Educators’ meeting

Chair Vicki Clark reported on a recent NMEA meeting discussing what we have done to address the Gulf oil spill and to hear from NOAA what they are doing around oil spill education and outreach; BP is providing $500 billion for research on Gulf restoration and community-based programs.

She also reported on the decadal review of COSEE, including a vision paper regarding the program’s future which will be the subject of a December followup meeting. Vicki noted that the SG Education Network provided input on the SGA report and the NRC’s conceptual framework for  new science education standards, and that the Climate Education Ad-Hoc Committee has submitted a proposal for NOAA’s K-12 Education RFP.

Chelsea Lowes from the national office spoke about the need for a performance measure that specifically addresses education. She noted that OAR is being reorganized, with climate research becoming a new stand-alone program. Discussion followed about whether Sea Grant will remain housed under OAR or moved elsewhere. She also mentioned the new NOAA Education web page, and the Climate Stewards national initiative for teachers.

Additional discussion focussed on:

  • The Network Advisory Council, to help  facilitate communication between Sea Grant networks and directors.
  • Sea Grant Focus Teams (an education representative is being sought for the on Hazard Resilient Coastal Communities Focus Team)
  • The BRIDGE project is seeking online resources for a searchable database of Sea Grant education materials.
  • A new national project focussed on sensible disposal of unwanted medicines
  • The network’s Web page (managed by Maryland Sea Grant, updates to the strategic and implementation plans for Sea Grant Education
  • The upcoming December election for one at-large position on the Education Network

In group discussions/news sharing

  • Mike Spranger (Florida) talked about the need to show real impacts and outcomes – e.g. increased knowledge/stewardship; improved test scores, etc. Robin Goettel (Illinois-Indiana) noted that every education plan needs an evaluation goal in order to effectively measure those impacts.
  • Dianne Lindstedt (Louisiana) expressed a desire to make ocean literacy efforts more formal within the national program structure

The meeting wrapped up with a background presentation by Dr. Jenneke Visser, UL-Lafayette, on Sunday’s educator field trip, Floating Marshes Research and Restoration.

(Thanks to Oregon Sea Grant Education director Nancee Hunter for providing notes; apologies if I got anything wrong).

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About Pat Kight, Oregon Sea Grant

Web and blog administrator, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University.
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