy and identify concepts that are essential to ocean science literacy.  Session attendees worked in small groups to develop their own consensus for the key components of Ocean Science Literacy, including incorporating national standards, addressing the need for a common direction for informal and formal educators, lending itself to marketing for a place in the curriculum, establishing a common language, setting out charismatic and integrated principles, and maintaining fundability. Bob then described the national process and shared its results:   Ocean literacy is an understanding of the ocean’s influence on you and your influence on the ocean; an ocean-literate person:

  • Understands the essential principles and fundamental concepts about the functioning of the ocean
  • Can communicate about the ocean in a meaningful way
  • Is able to make informed and responsible decisions regarding the ocean and its resources

Additional work was targeted toward vertical alignment with different learning levels and age groups, concept flows of which can be accessed here.  When the session’s small groups worked to list concepts about the ocean that all should know, those concepts included the ocean’s effects on weather, climate, and ultimately human health; oceans as a source of life through energy and nutrient cycling; the concept that the health of the biosphere depends on the health of the ocean; and the importance of phytoplankton. Bob reminded all that individual words become important when setting out national, all-inclusive standards.  An online workshop and survey of 100 ocean scientists produced this list of the seven Essential Principles:

  • There is one big ocean with many features
  • The ocean and life in the ocean shape the features of the earth
  • The ocean is a major influence on weather and climate
  • The ocean makes the earth habitable
  • The ocean supports a great diversity of organisms and ecosystems
  • The ocean and humans are inextricably linked
  • The ocean is largely unexplored

For more information, visit the Ocean Science Literacy Network.

B: Introduction to New England science education standards - where and why do ocean sciences fit?

- Mark Wiley, UNH Sea Grant Program

As a companion to this session, summit attendees recieved a printout of an article from the September 2006 issue of The Science Teacher entitled 'The Need for Ocean Literacy in the Classroom.' A .pdf version can be found here.

Mark Wiley articulated and discussed two questions for session attendees:

  1. How do we become part of the process of teaching and learning, relative to science ed standards?
  2. Why does Ocean Sciences(OS) have a valuable place in pre-K-12?


The US Ocean Commission and Pew Report both state need to expose children to ocean science beginning in kindergarten. Study shows students in integrated environmental programs (environment-based education) outperform peers in traditional programs. Students exposed to OS programs have been shown to perform better in other areas.

The standards-based movement came from the business community, who noticed that students were under-performing in science and math, and cited their need for a better-performing workforce.  In the process of searching for ways to attain better performance, there was a big change from norms-based teaching – comparing kids to each other – to standards-based, where students are compared to a standard.  Education policymakers are looking to establish performance standards, which can then be used to determine whether a given student has solid understanding of challenging subject matter, and can solve a wide variety of problems. An NSTA draft discussing the potential development of nationwide 'Science Anchors,' in order to develop a sense of national coherence in science education, can be found here.

Mark asserted that OS should not be another layer of content – he posited that there is too much content as it is, and as a result, we are teaching science knowledge that is broad and shallow. Ocean Science as a content area isn’t the way to go. Instead, he contended, we should help teachers understand how to use OS as a context for helping kids learn science. (And in the process, learn ocean science at the same time.)


Mark provided two specific ideas for how to proceed:


  1. Provide professional development on classroom teacher level, and create learning teams with facilitator that lead to ongoing work with teachers, not simply one-time workshops.  Such teams are made up of a group of teachers who gather so they can learn as peers, meet often, and visit each other’s classrooms.


  1. Develop curricula, instruction, assessment and supporting resources for teachers to help them utilize ocean sciences as engaging context for addressing science standards. Such materials should be designed and truly aligned to science standards. He advised against simply putting more marine stuff on websites.



C: Essentials for connecting scientists and educators

- Harold McWilliams, TERC

Harold McWilliams set out several questions to be considered by the participants, and facilitated discussion. The results:


  • Why connect scientists and educators?

To keep current; bring role models to the classroom; keep in touch with experts for content explanations for students; connect the topic to the real world; show students that “cool” jobs require science knowledge.


  • Who is doing this in our region?

COSEE-New England has developed a program, Telling Your Story, which provides scientists with different methods for bringing insights about the scientist’s life to the classroom, including  how research is carried out, the types of organizations in which scientists work, the importance of teamwork to increasing scientific knowledge, and the varied career paths to becoming a scientist. COSEE-NE has also compiled a listing of web resources to help with scientists' professional enrichment, which can be found here.


  • What models are being developed and used?

Bringing scientists to classrooms; bringing students to universities to watch and/or shadow scientists; brokering/facilitating connections between curricula and current research; bringing teachers to universities to collaborate on curricula, participate in research (summer fellowships).


  • What’s working well?

Place-based curricula tailored to the teachers’ needs, and resources available to them (e.g., clam flats).


  • How can we learn from each other and work together?

Websites and listservs are useful to K-12 educators who may be the sole marine science educator in their community.

Prior to this session, a survey was sent to approximately 600 scientists in order to gauge their perceptions about the level of support for educational outreach, and some of the ways support for outreach might be improved. The survey results also relate the reasons given by researchers for a lack of personal involvement in outreach programs. To view these reults, click here.

Concurrent Sessions: Incorporating Ocean Science Literacy Principles

D: Incorporating ocean sciences into state standards: New England case studies

- Abby Manahan, Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence – Ocean Systems

Abby Manahan provided an overview of the current status of ocean sciences in New England state education standards, summarized in the attached table.  Representatives from Maine and Connecticut detailed on the situation in their states:

Teaching Ocean Literacy to Maine's Students

- Gayle Bodge & Heidi Henninger, Gulf of Maine Research Institute

- Douglas Caldwell, South Portland Public Schools

Gayle and Heidi, Science Learning Specialists at GMRI, and Doug, a 5th grade teacher, presented their work to establish the LabVenture program at GMRI.   LabVenture is a discovery-based aquatic science education program that begins with a summer program and extends to a 4- to 8-week school curriculum.   Doug’s class was one of the first to implement the curriculum, which GMRI plans to bring to every 5th- and 6th-grade classroom in Maine. 

Ocean Literacy - Connecticut's Science Standards

- Lauren Rader, Project Oceanology

Lauren, a Marine Science Educator, presented her experience with Connecticut’s science education standards, which were recently revised to incorporate fewer than ten references to oceans, rivers, or Long Island Sound.  Nonprofit organizations, conferences, and individual teachers have been working to bring water back to the standards, especially in the following topic areas:


  • Earth materials have different physical and chemical properties.
  • Landforms are the result of the interaction of constructive and destructive forces over time.
  • In the design of structures there is a need to consider factors such as function, materials, safety, cost and appearance.


Session attendees agreed that the state is slipping behind, rather than leading the way, in setting out science standards.  Lauren asked that anyone with examples of connections between ocean sciences and these areas contact her at lrader@oceanology.org.


E: This just in: Relating cutting-edge research to ocean science literacy Principles

- Annette deCharon, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center & Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence – Ocean Systems

- Nick Wolff & Suzy Ryan, Census of Marine Life in Gulf of Maine

- Ruth Kermish-Allen, Education Outreach Coordinator from the Island Institute


In this session, researchers working on topics related to three specific ocean science literacy concepts described their work, and Annette deCharon of COSEE-OS led discussion of how this type of research could be disseminated to educators.

Regarding Principle 3, “The ocean is a major influence on weather and climate,” Annette described NASA’s Aquarius project.  In 2009 the satellite Aquarius will be launched to measure sea surface salinity, which in turn is a primary indicator of climate.  These salinity data will be incorporated into an education & public outreach program to promote better understanding of salinity-driven ocean circulation and its influence on climate and the water cycle.

Annette’s PowerPoint presentation is here; this website contains more information about Aquarius.

The work of the Census of Marine Life (COML) is directly related to Principle 5, “The ocean supports a great diversity of organisms and ecosystems.”  The Gulf of Maine COML is one of 17 Census projects that make up a global network of researchers in more than 70 nations engaged in a ten-year initiative to assess and explain the diversity, distribution, and abundance of marine life in the oceans - past, present, and future, including an effort to educate the public about humankind’s impact on, and relationship with, the constantly changing condition of life in the world’s oceans.  Suzy Ryan and Nick Wolff are revising the Gulf of Maine COML website, due for release December 2006, which will incorporate tools for OS education. 

Suzy and Nick’s PowerPoint presentation is here; visit the website for more information.

Ruth Kermish-Allen presented the Island Institute’s work related to ocean science literacy Principle 6, “The ocean and humans are inextricably linked.”  The Institute preserves people’s connections to the ocean by:


  • Supporting Maine’s island-based year-round communities;
  • Conserving Maine's island and marine biodiversity for future generations;
  • Developing model solutions that balance the needs of the coast's cultural and natural communities;
  • Providing opportunities for discussion over responsible use of finite resources, as well as information to assist competing interests in arriving at constructive solutions.


From the Institute’s website:

“The Institute's perspective is fundamentally ecological. It understands that all life is intimately linked with its environment; that people are therefore an inextricable part of the ecosystem of the Gulf of Maine; that there is an interdependent web of existence more evident on islands than in other communities and landscapes. It also recognizes that the maritime culture of islands fundamentally depends on the ecological health and productivity of the surrounding marine environment. To imagine Maine and its islands without a productive lobster fishery, for instance, is like viewing the American prairie without the buffalo.”

Finally, session attendees listed recommendations for connecting research and researchers with educators and the public: 


  • Emphasize that there is an obligation to share research results with others
  • NEOSEC should facilitate sustained conversations/connections between educators and/or educators + researchers (e.g., "feedback loop").  Currently, there is no way for scientists to know how their research is being used.
  • NEOSEC could compile examples and models of useable classroom materials, along with contact and funding information for the scientists involved, to publish on a website. There was consensus that a webpage should be moderated to have quality control
  • Website should "add value" by assigning grade levels, specifying the context(s) where models for research-educator interactions have succeeded
  • Can provide a mechanism where a scientist can say "My research fits into this OL principle..."
  • Regional science centers often look for information on ocean research
  • Leveraging device for researchers to participate in classrooms (e.g., can use to justify audience needs for NSF Criterion 2, which requires education and outreach)
  • Classroom teachers are overwhelmed by how much is out there
  • Centralizing what educational resources are available (e.g., www.dlese.org Digital Library for Earth Systems Education)
  • List of databases available, the teachers know what to do with it but want them accessible (e.g., NASA Global Change Master Directory, GMBIS and OBIS available through www.coml.org )
  • Transfer ideas to other regional conferences such as GoMMEA and NMEA. Ten-minute presentation format keeps the audience's interest but is somewhat overwhelming. Future conferences could have two 15-min presentations followed by discussion.


Finally, participants identified pertinent issues, and expressed interest in pursuing these in the future.  They anticipate that NEOSEC can work to expand this list and connect people who care about the same issues:


  • Directory of data on web for educators
  • Availability of data and resources
  • Success and challenges with informal education projects
  • Researcher-educator collaborations
  • Informal education projects
  • Research experiences for teachers


F: The Wow factor: storytelling for grades K-12 using ocean science literacy Principles

- John Anderson, New England Aquarium

- Sarah Peattie, The Puppet Collaborative

John Anderson, Education Director for the New England Aquarium, opened the session by inviting participants to consider the power of stories to convey information. The purpose of the session was to encourage educators and scientists interested in promoting ocean literacy to consider how using stories could help.

He shared a few brief examples of the power stories can have from “Tales: You Win” in Free Range Thinking, September 2006 (pdf available here).

John encouraged participants to consider both the power and positive use of stories and about potential pitfalls, including the potential for audiences to misunderstand information and for stories to lead to “ecophobia”—a term coined by David Sobel of Antioch New England.  Ecophobia is the idea that young children may hear stories of environmental problems and become fearful about them and overwhelmed rather than empowered to act constructively. As a general guideline, Sobel encourages educators to avoid presenting stories of global environmental catastrophe to students before fourth grade.

John used as an example a recent scientific story about the risk of declining global fish stocks due to degradation of aquatic ecosystems. A volunteer read the scientific abstract. The language was clearly not in a story form and would clearly be uninformative to a general audience.

Sarah Peattie, who directs a network of puppeteers and performers, picked up from the confusion of the abstract and led a discussion about transforming that inaccessible information into the form of a story. She asked participants to consider how the intended audience could affect the development of information into a story.  And she encouraged everyone to consider potential character voices that might become part of the story. Could the story be told from the perspective of a fish? Or a fisherman? Or a grocery store buyer trying to supply a store?

Sarah explained that most stories fall into one of four basic forms or include variations and combinations of these basic forms:

  • Epic journey – like The Odyssey
  • Transformation – like Cinderella or Harry Potter
  • A Quandary – like Hamlet
  • Love story – like Romeo and Juliet


Assuming the central voice is a fish, Sarah invited everyone to think about what the fish would be doing.  Would it be in love? Would it be transformed? Would it be on a journey? Would it be facing a moral or ethical challenge?

John and Sarah shared some tools for engaging pre-K-12 students, including:

  • Creation/design projects that build on current understanding, e.g., “design a rocky shore animal.”
  • Visual imaging, e.g., using online undersea photos.
  • Projecting future conditions, e.g., imagine yourself as a marine scientist.
  • Transfer control over outcomes, e.g., “what types of things would you like to know about the ocean?”
  •  Stories from an animal’s point of view, e.g., Linus Loon <http://www.maine.gov/spo/mcp/resources/linus/index.php>
  • Life-cycle descriptions, e.g., following a drop of water through the water cycle, including its detour through storm drains, etc..


Panel Discussion:  What will it take to reach Ocean Science Literacy?

Assessing needs, sharing resources

- Amy Holt Cline, UNH Coastal Observing Center, Moderator

To begin the discussion, panelists described their own motivations and interests in ocean literacy:

- Beth Daley, Science writer, Boston Globe

Beth Daley’s (BD’s) responsibilities as environmental reporter cover a whole range of topics, but the ocean has been most fruitful.  Two motivations for a newspaper to cover ocean issues are conflict (fishing, energy siting, and pipelines) and “oh wow,” e.g., manatees in Cape Cod waters and salp-coated beaches. (Click here for an article written by Beth describing a study that links man-made factors to hurricane intensity)


- Jake Foster, Massachusetts Department of Education

Jake Foster’s (JF’s) specialty is developing state standards and formulating assessments, and is very aware of the realities facing teachers who try to incorporate novel materials into their teaching.


- Ambrose Jearld, Jr., National Marine Fisheries Service/Northeast Fisheries Science Center

Growing up in a family of teachers, Ambrose Jearld (AJ) was destined to become an educator himself.  He is now director of academic programs, and a champion of efforts to broaden opportunities for diverse audiences.

- Mark Wiley, UNH Sea Grant Program

Mark Wiley (MW) directs the Marine Docent program for UNH Sea Grant, a relatively new role that builds on his past experience developing standards and teaching.

- Lauren Rader, Project Oceanology (CT)

Lauren Rader (LR) has been learning about the ocean ever since she was a young child.  She enjoys helping others learn through field experiences, just as she did.

Following the introductions, Amy Holt Cline (AHC) led the panelists in a lively discussion with attendees covering several overarching questions:


  1. The definition of ocean science literacy, as developed by the national working group is, “an understanding of the ocean’s influence on you and your influence on the ocean,” further defined by the seven Essential Principles.  Is there more to it than that?


Panelists highlighted additional considerations, including setting out performance measures, helping people making personal connections to the principles, and making sure that all audiences are addressed.  Attendees pointed out that adding the definition of an ocean literate person to the description of ocean literacy starts to complete this picture, and reminded everyone that ocean science literacy is one piece of the larger Science Literacy puzzle. (Click here to view an article, distributed to summit attendees, relating the results of a survey asking college students about their interest in and knowledge about the ocean as related to the seven Essential Principles).


  • Are we reaching the broadest audiences possible in teaching ocean science? If not, who are we missing, and how can we reach them?


JF thinks that even in the case of students, we are not reaching all.  Massachusetts teachers in inland areas, for example, do not see the importance of coastal issues.  MW agreed that all children in New England should have the opportunity to experience the ocean first-hand, but many of them do not.  LR added that in Connecticut, teachers are not encouraged to incorporate water resource issues into their classrooms.  BD highlighted citizen scientists as an overlooked audience; AJ reminded everyone to start where people are, and each audience will be starting from a different place.  This makes it relatively simple to identify opportunities for partnerships among novel and nontraditional partners, e.g., between informal education institutions and family service providers.  Another barrier:  not all audiences have the technology or know-how to access information.

Attendees noted that state and local standards are limiting access to school audiences.  Informal education institutions and parents are allies in any effort to expand and reach those audiences.


  1. Research tells us that all regions contribute to the deterioration of our oceans and coasts. Given this, how do we engage inland states and communities to understand and appreciate their ties to the ocean?


Panelists and attendees cited many opportunities and tools for engaging inland audiences, including:


  • Aquaria (install one in every state!) and other informal education institutions
  • Watersheds as connections (e.g., how can a pig farm can cause a coastal algal bloom?)
  • Food and water security as a hook
  • Making connections between limnology & oceanology teaching
  • Distribute news stories that reflect connections between the ocean and people – weather, natural disasters especially – more widely
  • Produce CSI: Gulf of Maine – make ocean sciences the next forensic sciences
  • Provide journalists with story ideas
  • Apply the “spaceship earth” metaphor
  • Charismatic fauna (e.g., penguins)
  • Blogs and videoconferences that connect students from the coast to inland peers; distance learning
  • Use economics to make connections
  • Assign projects (e.g., writing assignments) that ask students to make their own connections


  1. What are the best assets within the NE region that we could be applying toward increasing ocean literacy? How can we utilize these assets more effectively?    


AJ asserted that there are many important resources in New England (Woods Hole, COSEEs, etc.), but that each are working on their own, in silos.  Along the same lines, he wondered if there are productive connections that can be made between natural and social scientists.   BD pointed out that the academic institutions often come to mind first, but that commercial research institutions also utilize and apply ocean sciences.  Energy siting corporations have an interest in having an educated public, as well.  LR listed several education associations – the regional Marine Educators Association chapters, e.g. – and advised that NEOSEC engage these existing organizations.  JF reminded everyone that National Science Foundation-funded scientists are required to carry out education & outreach, and suggested educators become more proactive in seeking out their help.  State & federal content institutes are also potential funding sources.  MW advised everyone to use the Cooperative Extension and Sea Grant programs as entrees into universities, especially for collaborations across scientific disciplines.


  1. Where do you/would you like to see ocean science literacy in 5 or 10 years?


BD envisioned being able to write many more stories about the ocean, to increase and meet the public’s interest in it.  LR would like ocean science literacy and Science Literacy integrated; JF agreed that Science Literacy will be in a better place because of stepped efforts based on technology.  One technology-based system, GOMOOS, was cited by MW as a key to increased ocean science literacy.  AJ hopes that we will be able to reach more audiences in the next 5 or 10 years.  All agreed that NASA has been able to promote space travel with money and good public relations – and that NOAA should have at least a fraction of those resources to do the same.

Existing resources & commitments

Before the Summit adjourned, attendees were asked to share existing Ocean Education resources they have or will develop by recording them on a 3”x5” card and dropping the cards in a collection box.  The results are recorded here:


  • We are making an effort to train our staff (at the Seacoast Science Center) and our volunteers/interns about ocean literacy and how they can incorporate different aspects of it into our current and future programs.


  • School Outreach programs: ½ hour to 1 hour, covering various topics; Teacher Workshops – 1 day long to summer content institutes; Public Exhibits, facilitation of scientist outreach and connection with teachers and audiences; Lecture Series


  • Ocean Literacy Resource: Online set of marine science and nautical science lesson plans: www.sea.edu. Go to “academics” and “teachers”.


  • Aligning the programs of the UNH Marine Docent program to the Ocean Literacy principles and concepts


  • Educators, please contact me at Census of Marine life, Gulf of Maine Area Program: www.coml.org, under ‘projects’ click ‘GoMA’. Let me know how I can help.


  • I tell stories of ocean research and researchers as a way to draw readers into new understanding of the ocean.


  • I am working on creating a partnership between my school district, a higher ed institution, and a corporate sponsor for an “ocean science academy” for teachers and students.


  • From this summit, I hope to include and “touch on” some of the ocean literacy concepts in my interpretive programs.


  • Creating educational materials that are relevant and guided by OL in the hopes that teachers will have the opportunity /ability to teach science using ocean examples.


  • We are improving Ocean Literacy – by communicating to children the importance of their environment, how it relates to them, and hopefully helping them to have informed opinions and decisions.


  • Connecting students to ocean via the Hudson River Watershed and estuarine studies. Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve (HRNERR) website has interesting resource links. HRNERR “Headquarters” is in Tivoli Bay, NY – with sites up and down the Hudson River.


  • Working to develop and apply underwater and information technologies to bring the wonder, beauty and complexity of the underwater world to the classrooms and living rooms.


  • Our school district (Kittery, ME) partners with a local business and six other districts to enhance our curricula and instruction so through KODA (Kittery Trading Post Outdoor Academy) our students can learn more about the environment (including the ocean), about lifelong recreation, and about giving back to the community (world/ocean) through science learning.


  • Walking field trips to local estuary with 6th grade students for water sampling and observation. My students have worked with this estuary’s environmental group to stencil storm drains running into the estuary.


  • I have made myself available to several informal education programs to help out with grant writing and program development.


  • Complete the k-5 flows for OL and start discussion on how to develop professional development to support OL.


  • Incorporating ocean science literacy principles into the curriculum of the new semester school for high school sophomore girls/coastal studies for girls.


  • Working to capture scientists’ and educators’ ideas on how the ocean system works, and share these using various tools and techniques.


  • I include oceanographic topics in my physics and biology classes. The Maury Project is a great resource for classroom teachers (American Meteorological Society) as is AMS Data stream.


  • Will bring literary pamphlets to school committee; will take students to field trips at Woods Hole, Bigelow, Darling and New England Aquarium; will do local news article to bring standards to local public


  • Providing hands-on inquiry-based experiences (boat, shore, and field-based) for grades 4-16; writing and implementing grant funded programs that focus on OL; develop and implement professional development programs that focus on OL; working on developing pre-service teacher training program with OL


  • Providing hands-on direct ocean experiences by partnering with organizations such as the Harbor Islands Alliances, North Eastern University, Project Oceanology, and Ocean’s Classroom.


  • We pair ocean scientists and teachers; Ocean Science Educator Institute; POSE Conference (partners in ocean sciences education)


  • I have added a section on fluid dynamics to my physics class. I also present the concept of the ocean conveyer belt. I will add content on global CO2 budget and removal to Deep Ocean.


  • Groton Systemwide Program for Grade 4 Mystic Aquarium has a program entitled Ocean Literacy and Observation of Marine Animals. Students participate in a two-part program. Aquarium educators visit all the grade 4 glasses, of which there are 18 this year. We introduce the Long Island Sound and its location. We discuss writing about plants and animals of Long Island Sound, using observation and description. They then visit the Aquarium to observe animals—the goal is for them to write a fictional story, using factual information (part of the CMT testing). When tested, student should be able to write a short fictional story.


  • We are currently using the Ocean Literacy standards in our programs offered to both school children and teachers.


  • Our facility teachers Oceanographic classes for pre-k through 12. The ocean science literacy will help in improving our curriculum. I recommend www.rightwhaleweb.org as a good resource.


  • The international Census of Marine Life is a global effort to increase knowledge and awareness of biodiversity and ecosystems throughout the world’s oceans. Some specific efforts include: Working with the Smithsonian on “Oceans” exhibit; Collaborating with filmmaker Jacques Parrin on Oceans Film; Offering resources on COML.org website.


In addition, the Summit evaluation included an opportunity for attendees to consider their own institution’s opportunities, with the question, “What steps do you feel you and your organization can take to promote the use of the Ocean Science Literacy Principles to educate people about the importance of the oceans?”  Attendees’ answers are grouped below according to self-identified stakeholder group.


Informal educators:

  • Getting our staff to think bigger/use OL principles (n = 2)


Formal educators:

  • Get kids to notice and care about our seacoast & ocean, and see the earth as a finite planet of interconnectedness
  • Contact (personal contact between “us & them”) professors who teach science education to future teachers (teaching the teachers)
  • Make connections into other disciplines
  • Continue work in my school district to influence local standards
  • More awareness among students & public at large
  • Already incorporated into the curriculum – marine research relates to the environment and economy


Science writers:

  • Write more books!
  • Facilitate teachers’ use of trade books involving research science
  • Facilitate scientists’ involvement in publishing


Science facilitators:

  • Keep working with NEOSEC
  • Help organize an “OL-related research in Northern NE Summit” (maybe at the next NMEA conference in Maine)
  • Align Maine Sea Grant’s educational programming to the ocean science literacy Principles
  • Develop new programs based on the content of extension programs that make connections between the issues they address and ocean science literacy.
  • Communicate ocean science literacy goals to Census of Marine Life associates around the globe & bring other COML projects to NE (e.g., NMEA conference next year).
  • Integrate oceans with climate change more thoroughly – both are very much connected, we need to help people see the relationship.


Education policy/administration:

  • Look at how ocean science literacy principles are included in our curriculum and promote their infusion.
  • Do my part to bring these principles into the classroom.



  • Collaborate with educators & curriculum designers so we can tailor our deliverables & products to meet their needs and communicate our scientific findings.
  • Teacher institutes pairing researchers with educators
  • Develop more programs for both general public & schools
  • Develop curriculum & show teachers how to tie it into science in the classroom.