Planet Stewards – The Watch, June 16

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News you can use from NOAA Planet Stewards 

“The time is always right to do what is right.”

–Martin Luther King, Jr.

Planet Stewards Education Program Links

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FIVE: Science Update Webinar: The Technologies of Ocean Exploration - Today and Into the Future

NOAA Ocean tech

Join NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research  and the National Science Teaching Association on Thursday, July 16, 2020, at 7:00 pm ET to learn about the amazing tools that are helping to map, identify, characterize, and manage ocean resources now and for future generations. Target Audience: PK-12 Educators, Informal Educators, Professors, and Parents; Register and find out more.


FOUR: NOAA Sea Stewards Handbook - Access it Here!


This new handbook includes educational resources for students of all ages who want to learn more about marine and coastal environments, threats facing them and what everyone can do to become marine stewards. Download it here.


THREE: Predators of the Deep Sea Video One in a Series


Deep-ocean predators come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have limited amounts of available food. Learn more about techniques predators use to catch their prey in this video. The entire video series examines topics in ocean science and features interviews and discussions with ocean explorers.

TWO: NOAA’s All About Estuaries & All About Corals 


These two tutorials provide:

ONE: In Honor of World Ocean Month


Check out the wealth of information at NOAA Ocean Service Home page and education site and join them in celebrating  and learning about our ocean during National Ocean Month.#30DaysofOcean #OceanMonth2020. In the site's education resources, make sure to check out:

Love to Learn about NOAA, its Science, and Programs?

Check out Upcoming webinars from OneNOAA Seminar Series - the most complete and integrated summary of NOAA science and climate seminars across the nation. Visit the OneNOAA Science Seminar Calendar. All seminars are posted in Eastern Time and subject to changes without notice; Seminars are open to the public via remote access.

Title: Coral reefs, coastal change and resilient communities,
Date & Time: 18 June 2020 12:30 pm - 1:00 pm ET

Title: North Central U.S. Climate and Drought Outlook,
Date & Time: 18 June 2020 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm ET

Title: Notorious & Delicious: Exploring Sustainable Seafood,
Date & Time 9 July 2020 6 pm - 7 pm ET

When available, recordings of OneNOAA science seminars are posted here

Educator opportunities

Want a Strong Community of Climate Science Communicators? Become an Earth to Sky Regional Leader!


To support interest in a regional approach for climate communication, Earth to Sky (ETS) has begun developing Regional Communities of Practice in Climate Communication. Each is led by a Regional Leadership Team that has received training at an ETS Academy, followed by ongoing mentoring and support from ETS Central Leadership. The next Earth to Sky Academy will be held January 25-29, 2021 at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt MD.  The Academy is tuition-free. Team applications are due August 31, 2020. Read more here and apply. Questions? Email Genevieve Demissieres.

Leadership & Assistance for Science Education Reform Virtual Event

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The Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) is holding its first fully virtual leadership development event this summer from July 28-30. The event will tackle the challenge of ensuring science/STEM education remains a priority in classrooms and communities during COVID-19 and beyond. During this fully customizable program, live and asynchronous sessions will foster critical conversations on topics most relevant to K-12 science education today such as social emotional support, equity and accessibility, and facilitating three-dimensional science investigations remotely. This institute is offered at no cost and open to educators, parents, community members, and industry stakeholders dedicated to ensuring continuity in K-12 STEM education for all students.

2020 Earth Science Information Partners (EISP) Virtual Summer Meeting featuring NOAA & NASA Tools!


For over 20 years, ESIP meetings have brought together the most innovative thinkers and leaders around Earth observation data. The 2020 ESIP Summer Meeting will be a VIRTUAL event held July 14th-24th that will continue this tradition. The theme will be Putting Data to Work: Building Public-Private Partnerships to Increase Resilience & Enhance the Socioeconomic Value of Data. 

A special series of workshops will be held for educators of grades 6-14 on July 14 & 15. Registration is free for the first 50 applicants. Find out more and register.

Contribute Your Expertise to a Project-based Learning Unit 


Want to contribute to a project-based learning unit (PBL) about the critically endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales? Fill out this survey to help design an effective PBL that will address the unique interests and needs of students. The survey will only take 5-10 minutes. Feel free to share the survey with your colleagues and networks.  If you have any questions, contact

A Free, Sustainability-focused Online Learning Portal for Everyone 

Parents, teachers, and businesses can now access free sustainability resources, complete educational courses, earn certifications & much more. Visit Sustainable Earth… from Arizona State University.


sustainability portal

NSTA Web Seminar: Distance Learning that Supports Sensemaking 


In a four-part web seminar series on Distance Learning That Supports Student Sensemaking, participants will explore ways in which they can continue to give students experiences with relevant, intriguing phenomena that engage them in science learning using distance-learning strategies. The focus will be on synchronous and asynchronous online learning, but connecting students to their learning communities through smartphones and local computers (computers without internet access) will also be covered. The program series is being offered twice: 

  • Series One: July 6, 9, 13, and 16 at 3:00 to 4:30 pm Eastern Time. 
  • Series Two: August 4, 11, 18, and 25 at 7:15 to 8:45 pm Eastern Time.

A minimal fee is required to participate. Find out more and register  here.

Class opportunities

Become a Turtle Trash Collector!
MarineQuest | University of North Carolina Wilmington


Be a Turtle Trash Collector. Pick a place you can do a cleanup, perhaps your neighborhood, the local park, or the beach and  clean up this route 3 times: once now, again when quarantine restrictions are lifted in your area, and once more when everything is reopened and back to normal. During each cleanup, keep track of the trash you collect using a data sheet and report your data to us so we can keep track of everyone’s progress! 

Earn Turtle Trash Collectors Digital badges! Attached is the 2TC Marine Debris Citizen Science Project guide that outlines everything you need to know. Be sure to send your data after your first cleanup so your participation is known!  Reach out with any questions, sign up, and join us!  

The Urban Ocean Initiative Welcomes its First Cohort of Cities. This NOAA Marine Debris Program initiative collaborates with cities that are the most susceptible to plastic marine debris by improving waste management systems. Learn more and celebrate our blue planet!

Skype a Scientist

skype a scientist

Skype a Scientist matches scientists with people all around the world! This program allows scientists to reach people from all over the world without having to leave the lab! They have thousands of scientists ready to chat - teachers can choose the type of scientist that will fit their classroom, and families stuck at home during this pandemic can get a scientist virtually into their living room!

World Ocean Observatory and World Ocean Radio

ocean radio

Take a moment today to think about the ways that the ocean is influenced by you, and the ways that you are influenced by the ocean. Enjoy this week's episode of World Ocean Radio: a weekly series of five-minute audio essays on a wide range of ocean issues from science and education to advocacy and exemplary projects. More than 400 episodes are now available for RSS feed, podcast, and syndicated use at no cost by community and public radio stations worldwide and episodes are distributed throughout North America, Europe, and elsewhere. Have a listen! 

Conference Reports

New NOAA and BEA Report on Ocean Economy

economics report on marine science

NOAA and the Bureau of Economic Analysis released new statistics highlighting the marine economy’s contribution to the Nation’s economy. This report offers national estimates for all ocean, coastal and Great Lakes related economic activity by major industry, helping us to understand the current state of the marine economy. The data provides valuable information to policy makers and industry, helping them in decision-making and planning future investment in the marine environment, Learn more…

Since America’s marine economy is growing fast and NOAA is an important part of it, check out its new story map, Our Dynamic Marine Economy. It highlights some key findings from the report above and showcases a sampling of the ways NOAA supports these dynamic industries. 

Marine Protected Areas 2020 Report

NOAA’s  Marine Protected Area (MPA) Center has published Marine Protected Areas 2020, a report on the progress the U.S. has made toward establishing effective marine protected area networks.  The MPA 2020 report notes that the U.S. has protected 26% of its marine waters, exceeding the 10% target, and offers directions for ways in which the U.S. can strengthen its MPA management to achieve networks that are more representative, connected, effectively managed, and integrated within the broader seascape.

MPA Report
Ed Resources

Featured BRIDGE Data Activity:

Sea State: Forecasting Conditions at Sea 

observing ocean systems

Being able to accurately forecast the conditions at sea, or sea state, has been the goal of explorers, sailors, and fishermen for thousands of years. Through the use of ocean observing systems, we can not only predict, but pinpoint, exactly what the sea state will be like before leaving the dock. In this DATA Activity, students use four buoys from NOAA's National Data Buoy Center to now-cast real time sea state conditions.

Discover NOAA Activities!

activity book cover w/ ocean drawing

The Discover Your World with NOAA Activity Book includes 142 pages of hands-on science, service, and stewardship activities that you can easily do at home with readily found materials. Truly fun for all ages! Download the PDF.

Does Climate Change Cause Extreme Weather? – A video resource from the Climate Literacy & Energy Awareness Network Collection (CLEAN)


This short video discusses the relationship between climate change and extreme weather. It clarifies that climate change causes warming oceans, which then creates more extreme weather. Video length: 4:51; Audience: Middle School, High School, College Lower, General Public

Browse CLEAN for more videos on Extreme Weather.

Sea Grant Education Network Shares Virtual Resources

Sea Grant

In response to the pandemic and a quick shift to online education, the national Sea Grant Educator Network has  created an index of digital resources from partners across the United States. To view resources by program, visit the Sea Grant site.  

Distance Learning Resources from World Ocean Observatory

Distance learning resources

To support all educators and parents teaching from home since COVID-19, the World Ocean Observatory has pulled together a compendium of home-study tools and resources for teaching and learning about the ocean. These resources can be used by parents, schools, educators and others.This list of resources is a work in progress - but well worth your review!

Smithsonian Natural History Museum Distance Learning -
Resources, Training, and Support

Learning Lab logo w/ elephant drawing

Find all of the distant learning resources from the Smithsonian online here. Teachers and students have access to MILLIONS of digital resources from the Smithsonian's museums, research centers, libraries, archives, and more. They’re all here: upcoming video webinars, summer explorations, online exhibits, Biocube to explore biodiversity, and more. Check out their treasure trove of educational resources here.

NSTA’s New Website Launches

nsta logo

The National Science Teaching Association has launched its new website as part of its digital engagement strategy This new site provides a better user experience to educators, and offers new low-cost membership benefits and options tailored to satisfy each educators' unique professional needs. Explore the new site now.

VA SEA 2020 Lesson Plan Collection

VA Sea

VA SEA is a network of graduate students, teachers, and informal educators aimed at translating scientific research into usable lesson plans. Since 2015, 32 graduate students from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), University of Virginia (UVA), and Old Dominion University (ODU) have developed middle and high school lesson plans based on their research. Find them here.

Homeowners Handbooks can Prevent a Pound of Cure

emergency kit

An ounce of prevention goes a long way! June is the official start of hurricane season so be prepared to weather a possible tropical system if you’re on the US gulf coast, east coast or in other vulnerable locations. The Homeowners Handbooks to Prepare for Natural Disasters are free to download for Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. Florida’s Handbook will be available soon. Then also download  the 4th edition of the Homeowner’s handbook to Prepare for Natural Disasters, too. (It links to educational resources from the Voice of the Sea site.) All of these handbooks cover essential information on emergency preparedness, evacuation planning, flood/wind insurance, and steps to protect life and property. And… don’t forget to add these supplies to your emergency kit highlighted from Yale Climate Connection!!



  • NEP Coastal Watersheds Grant Program 2020 Request for Proposals. The National Estuary Program (NEP) Coastal Watersheds Grant (CWG) Program is a newly created, nationally competitive grants program designed to support projects that address urgent and challenging issues threatening the well-being of coastal and estuarine areas within determined estuaries of national significance. Letters of intent submittals are due on August 7. Find the Request for Proposals More info…

  • Federal Funding Opportunity . The NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER) is soliciting ocean exploration proposals to support projects that provide data and information that may inform ocean-related segments of the U.S. economy in ocean exploration, technology, or marine archeology. The deadline for the pre-proposal submission is July 8, 2020 at 11:59 pm EDT. The full proposal will be due on October 22, 2020. More Info...


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