The Watch - March 11, 2020 issue

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News you can use from NOAA Planet Stewards 

A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.

— Jackie Robinson

Planet Stewards Education Program Links

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big melt


NOAA Planet Stewards Book Club – 

MONDAY, APRIL 20, 8pm Eastern Time;

Dial Toll Free 1-866-662-7513

followed by passcode 1170791#

The next book club will discuss The Big Melt (young adult fiction) by Ned Tillman. 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. Join us!

From the Planet Steward Education Program’s Webinar Archive:

Diving Into Sea Level Change

margie turin

Sea level change is one of the most visible connections between all our earth systems - oceans, atmosphere, ice, land, and of course life on earth – including us! Lamont’s Polar Team has been measuring changes in the ice and oceans for decades. They wanted to make the data available and accessible so they have developed ‘Sea Level Rise: Polar Explorer’ an interactive map based 'app', which offers a guided tour through the many layers of science that impact sea level rise. Framed around a series of questions, the app allows the user to choose their own pathway and select their own level of complexity, while exploring authentic science data in an engaging and accessible way. Watch the webinar  for a quick dive into sea level change!


Note: Due to Coronavirus/COVID-19, NOAA has rescheduled its Open House planned for Saturday, March 14 to Saturday, September 26, 2020. Please keep an eye out for more information. 


FIVE: How familiar are you with the ocean acidification pHacts on a 0-14 scale?!  – Join the NOAA Webinar!

March 19th, 2pm EDT


How is coastal acidification different from ocean acidification and what do both mean? This talk will give an introduction into the chemistry, causes, and processes going on in our marine waters causing them to become more acidic and look at the big picture of what this all could mean for the ocean’s ecosystems.

Participants will learn next how to use NOAA’s new Data in the Classroom module to explore the science behind ocean and coastal acidification. The interactive module provides authentic research questions and scaled data interactions that give students the opportunity to explore this question (and more). More info on the series and upcoming webinars can be found here.

FOUR: NOAA Ocean Guardian Schools Webinar

How to apply 

ocean guardian schools

Please join Naomi Pollack for a program overview to learn how your school can participate, receive money to do school- or community-based conservation work, and become recognized by NOAA as an Ocean Guardian School. A webinar will take place on March 26th at 6pm ET. The grant application period will open on April 1, 2020. Applications will be due May 1, 2020. 

After registering here you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. The Webinar ID is 874-547-707.

THREE: NOAA Spring Seasonal Safety Resources

spring safety

NOAA recently launched its Spring Seasonal Safety Campaign. Find spring weather safety presentations, videos, infographics, and other resources as you explore the website and the many ways students and educators can become involved with seasonal safety this spring.

TWO: SHIPWRECKED! - NOAA’s Full Moon Video Collection

Titanic Underwater

Enjoy this 5-part SHIPWRECKED! collection with your students. It's fun and it’s free, and includes videos like the RMS Titanic, The Battle of the Atlantic, Ghost Ships off the Golden Gate, and others that will allow students to delve deep into these underwater treasures. With only one percent of shipwrecks having been discovered out of the more than 3 million on the ocean floor, students are sure to marvel as they learn about ocean exploration like never before!

ONE: NOAA 50th Anniversary Photo Contest

Wave Safe Collection

NOAA is celebrating its 50th Anniversary and here’s your chance to be part of this special occasion. Take us into your offices, in the field, or in your laboratories by shooting photos that will help us share your work with the world. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and through your photos, we can share the essence of how we accomplish our mission in ways that words cannot. Use this release form. The submission portal will be open in May so stay tuned!

Educator opportunities

Teachers on the Estuary (TOTE) Trainings from NOAA in April

Contact Lori Davis to register.


North Carolina Teachers On The Estuary coming in April at NOAA Beaufort Lab, 

A Teachers on the Estuary (TOTE) workshop is a research and field-based training program held at various research reserve sites. TOTE workshops offer a minimum of 15 contact hours, giving teachers the opportunity to: Explore coastal habitats and conduct field investigations; Interact with local scientists and experienced coastal educators; Integrate local and national monitoring data into the classroom; and learn hands-on field activities highlighting our various Estuary Education Resources.

For More Information download the TOTE Information Sheet - PDF. View sample Teacher Certificate for workshop completion. NOAA National Estuarine Research Reserve offers regular estuary workshops through August at NOAA’s 29 national estuarine research reserves.

How to "NGSS-ify" the Question Formulation Technique: A Deep Dive

Registration Deadline: March 24, 2020, March 26, 2020, 4 pm ET, 


How do you design a NGSS unit (or modify an existing NGSS storyline) so that it starts with powerful, authentic student questions? What are best practices for helping students channel their wonderings into rigorous, relevant investigations? And, what do you do with the questions you can't answer?

In this webinar - the second in a series of two, veteran Middle School science teacher, Nicole Bolduc, addresses these questions and more, as we take a deep dive into adapting the Question Formulation Technique (QFT) for the NGSS classroom. You will receive webinar access information a day or two before the webinars take place. We will also post recordings of the webinars on the NGSS-ESS webinar page where we invite you to view archived videos of all of the previous webinars. Join the webinar and leave with a specially curated set of resources and templates to get you started. Register here by March 24.

Apply for American Meteorological Society's Summer Learning

Deadline: March 26

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, 2020


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. More information can be found on Wild Center’s website.

USPTO National Summer Teacher Institute (NSTI) on Innovation, STEM, and Intellectual Property in St. Louis, July 12-17 

Deadline to apply: April 30, 2020


The application for the USPTO National Summer Teacher Institute (NSTI) on Innovation, STEM, and Intellectual Property is now open. This year’s program will be conducted in St. Louis, Missouri in collaboration with St. Louis University(SLU) and the SLU Research Innovation Group. Please encourage interested K12 educators to visit  the USPTO Teacher Institute website for the application, general information on the program, and tips on completing the application. Space is limited so don't delay.

Summer Institute for Climate Change Education in St. Paul, MN

Hammline College

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. Priority is given to people of color and teachers in underserved districts.

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


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. For complete details, visit the Ocean Awareness Contest Overview.

Girls in Science Fellowship open to MA Sophomores and Juniors

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.

Mid-Atlantic Climate Change Education Conference –

Request for Proposals due March 20, 5pm

Mid Atlantic Climate Change Conference

Join fellow educators at the first ever Mid-Atlantic Climate Change Education Conference - June 28-30, 2020 at Goucher College in Baltimore MD. The conference will bring together formal and non-formal educators to share and learn about the latest trends in climate change education. The four session tracks for the conference are:

  • Environmental Justice & Climate Change
  • Climate Change in the Classroom
  • Climate Change & Estuaries
  • Individual & Community Level Climate Change Solutions

Everyone is welcome - even if you live outside the Mid-Atlantic region! Visit the Conference website to learn more; submit a Session proposal here, sign-up to receive the Conference Registration announcement, and be sure to share this announcement with coworkers, colleagues, and friends!

Future Earth Launches Our Future on Earth 2020

our Future on Earth 2020

Future Earth’s inaugural Our Future on Earth 2020 report provides a narrative on the current state of our planet and the future our global society is building together. It includes a dozen chapters from leaders of the Future Earth community -- some of the world’s top analysts and scientists -- and synthesizes the best science in the context of global news to assess progress on our path to sustainable development.

Ed Resources

AIR Quality Dashboard from Resource Watch

WRI logo

Resource Watch worked with WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities to create a new go-to data-driven Air Quality Dashboard featuring the latest maps and data visualizations on the state of the world’s air. This new dashboard features key datasets for understanding the geography of emissions, their direct sources, and how air moves across borders. The dashboard also highlights the many factors that influence the quality of the air you breathe. Find it here.

Explore the Seasons

ucar sciEd seasons

March signals the changing of the seasons for most of us. Due to Earth’s tilted axis, it is springtime in the Northern Hemisphere. During the March (or vernal) equinox, the Sun shines equally on the Southern and Northern Hemispheres.The new season brings changes in precipitation and temperature, which affects life on our planet, also known as our biosphere,  which is closely connected to the atmosphere and our climate. Explore these resources for fun, hands-on ways to understand the biosphere and seasons with your students from UCAR Office of Science Education, SciEd.

Earth Challenge 2020 this April & Earth Day!


With partners across the nation and the globe, help to build Earth’s largest cleanup crew.Earth Challenge 2020 is the world’s largest ever coordinated citizen science campaign. The initiative integrates existing citizen science projects and builds capacity for new ones.  Using mobile technology and open citizen science data, Earth Challenge 2020 empowers people around the world to monitor and mitigate threats to environmental and human health in their communities.  Millions of volunteers are working at thousands of locations to make the planet a little cleaner this April. Contribute your efforts to the global movement and register a cleanup event or sign up to learn more and join in!

News you can use

           As the number of novel coronavirus cases rise in the United States and more states confirm
           having patients with the illness, students are coming to school with questions—and teachers
           are trying to figure out how to answer them. Read the article featured in Education Week.


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