The Watch. News You Can Use From NOAA Planet Stewards - 23 February 2021

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News you can use from NOAA Planet Stewards 

“Do not judge me by my success,

judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

–Nelson Mandela

NOAA Planet Stewards Program Links:

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Join the Planet Stewards Book Club in February

The Sea Around Us

Join us at our next Book Club meeting on  

 Monday, March 15th at 8:00 pm ET

to discuss:

The Sea Around Us

by Rachel Carson

Published in 1951, The Sea Around Us is one of the most remarkably successful books ever written about the natural world. Quite simply, she captures the mystery and allure of the ocean with a compelling blend of imagination and expertise. 

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

The discussion is open to all. To join us, dial 866-662-7513 (toll free!) .

Then, use the pass code: 1170791#

Share this invitation with all interested colleagues and networks.

The Sweaty Penguin Podcast hosts Kottie Christie-Blick, a Long-Time NOAA Planet Steward Educator - Check It Out!

sweaty penguin

Long-time NOAA Planet Steward Kottie Christie-Blick was a long time 5th-grade teacher in New York. During those years, she obtained real-world experience in teaching elementary students about climate change, and teach climate change she did! Today Kottie serves as an Instructor at the University of San Diego and a Climate Education Consultant who helps educators design lesson plans on climate change and sustainability.

She was recently interviewed about the pedagogy of teaching climate change to elementary students on The Sweaty Penguin podcast, Episode 35 – Antarctica's hottest podcast! Tune in to the podcast then be sure to check out Kottie's website, Kids Against Climate Change.

Community Resilience to Climate Change: A Virtual Professional Development Workshop for All Educators from NOAA Planet Stewards

July 5 - 29, 2021

(Live panel discussions on July 8th, 15th, 22nd, & 29th.)

NOAA Planet StewardsArtist Boat and the NOAA Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary welcome you to join us this July 2021 from anywhere you can Zoom for an interdisciplinary 70% independent learning/self-paced virtual workshop; The workshop is meant for all educators and will focus on climate change impacts to human and natural communities, and the actions you can take to build resilience in light of these impacts. Find out more here and register.

kayak 2Countdown

FIVE: NOAA Video: How Fast Can You Say All 30 of 2020's Named Atlantic Storms?

atlantic storms

Typically, the U.S. has about four hurricanes or tropical storms make landfall every year. In 2020, we had twelve! It was an unfathomable year in the Atlantic. In total thirty named hurricanes and tropical storms formed in 2020. All of this happened during the second hottest year on record. And educators, this video supports the Next Generation Science StandardsWatch it here.

FOUR: Celebrate Black History Month with NOAA

black history month

Black History Month is observed every February to recognize the history and achievements of African Americans and their central role in our nation’s history. As we celebrate this year, NOAA would like to highlight the extraordinary research and important contributions of some of our African Americans employees

In addition, NOAA would like to recognize Vince Leggett - the founder and president of the Blacks of the Chesapeake Foundation (BOCF), whose work brings to light the maritime history of African Americans in the Chesapeake Bay. Here he tells of African American ties to history, culture, and waterways of the Chesapeake Bay Region.

THREE: March 2021 Open House Series with NOAA

2 boys inspect seafood

Join NOAA Live! to travel (virtually) across the country to six different NOAA facilities. See some of the amazing PLACES NOAA scientists, engineers, educators, technicians, and interns work:

TWO: Upcoming OneNOAA Science Seminars

The OneNOAA Science Seminar Series is a voluntary effort by over 40 NOAA seminar coordinators to produce and distribute a comprehensive list of NOAA-hosted, publicly accessible science seminars. Check out the OneNOAA Seminar Series website, calendar, and register to attend one of their upcoming webinars listed below:

salt marsh

Feb. 23, 3 pm EST: Understanding the Interconnectedness of Climate Change, Salt Marsh Resilience, and Nuisance Mosquitos

March 3, 3 pm ESTThe Biden-Harris Transition and the Year of the NOAA Workforce

March 4, 12 pm EST: Four Steps for the Earth: mainstreaming the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework

March 9, 2 pm EST: Ten Ocean Prophecies

ONE: Join NOAA for Sanctuary Splash, and Meet the Humpback Whale Webinar Series


Friday, Feb. 26: Introduction to the Humpback Whale

Friday, March 5: Humpback Whale Behaviors  (feeding, pooping, and more!)

Friday, March 12 Meet Big Mama: A very special whale!

Friday, March 19: Studying Sound and Whale Vocalizations

Click on the event and date to register for the webinars above. All showings will occur at 1 pm EST..

Educator opportunities

Growing Black Roots: The Black Botanical Legacy 

A free lecture series, on the second Wednesday of each month running through September 2021.


This 11-part lecture series covers a broad range of botanical disciplines. Delve into the historical legacy of formally trained and self-taught Black Botanists who inspired others to pursue a career in plants, and highlight pathways toward diversity and inclusion in botanical sciences. With this series, the organizers and contributors seek to shine a light on the Black roots within botanyfoster a community of Black Botanists, show that diversity is found within this community, and inspire others who may not have considered Botany as a career choice. 

The talks will take place on Zoom with a livestream to YouTubeThe talks are free to view, but guests must register in order to view the live talks

Short lesson plans based on each talk, are provided for use by teachers and parents. The videos, along with the educational materials, will be made permanently available on YouTube for public viewing after the live event has ended. The YouTube video description will contain a link to a Holden webpage describing and hosting the Educational Materials. These materials will be aimed at grades 7-12, focusing on the comprehension and connection to the biological concepts and lived experiences of the speakers as presented in the talks.  View the series and educational resources here.

Seaworthy Conversations: Building a Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Blue Future

Feb 24, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM EST


The future for the global ocean must be one that is radically inclusive of all who seek to drive positive change to preserve it. Seaworthy Collective embraces this in its ANCHORED values. Join a panel of leaders creating a more diverse, equitable, and accessible ocean & climate science landscape. Access the registration plan here and learn more!

Upcoming Webinars from NOAA, Sea Grant, EPA & More!


February 23, 2020 – 3:30 to 4:45pm EST: Delaware Sea Grant will host a 75- Minute Science Teacher Webinar on marine invasive species. Click the event link for details.

February 24, 7:30 pm ESTSeaside Chats from the Gulf of Mexico  Remarkable Algae in NOAA's Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Click the event link to learn more and register.

March 4, 12pm EST: EPA Environmental Justice and Systemic Racism Speaker Series: The Mapping Inequality Project. Click on the link to learn more.

March 9, 6:30 PM EST2021 Sea Secrets Lecture - "Climate Change 2021: Managing Floods, Heat, and Fires to Keep People and Nature Safe" Click the event link for details.

March 11, 4 pm EST: Inspiring ALL Geoscience Learners Nationwide with PBS – free, ready-to-use resources and services to inspire earth/geoscience students grounded in the science inquiry process, NGSS Science and Engineering Practices, Cross Cutting Concepts, and locally-relevant and authentic phenomena.


Register for the Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) webinar series to enhance your knowledge and teaching about climate and energy education! Check out the range of topics (including teaching about consequences/solutions and teaching at the elementary level) and share this information with your networks:

Wednesday February 24, 6:30pm ET: “It’s Us: Humans as Agents of Change within Earth’s Climate System” presented by Karin Kirk. Click link to register and learn more. 

Thursday March 4, 6pm ET: “Teaching Climate Consequences with CLEAN: Motivate and Inspire, Don’t Despair” presented by Karin Kirk. Click the link to register and learn more.

Tuesday March 9, 6:30pm ET: “The UC Berkeley Understanding Global Change Project and CLEAN” Click the link to register and learn more.

Find PAST-recording on the CLEAN website for asynchronous viewing!

Working Towards Racial Equity Workshop Series

The Lawrence Hall of Science and Youth Outside are launching an NSF-funded Working Towards Racial Equity workshop series. This 2-year series will support environmental and outdoor science organizations to build capacity to foster racial equity, inclusiveness, and cultural relevance in their work environments and organizations. Deadline to apply is March 12, 2021. Read more and apply

logo LHS

Watch "Meltdown" featuring Anthony Leiserowitz,  Director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication


"Meltdown" is different than prior documentaries about climate change. It’s not a scientific documentary. It is an intimate exploration of art and science, beauty and tragedy, the personal and the global, set amidst the massive and spectacularly beautiful icebergs breaking off of Greenland at an accelerating rate.
The film is now available on most streaming services, including AmazonApple iTunesVuduXfinity, and other cable networks nationwide. The trailer is available on YouTube here.

The American Meteorological Society's 2021 Summer Courses: Project Ocean and Project Atmosphere Application Deadline is 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.

eeBLUE Aquaculture Literacy Mini-Grant Opportunity

Application Due Date: April 2, 2021.

Informational Webinar: March 5th, 2021 register here.
This webinar will be recorded.

Funding Amount: $15k for projects no longer than 12 month

NOAA and NAAEE are pleased to announce applications are now open for the eeBLUE Aquaculture Literacy mini-grant opportunity. The application package, applicant resources, and detailed information about the initiative can be found here.

Student opportunities


SECOORA 2021 Data Challenge: Using Buoy and Shore Station Data to Meet User Needs

The 2021 Data Challenge invites undergraduate students, graduate students, and early career professionals to develop a project that incorporates and analyzes buoy and/or shore station data using archived SECOORA data. There are two $3,500 prizes.  Learn more. 

Vembu Subramanian Ocean Scholars Award 


SECOORA is sponsoring the Ocean Scholars Award. There will be two awards this year: an undergraduate and other (for graduate students and early career professionals), each in the amount of $1,250. The funds are to be used to support recipients’ participation in a virtual or in-person regional, national, or international meeting or conference.  Learn more. 

National Park Foundation's Every Kid Outdoors Initiative  

EKO logo

This initiative provides an opportunity for fourth and fifth graders nationwide to experience federal parks, forests, and recreation areas in person throughout the school year. Families will have access to their own Every Kid Outdoors pass to provide free access to national parks as well. Good until the end of August 2021 

Print out a paper voucher from the Every Kid Outdoors website. Teachers or adults who engage fourth and fifth graders through a youth-serving organization can print paper passes and find activities and lesson plans here.

We All Rise Prize

$15,000 in Awards for Black, Indigenous & Latina/o/e Students

Ocean Awareness contest: We All Rise Prize

The Ocean Awareness Contest is a free, online platform for young people around the world to learn about environmental issues through art-making and creative communication, and become advocates for positive change. This year's theme is "water rising." 

The We All Rise Prize is a new award offered by Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs' Ocean Awareness Contests. A total of 20 awards and equaling $15,000—will be offered to students in the U.S. who identify as Black, Indigenous, or Latina/o/e, and whose entries demonstrate notable artistic achievement

NOAAAlive! Alaska

NOAA Live! and NOAA Live! Alaska present the following webinars for students:

Tuesday, February 23, 3 pm ET: Loose the loop: How did entangled Steller sea lions lead to Alaska’s first Ocean Guardian schools?

Wednesday, February 24, 4 pm ETTexas Corals, and Mantas, and Sharks, Oh My!

Tuesday, March 2, 3 pm ET: That's the Seal-iest Thing I've Heard: Studying Ice Seals in Alaska

You can view all past NOAA Live! events here on YouTube.

National Geo




Searching for Sunken Slave Ships

Thursday, Feb. 25 at 10 am ET or 2 pm ET for grades 3rd-8th

 Meet Explorer Tara Roberts, an underwater archaeologist and storyteller on a mission to find, document, and share the stories of the wrecked ships that transported captive Africans across the Atlantic Ocean for the slave trade. Find out more details here for the 10 am showing or  here for the 2 pm showing.

Meet the Youngest National Geographic Explorers

This class of Young Explorers is proving there is always a reason for hope! These 24 individuals from around the globe are focused on issues such as ocean conservation, food insecurity, plastic pollution, and more. Introduce these learners to the newest Young Explorers to inspire and motivate them to make a change in their own communities. Follow along with the #GenGeo conversation on Twitter.

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 Resources

Black in Marine Science (BIMS) Bites

This new weekly YouTube show from the team at Black in Marine Science features a 5-minute bite into varying marine science topics! Join them Fridays at 1 pm EST. Find BIMS Bites here and join in!


Black Girls Dive Foundation

Black Girls Dive

BGDF’s mission objectives address three critical issues: (1) the racial and socioeconomic achievement gap that undermines our ideals of freedom, equality and opportunity; (2) limited or restricted sense of youth agency and voice; and (3) cultivating the next generation of scientists, conservationists and planetary stewards. Access the site here.

Celebrating Black Excellence at Scripps Oceanography

scripps employee

Black History Month presents an opportunity for communities to honor and reflect upon achievements made by African-Americans throughout U.S. history. In recognition of this important month, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego is celebrating the incredible contributions of our Black faculty, staff, and students. Find the feature here.


4th Grade Curriculum: Water Shapes Our Planet & Our Lives

The fourth grade curriculum, Water Shapes Our Planet and Our Lives, provides a unique, hands-on experience where students explore local weather, discover and create tools used by scientists to collect weather data, and evaluate long-term trends recorded by climate scientists. Each lesson is designed as an online teaching resource for both educators and curious learners. Read more about it then access the curriculum here!

New Lesson: Exploring Grid Resilience as an Approach to Evaluating Energy Sources & Addressing Climate Impacts


Relevant due to current events in Texas, this new interactive lesson from the UNC Institute for the Environment has students explore how extreme weather events impact the electrical grid and identify energy sources, technologies and innovations that promote grid resilience in response to extreme weather events (including extreme cold, ice, and rising seas). This lesson can be supplemented with news articles about power outages during extreme weather events. Access the lesson here.

Rated EE for Environmental Education

Level up your environmental education with these six digital games that immerse youth and adults in nature, storytelling, and learning. They will   rekindled your appreciation for digital games, including video games, augmented reality, and online games. Games here are recommended for ages 10+.

Read more >


EarthX Virtual Field Trips


EarthX's virtual field trips are:

5-10-minute videos leading students to contemplate possible environmental solutions

Designed as extensions to their free K-12 Environmental STEAM Curriculum

Curated from many EarthX partners

New additions to library added monthly January-April, 2021

Check out the virtual field trips here.

U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit & NOAA Ocean Service Education Resources: Sea level rise

Global average sea level is rising, spilling onto low-lying land and increasing the frequency, magnitude, and duration of coastal inundation events. Read the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit article, and check out NOAA’s Ocean Service Education Sea Level Rise Module and video for NGSS aligned remote activities you can do virtually with your students.

Sea level Rise

Help Planning Science Lessons from NSTA


Check out NSTA’s newest resources for K-12 educators—NSTA Daily Do Playlists! NSTA Daily Do Playlists are suggested instructional sequences of NSTA lessons that can be used to help students coherently build science ideas over time.

Earth Science Week 2021: "Water Today and for the Future"


The coming year's Earth Science Week to be held October 10-16, 2021. It will emphasize the importance of learning how to understand, conserve, and protect water, Earth's most vital resource. Earth Science Week offers opportunities to discover the Earth sciences and engage in responsible stewardship of the Earth. Learn more and get involved at Earth Science Week 2021.

Earth Rangers Eco-Activities

Earth ecoRangerrs

Engage elementary and middle level students, classrooms, and schools in actions to care for the planet with activities from Canada’s Earth Rangers School Clubs. School Club missions address environmental issues that were adapted as distance-learning “eco-activities” for students to complete at home with family or locally while social distancing during the pandemic. While teachers can immediately access the collection of eco-activities, free registration is required. Register here.

iPlan: Local Environmental Modeling Game


iPlan is an online environmental modeling simulation where players construct, investigate, and solve simulated urban and regional planning problems. Developed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Wisconsin Center for Education Research, the interdisciplinary simulation/game challenges students to create a climate adaptation plan for a chosen region of the United States that pleases as many stakeholders as possible while meeting the community’s overall goals. The game works on laptops, smartphones, and tablets and has applications in environmental studies, biology, chemistry, geography, civics, and language arts. Play it Now!

My NASA Data Mini Lesson: Interactive Weather Observations

My NASA Data’s newest mini lesson provides an online, interactive data-collection tool to support student investigations about local weather conditions. It’s the perfect platform for students to track atmospheric conditions and/or temperatures. Once students collect their data, they can use the tool to further analyze and interpret their data. Suggested for students in grades 3 - 8th. Access My Nasa Data here.

nasa data

New Coral Reef Online Course: The Underwater World

In this online course from Thriving Corals, The Underwater World: Marine Biology, learn all about coral reefs - from polyps to different types and structures! Join this marine biology adventure with videos and fun exercises appropriate for secondary to university students. Free to access! Find the course here.

coral polyps

Climate Change Resources

climate resources

These three resources on climate change are good to put in an educator's tool chest for learners of various ages:

Climate Central, is an independent climate change think tank of scientists and communication experts that  research and report credible and well researched data. They recently published a media library that puts  climate change information at your fingertips. Find it here.

Educators seeking a clear short primer on climate change will appreciate Jeff Bennett's Global Warming Primer for middle school and older students and adults. This primer helps to understand and make sense of the truth behind the headlines. The Primer is available here.

Young Voices for the Planet (YVFP) aims to limit and mitigate the magnitude and impacts of climate change by empowering youth, through uplifting and inspiring success stories, Their award-winning documentary films feature diverse young role models on the front lines of climate change, with accompanying curriculum. Access the films from their website here.

EPA Updates Community Environmental Justice Mapping Tool, EJSCREEN


EPA's environmental justice screening and mapping tool. EJSCREEN uses high resolution maps and a methodology for combining datasets to identify environmental burdens on vulnerable populations.

A new feature is the addition of climate change indicators. Users can now add flood and sea level rise data for the first time. EPA will continue to expand the climate change indicators in upcoming updates. EPA’s Risk-Screening Environmental Indicators (RSEI) data is also now an available map layer.  Visit the EJSCREEN website for more information.

Conference Reports

cuny conference


Dates: April 22nd - 23rd, 2021; Abstract deadline: March 12, 2021. Free to attend

The CUNY Conference on Climate Change Education (C4E) is bringing together formal and informal educators throughout the world to discuss how best to inform the public about climate change. This free conference welcomes presentations/posters from K-12 educators, post-secondary institutions, informal educators, non-governmental organizations, and government agencies. Topics include Best Practices, Educational Research, Resources for Teaching Climate Change, Trends in Sustainable Education and Policy, Advances in Climate Science, and Student Projects. See the conference website here.

Talk Climate Virtual Institute from Climate Generation

March 23rd - 24th, 2021

Talk Climate

In this time of disinformation, the truth of our personal stories matter—at the virtual Talk Climate Institute you will develop your own climate story. This innovative program incorporates a whole-person approach through poetry, storytelling, music, art, and science. Together, participants will learn and experience why connecting the head and the heart on climate change is essential to sparking and sustaining action. Registration fee is $200. Apply for a scholarship! 

 Register here.



Earth Educators' Rendezvous (Online)

July 11th - 16th, 2021

Abstract submission deadline for oral, poster, teaching demo, and Share-a-Thon sessions: Tuesday, March 2, 2021

The Earth Educators' Rendezvous is a five day conference that draws across the work currently taking place in geoscience, environmental, and sustainability education. Meeting participants have the opportunity to learn broadly, focus on a particular issue or challenge, discover new pedagogical tools, and network with old and new colleagues. To learn more about the Rendezvous themes and program, explore the 2021 or previous Rendezvous event pages. Sign up to receive Rendezvous updates also and check out the Earth Educators' Rendezvous website here. 

Report: Climate Change in the American Mind

By the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication 

Climate change in the american mind

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the resulting economic crisis, national protests about racial injustice, and after the Fall 2020 election, Americans’ climate change beliefs and attitudes have remained steady at near all-time highs. The report includes many more important results, including Americans’ risk perceptions, personal and social engagement with global warming, emotional responses, and beliefs about how global warming is affecting the weather. Access the report here.


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Education News You Can Use

In Honor of Black History Month



Science and Stewardship News You Can Use

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