The Watch - February 26th

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News you can use from NOAA Planet Stewards 


If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. 

If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.

 —Zig Ziglar

Planet Stewards Education Program Connection Link

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Big melt

Planet Stewards Book Club: 

The Big Melt (young adult fiction) by Ned Tillman

March 16th, 
8pm Eastern Time

Dial Toll Free 1-866-662-7513

followed by passcode 1170791#

The Big Melt engages, informs, and challenges readers of all ages to consider a variety of perspectives on what is rapidly becoming the challenge of the century: climate change. Now that our climate is changing, what do we do? This work of contemporary fiction, with a touch of fantasy and hope, will inspire you to care a little more about what might occur in your town in the not-too-distant future. Discussion questions will be posted on the Planet Steward’s website prior to the meeting.

April's Book Club book is listed below:

From the Planet Steward Education Program’s Webinar Archive:

nature's notebook

Using Nature’s Notebook to Teach Science and Climate Change

Observation is a critical skill for scientific investigation. By making and recording regular observations in nature through time we can better understand how species in our ecosystems are responding to seasonal change and to long-term climatic changes. Use  Nature’s Notebook as a teaching tool in formal and non-formal settings, and as a lens to the natural world.,


FIVE:   What is Coastal Blue Carbon?

Costal Blue

NOAA’s coastal blue carbon activities are a collaborative effort across NOAA, including the National Marine Fisheries Service, National Ocean Service, and Oceanic and Atmospheric Research offices. In addition, NOAA partners with Restore America's Estuaries. The world's coastal ecosystems — coastal salt marshes, mangrove forests, and seagrass meadows — are incredibly efficient at capturing and storing large quantities of carbon.

FOUR: “Trends in our Changing Climate” Poster

NOAA's Climate Program Office has just released a “Trends in Our Changing Climate” poster. It is designed to support educators and learners through the use of the Fourth National Climate Assessment and NOAA’s Global Climate Dashboard (at the bottom of the webpage) and content for each climate change indicators. To request a poster, send a request to 

climate trends poster

THREE: National Marine Sanctuaries Webinar Series

Empowering Young Water Scientists with the EarthEcho Water Challenge! 

March 4, 2020, 6 pm  ET

Through this webinar, learn how to use the EarthEcho Water Challenge platform to collect and share citizen science water quality data, access tools to analyze your results, and learn about the inspiring work of young people protecting our National Marine Sanctuaries and their local watersheds. Register to attend.


TWO: Talking Trash and Taking Action

Talking Trash and Taking Action was developed as a means to educate the next generation about ocean trash and, most importantly, how we all can prevent it. Created through an educational partnership between the Ocean Conservancy and the NOAA Marine Debris Program, this curriculum is adaptable to all ages and can download freely here.

talking trash

ONE: And for those in the DC area, NOAA Open House!

NOAA will open the doors to its Silver Spring campus on March 14 for the annual NOAA Open House. This fun-filled day features activities and speakers that introduce NOAA’s science, service, and stewardship mission to the community. Chat with hurricane hunters, make fish prints, build a boat, and more! NOAA Open House planning team is especially excited for this year’s event as NOAA celebrates its 50th anniversary. Activities are available for ages 5 and up.

   When:             Saturday, March 14, 2020
   Where:            NOAA Silver Spring Campus
   Time:               9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

open house

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.

Educator opportunities

 teachers at NOAA's estuary workshop in a canoe on a lake

 Teachers on the Estuary (TOTE) Trainings from NOAA

  TOTE Workshop: Carbonated Water: Teaching About Climate Change and Ocean Acidification

  When: March 5th and 6th

  Where: Padilla Bay, Washington State

NOAA National Estuarine Research Reserve offers regular estuary workshops through
August at NOAA’s 29 national estuarine research reserves. Those in or near Washington
State are encouraged to join March’s workshop at Padilla Bay. Stipend, lunch and refresh-
ments are included. Inexpensive overnight accommodations are also available in Padilla
Bay’s guest house. Download the Teachers on the Estuary flyer to learn about the March workshop as well as those offered subsequently throughout the year in various estuarine research reserves across the country.  

Climate Literacy & Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) Webinar Series 


Webinar: Wednesday, March 4, 6 pm ET

Join the CLEAN Webinar Series on Wednesday 3/4/2020 @ 6pm ET to enhance your knowledge and teaching about climate and energy education! CLEAN presents: The UC Berkeley Understanding Global Change Project and CLEAN” by Jessica Bean. Link to learn more and register.

Webinar: Teach Students How to Ask Their Own Questions To Explore Phenomena in an NGSS Classroom

Registration: March 3    Webinar: Thursday, March 5, 4pm ET


In this active, participatory webinar, learn the Question Formulation Technique (QFT), a simple, powerful strategy to teach students how to ask, work with, and strategically use their own questions. Explore how and why the strategy works with Sarah Westbrook from The Right Question Institute, the organization that created the QFT.

Ocean Plastic: A Scientist's Tale

Date/Time: Washington, DC; March 10 ▪ 6-7:30 PM

NAS Plastics talk

As early as the 1970s, scientists began to notice that plastic waste was turning up in the ocean thousands of miles from land. Since that time, the problem has grown exponentially. What are the sources of ocean plastic? What happens to plastic once it reaches the ocean, and what does it mean for marine life? Join the National Academy of Science for its 21st Annual Roger Revelle Lecture as Dr. Chelsea Rochman looks at the science behind plastic debris and explores some of the policies attempting to limit plastic pollution in our global oceans. This event is free and open to the public in Washington, DC and surrounding areas. Register here.

AMS Project Ocean & Project Atmosphere Now Accepting Applications

Deadline: March 27

Mauri Project

Do you love the ocean? Can you not get enough of the weather? Do you need new ideas for using data and hands on experiments in your classroom? The American Meteorological Society 2020 summer courses, Project Ocean and Project Atmosphere, are accepting applications through 27 March. These competitive professional development courses are open to K-12 teachers and include online and in-person components and field experiences. All travel expenses are covered and participants earn graduate credit upon successful completion of the course. Don’t miss this chance to learn from the experts, connect with other outstanding teachers, and have the earth science experience of a lifetime!  

Summer Institute Opportunity in NY for Teachers

Scholarship application deadline: April 1

wild center

Registration is now open for The Wild Center's Summer Institute for Teachers, a residential teacher professional development experience. This year's Institute will take place from July 13-16, 2020 outside of Lake Placid, NY and the theme will focus on teaching climate change solutions. There is a save-the-date flier attached, and more information can be found on Wild Center’s website.

air and space

The National Air and Space Museum's Free Teacher Innovator Institute

Learn how to bring the National Air and Space Museum into your classroom through informal STEM education at their free, two-week summer teacher institute. Middle School (grades 5-8) STEAM teachers with an interest in expanding their practice to include informal education techniques.  Learn more and apply here.

Summer Institute for Climate Change Education

climate generation institute

Registration is open for Climate Generation’s 15th Annual Summer Institute! It will be held at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN on July 22-24, 2020. Educators from all backgrounds and subjects are invited to attend this professional development training on climate change education. Registration is $200. Scholarships available. 20 hours of continuing education and optional graduate credit.

Class opportunities

Zero Waste Week - between March 16 - April 24

zero waste week

Students for Zero Waste Week invites your school to take the Zero Waste Week Challenge at school, in your community and at home by:  

  • Replacing single-use plastic items (such as drink bottles, sandwich baggies, spork packs, etc.) with reusable alternatives  
  • Replacing plastic straws with paper straws or consider not using straws  
  • Stepping up recycling and composting effortsReplacing single use condiment packets with bulk dispensers  
  • Powering down computers and other electronic devices when not in use  
  • Refusing products containing micro beads  And more! 

Register Now! There is no cost to participate in this campaign and the degree of involvement is up to the registrant. Brought to you by NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuaries! 

Learn more information about Zero Waste Week and how to involve your school, by viewing the Zero Waste Week informational video.

Student opportunities

Biodiversity Challenge for Middle Schoolers


Echo Challenge is a STEM innovation competition that empowers U.S. middle school students to take a closer look at biodiversity in their communities. 10 finalist teams will join EarthEcho International in Washington, DC, to present their ideas. The top three teams will be awarded grants to turn their projects into reality. Registration deadline: March 22.

Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Competition

Bowseat ocean awareness

The 2020 Ocean Awareness Contest is accepting Visual Art, Film, Music, Poetry, Prose, and Interactive & Multimedia submissions from middle & high school students through June 15, 2020. "Climate Hope: Transforming Crisis" invites teens to learn about climate change and its impact on oceans; discover or imagine solutions at local, national, or global scales; and create work that explores hope in action. 

Girls in Science Fellowship open to MA Sophomores and Juniors

Application Deadline: March 30

girls in science

Woods Hole Sea Grant and Earthwatch Institute are excited to announce that the Girls in Science Fellowship is now open for 2020!  Current high school sophomores and juniors attending school in Massachusetts can apply for the August 8-15th fully funded, residential, competitive program in Woods Hole! Deadline to apply: March 30.

Conferences, etc.

Fall 2019 Study Triples Global Estimates of Population Threatened by Sea Level Rise

The study published in Nature Communications and a research brief from Climate Central detail findings from individual assessments of 135 countries across multiple climate scenarios and years. Climate Central also used its new elevation data to produce interactive maps, enabling neighborhood-level exploration of threatened areas around the world.



2020-2025 Great Lakes Marine Debris Action Plan

NOAA is pleased to share the 2020-2025 Great Lakes Marine Debris Action Plan. This document is the result of a collaborative effort between the NOAA Marine Debris Program and partners in Ontario, Canada and eight U.S. states (IL, IN, MI, MN, NY, OH, PA, WI). It represents a partner-led effort to guide marine debris actions in the Great Lakes for the next five years. Learn more.

marine debris

NAAEE Annual Conference Call for Presentations Now Open


This year's North American Assoc. for Environmental Educators (NAAEE) conference will be held in Tucson, AZ. The Research Symposium will be October 13-14 and the conference will be October 14-17. The Call for Presentations is now open until March 23rd. For more information, please go to:



Upcoming! The National Science Teaching Association's (NSTA) National Conference 

The NSTA National Conference will be held in Boston, MA from April 2-5. It offers the latest in science content, teaching strategy, and research to enhance and expand your professional growth. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to collaborate with science education leaders and even your Planet Steward peers. NOAA Planet Stewards will have a strong presence at the event. More details will follow. Register today!

Ed Resources

Earth Now

Data: NASA's "Earth Now" App

It’s free, it’s dazzling and it puts Earth in the palm of your hands. NASA’s “Earth Now” app displays real-time global satellite data of your planet’s vital signs. Great for anyone interested
in Earth science, this 3D app can be your go-to source for carbon dioxide conditions, gravity anomalies, ozone levels over Antarctica and more. Download it to your Apple or Android
device to keep your eye on the Earth. 



New Applied Research STEM Curriculum Unit Available on Wetlands

Audience: High School Educators


“Wetlands” is a comprehensive unit plan created in the NASA Climate Change Research Initiative program that introduces students in grades 9-12 to the ecosystem and economic services that wetlands provide. The unit provides hands-on and laboratory investigations that evaluate human impacts on saltmarsh ecosystems while integrating field work activities using GLOBE, My NASA Data and many other NASA educational resources, content and platforms.

Teach the Cryosphere, Curriculum from TERC


TERC’s free EarthLabs unit on the Cryosphere introduces students to many of the complex issues surrounding the cryosphere and its connections to climate. They will read articles, conduct hands-on lab activities, watch videos, analyze data, maps and graphs, explore online interactives, and discuss ideas with you, the teacher, and classmates—all of which will help them to understand how snow and ice interact with water, air, land, and life to regulate and reflect Earth's climate conditions. Accompanying Educator page.

Using Data to Identify Hot Spots & Predict Coral Bleaching

coral bleaching

In this EarthLabs activity, learners explore the concepts of coral bleaching, bleaching hot spots and degree-heating weeks. Using data products from NOAA's Coral Reef Watch, students identify bleaching hot spots and degree-heating weeks around the globe as well as in the Florida Keys' Sombrero Reef to determine the impact higher-than-normal sea surface temperatures have on coral reefs

And... just in time for Earth Day! The documentary "The Story of Plastics" was recently released and is showing at Film festivals and elsewhere around the country. Check it out!




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