The Watch. News You Can Use From NOAA Planet Stewards - 15 December 2020

Image Banner

News you can use from NOAA Planet Stewards 



"The New Year is the first blank page of a 365 page book.

Write a good one.”

Brad Paisley

Planet Stewards Education Program Links

Did a colleague or friend share this copy of The Watch with you? 

Thank them, then sign up to receive it. - See above!


News and Happenings

     - Check out NOAA Planet Stewards new website and think about submitting a
       stewardship proposal for funding. You could receive up to $5000!


      - Join us on Monday, December 21 at 8 pm ET to discuss 
        Supernavigators: Exploring the Wonders of How Animals
   Find Their Way by David Barrie

In January, we'll discuss Blackfish City, a young adult fiction book and have the author join us! This is a great opportunity for  students to read and join in the discussion. Mark your calendar for Monday, January 18! Find the entire book schedule for 2020/2021 here with information on how to join each meeting. 

Readers' Survey: The Link is Now Fixed and We Need Your Input!


Our apologies, There was an issue with the previous link to our reader's needs assessment survey. It's working properly now so open it up - do it now - and let us know what you want to see in future issues of The Watch! We appreciate you taking a few minutes to help us help you.  Find and complete the survey here.


FIVE: Check out the latest Ocean Service podcast: Protecting Culebra's Coral Reefs 


Healthy coral reefs are among the most biologically diverse, culturally significant, and economically valuable ecosystems on Earth. In this podcast, hear from Lisa Vandiver, a Marine Habitat Restoration Specialist with NOAA’s Restoration Center and Rob Ferguson, a watershed management specialist with NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program, about how NOAA works with local partners on the island of Culebra to protect and restore the coral reef ecosystems and reduce the impacts of pollution. Access it here, then share it  on Facebook and Twitter  Find all of the latest podcast episodes from NOAA Ocean Service here!

Subscribe to NOAA Ocean Podcast feed:

FOUR: The Future of Ocean Farming - A New NOAA Ocean Today Video Collection

ocean farming

Find out how sustainable aquaculture practices are helping to grow healthy seafood and support a cleaner ocean in NOAA's Future of Ocean Farming collection.


THREE: 2020 Indigenous Peoples of NOAA Storyboard

native american art

The 2020 Indigenous Peoples of NOAA Story Map highlights fellow American Indian and Alaska Natives employed by NOAA. These slides offer a glimpse into the stories of NOAA's American Indian and Alaska Native NOAA employees.   Find the story map via this link:


TWO: National Marine Sanctuaries Webinar Series, How NASA Satellites Help Protect Coral Reefs of Papahānaumokuākea Marine Nat'l Monument

December 17, 2020 • 5 PM EST, 12 PM HST, 2 PM PST

nat'l marine sanctuaries

This webinar highlights an extensive outbreak of a newly identified algae that threatens the survival of the coral reefs at Manawai with the potential to spread to nearby atolls in the Marine National Monument.  In response,a Google Earth Engine was created that enabled partners to remotely monitor ocean conditions and determine the drives that may be contributing to the pervasive spread of the nuisance red algae. Register for the webinar here.

National Marine Sanctuaries Webinars provide educators with educational and scientific expertise, resources, and training to support ocean and climate literacy in the classroom. This series targets formal and informal educators, students (high school through college), as well as members of the community, including families. Visit the archives of the webinar series here.

ONE: NOAA Provides Answers for those dreaming of a white Christmas

ESRI white xmas

What is the historical probability of at least 1 inch of snow falling in the Lower 48 states on December 25? Consult this map built with data from NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information.

Read the Story Here!


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

  • Effects of Climate Change on Zooplankton Communities, 12/16/2020 from 1pm - 2pm ET -This seminar is part of NOAA's bi-annual seminar series focused on the ecosystems of the North Pacific Ocean and U.S. Arctic and has existed since Oct 21, 1986. The presentation will provide an overview  of changing marine environments in Puget Sound and the Bering Sea due to warming waters and anthropogenic contributions leading to  increasing incidences of coastal hypoxia world wide, as well as, early sea ice retreat observed in the Arctic. Visit the series webpage for more information,
  • NOAA Eastern Region Climate Services: High-tide Flooding Report and Impacts to the Eastern Region, 12/17/2020 from 9:30 am - 10:30 am ET - The webinar will feature a recap of December conditions and a discussion on the most recent high-tide flooding report (July 2020) and impacts to the Eastern Region. Learn more here.
  • He Hulikoʻa Kanaloa—Seeking the Depths of Kanaloa: Hawaiian Religious Understandings of the Ocean1/07/2021 from 2 pm - 3 pm ET. - This lecture details ancestral Hawaiian understandings of the primary oceanic deity in the Pacific, Kanaloa. The topic aims to provide an overview of how the Native Hawaiian community perceives both Kanaloa and the ocean realm, from a religious and cultural perspective. This lecture poses the question: In looking at how ancestral Hawaiians understood Kanaloa as a deity, what can be revealed in their understanding of the oceanic realm he represented? Register.

See all OneNOAA Seminars here.

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

Educator opportunities

"Education at Home" – A New Collection of Collections

Education at Home

The NOAA Education website includes a new "education at home" resource collection, with individual collections on art activities, background reading, citizen science, educational mailing lists, experiments and activities, lessons and curricula, mobile resources, webinars, and videos and podcasts. The site strives to make it easier for all educators to find resources tailored to what they need via short(ish), curated lists of many of NOAA's finest resources.

Announcing American Meteorological Society 2021 summer courses: Project Ocean and Project Atmosphere


Hey teachers! You’ve faced tremendous challenges due to the pandemic, now it’s time for you to have a terrific experience learning more about Weather and Physical Oceanography! Do you need new ideas for using data and hands on experiments in your classroom?

The American Meteorological Society 2021 summer courses, Project Ocean and Project Atmosphere, are accepting applications through 26 March. These competitive professional development courses are open to K-12 teachers and include online and in-person components and field experiences. All travel expenses are covered and participants receive stipends and earn graduate credit upon successful completion of the courses. Don’t miss this chance to learn from the experts, connect with other outstanding teachers, and have the earth science experience of a lifetime!…/…/education-program/k-12-teachers/

Changing Culture w/ Culture: Shifting Perspectives on Climate Change,

Thursday, December 17th

climate webinar

To impact climate change, there has to be a shift in society’s culture, and art plays a significant role. It reflects our values, beliefs, relationships and view of the natural world. But it can also challenge those same things. Perceptions can be altered, ideologies transformed when art takes on a subject.

EARTHDAY‍.ORG invites you to join Changing the Culture through Culture: Artists Shifting Perspectives on Climate Change on Thursday, December 17th at noon Eastern. Join the live event here.

The Algae Academy’s Spring 2021 Session - Free!


The Algae Academy is a unique module that teaches the fundamentals of algae and how algae can be applied as a solution for today’s global dilemmas. This five-day drop-in-ready curriculum fulfills the human impact education component in the Next Generation Science Standards that requires students to be able to apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment. The workshop is free and available in three formats: 

•    In-person with lab supplies provided  
•    Online with teacher demonstration; lab supplies provided virtually
•    Online-only, video-based curriculum with no lab supplies 

 Apply for the Spring 2021 Session.

Podcast: Shows Listeners that Science is at the Root of Everything 

dope labs

Titi Shodiya and Zakiya Whatley are the hosts of “Dope Labs,” an educational science podcast hosted by two black PhD scientists. The show looks at pop culture and current events through a scientific and sociological lens. Shodiya and Whatley tell a changing America that their goal is to show listeners that science is at the root of everything and can easily translate into topics that people are already keen on talking about — from Simone Biles to Marvel Comics and popular television shows. Access this enlightening podcast here.

Climate Generation's Resources for Educators

climate generation

Climate Generation Humanities Modules
Innovation and Renewable Energy and Water Scarcity and Perseverance are interdisciplinary Humanities modules bringing the discussion of renewable energy and water to the English/Language Arts, social studies, and science classroom.

Climate Fiction and Nonfiction Reading Guide
This book guide will help you bring climate change literature to your English/Language Arts classes, book clubs, science classes, and beyond.

Feeling Words and Healing Words: A Poetry Journey – Young writers will explore a range of feelings and strengthen their emotional vocabulary, including learning strategies for expressing their feelings and experiences through poetry. Check them all out!

Webinar: Addressing marine debris in protected areas; Best practices and examples

Thursday, January 14, 2 pm EST; 11 am PST


Different types of marine debris have been documented to impact every level of biological organization, and many uncertainties about impact remain. This webinar synthesizes recommendations for protected area managers seeking to reduce marine debris. The recommendations are based upon review of research, case studies, and experience from government, academia, and non-profits. This webinar will also provide some suggested actions and current examples from protected areas addressing marine debris in the US and beyond. Register here.

FREE Professional Development: "Manta Ray Lessons for Distance Learning (Grades 3-5)": Saturday, January 16 2021, 9:30 am EST

The two hour Zoom professional development will start with a presentation by Jessica Pate M.Sc, Florida Manta Project Scientist. It will include NGSS alignment, Lesson freebies, Raffle for Art, exclusive first offer to have Marine Biologist Zoom with your class, and a Certificate of Attendance.

Register to receive your zoom link here:


Virtual Workshop: Sea Turtle Exploration, Jan. 23, 2021

The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher presents Sea Turtle Exploration, a workshop 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 us from the comfort of your own home in a virtual edition of the workshop on Saturday, January 23, 2021. You will be sent a workshop kit beforehand to prepare you for a hands-on teacher workshop exploring our curriculum and activities.

Student opportunities


Every Kid Outdoors Program!


The Every Kid Outdoors program allows 4th graders and their families free access to federal lands and waters managed by DOI, USDA, Army Corps, and NOAA.  Fourth graders can go to the Every Kid Outdoors website and print out a paper pass and use it at places that normally charge an entrance fee.  NOAA and others have agreed to honor a special pass designed for current 5th graders (the 4th graders from last year unable to use their passes due to COVID) for one year only (Sept 1, 2020 - Aug 31, 2021).  Students can still visit the Every Kid Outdoors program  and find a special link at the top of the page for 5th graders.  Please share as appropriate with both 4th and 5th grade students and families. 

Career Guide Explores Underwater Work

underwater work

The Marine Science Team at foundry10 has launched The Ultimate Guide to Underwater Work. This free and publicly available website features interviews and resource links for over fifteen ocean-related career fields from marine geology to shark biology to professional mermaiding! Educators can access a customizable learner guide for in-person or virtual classrooms. Come explore!

Fun With Science Video Lessons for Students


Fun With Science, a virtual program from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), can excite students about science through engaging video experiments. Targeted for grade five, the experiments reinforce basic concepts about chemistry, density, air pressure, and states of matter and capture student interest through the use of attention-grabbing materials and activities  Each video lesson is between 5 to 10 minutes long  A Test Your Knowledge quiz accompanying each lesson can help students synthesize understanding. Access the resource here.

Two Courses & Travel Offered to Students 16+ about Forfar Field Station

Anyone ages 16+ can enroll in in two online courses  about Forfar Field Station on Andros, Bahama. Each course is 8 weeks long, taught at an introductory college level, and with an optional travel immersion week to Forfar Field Station in summer 2021. The courses will involve a live 2-hr lecture and active discussion every week, with light assigned readings in between. Courses include:

These courses will be starting in January so I encourage anyone who is interested to sign up ASAP while space is still available! Email with any questions.

Webinar: Learn all About Abolone: Gardeners of the Kelp Forest w/ NOAA Live! 

Wednesday, December 16, 2020  4:00 pm — 4:45 pm EST (archived too!)


Learn about abalone, a group of large snails that live in kelp forest habitats around the world. These humble snails "garden" the kelp forest and ensure there is space for the other plants and animals living there. For thousands of years, people living on the California Coast have harvested this beautiful animal and we will explore how they were used for food, tools, jewelry, and cultural ceremonies. We will end by looking at the status of abalone today, with 2 species on the endangered species list and the others in such low numbers they can no longer be fished. Learn how NOAA and  partners are teaming up to save this important animal. 

The webinar will last about 45 minutes with moderated questions and answers throughout and live American Sign Language interpretation. This webinar will be recorded and posted afterward with English captions and Spanish subtitles. (Grades 2-8 but all ages will enjoy) Register here.

Ed Resources

New Elementary Resources Added to the CLEAN Collection on Climate Change and Energy


The CLEAN collection has just added over 65 lesson plans, data visualizations, and videos appropriate for elementary learners about climate change and energy. Additionally, they have developed a support page providing pedagogical support. And don't forget, CLEAN pages are available in Spanish and illustrate aspects of the climate and energy system relevant to science disciplines as well as in engineering, policy, social science, and economics. Examples include Trayendo La Ciencia Del Clima a Su Clase and Trayendo Temas Sobre Energía a su Clase. Enjoy the CLEAN collection resource!

Winter Weather Safety Curriculum Resources from NOAA

The NWS is officially launched the Winter Seasonal Safety Campaign this December on the first day of meteorology winter, December 1.  The Winter Safety webpage is located at and hosts numerous winter weather resources you can use with students in various settings. 

wwinter weather

Ocean School Resources Support Ocean Literacy


Ocean School is a free, innovative inquiry-based learning experience geared towards ages 11-15 and available online in English, French, and Spanish. Ocean School develops videos, virtual reality, augmented reality, and corresponding activities to help promote ocean literacy throughout Canada and worldwide empowering the next generation of ocean citizens, researchers, and innovators with the knowledge and tools to investigate and design innovative solutions for the accelerating challenges that face the world’s ocean. Check Ocean School out!

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!


Winter Break Activities from Towsen University 

Looking for fun things for a young scientist to do at home during winter break?

Towsen University's Center for STEM Education is offering access to all its Science Explorers Club activities. Each investi-gation provides step-by-step instructions and utilizes items typically found at home. Enjoy a peaceful winter break with these fun activities! Find them all here.


Just for Kids Learning Adventures


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge has developed distance learning packets to engage K–6 students in outdoor explorations at home, a refuge, or a neighborhood park. Just for Kids Learning Adventures online packets provide instructions and videos for completing a range of nature-related activities, organized by theme such as forests, seasons, winds and clouds, spring phenology, pond insect investigation, birding basics, wetland connections, pond science ... Find Just for Kids learning Adventures online packets here.

Science and Nature Activities for Cooped-Up Kids

bird resources

Explore bird anatomy and the adaptations that help birds thrive in the latest issue of Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s online publication, Science and Nature Activities for Cooped-Up Kids. Available for three grade spans (K–2, 3–5, and 6–8), the activities explore how gizzards work and include both adult-guided explorations and opportunities for independent study. The publication also suggests Family Quests such as going on a “bird feet hike,” sketching a bird in nature, or keeping an “I Wonder” board or list. Find the resource here.

Technical Writing in Science Class: The Handbook

technical writing

This online handbook presents strategies and authentic activities to support science students in developing effective communication skills. The resource covers three general topic areas: Technical Writing in K–12 environments (Part 1), Technical Writing Guidelines for Students (Part 2), and Extensions and Applications (Part 3). Of particular interest are the printable checklists for students (Good Instructions Guidelines and Guidelines for Writing Good Descriptions), which can be found in the Technical Writing Guidelines chapter.

Teaching climate video: Students measure changes in ice and snow

This short video features the Alaska Lake Ice and Snow Observatory Network (ALISON project), a citizen science program in which 4th and 5th graders help scientists study the relationship between climate change and lake ice and snow conditions.

Conference Reportsstate of climate

State of the Climate 2020 

The World Meteorological Organization's new Climate Report 2020 is out provisionally for the year and NOAA has a good summary page re: this data. Additionally, a story map of the State of the Global Climate 2020 can be found here that is excellent. 


Coral Assessment and Restoration Results Released for U.S. Caribbean After 2017 Hurricanes

new NOAA report summarizes coral assessment and restoration efforts in response to hurricanes Irma and Maria. The two hurricanes impacted Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in September 2017, causing considerable damage to shallow coral reefs. This report summarizes both the pre-FEMA restoration efforts, as well as the FEMA mission assignment by NOAA, and serves as a guide for future efforts.


Grants, Contests, Campaigns

Jobs, Internships and Opportunities

  • ERT, Inc seeks an education evaluation associate to support NOAA's Office of Education in the monitoring and evaluation of the NOAA B-WET program, to provide capacity building for program managers and grantees, and to assist the NOAA Education community on stewardship education evaluation. The position description can be found here:
  • Coordinator I (Research Project Coordinator) for Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. This multi-year program will develop an integrated climate resilience toolkit for community health clinics. Learn more and apply

  • Mission-Aransas NERR has an opening for an Education Coordinator position to oversee our education program in Port Aransas, Texas. Please share and/or apply here. 
  • NOAA is pleased to announce the 2021 call for applications for NOAA’s Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellowship (C&GC) program. C&GC fellows are UCAR employees and receive a fixed annual salary. For more information go here or email! 


Educator Focus



Citizen Science

Sign up to our email list and receive invitations to future events. 

Have questions, comments, or suggestions? We love to hear from you! Email us here to suggest content and include:

  • Event/announcement title

  • Date and time if applicable

  • One paragraph description

  • Link or email address for more information


Planet Stewards jpg