2020, July 14 – The Watch

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News you can use from NOAA Planet Stewards 

"There can be no greater legacy than

giving young people the tools they need to save our planet."

David Attenborough


Planet Stewards Education Program Links

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Webinar from the Planet Stewards Archive: Misconceptions & Conceptual Change

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Harvard University’s Phillip Sadler noted:"The best teachers can predict the common misconceptions that their students have." Adults and students hold tightly to incorrect ideas that prevent deep understanding of key earth and space concepts, essential for understanding climate science. Knowledge of misconceptions is essential for science teachers in any topic. This presentation explores current research, useful resources and sites, and potential classroom strategies and assessments to increase student understanding of science. Watch the webinar anytime here.


FIVE: July 2020 ENSO update: La Niña Watch!


Ell Nino Southern Oscillation is still in neutral, and likelly to continue so through the summer. However, there is a 50 - 55% chance of La Nina developing in the fall and lasting through winter, so NOAA has hoisted a La Nina Watch.

FOUR: Everything You Wanted to Know about Hurricanes


It’s Hurricane Season in the Northern Hemisphere. What are hurricanes? How are they named? And how do they form? With this NOAA Resource Of The Day, you’ll find the answers to these questions and more. Start learning with NOAA's hurricane resource collection


THREE: Regional Activity Books from NOAA Ocean Service


These downloadable PDF booklets are recommended for Grades 3-5. Each book includes fun and informative activities about the local coastal ocean and its inhabitants from NOAA Ocean Service. Access them here.



 NOAA is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Check out this new video showcasing NOAA's National Weather Service and building a weather ready nation. #NOAAat50.

ONE: Celebrating Habitat Month 2020: Reconnecting with Habitat


NOAA is  excited to kick off Habitat Month at NOAA Fisheries. All month long, we will share our habitat conservation efforts through our website and social media. The theme this year is "Reconnecting with Habitat.”

OneNOAA Science Seminars

Love to learn about NOAA, its science, and programs? Check out these upcoming webinars from the OneNOAA Seminar Series - the most complete and integrated summary of NOAA science and climate seminars across the nation.

Register for upcoming Webinars including  but not limited to:

The OneNOAA Science Seminar Calendar can be viewed at http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/seminars/. All seminars are posted in Eastern Time and subject to changes without notice;  Seminars are open to the public via remote access.

When available, recordings of OneNOAA science seminars are posted here

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Read on to find out if you’re right.

Educator opportunities

Amer. Meteorology Society DataStreme & Teacher Certification Projects 

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With major support from NOAA, the DataStreme Project offers three semester-long distance learning courses to K-12 teachers in all 50 states and U.S. territories, including:

  • DataStreme Atmosphere - focuses on the study of key meteorological concepts and dynamic weather events in near real-time; 
  • DataStreme Ocean - addresses the ocean’s physical, chemical, biological, and geological properties and their effects on coastlines, ecosystems, and climate; and 
  • DataStreme Earth’s Climate System - explores the scientific principles governing the climate system and the ways humans interact in it.

Apply today for the fall (begins mid-August) or spring semesters via the AMS website here. A limited number of fee waivers for DataStreme are also available.

AMS recently launched a new certification program! Upon successful completion of any two of DataStreme courses, Project Atmosphere, and Project Ocean/Maury, teachers may to apply to become a Certified AMS Teacher. Learn more HERE.

Science Teachers - We Need Your Input!

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The Science Peer Review Panel is an elite cohort of educators from across the country with expertise in the NGSS and EQuIP Rubric for Science that reviews free and publicly available lessons and units to determine the extent to which they are designed for the NGSS. The Panel is now accepting submissions in middle school science instructional materials designed  High quality materials aligned to NGSS are then posted for science educators across the country here

Submit your resources via the website for the next round of reviews beginning in August. Find out more.

Education for A Sustainable Planet - World Wildlife Foundation Courses

Education for a Sustainable Planet is a learning path comprising five 1-hour courses, each containing several modules and a 10 question test. The aim is to create a holistic approach to sustainable education, leading to future generations of voters and consumers who instinctively understand and support the need for sustainable lifestyles. Courses include:

  • Education for a sustainable world
  • Making connections 
  • Encouraging active and participatory learning
  • Driving change towards sustainable schools
  • Empowering young people to take action

Find out more information here.

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NAAEE Monthly Webinar: The Circular Economy, Creating the World We Want – July 16, 3:00 PM ET

Join two international environmental experts as they demystify the concept of the circular economy to show how it directly addresses the major environmental challenges we face, ways to advance it through education, and how it can strengthen STEM teaching. Learn More here.

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Climate Storytelling Online Workshop

In this online workshop, you'll learn how to access and share your personal climate story in a dynamic, engaging, and cohesive format and come away with an understanding of how to use it to forge an inclusive and effective response to the climate crisis. Free, but registration here is required.


Earth to Sky Academy 2021

Informational Webinar: July 28 at 3 p.m. EDT; Application Deadline: Aug. 31;
Academy Dates: Jan. 25-29, 2021

The FREE Earth to Sky (ETS) Academy is for interpreters and informal educators interested in creating or strengthening communities of practice for improving climate science communication. Graduates will be prepared to develop and run an ETS climate communication course, and be supported in building and sustaining their regional community of practice. Applicants must apply and attend as a team of three to five members from various agencies/organizations. At least one member must have attended an ETS course or mini-course.


Smithsonian K-12 Science Education Action Planning Institute

Audience: Educators, Parents, Community Members and Industry Stakeholders

Event Dates: July 28-30

Join the Smithsonian Science Education Center for a series of live, asynchronous meeting opportunities to tackle the challenge of ensuring K-12 science education remains a critical component in the classroom and community during COVID-19 and in the future.

Click here for a full schedule of events and registration information.

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Stay-In-stitute for Climate Change Education - A virtual conference 

July 22-24th, 2020

Gain the skills, tools, and resources to teach climate change concepts and empower students in all subject areas, and receive on-going support throughout the year. Learn more & register >



The River Mile Network FREE Virtual Live Trainings

  • Investigating Crayfish + Freshwater Ecosystems             
         on August 11 & 17
  • Inquiry, Exploration and Service Learning in the 
         Sagebrush Ecosystem, K-12th Grade | August 13 & 14

Learn more and register>


Survey to Capture Data on Importance of Green Spaces

The Urban Systems Lab is conducting a survey on the importance of urban parks, open space, and other green spaces in the U.S. during the COVID-19 crisis. The survey will help understand how people are using these spaces during the pandemic and how this may affect mental and physical well being. The survey is available in English and Spanish. Find more information here>

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The Circle of Mentoring: Leveraging Mentoring to Build an Aquatic Career; Date/Time: Thursday, July 16, 5:00 - 6:30PM

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The Women's Aquatic Network is presenting, “The Circle of Mentoring: Leveraging Mentoring to Build an Aquatic Career." How to be a good mentor and mentee, how to find mentors, and the importance of mentoring in paying it forward to future generations and creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive field will be its focus. Speakers, agenda, and mentorship training resources will be shared with registrants. Any and all ocean lovers and practitioners are welcome to join.. Register here.

Class opportunities

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NOAA LIVE! Partners with NOAA Science Camp to Connect You to Science Learning

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NOAA is excited to partner with NOAA Science Camp (Seattle, WA) and Washington Sea Grant in July to offer a sneak peek at what some of our scientists do in the Northwest! Students in grades 2nd-8th can connect with scientists and ask questions in real-time through a moderator.


Demystifying Science through Video with filmmaker Paul Hillman, NOAA Fisheries in Seattle, WA. Register and click here for a full list of both upcoming and past recorded webinars.

Coastwatch Magazine - with free Classroom Resources! 

Coastwatch magazine - North Carolina Sea Grant’s flagship print and digital publication, has just released its Summer 2020 issue. All of its content available online with free resources for students and educators. Including:

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Conference Reports

Announcing the release of the Climate Toolkit: A Resource Manual for Science and Action

Climate Toolkit PDF

The Climate Toolkit is available on-line through pdxScholarThough originally written as a resource for undergraduate climate science courses by Portland State University instructor Frank Granshaw, it has been adapted for use in a variety of academic and non-academic settings. The manual centers on a series of guided inquiry activities that help students and others make use of online climate data viewers, interactive atlases, catalogs, and simulators. It also provides basic information about the international climate process and other on-line resources.   

Youth Climate Summits Mini-Toolkit Now Available

COVID-19 and social distancing have created opportunities to transform in-person events into virtual events, including Youth Climate Summits (YCS). This toolkit crowdsources creative ideas from the YCS network, youth leaders, and other virtual events.The toolkit is a work in progress, and you are invited to share your feedback using this form to suggest resources, topics missed, or additional feedback.  

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NOAA Coral Reef Atlantic Status Reports

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The NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program has released status reports for coral reefs in the Atlantic and Caribbean U.S. states and territories - Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands; and Flower Garden Banks in the Gulf of Mexico. The status reports provide an overall snapshot of coral reef ecosystem conditions based on four indicators: corals and algae, fish, climate, and human connections. They show that coral reefs near human population centers are moderately to critically impacted, which is likely due to water quality issues, impacts from fishing, as well as warming and more acidic water conditions. Access the reports.

Informal/Formal Partnerships to Survive the Impacts of COVID-19, Promote Equity, and Keep Science & Environmental Literacy Alive

Virtual Conference: July 28-29, 10 - 1 pm PDT | 1 - 4 pm EDT

lawrence hall of science

Lawrence Hall of Science is hosting a virtual open space conference to help leaders from formal and informal education systems come together to find mutually beneficial solutions to the devastating impacts of COVID-19. Schools can use their outdoor spaces to bring more students safely back to school with some outdoor educators to expand their capacity. More details about this FREE open space conference can be found here

North American Assoc. of Environmental Educators (NAAEE) 2020 Conference is going virtual!

NAAEE's recent virtual conference survey supports spreading things out a bit, so the Research Symposium will be held during the week of October 6, and the NAAEE Annual Conference during the week of October 13–17. All content will also be available on demand. Mark your calendars! Exact dates are coming soon!  More >

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Ed Resources

FLOOD Data from the New York Times

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Have students access this Interactive map that displays county-by county flooding estimates and compares FEMA with the "independent researcher estimates".  They can look up their own county to see risk of flooding from a major storm. And the article tells about a group of academics and experts based in New York City who compiled the data, creating a website where people can check their own address.

Teaching About Vaccines

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Teachers are gathering resources and planning how they will educate students about vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out what resources they will use and their approaches in this NSTA Reports story.

NSTA's Daily Dos


The NSTA Daily Do is an open educational resource (OER) used by educators and families to provide students distance and home science learning. Check out these NSTA Daily Dos.

In this month's Next Gen Navigator, four public school teachers—two elementary, one middle, and one high school—share how they have used the Daily Dos during the recent school closures. Don't get the Navigator? Sign up for this monthly e-newsletter.

New Sharks and Rays Coloring Book

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Download this fun coloring book for K-5 learners to discover the sharks and rays of the Channel Islands. This is a new companion activity to the poster Sharks and Rays of Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. This 20-page coloring book has species’ descriptions, samples of natural colors, a matching activity, and 11 x 17 coloring poster.

Science Island

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This science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) - based game challenges players to fix Science Island, an abandoned 100-year-old theme park. Developed by design students and researchers at Swinburne University of Technology in Australia, with input from Ugandan middle school students and scientists worldwide, the game explores STEM content through more than 120 learning quests in 10 themes (dinosaurs, medicine, math, physics, inventions, animals, environment, weather, evolution, and space). Find it here.

Teaching Climate Video: Cool Roofs


This introductory video covers basic facts about how to keep residential and commercial roofs cool, and why cool roofs are important for reducing the heat island effect and conserving energy. Include it in units involving climate, climate change, and impacts of various temperatures.

NOAA’s Ocean Podcast: The U.S. Marine Biodiversity Observation Network

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The goal of this podcast is to ensure that scientists not only notice changes in biodiversity at locations in the shores that surround us, but also have the tools in place to better understand what these changes tell us about ocean health over time. On NOAA’s Ocean Podcast, students can hear ocean experts explore questions about the ocean environment from corals to coastal science. Listen here.

Beat the Uncertainty: Planning Climate Resilient Cities

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You and your fellow players are the leaders—citizens, policymakers, business leaders, nonprofit leaders, and researchers—of a coastal city. Your job is to make smart decisions that will increase the city’s resilience to climate change. Instructions, checklist, and booklet are freely provided from NOAA here.

  • 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 to support projects that address urgent and challenging issues threatening the well-being of coastal and estuarine areas of national significance. Letters of intent are due on August 7. Find more information about this Federal Funding Opportunity here. 
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now accepting applications for the 2020 Clean Air Excellence Awards Program. Through this program, EPA recognizes and honors individuals and organizations whose efforts have helped to make progress in achieving cleaner air. The five awards categories are: (1) Clean Air Technology; (2) Community Action; (3) Education/Outreach (4) State/Tribal/Local Air Quality Policy Innovations; and (5) Transportation Efficiency Innovations. Application deadline: July 31, 2020. Learn more & apply>


  • The National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) is searching for qualified candidates to serve as the Association’s next Executive Director. Click here to read the job announcement, outlining the position expectations and qualifications.
  • ActNow Science is looking for restoration experts to partner with students and teachers to restore local ecosystems. They have developed a curriculum and a model to facilitate this partnership and provide a high quality curriculum that acts as a bridge between the experts and the classroom. Learn more >


Some Thoughts About Teaching and Learning

Good environmental educators recognize there is much to be learned from their students. A long-standing environmental educator, eePRO Group Moderator Joe Baust reflects on the influence of K–16 teachers.Read more

Education News

NOAA and Other Science News

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