The Watch. News You Can Use From NOAA Planet Stewards - Aug. 31, 2021

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News you can use from NOAA Planet Stewards 

Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. 
Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
 All things are bound together. All things connect.

 – Chief Seattle, 1854

Keep Up with NOAA Planet Stewards:

Access our archive collections: past webinars and book club selections

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Join the Planet Stewards September Book Club Meeting


Join us at our next Book Club meeting on  

 Monday, September 13th at 8:00 pm ET

to discuss the young adult fiction book:


by Carl Hiaasen

In this 2003 Newberry award-winning book we’re introduced to Roy and his first acquaintance in Florida, Dana Matherson, a well-known bully.  Roy might never have spotted the boy – running away from the school bus, carrying no books, and here's the odd part - wearing no shoes. Sensing a mystery, Roy sets himself on the boy's trail, which introduces him to potty-trained alligators, a fake-fart champion,  a renegade eco-avenger, and more. Roy has most definitely arrived in Carl Hiaasen's Florida, where the creatures are wild and the people are wilder!

Find all upcoming Planet Stewards book selections and Book Club meeting dates here.

The discussion is open to all.

To join, just dial 866-662-7513 (toll free!), then, use the pass code: 1170791#

Share this invitation with all interested colleagues and networks.

No time to join the book club or looking for more books focused on climate and environmental themes? Check out these recommended reads from the Yale Program on Climate Communications

Inspired by NOAA Planet Stewards Book Club


The Endangered is a student podcast focused on sharks near and around Long Island, and highlights interviews with NOAA fisheries scientists. It was inspired through the young adult NOAA Planet Stewards Book Club organized and run by long-time NOAA Planet Stewards educator Jillian Worssam. Through Jillian's efforts, elementary and middle school students participating in her monthly book club are given challenges and offered the opportunity to present their work to the group. Though Jillian call's Arizona home, participants in the Planet Stewards young adult book club are affiliated with the South Fork Natural History Museum and Nature Center in Sag Harbor, NY. Watch the podcast here!


Waste Pollution Reduction


Schools opening across the country means students congregating at lunchtime in cafeterias and campuses and creating waste, lots of waste. Read about Brandon Smith's project to educate students about the growing problem of food-related waste and incite them to take action to reduce waste in their daily lunches. Next, be inspired to start a campaign in your own school to address this issue.  Read the article here.

Watch Newsletter Archives - Now Available Online!

The Watch

Are you looking for the link to that amazing resource you read about in The Watch but accidentally delete it from your email? D'oh! Or are you a recent subscriber and want to browse all the great content from previous issues? Well we've got you covered! NOAA Planet Stewards has just posted all issues of The Watch going back to 2018. Check them all out here!

noaa in focus


Noteworthy from NOAA

Educational resources

Other Resources from NOAA

  • Save the dates! National Estuaries Week 2021 is Sept 18-25. National Estuaries Week (NEW) is a nationwide celebration of our bays and estuaries and the benefits they provide to local communities. Each year, hundreds of organizations across the country host local events in celebration of National Estuaries Week, from beach cleanups and marsh restoration events, to kayaking tours. Together, these organizations create awareness around estuaries through engagement and through social media. Click here to find an event near you, and check out NOAA's free upcoming Teacher on the Estuary programming.
  • High Tide Bulletin for fall 2021 Just Released. This bulletin provides critical data on when different parts of the United States may experience higher than normal high tides between September and November 2021. This season's bulletin has been expanded to include an outlook for the Caribbean as well. High tide flooding, worsened by continued sea level rise, can inundate busy streets and wash out beaches. More severe flooding may result during adverse weather - heavy rains, strong wind, or big waves. The bulletin covers the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Gulf Coast, West Coast, Pacific Islands, Alaska, and the Caribbean Islands.

nat'l marine monument

It has been five years since the expansion of Hawaii's Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. The expanded boundaries made it the largest marine protected area on the planet at 582,578 square miles, nearly the size of the Gulf of Mexico. (Read about the expansion here.) Here are some noteworthy stories and resources about Papahanaumokuakea:

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Seek and Discover: Shipwrecks of the Past
Inspiring Ocean Explorers of the Future

1 September 2021  |   3 pm - 4 pm ET


This one-hour webinar looks at ocean exploration achievements and plans of the Ocean Exploration Cooperative Institute member: The University of Southern Mississippi (USM). Early results from USM's exploration of shipwrecks in the Gulf of Mexico will be presented. Dynamic production and visual effects will be featured by the University of Rhode Island's Inner Space Center. Remote access is available here. Recordings will also be made available.


The Power of the Pen: Policies, Standards, Codes etc...

(Part of the Urban Heat Island Community of Practice Series)

2 September 2021   |  3 pm - 4 pm ET

heat island

This session will focus on what actions have teeth. Beyond including heat in planning documents, what concrete policies can be put in place in municipalities to ensure that heat risk reduction actually happens - and how are they enforced? What are strategic partnerships that can be made to effect these policies? What climate and other data is needed to set thresholds and evaluate, enforce action/compliance? This session features resources from the EPA and case studies from Washington D.C. and Denver, Colorado that show the many policy instruments possible for moving communities in a heat resilient direction. Register for the webinar or a recording will be available here.


Ocean acidification in Alaska: Ecosystems and Economies


14 September 2021   |   3:30 pm - 4 pm ET

Over the last decade, ocean acidification (OA) has emerged as one of the most prominent issues in Alaskan marine research, and a possible threat to culturally and commercially important marine resources. Multiple communities around the state are now engaged in their own OA studies, and asking a common question: what risks does my region face? This webinar will look back at the last ten years of OA research in the Bering Sea and the Arctic, and highlight new, cutting-edge biogeochemical modeling, and forecasting efforts. Come find out how we seek to continue to refine, improve, and increase understanding of this issue. Register here.

Interested but can't attend? Find all NOAA Science Seminar drought recordings here and the agenda to all upcoming webinars here.


Educator opportunities


The WORLDWIDE TEACH-IN, Info Webinar September 1


On September 1, learn how you can help engage a million college, university and K-12 students - as well as community members, in a worldwide focus on climate solutions and climate justice. Register here for the September 1 information  session at 10 AM or 3 PM Eastern Time. 

The WORLDWIDE TEACH-IN is scheduled to take place on March 30, 2022 and is a project of the Graduate Programs in Sustainability at Bard College in New York, in conjunction with global partners and the Open Society University Network. Sign up here to stay informed. 

Taking Environmental Action with Youth: Helping Our Oceans One Piece of Trash at a Time

Tuesday,  September 7   |   5:00 to 6:00pm ET

ocean clean up
Join the National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) as they host speakers from the Aluet Community of St. Paul Island in Alaska and members of the team as they share ways to tackle environmental action and coastal clean-ups at local, community-based, and a nationwide/worldwide levels. Speakers will share strategies, reflections, and resources for supporting youth to act as citizen scientists and environmental advocates in their communities.  
Join NGCP as they prepare to celebrate Coastal Clean-Up Day  via this webinar held on September 7, 2021. Coastal Clean-Up month occurs during September 2021, with Coastal Clean-Up Day on September 18th. Register here.

2021-2002 Next Generation Science Standards - Earth and Space Sciences (NGSS-ESS) Webinar Series

9 September   |   4:00 pm - 5 pm ET


Welcome Back! Making science education meaningful through designing authentic ESS learning to reach all students will feature engaging presentations and presenters.

NextGenScience will highlight five features that can help Earth and space science learning experiences to better connect to science as a profession as well as the science we use in our everyday lives, making the field more accessible, relevant, and meaningful to students.

The webinar above is free, but registration is required. Please visit this link for webinar registration

Building Insights through Observations: NOAA on a Sphere and The Nature Conservancy


Are you a middle school STEM teacher interested in incorporating or expanding the use of scientific data in your classroom? Would you like to be part of research to discover how arts-based instructional techniques can facilitate students’ observation and interpretation of data visualizations in ways that meet curricular needs and improve data literacy?

Apply to receive professional development, connections, and resources for using arts-based instructional approaches to incorporate complex, authentic datasets in your classroom.Teacher partners will be expected to co-develop, iteratively test, and engage in reflection about the arts-based techniques over a 3-year partnership.. Teachers will receive up to $8000 for their participation (Oct 2021 to June 2024) as well as travel stipends to attend workshops each summer. Find more details and the application HERE.  Deadline for applications is September 10th, 2021.

Inuit: The Arctic We Want Webinar

14 September   |   1:00 - 3 pm ET


On July 16-19, 2018, Inuit delegates from Alaska, Greenland, Canada and Chukotka came together for the 13th General Assembly of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC). Under the theme “Inuit – The Arctic We Want,” delegates discussed their concerns and developed actions to address them. The event culminated in the adoption of the Utqiaġvik Declaration, which outlines ten priorities aimed at advancing a future supportive of Inuit leadership and safeguarding the Inuit way of life, 

Join the Wilson Center’s Polar Institute as they host and welcome ICC Alaska leaders to share their perspectives on the Utqiaġvik Declaration. RSVP here to attend the event.

Nat'l Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) Climate Superstars Challenge  


This online environmental challenge is open to U.S. middle school teachers (grades 6–8). The challenge features short tasks (roughly 15–20 minutes each) that can excite kids about the environment and teach them the value of collaboration, covering topics such as where energy comes from, why energy conservation is important, and how the use of clean, green power can contribute to a healthier climate. All tasks can be performed virtually or in person, support Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and many common science themes, and requires no additional materials. Register your class online and visit the Climate Superstars portal during the contest period to access tasks and record your activities. The contest begins on October 1 and ends October 31.

Edward C. Roy, Jr. Award for Excellence in K–8 Earth Science Teaching 

apple for teacher

This award recognizes one teacher of grades K–8 (or Key Stages 1–3 in the United Kingdom) for their leadership and innovation in Earth science education. The award consists of a $2,500 prize for the winning teacher and a grant of up to $1,000 to enable the recipient to attend a National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) National Conference to accept the award. The winning teacher and their school each will receive a plaque of recognition. Deadline to apply here is January 21, 2022.

Rise and Shine Video from Friends at Living Porpoisefully


As you start off the new school year, enjoy this wonderful "Relax at the Beach" YouTube video to start your morning, with the theme of "Rise and Shine." Use it to start the day and create positive vibes, or to calm the chaos before work or in the classroom as a morning warm-up foe students. Enjoy and pass this on to share the good vibes. Best fishes for an amazing school year! Float on over and check it out.

Project Learning Tree's Forest Literacy Framework


Project Learning Tree’s new Forest Literacy Framework translates the complex language of forests trees, forest practices, and sustainable forest management into concepts that everyone should know by the time they graduate from high school. It is designed to increase people’s understanding of forests and empower them to take actions that benefit forests and people. 

You can engage this resource: by grade level, hot topic, and theme. Find it here.

Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching                              


The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) - including computer science, is now accepting nominations! The PAEMST is the highest honor the U.S. government bestows for K–12 mathematics and science teaching, honoring up to 108 teachers each year. Presidential awardees receive a certificate signed by the President; a trip for two to Washington, D.C. to attend a series of recognition events; and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation. They also join a cadre of more than 5,000 award-winning teachers.

Consider nominating a talented teacher or applying for the award yourself here. This year, teachers in grades K–6 are eligible. Nominations close on January 7. Applications will be due by February 6.

Window Into COP26 - Sign Up for Updates


Climate Generation has selected six climate leaders to attend the UN international climate negotiations (COP26) this November. At COP26, world leaders will strategize on the rulebook for the Paris Agreement. Climate Generation's Window into COP26 delegation is representing the work of Action for the Climate Emergency (ACE), the specific goal within the Paris Agreement to empower all members of society to engage in climate action through education, training, public awareness, public participation, public access to information, and international cooperation on these issues.

Sign up for COP26 Updates. Follow along in the classroom with Climate Generation's COP Educator Toolkit!

Student opportunities

JUMP into STEM: Join the discussion, Unveil innovation, Make connections, Promote tech-to-market


Check out JUMP (Join the discussion, Unveil innovation, Make connections, Promote tech-to-market) into STEM, a virtual competition. The competition is open to teams of two to four students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities to solve critical challenges in the field of building science around the themes of equal access to healthy indoor air, resilience for all in the wake of disaster, and solving market adoption for emerging energy efficient technologies. Winners of the competition will have the opportunity to receive paid, 10-week internships at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Oak Ridge National Laboratory, or the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Challenges close on November 12, 2021. The final competition will be held at ORNL on January 27 and 28, 2022. To learn more and to compete:

Solar Decathlon in your Future? Apply by 10/26!

Solar decathlon

Applications are now open for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Decathlon which challenges collegiate teams to design OR build high-performance, low-carbon buildings powered by renewables! Collegiate teams can apply now for the 2022 Design Challenge (1-year design-only competition) and the 2023 Build Challenge (2-year design-build competition). Finalist teams will be invited to compete for victory during the Competition Event at DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. Apply here by October 26

Ed Resources


Stream Tracker Science  – Citizen Science with the U.S. Forest Service, NASA and Colorado State University


The Stream Tracker citizen science project helps to fill gaps in  understanding intermittent streams that feed into larger bodies of water including major rivers throughout the United States.

Help track when and where streams in your area flow by docu-menting where streams are flowing continuously and where streams have intermittent flow rates. Your efforts contribute to real-world science and improve stream mapping and the overall understanding of stream flow across the seasons. Get involved here.

Reef Relief's FREE Virtual Marine Science Lessons

deep sea coral
Two free lessons a month are available via zoom from Reef Relief: 

Lesson topics include Introduction to Coral Reefs, Shark Biology and Conservation, Marine Invertebrates, Deep Sea, and more! Lessons are designed for all ages and for groups of less than 10 students. To register for your free lessons follow the links above for the desired day.

If you have a group of 10 or more students, follow this link to request a private marine science lesson. 

 My NASA Data: Three New Interactive Models

my NASA Data

My NASA Data features new interactive models for engaging students in the connections among land cover, surface temperature, and air temperatures. These short, interactive models leverage the unique vantage point of space to support students in observing, analyzing, and interpreting changes in these Earth System variables. Activities include:

Climate Change Data Science Activity

stem coding

Have you ever wondered how many fewer frosty or cold days there are where you live as a result of climate change? Check out the new STEM coding Climate Change Data Science activity where you create a model of the climate at your location and then use it to estimate the impact of climate change where you live. The activity is available here and on the STEM coding youtube channel 

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

Earth Science Wk

The theme of Earth Science Week 2021 (October 10-16) is "Water Today and for the Future. This Year's event will emphasize the importance of learning how to understand, conserve, and protect water; Earth's most vital resource.

Earth Science Week 2021 learning resources and activities explore the importance of water — and water science — for living things, Earth systems, and all the activities people of all backgrounds undertake. Learn more at Earth Science Week 2021.

AMNH Curriculum Connections

wadding bird

Visit the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH)’s Curriculum Connections for curated collections of resources for K–12 audiences addressing topics in ocean science, climate change, and more! Each collection contains classroom activities, articles, and other materials to deepen knowledge of the topic. Collections also include lists of additional web resources. Explore them here for various ages.

Carbon City Zero: World Edition

Carbon City

Carbon City Zero: World Edition is a collaborative deck-building card/board game focused on climate action. Most appropriate for high school and college levels (with modified versions for middle level students), the game challenges players to work together to create a city with “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions. In successive rounds, players must balance the needs of stakeholders in three categories (Domestic, Industry, and Government) while addressing potential “Snags” as they arise from the deck. The game promotes discussions around issues involved in developing net-zero cities and helps players discover options to mitigate and adapt to the consequences of global warming. Read (and print) the game's Design Notes for information and guidance on using the game in a classroom setting, then visit the PNP Arcade website to download and print the required game components, including cards, game board, and rules.

Educational Resources from Solve Climate by 2030


Solve Climate by 2030 has created teachers guides in 30 subject areas in English, Spanish and French. The guides are for a one-hour class discussion and based on the Global Dialog on Climate Solutions and Justice where over 110 universities and colleges in nearly all US states and in more than 40 nations  hosted a discussion among students, scholars and policy makers about how to advance a green recovery, climate solutions and climate justice in their state, region or nation. These discussions are available on their video library and provide a much-needed message of hope and action.

Bonneville Educational Offerings: Energy, Electricity, the Environment, Natural Resources


Are you Teaching about energy, electricity, the environment, or natural resources? Access the Bonneville Power Administration’s new educational video and lesson plan for elementary and middle school on how energy moves from nature to your home. The video explains the difference between renewable and non-renewable energy sources, and follows the hydropower journey of a water drop falling as snow in the mountains to an energy watt traveling on an electricity superhighway to homes and schools. A corresponding poster is available for classrooms in English and Spanish. View all of Bonneville Power’s educational offerings here.

From the CLEAN Collection: Ecosystems and Wildfires


As summer approaches an end and wildfire season is in full swing, it can be good to think about what this means for the ecosystems around us. Due to climate change, wildfires are ever more present and intense, affecting many aspects of ecosystems. This lesson offers students a way to learn how scientists assess wildfires using remote sensing while solving grade-level appropriate math problems. Find the activity here: Fired Up Over Math: Studying Wildfires from Space, then take a look at some more CLEAN resources focused on Wildfires.

The CLEAN Website Has a New Look, Content and Videos!

science explained

The Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (AKA CLEAN) has a new online look! To complement this, it has terrific new content and videos. CLEAN has created short explanatory videos for each of the climate literacy principles located on their teaching guidance page under the Additional Resources Box. Each video engages the viewer with an individual climate literacy principle. Check out the new site here and all eight of the new videos.

Start with Climate Principle 1 here!

Conference Reports


Motivating Local Climate Adaptation and Strengthening Resilience from the National Academies

Making Local Data Trusted, Useful, and Used (2021)


Local communities are already experiencing dire effects caused by climate change that are expected to increase in frequency, intensity, duration, and type. Public concern about climate-related challenges is increasing, available information and resources on climate risks are expanding, and cities across the country and the globe are developing approaches to and experience with measures for mitigating climate impacts. Building and sustaining local capacities for climate resilience requires both resilient physical and social infrastructure systems and inclusive, resilient communities. Download the report freely here or read it directly online.

US Fish & Wildlife Service News Summer 2021: A Focus on Environmental Justice


Throughout our history, communities of color, low-income families, and rural, Indigenous people have suffered from air pollution, water pollution, and toxic sites near their communities. Environmental Justice looks to change that grim reality and ensure fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all in the environmental arena. In recent months, Environment Justice has become a key tenet of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is working to ensure that future environmental crises in the United States are more evenly distributed and reduce the impact and frequency of environmental crises. Read how here!

NAAEE 2021 Conference and Research Symposium


Join the North American Association of Environmental Educators (NAAEE) and environmental educators from around the world as they celebrate the power of connection and the restorative role of nature. During this multi-day event they'll explore how environmental education is bringing people together to solve our most pressing problems and create more just and sustainable communities.

50th Annual Conference: October 12–15
18th Annual Research Symposium: October 7–8
Meetings and Workshops: October 4–15

Tiered pricing is available to help make this online experience accessible to all.

Learn more. Register. Share. >


Nextracker Launches Half the Sun, A Global Solar Scholarship for Women


In partnership with Solar Energy International (SEI), Nextracker initiates 3-year scholarship program to foster female participation in solar industry.

Read More

Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship (AEF)

Deadline to apply: 18 November 2021 


The Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship (AEF) Program provides unique opportunities for accomplished K-12 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) educators to serve 11 months in a Federal agency or U.S. Congressional office. Applicants must be U.S. citizens who are currently employed full-time in a U.S. public or private elementary or secondary school or school district. Applicants must have been teaching full-time in a public or private elementary or secondary school for at least five of the last seven years in a STEM discipline. The application deadline is November 18, at 8pm ET.

NSHSS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Teaching Grant

Application deadline:  15 September 2021


The National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) will present five $1,500 awards to high school teachers currently employed at a public or private high school in the United States or internationally. Applicants serve in rural areas, educate diverse student populations, or are actively promoting diversity and inclusion initiatives in their school or greater community. Teachers should provide their school’s demographics and explain how the funds will directly benefit their students. Funds may be used for supplies, materials, field trips, or other resources to enhance the delivery of courses. 

Job Opportunities



Education Bytes

Science & Stewardship Bytes


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

  Weather Extremes and Other Environmental News of Note

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