The Watch - News You Can Use from NOAA Planet Stewards. August 11, 2020

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News you can use from NOAA Planet Stewards 


“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. 

Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts.

Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me...

Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”


Shel Silverstein


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Planet Steward webinar

Webinar from the Planet Stewards Archive

Hurricanes & Robots: How New Technology is Changing the Way We Study & Predict Extreme Storms

Presenter Contact Information - Dr. Travis Miles, Rutgers University

NOAA’s hurricane gliders are heading to sea to collect data that scientists will use to improve the accuracy of hurricane forecast models. NOAA scientists are deploying these autonomous underwater  robots  equipped with sensors to measure temperature and salinity down to a half mile below the ocean surface. These sturdy gliders can operate in hurricane conditions and have survived shark attacks as they collect data and transmit it via satellite for use in hurricane forecast models. Learn all about the project from the Planet Stewards’ Webinar archived on YouTube from 2019 here.

Read more about the study and scientists’ work on the project from NOAA or watch: Flying into the Storm! NOAA Hurricane Hunters webinar, archived on the Planet Stewards website here.


FIVE: NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center

NWS Climate Prediction Center Map

This NOAA National Weather Service interactive visualization includes outlook maps for different types of weather predictions. The map includes temperature and precipitation predictions for up to 3 months out, as well as predictions for tropical hazards, weather hazards, and drought. Further data is easily accessed here on the site.

FOUR: Data in in the Classroom: Ocean Acidification Module & Webinar


Data in the Classroom is designed to help teachers and students use NOAA data to explore dynamic Earth processes and understand the impact of environmental events on a regional and global scale. Join the NOAA Environmental Visualization Lab Director Rafael DeAmeller as he discusses the interactive module that 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. Brought to you by NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuaries Webinar Series targeting formal and informal educators, students (high school through college), as well as members of the community. You can also visit the series’ archives to catch up on prior episodes here. Check it out and REGISTER.

THREE: New research plan sets the course for NOAA's ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes acidification science


Ocean and Great Lakes acidification has caused global-scale changes in ocean and freshwater chemistry that are driving ecological impacts and resulting in economic effects. Recently, NOAA unveiled its new 10-year research roadmap to help the nation's scientists, resource managers, and coastal communities address acidification of the open ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes and its impacts.

View a collection of ocean acidification resources »

TWO: NOAA & Partners Seek to Make Reefs Resilient with Super Corals


Thanks to a partnership between NOAA, the Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology, and others, specific reefs in Hawai‘i are receiving batches of coral colonies that were rehabilitated in a nursery. But these transplants aren’t your average corals. Learn more about it!

ONE: NOAA Publishes Environmental Literacy Program (ELP) Community Resilience Education Theory of Change!

climate resilient city graphic

This publication outlines the conceptual framework for the ways in which community resilience education can lead to increased community engagement and civic action, ultimately leading to a healthier, more resilient, and equitable society. The beautifully illustrated report plants a “stake in the ground” for the Environmental Literacy Program’s investments in community resilience and integrates research on environmental literacy, social learning, citizen science, civic engagement, youth empowerment, climate justice, equitable resilience, and more. The report is a living document that will be updated regularly to reflect progress made by ELP, as well as other contributions to the field of community resilience education. Access it 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:

  • Unlocking the Mysteries and Marvels of Bird Migration, Aug. 13th, 12-1pm ET
    Imagine flying 3,000 miles with no rest, no refueling, and no water.  The Blackpoll Warbler does this (plus an additional 4,500 miles) during its migration every fall. Arctic Terns make a 22,000-mile figure eight from the Arctic to Antarctic and back each year. Swainson’s Hawks travel 7,000 miles. Technology is helping scientists unravel the complexities of bird migration. GPS, light-level geolocators,weather surveillance radar, and nanotags are unlocking these long-held secrets.  We will look at examples of amazing migrations,. Along this scientific journey, we would be remiss if we did not take a step back and simply be in awe of these magnificent creatures that have been a source of inspiration for humans for thousands of years.

When available, recordings of OneNOAA science seminars are posted here


IT'S SHARK WEEK! Enjoy the following resources...

The Totally True Story of the Sharkcano

Thursday, August 13, 12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m ET


“Sharkcano” might conjure images of a terrible made-for-TV movie, but join a live discussion with Brennan Phillips (URI Department of Ocean Engineering), about his explosive discovery: sharks swimming in sizzling hot water within an underwater volcano! On this episode of GSO Ocean Classroom (Live!) watch and ask questions about this great example of the incredible—and often unexpected—discoveries that ocean scientists make.

Tune in LIVE on the GSO Facebook page or the GSO YouTube channel. 

Webinar – Perceptions of Sharks: Is the “Man-Eating” Fear Justified?

Tuesday, August 18 • 7:00 pm ET, Symone Johnson Barkley National Aquarium

Sharks have long been portrayed in media as “man-eating machines” but are they worthy of that bad reputation? Sharks actually need more protection from humans than we need from them. Learn about the many shapes and sizes of sharks, threats they face, their importance in the ocean, and what you can do to protect them. Register Online.


Shark Videos from NOAA


Watch NOAA’s top five shark videos to get a closer look at their work with these top ocean predators. 

  1. Atlantic Recreational Shark Fishing: Handling & Release
  2. Shark Conservation and the Spiny Dogfish
  3. A Symphony of Sharks
  4. A Mako Shark’s Last Meal
  5. A Mako Shark’s Last Meal - Part 2: The Shark Bite Effect

See more shark videos in the NOAA video gallery. Check out these 12 shark facts that may surprise you and learn about the curious case of the shark and a cephalopod.

Shark STEAM Activity

shark art

If you're looking for a fun shark activity, oh boy have we got a good one for you! Here's video tutorial to guide your sharky adventure and transform a plastic bottle into a 3D shark with the help of tissue paper, glue, and these free printable shark parts. It can even be used as a night light or piggy bank! 

This activity is also a great chance to encourage eco-friendly actions with kids, like recycling, repurposing, reusing, and trying to reduce waste and plastic use.  It can be so much fun to transform trash into treasure! More detail can be found here.


News: Great white sharks swim among us at Southern California beaches

Educator opportunities


A Webinar with Dr. Kathryn Sullivan: Challenger Deep Dive: From the Heights to the Depths

Wed, Aug 19, 2020 12:00 AM - 1:00 AM EDT

Kathryrn Sullivan

Former NOAA Administrator Dr. Kathryn Sullivan is the first person to both walk in space and reach the deepest spot in the ocean, Challenger Deep in the southern end of the Marianas Trench. In this webinar, she will talk about this historic dive, her experience as an astronaut, and her work with Caladan Oceanic's Hadal Exploration System - the only submarine certified with an official "depth unlimited" rating. She was recognized as one of the 46 distinguished First Women by Time Magazine (2017), the 15 Women Changing the World by the World Economic Forum (2015) and Time’s 100 Most Influential People (2014). Among numerous other awards.Register and learn more here >


The Path Forward: Higher Education, August 13 - 3:00 p.m. ET 

From The Washington Post and University of Virginia

Talk: The path forward speakers

As the nation and economy continue to face the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19, many colleges and universities are delaying plans to begin their fall semesters with in-person instruction. With several states now experiencing spikes of coronavirus cases, school administrators are examining more cautious strategies to employ such as online learning and canceling athletic events altogether. Washington Post Live will examine the outsized impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the U.S. higher education system and what the college experience could look like in the years to come. Join the conversation. Streamed here: Register for a reminder


Coral Eco-immunity in a Disease Landscape of Unknowns,
August 13,
4 pm - 5 pm ET

deep coralls

Coral pathogens are known to be incredibly hard to diagnose, which presents a big challenge for coral reef practitioners. How can you measure coral reef health if you can't make a clear disease diagnosis? This seminar will cover what The Cnidarian Immunity Laboratory is doing to tackle this issue. In summation this seminar will present meaningful information for understanding the coral immune system, how it responds to disease, and what the future holds for coral disease immuno-transcriptomics and coral health diagnostics. Join us here. Click the microphone at the top of the screen to connect audio.


The Long Island Sound Study: It’s Marshes and Wetlands

August 18, 2020 from 10 - 11 AM ET

Long Island Sound study

What is the impact of sea-level rise on Long Island Sound’s coastal marshes? How can wetlands help reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and nutrients discharging into the Sound? If you think your students would want to know the answers, a webinar scheduled this August might be for you. Join to learn about the Long Island Sound Study and research’s findings.  Find the MODULE here and  REGISTER to receive a link to join the webinar.

Join Webinars from the National Science Teaching Association!

Teacher Tip Tuesday: Distance Learning Strategies
Aug. 25, 2020; 12 pm ET

How can we create equitable, distance-learning sensemaking (actively trying to figure out how the world works or designing solutions to problems) experiences for our students when it comes to asking them to use materials from around their homes to do so? Join this webinar to find out!

August 27 Science Update: NASA STEAM Innovation Lab–Explore, Create, Share! 7 pm ET

This web seminar will highlight educational technology-based activities from NASA’s STEM Innovation Lab; a think tank and makerspace with an emphasis on earth and space science content applications. Ideas generated in the lab are captured, collected and shared with educators, educational technology researchers and maker-space enthusiasts around the world.

WEBINAR: Arctic Research After Hours, August 27 7:00pm ET

Arctic webinar

Learn about the changes taking place in the Arctic and their predicted impacts. You’ll hear about the applications of autonomous underwater robots for exploring and studying the Arctic, as well as efforts to communicate science to inform and engage young people around the world. Attendees will be able to ask questions via the Zoom chat feature during a Q&A session after the presentation. After Hours lectures are designed for an adult audience, but all ages are welcome to watch. Register Now.


Tune in to the Coastal Resilience Webinar Series: Developing a Planning Range for Sea-Level Rise

Aug. 27, 2020, 2 pm - 3 pm ET


 “Coastal Resilience Webinar Series” is open to all interested participants. Registration links are included above.  Stay tuned for additional webinar topics sponsored by the Climate and Resilience Community of Practice including updates on community projects, neighborhood resilience, the science of economics, and more!

This Is What a Scientist Looks Like


The idea is simple: Students who see themselves in science are more likely to imagine themselves working in the field. A project called “I Am A Scientist” is giving middle and high school students the opportunity to interact with modern-day researchers — breaking down barriers like race, gender, and personal interests. It provides teachers with toolkits containing stories, posters, and career resources showcasing 22 scientists’ range of personalities, backgrounds, pathways, and passions. Find these resources here.

Articles of Note for STEM Educators at this time


The Watch focuses on providing a wealth of STEM activities and opportunities to engage learners in and outside the classroom usually. The following three articles deserve to be shared and should provide you with worthwhile “food for thought” for this year’s teaching.

  • Building Critical Thinkers by Combining STEM With History – By asking students to explore the history of scientific discoveries, they view their world with more wonder—and more skepticism—and condition their minds to think about causes and effects. Read more from edutopia.
  • Finding High-Quality Science Materials – How can teachers determine whether science teaching materials are of high quality and aligned to the NGSS? Three features of high-quality, NGSS-aligned materials are discussed in this article: sequence of activities, use of the three dimensions, and supporting sensemaking. How to find freely available, high-quality materials to do this is also covered.
  • The Symbol of Joyful Learning Is a Pumpkin –This year, as with every other aspect of our lives, the pumpkin patch visit will present unprecedented challenges. Perhaps instead of crowded into a wagon, family groups can hike together toward the pumpkins, providing social distance while allowing us all to enjoy the scenic farm vistas on foot. 
Student opportunities

World Ocean Radio Podcast


World Ocean Radio broadcased its Slavery: Heritage and Identity series recently. In one episode, the history of La Amistad is discussed – the 19th century Spanish slave ship that ran kidnapped human cargo to Cuba to support the sugar plantations. La Amistad is famous for the 1839 slave uprising and capture of the vessel, the ensuing legal battle for their freedom, and the construction effort of a replica ship launched in 2000 to continue an international conversation about slavery and its impacts on African Americans' past, present and future.

WORLD OCEAN RADIO is a weekly series of five-minute audio essays broadcast by college and community radio stations worldwide. Find us at iTunes or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts. If you prefer the written word, visit to read this week's blog. Find current podcasts here.

Hoʻokūkū Kiʻi Kai Ocean Photo Contest

For Educators, Students, and the public (13 years old and up)


Waikiki Aquarium, in partnership with, NOAA Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, is hosting a photo contest from July 31 through September 7 (Labor Day). Send us your best photos of the ocean and your marine sanctuary.

Enter for your chance to win prizes from Pro Camera Hawaii and Huish Outdoors. Winning photos will be shared on Waikiki Aquariumʻs social media and website; be featured in the NOAA National Marine Sanctuary newsletter; and be a part of a 2021 marine tide calendar. Participants must ‘Like’ and ‘Follow’ the Waikiki Aquarium Facebook page to be eligible. For the full description and to enter visit our "Ocean Photo Contest" tab on Facebook or visit

Design The 2021 Ocean Count T-Shirt

Submission Deadline: Sept. 30, 2020

stewardship icon

For Educators, Students and the Public: Every year in January, February, and March, volunteers count whales from the shores of Oʻahu, Kauaʻi, and Hawaiʻi Island for the annual Sanctuary Ocean Count. The goal of the Ocean Count is to increase public awareness of the sanctuary and current ocean issues. For 2021, the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation is hosting a t-shirt design contest. The top finalists’ designs will appear on our website, and the winner will receive $500 for the design, which we will use on the 2021 Ocean Count t-shirt. Learn more at

Blue Beacon Series: Hidden Pacific Film Screening, Aug. 13th

Join the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation on August 13 for a virtual advance screening of Hidden Pacific, a pioneering film profiling the Pacific Ocean's protected and marine national monuments and national wildlife refuge islands.


Students Making a Difference: International Climate Action Challenge,

Kick-Off Event: Aug. 26 and 27; Register by Aug. 31, 2020

climate action logo

Are you looking for a way to help your students or your youth group build community and make a difference this year, even while maintaining social distancing? Be part of the 2020 International Climate Action Challenge, hosted by @GreenTeam Academy. Challengers receive a free action plan, mentoring, structure, and community to help them launch their environmental or community initiatives within 90 days! Register for free by August 31, 2020. Attend the Kick-Off Event on August 26 & 27. Find out more:

Conference Reports


World Oceans Day 2020 Annual Report

World Ocean Day Report

The worldwide movement for a sustainable society and a healthy blue planet continued to grow for World Oceans Day 2020 in spite of the global pandemic. Thanks to the involvement of diverse partners, sponsors, youth, and other leaders, this year we helped to activate, connect, and demonstrate global action for our shared ocean with a renewed commitment to equity and inclusion. Together, we advanced the collective mission with in-person and online events, social media campaigns, a global petition campaign, and youth-led activities. See the report...

Ed Resources

From NOAA: Learning Across Languages and Locations


Marine debris is a constant and challenging threat to communities all over the world. It can travel on currents across the ocean, reach remote shorelines where very few people live, and cause major problems for both people and wildlife. As students and teachers prepare for a new year of learning, NOAA is highlighting educational marine debris resources that highlight the problem in different locations and different languages. Whether you call it desechos marinos ‘ōpala kai, or marine debris, we have resources for you!  Learn more 

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 recent NSTA Daily Dos.

Middle Level: How Do Lakes Freeze?

Elementary: How Can Fish Survive in a Frozen Lake?


ACTIVITY ONE: Finding Credible Source Materials for HS

Science news articles are a great way to learn about new ideas, discoveries, and research. But it’s important for students to be able to evaluate the credibility of sources of information. In this new activity, students read and analyze a news article to determine whether the article is trustworthy.

credible sources

ACTIVITY TWO: Scientists at Work for High School Students

In the “Scientist Role Models” activity, students select and research a scientist featured in HHMI “Scientists at Work” videos. Two versions of the activity are available: one in which students outline a brief profile of the scientist and another in which they write a more extended essay.

ACTIVITY THREE: Question Authority for HS Students

What defines a scientific question? In this updated activity, students practice writing scientific questions, designing experiments to address these questions, and then determining the research questions being asked from reading journal article titles.


ACTIVITY FOUR: Primary Consumers for College Students

Reading the primary literature provides an opportunity for students to practice data analysis and higher-order thinking skills, while providing them insight into the dynamic nature of science. This Educator Voices video describes how to introduces community college students to the primary literature using Science in the Classroom.


Grants, Contests

Internship Opennings

  • The Wilson Center’s Science and Technology Innovation Program (STIP) for graduate-level research and undergraduate-level research. Learn more. Deadlines: Fall Internship: August 16; Spring Internship: November 15; Summer Internship: March 15
  • From ocean plastics to disinformation, the Wilson Center’s Serious Games Initiative is gearing up for several new projects this fall and is seeking interns interested in the public communication of science. Find out more.

Retirement News


Zdenka Saba Willis, L.L.D. retired from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Senior Executive Service where she was the founding Director of the United States Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) Office. From 2006 to 2007, she was the Director of NOAA’s National Oceanographic Data Center. Ms. Willis retired with the rank of Captain from the United States Navy after a long list of accomplishments as a NOAA Meteorology and Oceanography officer, We thank her for her remarkable service.

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