The Watch. News You Can Use From NOAA Planet Stewards - 9 February 2021

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News you can use from NOAA Planet Stewards 

"There are years that ask questions
and years that answer."

Zora Neale Hursto

NOAA Planet Stewards Program Links:

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Join the Planet Stewards Book Club in February



Join us at our next Book Club meeting on  

 Monday February 15th at 8:00 pm ET

to discuss:

Plastic Free: The Inspiring Story of a Global Environmental Movement & Why It Matters

Find all upcoming Planet Stewards books and upcoming book club meetings here.

The book is about how ordinary people can make extraordinary changes. It tells the story of Plastic Free July, a social phenomenon involving over 250 million people in 177 countries. Most importantly, it shows how a determined community can be a formidable force.

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 with all interested colleagues and networks.

New Planet Stewards Website & Funding Opportunity 

Check out the updated Planet Stewards Website! NOAA Planet Stewards is now providing up to $5000 - that's right, up to $5000! - to support educators’ efforts to implement hands-on action-based stewardship projects that conserve, restore, and protect human communities and natural resources from environmental challenges. Check it out! >

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FIVE: OneNOAA Seminar Webinar - Organized Chaos: Social Media, Severe Weather, and Disaster Management

23 February 2021, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm ET

sociall media

Social media has become a powerful tool for emergency managers and public safety officials during responses to severe weather and other major incidents. The University at Albany, in partnership with other Universities and government agencies in the United States and Taiwan, is using social media data to explore public attention, risk perception, and communication related to acute and diffuse hazards. Albany's student-led, expert-guided Virtual Operations Support Team (VOST) is working with emergency managers to deploy these findings directly into the field through just-in-time and after-action reporting.


See all OneNOAA Seminars here.

FOUR: NOAA Webinar, Seaside Chats - Remarkable Algae in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary

24 February 2021, 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm ET 

flower Gardens Banks National Sanctuary

Extensive sampling of deep water macroalgae in the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS) and the northwestern Gulf of Mexico has resulted in an innovative approach to exploratory research for the discovery, identification, and classification of algal diversity. The research of Dr. Suzanne Fredericq, Professor of Biology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, focuses on rhodolith or algal nodule beds, which represent an important component of marine diversity that contributes to major ecosystem functions. The critical importance rhodoliths play in the life cycle of algae has revolutionized preconceived ideas about the ecological importance of this unexplored ecosystem. Register to join the webinar!

THREE: NOAA Webinar, NOAA Sea Level Rise Viewer Updates and Other Sources for Sea Level Rise Data & Visualizations 

24 February 2021, 12:00 - 1:00 pm ET

sea level rise viewer

The Sea Level Rise Viewer is available at NOAA's Digital Coast. Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) were update in addition to the mapping outputs for Sea Level Rise, Mapping Confidence, Marsh Migration, and High Tide Flooding.  46 map services were updated in all. The High Tide Flooding graphics have now been updated to reflect the latest Annual High Tide Flood report. The Sea Lever Rise Viewer enables users to visualize potential impacts from sea level rise through maps, regional projections, and photos. Several of these offerings will be highlighted and discussed. Register for the webinar here!

TWO: National Marine Sanctuaries Webinar Series 

Webinar: Hidden Beneath the Waves, Exploring North Carolina's Underwater Cultural Heritage

16 February, 2021 1:00 pm -2:00 pm ET


Learn how the discovery of the USS Monitor in 1973 and its designation as our nation’s first National Marine Sanctuary brought NOAA and the Office of State Archaeology together. Hear how these agencies have worked together for over 45 years to tell the stories of the USS Monitor and the many other shipwrecks to celebrate North Carolina’s underwater cultural heritage.

The National Marine Sanctuaries Webinar Series is meant for formal and informal educators, students (high school through college), as well as members of the community, including families. You can also visit the archives of the webinar series to catch up on presentations you may have missed here.


ONE: Celebrate Estuaries!


Estuaries and their surrounding wetlands are bodies of water usually found where rivers meet the sea. Estuaries are home to unique plant and animal communities that have adapted to brackish water — a mixture of fresh water draining from the land and salty seawater. Throughout the month of February, join us as we celebrate estuaries and our 29 National Estuarine Research Reserves with special posts from NOAA's Office for Coastal Management.  #ESTUARYLOVE

Educator opportunities

Sea Secrets Lecture Series Webinar: From the Deepest Oceans to Highest Clouds

Feb 9, 2021 06:30 pm ET

sea secrets

Since 1977, the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS), at the University of Miami, has worked to increase scientific understanding of Earth’s oceans and atmosphere in partnership with NOAA. CIMAS provides support to many NOAA programs including Hurricane Hunters, Argo ocean monitoring, aquaculture research, and marine mammal conservation. CIMAS scientists and researchers will discuss these exciting ongoing research and development projects. Register here to attend.

Webinar: From Sea to See - How Satellites Can Help Identify and Combat Plastic Marine Debris

Wednesday, February 10, 9:00am - 10:15am ET

The amount of plastic that enters the ocean each year continues to grow, yet, policymakers cannot combat the issues without data. Modern advances in satellite, camera, and other technologies have enabled scientists to identify where plastic "leakage" is occurring. By harnessing the data from "leakage" sources, we can better guide the conversation on how to solve the problem. Register here.

marine debris

Webinar: Resources for the Future: The Social Cost of Carbon 

Wednesday, February 10, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm ET 

cost of carbon

Join RFF for a virtual event as they highlight the latest carbon research from RFF scholars and the Climate Impact Lab. as part of their Social Cost of Carbon InitiativeThe conversation will feature perspectives from decision makers to inform policy and highlight key considerations for the Biden administration’s near-term and final updates of the social cost of carbon estimates.

RSVP and follow the instructions in the Zoom confirmation email. Please visit the event webpage for more information.

Speaker Series: Seaside Chats 

Every Wednesday in February, 7:30 pm EST 

seaside chats

Seaside Chats is an annual speaker series about ocean topics with the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS). These presentations take place every Wednesday evening in February, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. (Central Time).

Visit the FGBNMS Seaside Chats web page for more information about each presentation. Upcoming presentations include:

  • This week on 2/10: Manta Rays: The Mysterious Giants in our Backyard
  • Next week on 2/17: Gulf Coast Reefs: Weathering the Storm

The National Association of Geoscience Teachers - Earth and Space Sciences (NGSS-ESS) Webinar: Soil Biology, Chemistry, and Physics... Oh My!

February 11, 2021 at 4 p.m. ET

Soil is so much more than what food is grown in. It’s complex, life-giving, and critical for a balanced ecosystem. Presenters will provide background on what it is, why it’s important, and ideas for classroom activities. They'll wrap-up with additional resources and provide ideas about soil focused careers. This webinar is presented by members of the Soil Science Society of America.

Link for webinar registration


Webinar: Living Shorelines, Breakwaters and Dunes

February 11, 2021 at 8 pm EST


Join Carl Alderson, a Landscape Architect/Restoration Ecologist at NOAA’s JJ Howard Marine Science Lab in Sandy Hook, NJ. Learn about Living Shorelines, Breakwaters and Dunes: projects and programs working to strike a balance between human and wildlife cohabitation in highly developed urban estuaries and marine environments. 


Join the 2021 Nautilus Expedition as a Scientist Ashore!

Deadline to Apply: Friday, February 12, 2021 - HURRY AND APPLY

nautilaus Live

A new season of deep sea exploration starts in June and continues through December along the west coast of the U.S. with expeditions within the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. 2021 expedition sponsors include NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, NOAA Ocean Exploration Cooperative Institute, NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, National Oceanographic Partnership Program, National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, and Networks Canada.  These telepresence-enabled expeditions ensure researchers and early career students are able to remotely participate in observations and data collection from shore. 

Register as a Scientist Ashore!

Guidelines for Excellence Workshop: Environmental Education through DEI Lens  

Workshop Dates: February 17 and February 24, 3 - 6 pm EST


How can your environmental education materials support culturally responsive teaching in the classroom? During this interactive online workshop participants will explore the National Environmental Education Materials: Guidelines for Excellence through the lens of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI); discuss best practices for selecting and preparing environmental education materials that support culturally responsive teaching; and apply these principles to evaluate the effectiveness of an activity to reach all students.


From The National Middle Level Science Teacher’s Association and NSTA: On Board with MOSAiC: Arctic Research Engages Students in Earth’s Systems Thinking  

February 18, Sunday, 7 pm EST


Why would hundreds of scientists from around the world freeze a ship in Arctic sea ice for an entire year, braving subzero temperatures and months of polar darkness? This may sound like a fictional adventure movie plot, but from September 2019 through October 2020, the MOSAiC (Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate) Arctic research expedition did just this. The MOSAiC expedition aims to better understand the changing Arctic climate system by gathering data from ground zero over a full seasonal cycle to augment satellite observation data.

Click HERE for more information and register for this webinar.

American Meteorological Society's 2021 Summer Courses: Project Ocean and Project Atmosphere; Deadline: March 24


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 24 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!  Find more information here.

Student opportunities

Bringing Students NOAALive! from around the US


NOAA Live! is a weekly series of interactive webinars, aimed at students in grades 2-8 (but of interest to all ages!). Join NOAALive! to learn more about weather, oceanography, marine life, fisheries and more! All from NOAA scientists!  NOAA Live! Alaska webinars are on Tuesdays at 3 pm EST and NOAA Live! webinars occur on Wednesdays at 4 pm EST!

You can find past webinar recordings on the NOAA Live! Alaska website and their sister webinar series, NOAA Live! website.


Upcoming NOAALive! Events include:

Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 3 pm EST: Let's Talk About Fish Food! Zooplankton in the Eastern Bering Sea. 

Wednesday, February 10, 4 pm EST: It’s Not Easy Being Shelled: the Ocean Acidification Blues

Tuesday, Feb 16 at 3 pm EST: Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow...but How Much?

NOAA National Weather Service Mini Course: Careers in Meteorology

Monday, Feb. 22, 2021 at 7 PM EST


If you have an interest in the weather, you might consider meteorology as a career. The National Weather Service in Paducah, KY will offer a free online seminar exploring potential careers in the field of meteorology.

To register, Click on this link.

8 Virtual Field Trips for STEM Engagement

8 field trips

In-person field trips aren't possible during the pandemic, but virtual field trips offer fun learning experiences for students. See 8 great examples highlighted via the link below from eSchool News.

Read More

Virtual Marine Science Career Day with Virginia Aquarium

March 19th from 5 - 7 pm EST and March 20th from 10 - 3 pm EST

Career Day

During this two day virtual event, participants will be able to meet marine scientists and learn about their job duties, what skills and training they need, and how to get started in their field.

This event is FREE, but registration is required. Register by March 16 for the sessions in which you are interested by using this online Google form: REGISTER HERE or learn more at

 Get Ready for the Ohio Marine Debris Art Challenge!


Even during this challenging time when many are at home, our waste can still become marine debris. For those living in coastal Ohio, lost waste can end up in Lake Erie. To raise awareness of the issue, NOAA's Marine Debris Program is excited to offer the Ohio Marine Debris Art Challenge for students in grades 6-12 in coastal Ohio!

Learn More

Announcing the Virtual Recycle Regatta Competition

Hoist the sails! The 2021 Recycle Regatta is underway (virtually)!

Submissions accepted March 1 - 31, 2021


The Recycle Regatta is a fun, hands-on competition that students can participate in from the safety of their own home! Students will build small-scale, unmanned, model sailboats, test them, and calculate their speed. Challenge other students from around the world as you do your part for the environment by repurposing and recycling. Prizes will be awarded to the winners! This event is sponsored by New England Science & Sailing (NESS), Educational Passages, and the North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA).

Entry into the 2021 Recycle Regatta is free for students. Submissions will be accepted from March 1-March 31, but building begins now! Winners will be announced mid-April. For rules, building requirements, examples of past submissions, free educational videos, and entry form visit: 

Ed Resourcesurban heat

New Climate Change Research Initiative STEM Curriculum Unit Available — ‘Urban Surface Temperatures and the Urban Heat Island Effects’ for High School

“Urban Surface Temperatures and the Urban Heat Island Effects” is a comprehensive unit plan that introduces students in grades 9-12 to the ways climate is changing in urban settings. The unit challenges students to explore climate simulation models and global temperature profiles to better understand the urban heat island effect. Using remote sensing and climate satellite data, students create a physical model that promotes the concept of the urban heat island and human factors that can mitigate climate changes in urban settings.

NSTA's Daily Do K-12 Lesson Plans 

Daily do

Students actively try to figure out how the world works (science) or how to design solutions to problems (engineering) using science and engineering practices. Engaging in these practices requires students to be part of a learning community - of classmates or family - to be able to share and evaluate ideas, give and receive critique, and reach consensus.  

Check out the many Daily Do lesson plans for teachers NSTA has ready to go here.

Bioluminescent Ocean - Full Moon Collection (5 Parts)


Light in the deep ocean is more common than you might think! Learn how animals have evolved bioluminescent capabilities to breed, feed and survive. Creep into the deep and get started here. 

Take a DEEPER DIVE learning about bioluminescence with our Full Moon Watch Party Webinar, hosted by Ocean Today's Symone Johnson. Video link: (33:04)

Kelp Help from NOAA National Ocean Service

Kelp is used to make many products: toothpastes, shampoos, salad dressings, puddings, cakes, dairy products, frozen foods, and even pharmaceuticals. Check out this web story and resources.

You can also discover: What are Plankton?What is a Maritime Forest?, and so much more!

Read hundreds - yes hundreds - of Ocean Facts From NOAA’s National Ocean Service!


Meet Canada's Ocean School!

ocean schooll

Canada's Ocean School is an innovative online educational experience to help students, teachers and lifelong learners better understand our impact on the ocean and its impact on us. Through immersive videos and interactive experiences, students explore marine ecosystems and habitats, and much more—all without leaving the classroom or their distance-learning setting. Each unique media experience is linked to a customizable inquiry-based learning activity to deepen understanding of the topic. 

NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer: 2021 Expeditions Overview

From April through September 2021, the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research will embark on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer to conduct exploration work in the North Atlantic Ocean. A total of seven cruises are planned, for a combined 134 days at sea. This work will occur following an intensive dry dock repair period in Pascagoula, Mississippi, that accomplished essential improvements to the vessel.  Learn More.






New Climate Change Research Initiative STEM Curriculum Unit Available — ‘Blue Carbon’ for High School

NASA's Blue Caron, stream

“Blue Carbon: Bringing Field Research and ArcGIS Mapping to the High School Classroom” is a comprehensive unit plan that introduces students in grades 9-12 to the importance of salt marshes as ecosystems. The unit challenges students to design an experiment to probe for depth at a local salt marsh or tidal freshwater marsh to study blue carbon, the carbon that is stored largely in sediment linked to coastal waters. Using a geographic information system, students map wetlands, compare and contrast wetland loss over time, and calculate carbon storage of the local wetland.

“Get up to Speed” with what Blue Carbon Is and why it’s so important from these NOAA sites:

Announcing Ocean Explorers Virtual Field Trips Program from REEF!

virtual field trips

REEF is excited to announce its new Ocean Explorers Virtual Field Trips Program!  Sessions are designed to easily supplement a teacher's existing curriculum. The Virtual Field Trips Program follows school standards and the 5E lesson structure: Engagement, Exploration, Explanation, Elaboration, and Evaluation. Programs are able to be taught in person or online. REEF Scientists will guide students through the field trip with pre-recorded videos and presentation slides that accompany the student's field journal tasks. Each program also includes a live “Ask a Scientist” Q&A session.

Virtual Field Trip modules include: Becoming Citizen Scientist; Protecting Endangered Species; and Reducing the Impact of Invasive Species. Modules are available for grades 3-5, 6-8, or 9-12.

California King Tides Project

king tide

The king tides season is over for the winter in California, and more that 1,400 photos of the highest tides of the year were submitted  to help visualize future sea level rise impacts to its coast. Whether you’re in California or not, you can learn about this community science project at 

All of the high tide photos from this season can be explored on this interactive map

For California middle and high school students who are thinking about climate change and what they want to see in their future, they’re invited to submit short videos answering the question, “What does climate justice look like to me?” Videos are due March 31. Find Info here.

Solving the World's Carbon Dioxide Problem 

High School students use information from Project Drawdown to learn about the sectors where climate solutions are being implemented to help slow down climate warming. Students construct a plan for using specific solutions to reduce and remove the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and make a claim describing how their plan could work to keep global temperature change below 1.5 °C. Access the lesson here.

Conference Reports

Presidential Executive Order: 

Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad


President Biden recently ordered the following Executive Order on climate change action found here.

The United States and the world face a profound climate crisis.  We have a narrow moment to pursue action at home and abroad to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of that crisis and seize the opportunity that tackling climate change presents. 

Mid-Atlantic Climate Change Education Conference 

Remote from June 29 - July 1, 2021

mid atlantic conference

Please save June 29 to July 1, 2021 for the second Mid-Atlantic Climate Change Education Conference (MACCEC). 

Visit the program’s website ( to subscribe to the mailing list and check in on the evolving conference agenda, call for proposals, and conference registration. You can also propose your ideas for themes to cover during the conference in this Google form


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