The Watch. News You Can Use From NOAA Planet Stewards -11 May 2021

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News you can use from NOAA Planet Stewards 

"Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea,

are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books."

NOAA Planet Stewards Program Links:

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$5,000 for Planet Stewardship Projects; Apply by June 6th! 


Are you an formal or informal educator focused on building science literacy so your students, of any age, can understand concepts in ocean, atmospheric, and Earth science? Would $5,000 help you to realize these goals? Applications are available now through June 6th from the NOAA Planet Stewards Program.

If you're interested but not sure about your project, numerous resources are available to help you develop and deliver wonderful and worthwhile projects. Check out everything you could need here and be sure to apply by June 6th! You'll be glad you did!

Join Us for the Last Planet Stewards Book Club of Spring! 


The World is Blue:
How Our Fate and the Oceans are One 

by Sylvia Earle

Join us this May 17th, 8pm ET. Learn more here.

Dial in using our toll free number 1-866-662-7513. Then use the passcode 1170791#.

This book is considered A Silent Spring for our era. In its pages, legendary marine scientist Sylvia Earle reveals how swift and dangerous oceanic change over the past 50 years threatens the very existence of life on Earth. She portrays a planet teetering on the brink of irreversible environmental crisis. Fortunately, she also shares that there is reason for hope!

To reinforce the benefits of reading... Novel Finding: Reading Literary Fiction Improves Empathy: The types of books we read may affect how we relate to others

Summer Workshop Opportunities from Planet Stewards

  • July 5-29th

    Community Resilience to Climate Change: A Virtual Workshop for formal and informal educators working with Middle and High School aged students – but all are welcome

    This is a self-paced virtual workshop for all educators on climate change impacts to human and natural communities, and the actions you can take to build resilient communities in light of these impacts. Find out more here and register.
noaa in focus

I. May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, which pays tribute to generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched our nation's history and are instrumental to its future. Join us in celebrating this month by meeting some NOAA employees who work to ensure sustainable fisheries, conserve and recover protected species, conduct scientific research, and conserve important habitats.

pacific land ocean

II. Ocean Reports Tool: Bring Ocean Data to Your Fingertips

Created by NOAA and the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the OceanReports web tool provides users with specialized “ocean neighborhood analyses,” including maps and graphics, by analyzing more than 100 ocean datasets instantaneously. Use the tool to explore the ocean from by compute anywhere! Find the tool here and view the "live" version of the New York state waters report.


III. Celebrating 20 Years of NOAA Ocean Exploration

Using the latest tools and technology, NOAA's Office of Ocean Exploration and research endeavors to find out about unknown or poorly known areas of our deep ocean, making discoveries of scientific, economic, and cultural value. Throughout 2021, NOAA Ocean Exploration will be sharing highlights from the past 20 years on the web and social media, we hope you'll join in celebrating their history and achievements. Visit here to see some highlights of the last 20 years!

nos  20 years

IV. NOAA Answers: Why is the Ocean Salty?


Why are some areas of the ocean saltier than others? Curious minds want to know! The image at right shows methane mussels living at the edge of a underwater brine pool in a cavern at a depth of 650 feet in the Gulf of Mexico. The pool of brine in the foreground is nearly four times as salty as seawater and is so dense that a submarine can float on the pool (in fact, this photo was shot from a submarine). Find out why this area of the ocean is so salty here.

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Notable Webinars from NOAA's ONESeminar Series: 

USS monitor

May 18, 1:00 - 2:00 pm ET, Conservation of USS Monitor - Past, Present, and Future

Will Hoffman, Director of Conservation and Chief Conservator at The Mariners' Museum and Park, will present an overview of the USS Monitor conservation effort to date, including the establishment of the USS Monitor Center and Batten Conservation Complex. the USS Monitor fought in the Battle of Hampton Roads on March 9, 1862, and just nine months later, sank off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Learn how in 1987,  Register for the webinar >


May 19, 12:00 - 1:00 pm ET

What happens when you go “hyperlocal”? The legacy of inequitable heat exposure in US cities

The increasing intensity, duration, and frequency of heat waves due to human-caused climate change puts historically marginalized populations in a heightened state of precarity. This presentation will explore how increasing community engagement  can lead to climate action efficacy in US cities. Register >

oyster farming

May 25, 3:00  - 4:00 PM ET, Can Oyster Aqua-culture Help Restore Coastal Water Quality?

Excess nitrogen in coastal waters can lead to a variety of problems,  but there aren’t easy solutions. This webinar will feature a recently completed research project and highlight  how to identify best practices for siting and maintaining aquaculture operations that maximize benefits for water quality. Register via Zoom >

Educator opportunities

What Role of Civic Engagement Play in Environmental Education 

Survey Deadline: May 15, 2021

NAAEE (the North American Environmental Educators Association) is helping to disseminate a survey for EE instructors, managers, directors, and funders about the appropriateness and use of different approaches to civic engagement. The results will inform future training focused on these techniques and the role of civic engagement in practice. 

Read and learn more >


Cornell University Course, Plastics: Impacts & Action

5-week Online course from May 17 – June 20, 2021

This new course explores the multiple ways we interact with plastics, and uses plastics to investigate the complex dynamic systems shaping our planet and our lives. You can access the short lectures, readings, and other materials when it’s convenient for you and join weekly webinars (recorded for those who can’t make it) as well as schedule optional weekly office hours.  Cost is $60.

Learn More & Register


Hope Matters: A Discussion with Author and Environmental Educator Elin Kelsey, PhD

Wednesday May 19th, 7-8:15 PM ET

How can we cultivate hope in our students through the sharing of solutions? Join climate and energy educators for a discussion of the book Hope Matters with author Elin Kelsey, PhD, to reflect on how we teach about energy, climate change and other pressing environmental issues and consider how the book inspires us to transform our approach to teaching these topics.   To learn more visit   To register click here.


Science in the Virtual Pub 


Science in the Virtual Pub is a bi-weekly program where you can grab a drink and engage in some friendly science! Every other Thursday the Paleontological Research Institution (PRI) will host a speaker on an aspect of science followed by rich conversation. Meetings are held on Zoom and links to join are sent upon registration. Sessions are generally live streamed through the Science in the Virtual Pub Facebook Group, but participation in the discussion requires joining the Zoom meeting.

Upcoming Science in the Virtual Pub programs include:

  • May 20 - Fossils, Culture, and Diverse Narratives in Paleontology, from Georgia State
  • June 3 - A Scientist walks into the virtual pub… how stand-up comedy and storytelling
         can break the science-communication paradox, from Cornell University

Find out more here,  register for upcoming events, and join their Facebook Group at this link.

The Scale of Climate Change: A PRI Teacher Workshop

May 20th, 5 pm ET


For the first time in human history, the difference between a thousand, a million, a billion, and a trillion is important for the average person to understand. The workshop will:addresses why understanding scale is essential to understanding climate change; provides resources and strategies for teaching and learning about scale in the context of climate change; and engages workshop participants as collaborators in developing resources and strategies for teaching about climate change and Earth systems science. Register here for the May 20 workshop.

The Ocean Decade: Creating the Ocean We Want

June 1, 5 - 9 am ET

ocean decade

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, in partnership with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO), will celebrate the High-Level Launch of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development on 1 June 2021 from 5 am to 9 am (ET) in Berlin.

Join us for the virtual launch of the Ocean Decade and to contribute to “Creating the Ocean we want”. For more information go to ocean decade-conference.

CU Boulder Data Puzzles: Analyze Authentic Data With Inquiry-Based Practices Teacher Workshop  

June 3 & 4, 11 - 2 pm ET


Data Puzzles are a free resource that combine classroom-friendly data sets with the research-backed pedagogical practices of Ambitious Science Teaching (AST) to give students the ultimate inquiry-based learning experience. Developers will lead participants through the Data Puzzle instructional framework in the context of these free resources. Participants will leave with the skills/tools to implement Data Puzzle engagements in their own classrooms. Register for this virtual workshop. Participants will receive a certificate for PD hours.

Cool Science Mentor Program for Educators in MA, KS, MO

cool science

This online workshop is for adults who work with at least ten K-12 youth in Massachusetts, Kansas, or Missouri interested in learning how to educate youth about the science of extreme weather through artistic expression and become an even better youth mentor. Art materials and supplies are provided. Each workshop series consists of three online sessions:

  • Early June 2021 Series: June 7, 9, and 11 
  • Late June 2021 Series: June 22, 23, and 24

Space is limited. Apply by May 15, 2021.  
Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by May 21, 2021.   

Cool Science 2021-2022 Mentor Application

2021 Natural History Education Demo Camp

June 28th and 29th, 2021

demo camp

Do you want to discover new ways to connect your students to nature and still meet learning objectives defined in the K-12 standards, NGSS, or Vision & Change Recommendations?

The Demo Camp is designed to provide materials and resources to educators looking for easy to adopt educational materials that engage students with the natural world via Zoom. Learn more >

Cost: Free to all participants

Registration is open to attend the event here

Student opportunities

noaa live

During the 2020-2021 school year, NOAA Live! will be on Wednesdays at 4 pm ET (with live American Sign Language interpretation) and NOAA Live! Alaska will be on Tuesdays at 11 am AKT/3 pm ET.

Webinars coming up this week include:

  • TUESDAY, May 11, 3 pm ET: Algal Blooms: Signs of Spring and Signs of Trouble –
    Learn about how estuaries wake up in the spring and how marine plants are the primary producers in our coastal food webs. Sometimes, though, harmful algal blooms produce biotoxins that can affect people and animals. Learn more and register >

  • WEDNESDAY, May 12, 4 pm ET: Lessons from Lake Trout in Lake Champlain  –
    Lake Champlain, known as Bitawbakw by the Abenkai people, is home to lake trout. They play an important role in maintaining balance within the lake ecosystem.  Join us to learn the heroic tale of the Lake Champlain lake trout, and the efforts that inform conservation of this important freshwater species! Register >

  • TUESDAY, May 18, 3 pm ET: Fishy Business: NOAA Office of Law Enforcement and Healthy Resource Management – NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement - Alaska Team is ready to answer your questions and help you understand how NOAA's work helps safeguard the future of sustainable marine resources. Register ≥





Youth Climate Summits from Harvard

The climate change crisis is the greatest change to public health in the history of our planet, and the coronavirus pandemic has revealed how critical public health systems are in society. High school students are encouraged to join with other youth from around the world this July for two week-long Youth Summits focused on climate change and public health.  They will learn from scientists, health experts, academics, and energy innovators. The program is hosted by the Center for Climate, Health, and Global Environment at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The two sessions are:

  • Sunday, July 18 -  Saturday, July 24 (climate change focus)
  • Sunday, July 25 - Saturday, July 31 (public health focus)

Scholarships are available through the Youth Climate Summit Fund.  More information about the two Youth Summits are available here.

Hurricanes at Home Webinar Series

Wednesday May 12 at 4:00 pm ET, and Tuesday May 18 at 5:00 pm ET


The National Hurricane Center is offering a Hurricanes at Home Webinar Series. There will be two webinars in English and one in Spanish (Tuesday May 13 at 4:00pm EDT). They are geared toward 3rd-8th graders and families. The English announcement and registration links are here while the Spanish registration link is here

A World of Change: Ice and Ocean Interactions in Antarctica, a webinar from Columbia University, May 13 at 4:00 pm ET


From Columbia University's Earth Institute learn about the interaction of ice and ocean water around Antarctica. Find out how Lamont marine geologist and geophysicist Frank Nitsche is observing and measuring ocean water to learn more about melting in the area.

Target audience: grades 6-8. RSVP here.

Marine Science Day at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), May 15th, 10 am - 3 pm ET


Join this free, family-friendly, virtual event  including activities , demonstrations, science talks, and  more!  VIMS is one of the largest marine research and education centers in the United States and a global leader in coastal and estuarine science, During Marine Science Day, you'll learn how VIMS is solving real-world problems with innovative solutions.

Registration is required. All registrants will receive an email on Thursday, May 13th with instructions on how to access the Marine Science Day platform.

Recordings of all of the day's programs will be accessible on the platform until June 11th, 2021. 

Reflecting Upon "Unleash Your Inner STEM" Event


The purpose of the Unleash Your Inner STEM event series was to help STEM students—especially non-traditional and community college students—discover, develop and learn to convey their own identities; and to research the impact of networking events on these students. SWE aims to equip them to succeed in male-dominated fields and explore various tools' impact. 

Watch a video of the entire event, held earlier in May here.

MyActionsMatter Campaign: Together We Can Change the World!


The Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) has identified three overarching goals that address three burning environmental problems that face us today—climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental pollution. These are also the themes of the 2021 Global Action Days campaign. See how you and your students can take part in this campaign and help to Change the World!

Read more >

ClimateScience Olympiad! Register to Participate

Registration ends on 1 August, 2021


Students ages 14-25 and passionate about finding solutions to climate change have an opportunity to attend the 2021 United Nations Climate Summit (COP-26) in Glasgow, and even win up to $2,000 in cash!

The ClimateScience Olympiad is a global climate competition engaging 10,000 youth (ages 14-25) in an effort to find solutions to some of the most challenging climate problems. REGISTER. 

Ed Resources

Trash Trip from NOAA


Check out NOAA's Trash Trip with the Marine Debris Tracker App, a five-minute video guiding users—including high school students and teachers—through the processes of safely collecting, logging, and tracking trash data using the app. In tracking and submitting trash data, scientists gain a better picture of marine debris issues, and citizens contribute to their community by helping to keep it clean and reducing the amount of trash that ends up in the waterways. A transcript of the video is also available.

Plastic Pollution Curriculum and Activity Guide


This resource has more than a dozen lessons and activities to build K–12 learners’ plastic literacy and inspire thoughtful solutions to plastic and water pollution issues. Developed by The 5 Gyres Institute, a nonprofit organization focused on reducing the amount of plastic in the environment, the guide’s lessons cover topics from tracking and recording daily trash data and adopting strategies for using resources wisely. Find the resource here.

Why Nature Is Good for Us: An Illustrated & Animated Guide

Being in nature can improve our mood and our mental and physical health. Here’s an interactive journey explaining how and why. 

Scroll through the illustration to learn more. And as you celebrate Earth, consider taking a few moments to enjoy nature in one way or another!

guide - bird

Time-of-Use EmPowered Program


The Alliance to Save Energy began this program to teach students the importance of timing energy use to help California’s transition to 100% renewable energy. The program is open to California schools; is aligned with 3rd-12th grade Next Generation Science Standards; and every participating teacher receives a $100 stipend. Learn more about the program, view the program video, and access the sign-up form to participate.

Our Beautiful Planet

Educate, inspire, and galvanize your students with a groundbreaking series of short, engaging climate science films--each accompanied by an individual lesson plan, and most focused on ocean phenomena--developed by NSTA, Kikim Media, and the Kennebunkport Climate Initiative.

Check them out here!


From NOAA's Office of Coastal Management comes the Sea Level Rise Viewer

sea level rise tool

This web mapping tool visualizes community-level impacts from coastal flooding or sea level rise (up to 6 feet above average high tides). Data is included from across the United States at different scales. Various timelines and sea level rise projections can be explored. Photo simulations of how future flooding might impact local landmarks are also provided, as well as data related to water depth, connectivity, flood frequency, socioeconomic vulnerability, wetland loss and migration, and mapping confidence. Find the tool here >

 New Timelapse Shows 37 Years of Climate Change on Earth


Satellites have been imaging Earth for many decades now and Google Earth has consolidated a series of images from 1984-2020 in a new features called 'Timelapse'. Timelapse allows users to explore the changes right in their neighborhood, or anywhere else in the world. Google also incorporated five major themes that include a guided tour for users to explore, which include deforestation, urban growth, warming temperatures, sources of energy, and fragile beauty. Check out the article for greater detail on this new tool.

Sea Grant Educational Resources

sea grant

NOAA's Sea Grant programs have a collection of websites featuring lesson plans, virtual field trips, citizen science opportunities, activity ideas, videos/webinars, and other educational materials for grades K–12 to use in at-home learning settings nationwide. The resources are produced by state-specific Sea Grant programs; however, teachers, students, and parents in any location can use the materials to learn about the plants and animals and other unique features of a particular region. Visit the Sea Grant Programs homepage and select a state of interest to preview that state’s educational resources, or download the hyperlinked pdf: Sea Grant Educational Resources Summary for links to all the state-specific Sea Grant programs in a single location. Access the site here.

Science and STEM Resources from NSTA

Daily dos

Daily Do Playlists help K-12 educators plan their lessons based on the best research on how to engage all students in learning science. The Playlists include tailored Google Docs, Slides, and/or Jamboard templates.

Free resources from NSTA including lesson plans, book chapters, and our popular column, Freebies can be found here

Resources for Elementary Teachers are here.

Resources for Middle Level teachers are here.

Resources for High School teachers are here.  

Summer Printable Packets

Keep students actively learning when school’s not in session with Summer Motivational Packets from Available for elementary, middle, and high school levels, the packets feature simple, age-appropriate educational prompts and activities to jump start learning in science, math, reading, and writing alongside science experiments, brain teasers, thought-provoking projects, and more. Access the packets here.


Climate Generation Shares Resources to Connect, Investigate and Reflect on Climate Change and Extreme Weather

Share stories of how climate change is impacting communities now, and solutions that people are creating to become climate resilient.

Connect students to extreme weather through math, language arts, and science with real climate data and real stories. 

Investigate the science of extreme weather  and reflect on how you rely on the seasons, weather, and climate and learn about how people and cultures are impacted by the changing climate patterns.

climate generation
Conference Reports

Mid-Atlantic Climate Change Education Conference (MACCEC)

June 28 - July 1, 2021

Youth Event: July 28th;  All Attendees & Teachers: July 29th - July 1st, 2021 


Students are doing amazing work around climate change awareness, education, and action. On June 28th  MACCEC will provide a space for them to share and learn from each other. Across the world universities are incorporating climate literacy into various disciplines to prepare students for the inevitable changes they will experience during their careers because of climate change. Students will have the opportunity to engage in climate solutions through a series of networking activities and presentations on the topics of climate science, justice, and action. At the end of the day, students will rejoin the larger conference community for a student panel so us educators can learn from them. Student Track Registration for middle and high school students is FREE.

Registration page is here. Learn more and join the Mid-Atlantic Climate Change Education Conference if you're a secondary student or educator!


Grants, Scholarships, Awards 

Career News



Education News You Can Use


NOAA News You Can Use


Ocean, Coastal Weather, Sea Ice, Ocean Life, Water

Other Environmental News

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