The Watch - News You Can Use from NOAA Planet Stewards. July 28, 2020

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News you can use from NOAA Planet Stewards 

Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future,

and live in the only moment of time over which

you have any control: now.“

– Denis Waitley

   Planet Stewards Education Program Links

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MWEE Way webinar

Webinar from the Planet Stewards Archive

The Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) is an approach to teaching and learning upon which environmental literacy programming can be built. During this Planet Stewards webinar, the MWEE approach and resources are discussed that can support you in the development of MWEE in your school or organization. An excellent how-to brochure is provided online. Access the webinar here.


FIVE: Live Broadcasts Explore Shipwrecks and their Biological Communities


This summer, NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries is teaming up with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Marine Imaging Technologies to explore the marine life and shipwrecks of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. The team will explore the biological and archaeological resources of the sanctuary, and focus on the wreck of the steamship Portland, often referred to as "New England's Titanic" and an unidentified coal schooner. Educational resources are being developed to supplement live broadcasts from the wreck sites planned for August 25-27, 2020. Learn more about the mission >

FOUR: Rear Admiral (ret.) Evelyn J. Fields, – A Career of “Firsts”

RAdm Fields teaching students

Rear Admiral (ret.) Evelyn J. Fields has had a career of firsts. Beginning as a cartographer in 1972, she became the first woman to command a NOAA ship, and in 1999, as a Rear Admiral, became the first woman to direct the NOAA Corps and the Office of Marine and Aviation Operations. “To be the first woman, and a woman of color, was pretty significant,” she said, calling her role at the helm “the ultimate challenge of my career.” Read all about her and her amazing career at NOAA.

THREE: NOAA Education - You'll Want to Bookmark this Site!

hurricane on globe

The NOAA Education Portal is your one-stop shop to connect with learning and teaching resources about the ocean and atmosphere. Discover curricula, lesson plans, and real-time data to bring NOAA science into your classroom. Explore opportunities for educators and students of all levels. Apply for competitive funding for education projects. There’s a lot here. You owe it to yourself to have a look. You’ll be glad you did! Access NOAA Education here.

TWO: U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit: A Tribal Climate Adaptation Menu


This tool, accessible at the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, provides a framework to integrate indigenous and traditional knowledge, culture, language, and history into the climate adaptation planning process. Consult the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit for details.

ONE: Looking Back On 30 Years of Teachers at Sea

Teachers at Sea

This week, we celebrate the 30th anniversary of NOAA’s Teacher at Sea program. Join us as we look back at the history and accomplishments of this groundbreaking program. Find more here >

OneNOAA Seminar Series

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. The OneNOAA Science Seminar Calendar can be viewed here.  All seminars are posted in Eastern Time and subject to change without notice; Seminars are open to the public via remote access.

Register for upcoming Webinars including but not limited to:

  • Understanding Ocean Acidification, August 13, 2020 from 6 - 7 pm EDT: In this presentation, participants will dive deep into Data in the Classroom’s Ocean Acidification Module to explore the processes that cause acidification, examine data from across the globe and take a virtual tour of the new web-based curricular modules and data tools.

When available, recordings of OneNOAA science seminars are posted here

Educator opportunities


University of Florida’s Center for Public Interest Communications Needs 15 Minutes of Your Time

cat at keyboard

The Center for Public Interest Communications at the University of Florida, is hoping to make online communicating and learning much better. If you’ve ever been stuck in an online meeting and thought, ‘There has to be a better way,’ here’s your chance to help design that better way. The Center for Public Interest Communications hopes to find out precisely what’s working, what’s not, and why with web-based convening that is here to stay. Click here to start the survey and check out the report: Dialing In, Logging On, Nodding Off: The True Costs of Teleconferences, Videoconferences and Webinar Reports.

Help is on the Way!


The Council of State Science Supervisors has collected an extensive list of resources about mindfulness, resilience; managing trauma; physical wellness and staying socially connected when physically distant. Everyone’s self-care path will look a little different but you need to take care of yourself. 

The Council also collected resources on Supporting Students’ Science Learning During COVID-19 School Closures to provide ideas to engage in safe, meaningful science learning in the home. These documents are useful for educators and parents and are available in multiple languages.

Several sites offer great tips to provide meaningful experiences for your students including 7 Tips for Teaching Online, Teaching Tools for STEM, and NESTA’s Resource Collection. Finally, NESTA has many avenues for you to connect, discuss, and learn from your colleagues at this challenging time.

Webinar: Coping with Crisis – Building Psychosocial Behavior in the Face of Climate Change from the University of Arizona’s SW Climate Adaptation Center

July 29, 2020 from 1 - 2 pm PDT /4 - 5 pm EDT


Climate change is putting Tribal communities at an increased risk for severe impacts from heat, drought, wildfires, floods, melting ice, sea level rise, and more. As tribal environmental professionals, it is our job to understand these risks and help develop plans for adapting to climate change threats. This webinar will provide the opportunity to learn and share techniques to protect emotional health and wellness as part of climate change adaptation planning, and will help build psychosocial resilience to better cope, connect, and recover before, during, and after a disaster.

Register Here>

Webinar: Lionfish: From Reef Raiders to Tasty Treats

Date/Time: Friday, July 31, 2020, 4 p.m. EDT

lionfish in ocean

The 2020 Get Into Your Sanctuary event is about invasive lionfish and what you can do--from your kitchen--to help manage them. This year, Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary is partnering with The Kitchen Chick in Galveston, TX to help us celebrate in a mouthwatering way. Join us on Facebook Live to learn about invasive lionfish and why we are removing them from the sanctuary’s coral reefs. Then, discover what a tasty treat they can be so you can help Eat ‘Em to Beat ‘Em! We’ll provide a list of ingredients ahead of time so that you can cook along, but if you can’t get lionfish, that’s okay. Other flaky white fish will work, too!

Applications for Next Generation STEM Teaching Project 


Teachers: Apply now for the 2020-2021 Next Generation STEM Teaching Project (NGSTP) cohort! It's a great chance for professional development and money for your classroom! Applications are open until August 3. Learn more and apply here by August 3rd.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology FeederWatch Membership Giveaway

bird at lego house

Fifty schools will receive a free FeederWatch membership. Project FeederWatch is a winter-long (November–April) survey of birds that visit feeders at backyards, nature centers, community areas, and other locales in North America. Participants periodically count the birds they see at their feeders and send their counts to Project FeederWatch. Your bird counts help scientists track long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance. Learn more >

ORISE Digital Classroom Lesson Plan Competition

orise sunrise graphic

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education asks teachers to submit a digital resource with a lesson or activity plan to go with it. The digital resource could be a video of a lab or experiment, creative video, virtual breakout, or anything that has been developed to teach online. Teachers should also submit the activity, lesson, or lab plan to accompany the resource. Three teachers will win up to a $1,500 mini-grant for classroom equipment! Find out more.

Register now for MOSAiC expedition virtual teacher workshops!

mosaic arctic vessel

Get a head start on planning for the next school year by learning how you can incorporate the 2019-2020 MOSAiC (Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate) research expedition into your curriculum! Join curriculum developers from the University of Colorado Boulder and MOSAiC expedition scientists for virtual workshops in August 2020 to learn more about two new Arctic climate and MOSAiC expedition units for middle and high school classrooms. Participants will engage with immersive 360° virtual expeditions, authentic real-time Arctic datasets, and App-based labs in this two-day online teacher workshop. There is no cost to register and 10 continuing education hours and graduate credit from CU Boulder is available. 

Workshop: Arctic Feedbacks: Not All Warming is Equal - August 4-5, 10 am - 2 pm MT

Register for Workshop 

Questions? Email Jon Griffith and check out other MOSAiC expedition educational resources.

Educator Online Open House and You’re Invited!

August 5th, 2020 from 5:30 - 7:30 pm EDT


Pontchartrain Conservancy would like to invite you to participate in a virtual Educator Open House that will highlight a variety of new options offered by Louisiana organizations for educators and students as they restructure the school year. Door prizes  will be offered online for registered participants. Each partner organization will give a brief presentation to highlight their resources. Come for the whole program, or pop in and out for the speakers you are interested in --  it's up to you! This event will be recorded and will be available for viewing after the event. Please visit the Conservancy’s website for additional information. You can also register for free here.  

Sea Turtle Exploration from North Carolina Aquarium

Saturday, August 15th, 2020 from 9 AM - 3:30 PM EDT

sea turtel

The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher presents Sea Turtle Exploration, a curriculum designed to help educators engage students in the fundamentals of STEAM through ready-to-use, standards-based lesson plans focused on sea turtles. Now you can join from the comfort of your own home in a virtual edition of the workshop on Saturday, August 15th, 2020. Attendees will be sent a workshop kit beforehand to prepare for a hands-on teacher workshop exploring the curriculum and activities. The cost of this teacher workshop is $25. This fee includes animal ambassador cameos, workshop materials, and access to curriculum. The registration cut-off for this workshop is a week in advance to ensure the workshop kits are sent out to participants in time.

 To register >

Workshop: Climate & Energy in Your Community

(For all formal/informal educators but esp. for those in Alaska)

August 3-6, 2020

wind farm on cliff

Renewable Energy Alaska Project (REAP) is partnering with Arctic & Earth SIGNs team to deliver a “Climate & Energy in Your Community” class August 3-6 online for educators and youth leaders. The focus will be on Alaska resources, but the class is open to any educator. Full participation in the class, including incorporating a GLOBE lesson in your classroom/youth group, will earn 1 continuing education credit (paid for by a NASA Cooperative Agreement grant) through the University of Alaska. The course will focus on citizen science protocols with related energy lessons. Registration is limited to 35 participants, but if the class fills up, it may be offered again later in the school year. Learn more and register here.

NSTA Teacher Tip Tuesday web seminar

Tuesday, August 25, 2020, starting at 12:00 pm EDT

nsta logo - letters

Join NSTA to discuss strategies to provide ALL students opportunities for engaging in science and engineering practices individually from home and sense making collaboratively with their peers. Learn from others and share ideas!  Upon registering each attendee will receive an e-mail confirmation including information about the program and suggested links to visit in preparation of the event. New Users: Log in 15 minutes prior to the start time for an introduction to NSTA web seminars. Join NSTA for free and Register here >

2020 Climate & Resilience CoP Virtual Sessions


Webinar topics sponsored by the Climate & Resilience Community of Practice are coming soon. Future webinars include: 

Topic: Law and Sea-Level Rise 
Date: August 11, 2020; Time: 1:00-2:30 pm central (Tuesday)

Topic: Developing a Planning Range for Sea-Level Rise
Date: August 27, 2020 (Thursday; Time: 1:00-2:00 pm central

Look for other webinars in the future on local community projects, neighborhood resilience, the science of economics, and climate policy.

Find out more on its website including past webinars archived on the site.

Student opportunities

World Ocean Radio Podcast

World Ocean Radio Slave route photo

WORLD OCEAN RADIO is a weekly series of five-minute audio essays on a wide range of ocean issues from science and education to advocacy and exemplary projects. Find it at iTunes or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts. Two recent podcasts include:

  • Part two of a four-part series entitled Slavery: Heritage and Identity, discusses the trans-Atlantic slave story in the context of the UNESCO Slave Route Project: Resistance, Liberty, Heritage that was established to break the silence and liberate the history surrounding slavery and the slave trade.
  • Part three of the five-part Slavery: Heritage and Identity series, introduces listeners to Diving with a Purpose, an organization dedicated to the conservation and protection of submerged heritage resources by providing education, training, certification and field experience to adults and youth in the fields of maritime archaeology and ocean conservation, and to document and protect African slave trade shipwrecks and the maritime history and culture of African Americans.

 Find the podcast here.

Scientific Method Student Challenge: A METHOD TO THE MADNESS

students working on their project

Performing an experiment or analyzing data can sometimes be frustrating. Thankfully, there is something that can help and it’s called the scientific method. For its August student competition, the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) wants all K-12 students to give it a try! Eight prizes will be awarded—two for the K-2nd grade category, two for the 3rd-5th grade category, two for the 6th-8th grade category, and two for 9th-12th grade category. For details and a list of grade-specific resources, visit the ORISE website. The contest on the site is called: Science Still Processing Student Challenge.


The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon®

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® is ready to see innovative and creative building designs! Collegiate institutions may now apply for the 2021 Design Challenge. Applications are due by October 20, 2020. The 2021 Design Challenge Rules may be found in the newly released Solar Decathlon Competition Guide.


solar array in sun
Conference Reports

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

naaee conference ad

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 >

Register now for the Natural Start Alliance Nature-Based Early Learning Conference -- Live July 29-31, and available all year

rainboats on kids

During this virtual experience, attendees have a chance to learn about how to plan, run, and advocate for nature-based early learning programs (including forest schools, outdoor preschools, and nature preschools) and K–3 outdoor learning, as well as discover new strategies and research in nature-based education, and so much more. And everyone is eligible for a scholarship this year with the pay-what-you-can option. Learn more and register.

Ed Resources

Explore Ocean Circulation Patterns on My NASA Data!

My NASA Data (MND) is proud to announce the newest immersive story maps for grades 3-12 Earth Science education: Ocean Circulation Patterns. These resources include lesson plans and a geographic information system. Check it out!


ocean circulation patters module

USGS Online Resources for Teachers and Students

usgs logo

The USGS provides Resources for Teachers to tap into over 140 years of USGS research in the natural sciences in the form of a curated collection of educational resources including lesson plans and activities, maps, podcasts, online lectures, videos and animations, and much more. Browse resources for elementary, secondary, university, and informal education settings that focus on all of the Earth sciences including geology, ecology, hydrology, atmospheric sciences, and planetary sciences. All the materials are vetted, curated, and rigorous, and teachers can search by grade level, topic, or type. 

NESTA's Earth Science Online Teaching Resources Collection

To help teachers who may continue online or a hybrid teaching environment approach during COVID-19 this fall, NESTA has created this Earth Science Online Teaching Resources Collection. It’s intended to help teachers find vetted lessons, interactive simulations and more that can support student learning of Earth, environmental, and space science from home.


BackPocket Learning: Easy Nature Explorations


Looking for screen-free activities to encourage students’ love of nature? Try these simple nature-based explorations and projects created and curated by Life Lab’s BackPocket Learning program. The activities require minimal supplies, can be completed in 30 minutes or less, and involve outdoor exploration. Go on a yard-based nature scavenger hunt, study how plants grow in root view Cups, hone observation skills with nature journaling, or make (and plant) mud-and-native-flower seed spheres in the garden. Teachers also may contribute their own nature- and garden-based activities to the collection. Access BackPocket Learning.

National Geographic Summer Learning - It’s Not too Late!

With young people in mind, learners ages 16+ can discover careers in science, education, and storytelling, go behind-the-scenes of National Geographic's Explorers' work, and see the world through the lens of photographers. Check out the full list of events and collections to keep your learners engaged here >


bat ray

EPA Site Boosts Environmental Education

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers a rich collection of education resources to boost public awareness and knowledge about environmental issues. The site features lesson plans, videos, project ideas, teacher training, funding opportunities, and information on children's health and awards for students and educators. To learn more, visit Learning and Teaching About the Environment.

EPA logo of flower

Grants, Contests

Job Opennings


Ocean Literacy Translations News you can Use

The NMEA Ocean Literacy committee is excited to announce that it has added several translations of the Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts of ocean literacy to its website, as well as a variety of other international ocean literacy resources. CHECK IT OUT

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