The Watch. News You Can Use From NOAA Planet Stewards - 3 November 2020

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News you can use from NOAA Planet Stewards 

"It's not the voting that's democracy; it's the counting."

– Tom Stoppard

Planet Stewards Education Program Links

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Planet Stewards Bookclub – Join Us!

We'll connect on Monday November 16, 2020 at 8:00 pm Eastern Time to discuss: South Pole Station by Ashley Shelby, Winner of the Lascaux Prize in Fiction. In the book, a climate change denier rocks Antarctica's research community leading to a warmhearted comedy of errors in one of the world’s harshest places.

Find the entire book schedule for 2020/2021 and information on how to join each meeting. Check out our Book Club Archives with book selections and discussion questions from previous Book Clubs. Everyone is always welcome!

The discussion is open to all.

To join us, dial 866-662-7513 (toll free!) 

Then, use the pass code: 1170791#

Please share this invitation to all interested colleagues and networks.

south pole station

FIVE: The Rise of El Niño and La Niña

la nina

NOAA often gets asked how El Niño or La Niña events form and increase in strength. The key is in the ocean-atmosphere coupling across the tropical Pacific Ocean. Without it, ENSO would not exist, and it would be considerably more difficult to predict climate impacts seasons in advance. Read all about it and share it with your students.

Four:  Climate Alive! Wild Weather Video  - Tour Recent Megafires and Superstorms From Space in Just 6 Minutes!


A hotter planet makes conditions for fires more likely and a warmer ocean can fuel stronger storms—including hurricanes. To better understand the ocean, weather, and climate connection, join NOAA Climatologist Tom Di Liberto as he examines  “wild weather” in this video explaining recent wild weather, including the fires out west. Gain insight into how meteorologists and climatologists use technology and human skill to create reliable weather and climate forecasts.

Other resources for students:

Three: A conversation with Emily Fischer, atmospheric chemist, educator, advocate for women in geosciences

climate gov talk

This article continues a series of interviews with current and former NOAA Fellows about the nature of their NOAA funded research and what career and education highlights preceded and followed it. Read the story here at NOAA's

TWO: NOAA Live is Back!


Join NOAALive! and get a sneak peek at what NOAA scientists do all across the country! Students in grades 2nd-8th can connect with scientists and ask questions in real-time via a moderator. During the 2020-2021 school year, NOAA Live! will be on Wednesdays at 4 pm ET (with live American Sign Language interpretation). Next up:

  • Oysters: Nature's Vacuum Cleaner with Harriet Booth, Woods Hole Sea Grant and Cape Cod Cooperative Extension in Barnstable, MA – Wednesday, November 4, 4 p.m. ET

Register to attend! Click here for a full list of both upcoming and past recorded webinars.

ONE: NOAA’s Life Cycle of the Pacific Salmon Teaching Resources


In collaboration with NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and Pacific Northwest College of Art present the Life Cycle of the Pacific Salmon, a vivid 5-minute animation that takes viewers through each stage of the Pacific salmon's life, the different habitats on which salmon depend, and the natural and human-made challenges they face throughout their lives. A curriculum, board games, and children’s book are also available:

OneNOAA Science 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 that can be viewed here.  All seminars are posted in Eastern Time,  are subject to change without notice, and are open to the public via remote access.

Register for the weekly list of upcoming NOAA science webinars here. Future seminars include, but are not limited to: Register to receive a weekly list of upcoming NOAA science webinars 

Here are some upcoming webinars you don’t want to miss!

Seminar recordings, and sometimes PDFs of the PowerPoints are available thru the point of contact listed for each seminar.

Educator opportunities

Special Spring 2021 Teacher Professional Development Opportunity from the American Meteorological Society!


During this challenging time, AMS is offering teachers a special one-time opportunity and waiving all course fees for the first 25 participants that are successfully matched to a mentor team for each of the three online Spring 2021 DataStreme courses (that’s 75 teachers in total!) 

Teachers have faced enormous pressure through the pandemic, and AMS wants to make things a bit easier for those seeking to learn more about weather, ocean, and/or climate science. Approved participants will earn three accredited graduate credits per course. More than 22,000 teachers have completed a DataStreme course, helping them leverage real time data in their classrooms, advance their careers, inspire their students, and become science leaders in their schools and communities. 

Teachers can fill out the DataStreme Interest Form right now to get matched with a mentor for the spring semester!

What’s Working Webinar: Reflections on Virtual, Work-Based Learning Experiences

What's Working

Monday, November 9th, National Earth Science Teachers Association Online Resource Collection

On Monday, November 9th, from 2:00-3:00pm ET educators will share their experiences in transitioning from in-person work-based learning programs for high school and college students to a virtual format. Presenters will provide an overview of their programs, descriptions of the adaptations they’ve made to ensure a meaningful experience under the constraints of a global pandemic, outline lessons learned and offer insights into how the virtual experience can influence subsequent in-person programming. 

Register Here

The Sounds and Songs of Humpback Whales and What They Tell us


November 14th, 7:00pm EST; SETI Lecture Webinar: 7:30-8:30pm EST

The study of animal communication challenges our intelligence and informs our search for  Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). Among the most fascinating and sophisticated of vocalizations arethe sounds and songs of humpback whales. Laurance Doyle, Ph.D., Research Scientist with the SETI Institute, will discuss his studies with humpback whales as he tries to  understand communications that exist throughout Planet Earth and beyond. Register Here.

NSTA/NOAA Webinar: The Unknown World of Deepsea Coral


Dec. 3rd, 7-8pm EST

Deep-sea corals live in some of the least studied ecosystems on Earth, yet provide crucial support for fisheries and many other ecosystem services. Heather Coleman, Coordinator of NOAA’s Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program, will discuss little-known deep-sea coral facts and research updates, as well as teaching tools on the topic. She will also cover policies the US has created to protect deep-sea coral habitats from damage, and remaining threats.

Find out more and register here.

Critical Orientations: Indigenous Studies and Outdoor Education from Oregon State (OSU) On Demand - Access Anytime!


A NEW open-access, on-demand course, is being offered by OSU’s Extension Service Outdoor School Professional and Continuing Education team. The course supports educators incorporating culturally responsive indigenous studies concepts into outdoor education curriculum and programming. Course content applies broadly to all outdoor and experiential education. Learn more & register.

Announcing Green Teacher Webinars: Helping Educators Promote Environmental Awareness


Nov. 4th and Dec. 2nd 

  • The Ktunaxa story of Lightning, Thunder, Fox, and Coyote | Nov 4, 7:30–8:30 p.m. EST | Presented by Joe Pierre, a storyteller raised in the Community of ʔaqʾam, formerly known as the St. Mary’s Indian Reserve, and a citizen of the Ktunaxa Nation.
  • Practical Approaches to Teaching Outside in Cold Weather | Dec 2, 7:30 pm EST. | Falling temperatures are a source of concern as winter approaches. Join this interactive webinar with four Saskatchewan-based teachers, each focusing on different age groups, to ask questions and hear insights about practical approaches to teaching outside in cold weather.

Learn more & register>

Virtual Learning Tips from the Eastern Oregon Regional Educator Network (REN)


This YouTube channel was created to share professional development content, recordings, and live sessions in support of distance learning. Videos share tips for using “Zoom”, virtual tools, and much more!. Check out the videos here.


The University of California Museum of Paleontology presents “Understanding Global Change” Toolkit

cllimate change

Understanding Global Change is your free online toolkit for discovering why the climate and environment changes, your place in the Earth system, and paths to a resilient future. The goal of this website is to provide a broad yet approachable introduction to global climate change processes and the causes of environmental and climate change. If you are interested in this topic or teaching science, this website is for you! Teaching Resources are also available.

Exploring Energy: A Virtual Workshop Series from the University of Wisconsin


Exploring Energy: A Virtual Workshop series offers interesting and interactive dives into activities aligned with real research! The workshops are designed for grade school and high school students to tune in virtually either independently from home or together in a classroom. Register your classroom or family for one or all three of the workshops below:

Student opportunities

Scripps-Rady Ocean Plastic Pollution Challenge


The Scripps-Rady Ocean Plastic Pollution Challenge is a unique 6-month accelerator program focused on identifying effective, evidence-based approaches that will curb the flow of plastic into the ocean, with a specific focus on marine conservation and marine cultural preservation areas along California’s coast. The program runs January - June, 2021. Participants will engage in a series of virtual short courses, virtual team-based research, and a final two-day challenge to pitch solutions to an expert panel. More info about the program can be found here.

WORLD OCEAN RADIO Podcast:"BLUEprint Series: How the Ocean Will Save Civilization" focuses on Equity

Radio Podcast

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. 

Part eleven of the multi-part BLUEprint series focuses on Equity. A blueprint for the future is laid out, with the intent to realize equity through a vision for solutions, and how we can move forward to transform the world we live in today. The podcast is available at:

World Ocean Radio is available for RSS feed and for broadcast by college and community radio stations worldwide. Find it at iTunes or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts. If you prefer the written word, visit to read the blog. 

ANGARI Foundation's Ocean Expert Exchange webinar series

ocean study

ANGARI Foundation and the University of Florida Thompson Earth Systems Institute's Scientist in Every Florida School initiative are back with another exciting semester of LIVE Ocean Expert Exchange webinars!

  • Experts share their marine science research & fieldwork
  • Audiences of all ages welcome
  • Livestream via Zoom (registration required) & YouTube Live
  • Supplemental educational resources provided

To register or learn more about upcoming webinars, click the banner images below. Unable to make the live events? Recordings will be available!

Solar Decathlon: SUNDUCATION Sessions for Educators, Students, Parents...  Next up: Wednesday, November 18, 2020, 1-2 p.m. ET

solar home

The Solar Decathlon has started a series of 10 virtual sessions with topics ranging from tours of houses with innovative designs, to residential energy usage, to jobs in the energy sector. Next up: a virtual hands-on energy workshop for families on November 18. These webinars cater specifically to current and prospective homeowners, educators, students and young professionals, renovation contractors and builders, and others interested in viewing state-of-the-art homes. See the series and sign up here.

NCAR’s Super Science Saturday Event Now Online Nov. 7th!


The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Mesa Lab remains closed due to COVID-19, but do not fear—Super Science Saturday will prevail! They're bringing the event to you virtually on November 7, with a full day of exciting online demos and experiments from augmented reality to infrared radiation to the physics behind medieval trebuchets.

The event is free and will be live streamed all day—join as many presentations as you wish by following this link.

WHEN I GROW Competition from Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE)

STEM Careers

Grab your lab coats and goggles, it’s time to get into character because the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) wants students to tell us all about their dream future STEM job! For the November competition, pick a specialized STEM occupation and tell us all about it. Twelve prizes will be awarded. Visit the ORISE website for more information.

Ed Resources

New NOAA Data in the Classroom resources!


Over the summer, the NOAA Data in the Classroom team asked for feedback about how to best support teacher's this year. In response, they’ve developed some new, easy-to-use resources for teachers and students, particularly those who continue to teach classes virtually. Learn about the new resources below.

New Resources:

Museum of the Earth Exhibit Available Online

museum of earth

The Paleontological Research Institution has a new free virtual exhibit on climate: Changing Climate: Our Future, Our Choice. This online exhibit is based on the Changing Climate: Our Future, Our Choice exhibit that opened in the Museum of the Earth this November 2020. Check it out!

Conference Reports

Naturally Latinos Conference Dec. 2nd - Dec. 4th, 2020


Experience thought-provoking presentations by diverse regional and national environmental experts and become inspired to use the many strategies and tactics you will learn to transform your local community. You will have the opportunity to virtually and interactively network with leading nature professionals.

To see the 2020 Naturally Latinos Conference Agenda & Schedule, click here. To Register, click here.

Students, Join the 2020 Youth Ocean Conservation Summit (YOCS) this Dec. 12th!

Youth Ocean summit

Young people from around the world are invited to the 10th anniversary virtual Youth Ocean Conservation Summit on Saturday, December 5, 2020. This first of its kind digital YOCS, hosted in partnership with Mote Marine Laboratory, will unite long time Summit supporters, alumni, and collaborators alongside an international network of young conservation leaders, for an impactful event empowering participants with the knowledge, tools, and funds needed to launch solutions-oriented ocean conservation projects to protect our blue planet. This year’s Summit keynote will be delivered by explorer, filmmaker, and environmental advocate, Philippe Cousteau, and will feature an incredible line-up of speakers and activities. The Summit is FREE, but pre-registration is required. 

Register for this year’s event by November 30 here


Grants, Contests

  • The 2021 Science Without Borders® Challenge for students. Deadline: March 1, 2021. Learn more.

  • Earth.Org Global Wildlife & Natural World Photography Competition 2021. Deadline: April 4, 2021. Find out more here.. (For students.)

  • M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust
    Partners in Science: pairs high school science teachers with a mentor doing cutting-edge research in an academic lab or a lab associated with another nonprofit institution. Deadline: Dec 1. 
    Strategic Project Grants: Capacity-building awards for mission-focused projects and infrastructure investment. Deadline: on-going.


Jobs, Internships and Opportunities



Especially for Educators 

Green Teacher is a quarterly magazine which offers perspectives on the role of education in creating a sustainable future, practical articles and ready to use activities for various age levels, and reviews of dozens of new educational resources. Check it out.

Focus on Citizen Science




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