November 19th The Watch – News You Can Use!

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News you can use from NOAA Planet Stewards 

“When asked if my cup is half-full or half-empty, my 

      only response is that I am thankful I have a cup.”

– Sam Lefkowitz

Wishing the entire Planet Stewards community a “full cup” to be thankful for this Thanksgiving
(and a multiple-use cup at that)!


Planet Stewards Education Program Connection Links

Did a colleague or friend share this copy of The Watch with you? After you thank them,
make sure to sign up and 
receive it directly from NOAA Planet Stewards.

NOAA Planet Stewards 2020 Stewardship Community Applications

are Now Being Accepted!

Formal and informal educators w/ kindergarten through college-age students are welcome to apply. Join us! 

As part of our national community of educators:

  • Learn how to write for a Federal funding proposal.
  • Have the opportunity to receive up to $2,500 to carry out a student-focused project responding to environmental challenges.
  • Meet educators from around the country who share your interest in STEM education and environmental stewardship.And so much more!

Learn about the Stewardship Community here.

Access the 2020 Stewardship Community application here.

Remember applications accepted until Midnight, December 1, 2019.


NOAA Planet Stewards Book Club  

Great Lakes

Tuesday, January 21st, 8pm Eastern Time

Dial Toll Free 1-866-662-7513 followed by passcode 1170791#

The next book club in the New Year will discuss The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan. A description of the book is posted on the Planet Stewards’ website. 

February and March 2020 Book Club books are listed below:

  • Feb. 18, Tuesday: Plastic Ocean by Captain Charles
  • March 16, Monday: The Big Melt (adult young fiction)
         by Ned Tillman

From the Planet Steward Education Program’s Webinar Archive:
Climate Change Education – What Works by Martha Monroe, U of FL

webinar title

The webinar Climate Change Education – What Works? reviews key themes in current research that might help educators emphasize valuable and effective strategies in
their climate change programs. Open this webinar and/or
the entire treasure trove of Planet Stewards webinars that
can be reviewed or accessed here.




FIVE: NOAA Ocean Podcast - NOAA's Disaster Preparedness Program: Planning for Tomorrow, Today

The chief of NOAA’s Disaster Preparedness program explains how her team facilitates internal communication, coordination, and preparation for all types of unforeseen disasters in NOAA Ocean Services latest podcast.



FOUR: National Marine Sanctuaries Webinar Series


The National Marine Sanctuary Webinar Series provides formal and informal educators with educational and scientific expertise, resources and training to support ocean and climate literacy in the classroom. 92% of educators attending these events said they were likely to attend a future webinar and 90% were likely to recommend the webinar series to others. So join in! The next Webinar on November 21st: Announcing the United States' Newest National Marine Sanctuary in Nearly 20 Years. Check this and all its forthcoming webinars here.

THREE:  NOAA’s National Ocean Services Story Map - Socioeconomic impacts of harmful algal blooms

In 2015, a massive toxic algal bloom struck the West Coast. The produced record-breaking levels of the toxin domoic acid, shutting down the lucrative Dungeness crab and popular razor clam fisheries for many weeks. This generated an economic shock for coastal communities. Find this and other story maps here.


TWO: Ocean Farming

NOAA's Ocean Today launched a new collection on the future of ocean farming. It includes five new videos and five bonus videos! Take a few minutes to explore the ocean today — learn something new here!



ONE: National American Indian Heritage Month

November is National American Indian Heritage Month, a time set aside to pay tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans. NOAA partners with state agencies and tribes to protect the natural resources that often represent the foundation of tribal communities and their traditions. See examples of such protection from a sea reef fortification in Louisiana to disaster prevention and response in areas such as Padilla Bay Reserve in Washington state, an area of significance to local tribes. 

Love to learn about NOAA, its science, and programs? Make sure to review the OneNOAA webinar schedule regularly, then signup to attend webinars that interest you. See the upcoming OneNOAA Science Seminar calendar here.



Join the National Science Teaching Association's Virtual STEM Learning and Teaching Conference on Saturday, December 7, 2019


Sign up now to learn the value of connecting in-school and out-of-school STEM activities virtually - from the comfort of anywhere! Hear from educators who have carried out successful programs with students of all ages, and explore ways you can connect your learning environment to outside settings.


Use the promo code NSTAVC20 for an additional 20% savings on registration costs - an exclusive for subscribers of The Watch - and take your STEM learning to the next level!

An overview can be found here.

Click here if you are interested in presenting.

Survey to Advance Plastic Pollution Curriculum -
Complete and Enter to Win Award

algilita students

Algalita is working to get their plastic pollution curriculum into MORE classrooms – but they need your help! Teachers who complete their survey before December 15, 2019 will be entered to WIN a $100 gift card and a free Algalita Debris Science Investigation teaching kit that contains water samples collected from the North Pacific Gyre! The winner will be notified via email on December 17, 2019.

Charting a Course for STEM Education Success

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Half-Earth is a call to protect half the land and sea in order to manage sufficient habitat to reverse the species extinction crisis and ensure the long-term health of our planet. The Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassador program provides a platform for teachers to engage each other and their students in the ambition of Half-Earth, inspiring and connecting teachers and students with the natural world. Find out about the Half-Earth Project and ways to become involved.




2020 Presidential Environmental Youth Awards and Presidential Innovation Awards for Environmental Educators –
Applications due January 15, 2020


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Environmental Education is now accepting applications for the 2020 Presidential Environmental Youth Awards (PEYA) and Presidential Innovation Awards for Environmental Educators (PIAEE). Winners are invited to Washington, D.C. in mid-2020 to be honored by the agency and present their work in a poster session. These awards recognize outstanding environmental stewardship projects by students in grades K-12 who promote environmental awareness and encourage community involvement, and educators who employ innovative approaches to environmental education. One student in grades K-5 and another from grades 6-12 will receive the award, and two educators will be selected.

For more information on the youth awards (PEYA), please contact:  

For more information on the teacher (PIAEE) award, please contact:

Biomimicry Youth Design Challenge and Free Instructional Resources for Educators!


This NGSS-aligned Project Based Learning Challenge empowers grade 6-12 learners to create innovative biomimicry designs for solving local problems that impact global climate change and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Teachers can find new educator instructional resources - Instructional Storyline, a MIMIC instructional approach uniquely adapted from the engineering design process for biomimicry designing, a suite of lesson plans, and much more. Share it, try it! Join the challenge. You can access all resources by registering here.




Registration is Open for the 9th Annual Youth Ocean Conservation Summit! Application Deadline: Nov 24, 2019


The 9th annual Youth Ocean Conservation Summit will take place on Saturday, December 7, 2019 at the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida. Participants will learn from students leading ocean conservation programs in their communities, have the opportunity to develop plans for their own ocean conservation projects (or further develop existing programs), and take part in workshops and trainings to give them the skills needed to ensure the success of these projects. Participants will network with conservation experts and other young people.  The registration fee for the event IS ONLY $14! It includes lunch, snacks, and program materials. Register for the Youth Ocean Conservation Summit here.

One Earth Award for Students Ages 13 and Up

art earth award

Do you know a creative teen who cares about climate change? The One Earth Award provides four students whose creative works address human-caused climate change with $1,000 scholarships. Additional state scholarships of $500 are available to two students from each of the following states: Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. All students in grades 7–12 (ages 13 and up) are eligible to participate. Deadlines are approaching quickly. Visit their website to find out your local deadline and how to apply, and be sure to forward this newsletter to your colleagues that engage youth on climate and environmental issues.

2020 Recycling Video/Poster Contest: Then, Now, and in the Future

graphic head with networks

K-12 students from the United States and Canada are invited to participate in a recycling contest by creating a video or a poster that imagines what recycling will look like in 50, 75, or even 100 years from now by designing a solution to a current problem. You could win a trip to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries’ 2020 Annual Convention and Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada!. Register to participate or learn more here. All entries must be submitted by December 20, 2019.




World Ocean Day Report 2019


Thanks to the involvement of millions of people in thousands of communities, June 8th’s World Oceans Day continued to significantly expand its reach and impact in 2019! World Oceans Day unites the world around a shared desire for conservation action and continues to connect, activate, and mobilize worldwide support for our blue planet 365 days of the year. It serves as a unique and global rallying point to promote personal, community, and societal action. Read and download the World Oceans Day Report here.

OLDIES BUT GOODIES: Ocean, Climate, Earth Literacy and More!

Ocean Literacy means understanding the ocean’s influence on you and your influence on the ocean. There are 7 principles of Ocean Literacy — ideas scientists and educators agree everyone should understand about the ocean. Download Ocean Literacy to build to learn and join a more ocean literate society!

The ocean is the defining feature of our planet.

ocean literacy
climate principles report

Climate Literacy: The Essential Principles of Climate Science presents information important for individuals and communities to know and understand about Earth’s climate, its impacts, and adaptation or mitigation approaches. The guide aims to serve educators with ways to meet current climate content standards in their science curricula.

earth literacy

The Earth Science Literacy Initiative (ESLI), funded by the National Science Foundation, establishes the “Big Ideas” and supporting concepts that all Americans should know about Earth sciences. It joins similar documents above from the Oceans and Climate communities that together provide a larger geoscience Earth Systems Literacy effort.

Other frameworks in the series: Atmosphere Literacy; Energy Literacy; and Great Lakes Literacy 

National Climate Assessment 4 (NCA4) Webinar Series -
Natural Ecosystems will be Transformed 


On Wednesday, November 20 from 12-1pm ET join others to begin a five-part webinar series brought to you by NC State University. The topic of each webinar will be focused on one of the key messages outlined in the Southeast chapter and findings and case studies from the Tribes and Indigenous Peoples chapter relevant to the U.S. Southeast. Join the webinar here.





Data from NOAA: Probability of Wildfire Map


Knowing when and where wildfires are most likely to occur throughout the year can help people be more prepared for a natural disaster, NOAA’s wildfire map shows the historical wildfire probability on a given day across the United States. Fire weather experts used daily records from the U.S. Forest Service Fire Program Analysis Fire-Occurrence Database to account for fires 100 acres or larger from 1992 to 2015. This type of information is valuable for both firefighting agencies and people who live in more wildfire-prone regions. Find, view, and use the map here.

Educational Series on Salmon from NOAA Fisheries


NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region invites you to download their FREE series on salmon, use it to connect your students to their local watersheds, and share feedback with them. Resources are available also in Spanish.  For millennia, salmon have been a vital link between marine, freshwater, and riparian food chains—in fact, more than 130 species count on salmon for nutrients! From the West Coast of the United States to Russia and from Sweden to Canada, these iconic fish have been the centerpiece of many intergenerational fishing communities. Check out the free educational series on salmon here.

El Niño Activities From NOAA


NOAA’s Data in the Classroom  has assembled a sequence of 5 interactive classroom activities on El Niño, which increase in complexity and studen self-directedness. These activities focus on accessing and manipulating real data to help understand El Niño as an interaction of Earth systems. Review the activities on El Niño here.


Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow (CoCoRaHS)

CoCoRaHS is for citizen scientists of all ages and all walks of life who can spend a few minutes per day collecting information on precipitation in their area. A class or an informal program can also participate if they can easily report weather phenomenon at a consistent time most days of the week. Check out CoCoRaHS here.

Can't Take the Heat? An activity from the Bridge Program


Why does coffee take so long to cool down? Why is ocean water sometimes the warmest when the average daily air temperature starts to drop? How can buoys help us explore these questions? In this hands-on introduction to heat capacity by the Bridge and COSEE-NOW, students explore the concept and its effects on our daily lives. Students use ocean observing system data to investigate why water acts as a thermal buffer and the practical applications this has.




Jobs and Grant News

  • NOAA’s  Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program provides support for master’s and doctoral degrees in oceanography, marine biology, or maritime archaeology. The scholarship covers tuition and a living stipend; travel funds to support a program collaboration and more. Applications are Dec. 6, 2019. Find out more here.
  • The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) Education and Outreach Program has an opening for a part-time or full-time position (50-100%). It provides engagement and education opportunities around science topics for students, teachers and the science-interested public. CIRES seeks to hire a candidate with a diverse skill set in outreach and education and experience in program management, who will split time between two educational programs - a Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) summer program and a new informal science learning program that focuses on education around water topics.  Learn more and apply to CU Jobs Req# 22241
  • NOAA Office for Coastal Management has an announcement out for two federal environmental scientist positions in the Northeast and Great Lakes. These positions are in the Learning Services Division. NOAA is looking for applicants with expertise in both conservation/green infrastructure and learning sciences, and experience working in the coastal environment. Strong candidates will have a mix of skills in learning product design, training delivery, partnership development and facilitation. This competition is open until 11/20/2019. For more information on the positions and to apply, go to USAJobs, Job Announcement # (Direct Hire): NOS-OCM- 2020-0004 at

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   Is there anything you think we’re missing? Anything you want to see more of?
   We’d love to hear from you. Email us here with:

  • Event/announcement title
  • Date and time if applicable
  • One paragraph description
  • Link or email address for more information.