The Watch. News You Can Use From NOAA Planet Stewards - 9 August 2022

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August 9, 2022

News you can use from NOAA Planet Stewards 


“Innovate, accelerate, scale. When it comes to the climate crisis –

winning slowly is the same as losing. To rebuild the world,

we need to innovate, accelerate, and scale bold climate solutions.

–Tom Steyer

Keep Up with NOAA Planet Stewards:

Access our archive collections: past webinars, book club selections, and the newsletter!

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


Catch Up on Your Summer Reading with NOAA Planet Stewards Selections

The Planet Stewards Book Club is taking the summer off, but we’ll be back to share new ideas and books with you every month starting in the fall. While you’re waiting, have a look at the over 50 fiction, non-fiction, and young adult selections from past book club events on our bookclub archives webpage  – all with discussion questions! Whether you’re looking to catch up on some knowledge, enjoy a quick fun read, or find a book to use with your students, there’s something for everyone. 


September 30 - October 2: Preparing for Climate Change Impacts with Stewardship

NOAA 3some

NOAA Planet Stewards, Elkhorn Slough and South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserves (NERRS) are hosting a simultaneous three-day workshop for educators who work with middle or high school level students.

To register at the physical location you will be attending the workshop and receive more detailed information, visit these links:

Reserve your place today! Spaces are limited!

October 7- 9: Climate Justice - Exploring the Science of Climate Change in Your Classroom

Climate Justice workshop

NOAA Planet Stewards and the Detroit Zoological Society are hosting a three-day workshop for educators, Climate Justice: Exploring the Science of Climate Change in Your Classroom.  The goals of this workshop are for educators to explore how global climate change is affecting the metro Detroit region, and how they can engage their students in taking action to address these global phenomena. There are a limited number of spaces available. We strongly urge you to Pre-Register and reserve your seat at the workshop today! Pre-register and receive more information.

NOAA Education Needs Your Help!

NOAA Education wants to know about the types of multimedia and distance-learning tools educators want to use with their students and for their own professional development. Help NOAA Education! Take this very short survey (< 3 minutes!) and let NOAA know how it can help you!

The Watch

If you're looking for educational resources or ideas to plug into your academic planning, check out archived issues of The Watch! Our team has reviewed all content for use by formal and informal educators working to increase their own ocean, climate, and environmental awareness as well as their students and audiences.

If you have an item you'd like to share with our education community, email us at: Be sure to include:

  • Event/Item announcement title
  • Date and time if applicable
  • One paragraph description
  • Clear thumbnail image
  • Link for more information
noaa in focus

Celebrating “20 Years and Growing” with the NOAA B-WET Program!


2022 marks The NOAA Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) program’s 20th anniversary! In the 20 years B-WET has been working around the country, the program has been a powerful catalyst for environmental literacy. B-WET and the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) framework support environmental education, foster student success and interest in learning, and empower students to implement environmental solutions in their own communities.

Visit the B-WET anniversary website for stories that illustrate how the B-WET program has impacted students, schools, and communities over the past 20 years. And look for B-WET posts highlighting #BWET20andGROWING on NOAA Education’s social media and B-WET’s Facebook page on August 8-19.

New NOAA Ocean Podcast:

Understanding Disease Impacts to Long-Spined Sea Urchins

sea urchin

In this episode, an expert from NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program discusses a disease affecting long-spined sea urchin populations in the Caribbean. You'll hear how disease has impacted these organisms in the past, their important role in keeping coral reef systems healthy, and how you can help save them. Listen to the podcast.

Long-spined sea urchins in the Caribbean are being affected by a disease. Signs of the sickness include loss of spines (as seen in the photo), excess mucus on their spines, reduced spine mobility, or they may lose their ability to attach to the reef.

noaa webinars
webinar series


NOAA Science Seminar Series

Something for Everyone!


Tuesday, August 9, 2022 | 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm ET

“Bering Science Spring 2022 - Communicating science in and around the Bering Sea”

Add to Google Calendar or register for the meeting.


Wednesday, August 10, 2022 | 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm ET

“Next Steps in Offshore Aquaculture Management in the Pacific Islands Region”

Add to Google Calendar or register for the meeting.


Friday, August 19, 2022 | 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm ET

“Implementing genetics into fisheries management: Case studies in Alaska fisheries”

Add to Google Calendar or register for the meeting.

Educator opportunities

 Celebrate Indigenous Cultures

The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is celebrated on August 9. The United Nations’ Department of Economic and Social Affairs will hold a virtual commemoration on Zoom focused on this year’s theme: “The Role of Indigenous Women in the Preservation and Transmission of Traditional Knowledge.” In addition, you can learn more about Indigenous cultures with the following NEEF resources:

KidsGardening’s Grant Funding Webinar Series

kids gardening

Learn the ins and outs of grantmaking by viewing one, two, or all three webinars in the series. Registrants for each webinar will be entered into a giveaway for a $50 gift card to Gardener's Supply Company and a curriculum book of the winner’s choice.

  • Session 1—Grant Basics for Youth Garden Programs.  Watch the recording (replayed from Aug. 4)

  • Session 2—Crafting Your Narrative for Grant Applications.  Register for the webinar on August 11, 2022, 4-5 pm ET.

  • Session 3—Meet the Grantmakers Funding Youth Garden Programs, August 18. Hear from KidsGardening, Whole Kids Foundation, Green Our Planet, Big Green, and others—all national youth garden grantmakers—about their upcoming grant opportunities and their thoughts on what makes a strong grant proposal. Register for the webinar on August 18, 2022, 4-5 pm ET.

MapBuilder: New Features to Customize Monitoring Web-Applications

When: Thursday, August 18, 2022 | 9:00 am ET


MapBuilder is an easy-to-use tool for creating customized monitoring applications. The upgraded MapBuilder application is free with a public ArcGIS Online account. During the webinar, participants will get an overview of the new version, which includes an improved interface and workflow, and an enhanced pool of new datasets. Speakers will also demonstrate how to create a MapBuilder application with the new easy-to-fill form feature.  All technical levels and questions are encouraged to attend! Available in Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Bahasa Indonesian. Register for the webinar.

Climate Conversations: Wildfire

WhenThursday, August 25, 2022 | 3:00-4:00 pm ET


Climate change is increasing the frequency, severity, and extent of area burned by wildfires in the U.S., putting more people at risk of exposure to fire itself and to smoke, which can travel thousands of miles and affect the health of millions of people. Join a conversation about how planners and decision makers are coping with these challenges and working to protect the built environment and human health. Closed captioning will be provided. 

Climate Conversations: Pathways to Action is a monthly webinar series from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that aims to convene high-level, cross-cutting, nonpartisan conversations about issues relevant to national policy action on climate change.

Register for the webinar.

Storytelling for Impact Online 2023 Courses

For teachers in all environments


National Geographic is offering free storytelling courses for educators. Help your students craft their stories for powerful change. Sign up below to bring storytelling to your classroom.

School Tree-Planting Program

tree planting

Host a community tree-planting event with your students with the help of Tree-Plenish! Tree-Plenish is like a project in a box; they provide all the resources you need to host a tree-planting event to offset your school's energy consumption.

Starting in the fall, Tree-Plenish will work with you and your students to plan a tree-planting event that comes at no cost to you or your school. Last year, Tree-Plenish worked with 300 schools across the country to plant 50,000 saplings.

Check out the website for more information and fill out the quick non-binding interest form.

Solar Decathlon Pathways

solar Decath

In its pilot year (2022 to 2023), Solar Decathlon (SD) Pathways will connect Solar Decathlon alumni with high school classrooms and academic groups across the United States. Alumni will share their personal pathways to careers in the buildings industry and/or renewable energy to inspire the next generation to join the clean energy workforce and offer the many paths to a STEM career.

SD Pathways looks to support all future clean energy workforce participants and educators by prioritizing schools in traditionally underserved communities across the country.

Email the team at with any questions. Complete the interest form if you would like to learn more!

Student opportunities
invention con

Do you hope to be a successful innovator, with ideas you dream about commercializing? The United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) free, online conference, Invention-Con 2022: Inspiring and Redefining the Innovative Mindset might be for you! You will hear from successful innovators and subject-matter experts about these topics:

  • how inventors and entrepreneurs come from every background, from scientists creating new products in labs to hobbyists having a "eureka" moment;
  • how intellectual property can be a potential gold mine, how to protect it and use it to drive successful businesses;
  • how to find loans, grants, and investors;
  • how IP is vital to businesses of all kinds

The event will also feature interactive workshops and talks presented by USPTO leadership. 

Registration is required.

nasa comic

NASA Earth Science in Action Comic Strip Contest

Deadline: August 13, 2022

Artists ages 14 and older from around the world are invited to capture stories of Earth science in action. Select one of three stories about how NASA Earth science satellite data helps communities address environmental challenges. Use your creativity to create a hand-drawn or digital art comic strip to illustrate the story. Artwork will be judged by a panel of comic artists, illustrators, astronauts, and scientists. Winning entries will be visible on NASA social media as well as SciArt Exchange digital and in-person display events. Top winners also will receive a personalized trophy and certificate.

Learn more about the contest.

youth challenge

Youth Innovation Challenge 2022

Applications Due: September 1, 2022

The Youth Innovation Challenge is for people aged 15–30 from anywhere in the world, who have fresh ideas for tackling the issue of marine debris. The Global Environmental Education Partnership (GEEP) and Taiwan Ocean Conservation Administration are seeking innovative, feasible solutions that are informed by research and are awarding prizes of $1,000 USD to three winners. Learn more. Contact with any questions.

American Geosciences Institute's Earth Science Week, October 2022; Contests Listed Below & Opened Now


1. "Striving for Sustainability Globally" Video Contest for all ages. 

The American Geosciences Institute invites individuals and teams to submit a brief, original video exploring the many ways people are using the Earth sciences to make decisions that maintain and strengthen the planet’s ability to support thriving life! Learn more here

2. "Sustainability in Action" Photography Contest for all ages.

Sustainable practices promote Earth’s capacity to support life throughout the biosphere, which involves interactions with other Earth systems such as the geosphere, the hydrosphere, and the atmosphere. How does geoscience knowledge help support sustainability where you live? With your camera, capture an image of the ways geoscience informs local efforts to build a sustainable world. Learn more about the contest.

3. "Our Sustainable World" Visual Arts Contest for Grades K-5 

A “sustainable” planet is one that supports living things — and that means taking care of all the things that life depends on, including land, water, air, and other living things. What does a sustainable world look like to you? What is necessary to have or change? What is not necessary? Use your artistic ability to produce an original work of art that shows how land, water, air, and living things interact in a sustainable world. Learn more about the contest.

4."Geoscience for Sustainable Development Goals" Essay Contest for Grades 6-9. 

We have all been called upon to help meet 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) articulated by nations around the world. Geoscience - which addresses interactions of the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere - can play a critical role in this. How can Earth sciences help achieve SDGs in areas such as poverty, nutrition, education, equality, ecosystems, climate change, and/or industrial innovation? Learn more about the contest.

Storytelling for Impact Online 2023 Courses

For Learners Ages 16 - 25


#GenGeo is a global community of young people who are helping to shape the conversation, drive progress, and seek solutions to help protect our planet. Learn more about #GenGeo and register below for the #GenGeo Storytelling for Impact courses to learn how to craft a story for powerful change.

Ed Resources

Birds are a vital part of marine ecosystems and valuable indicators of ecosystem health. The protected areas of the National Marine Sanctuary System serve as pit stops for many species of migratory bird, offering rest and food along their travels. Check out the full collection.

bird sanctuaries

TikTok Videos from Shark Scientist Jaida Elcock


In celebration of Shark Week (July 24 - July 30), a Cape Cod newspaper - The Enterprise, spoke with Jaida Elcock about her shark science research; her efforts to increase diversity in the field of science, technology, engineering and math; and her creative take on science communication.

Ms. Elcock’s works as a doctoral student at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and co-founded a nonprofit that supports gender minorities of color in shark science. She also has 43,700 followers and 1.2 million likes on her TikTok page dedicated to fun facts about sharks and other animals. Try using Jaida's TikTok posts in the classroom with your students!

SharkFest Returns to National Geographic

There are over 400 species of shark. Unfortunately, being cast as a villain in popular culture has led to misconceptions of the critical role sharks play in the marine ecosystem. 

Get summer learning underway with this collection of resources for younger children about the ocean, sharks and other sea creatures.

shark and diver

Make Handprint Art Using UV Light

Designed for grades K–4, and available in English and Spanish, this hands-on activity from NASA’s Space Place teaches students where ultraviolet (UV) light comes from and how sunscreen works to protect you from UV light. The activity has students use simple materials (sunscreen, construction paper, rocks, and their hands) and the power of the Sun to make a personalized piece of artwork. Accompanying the activity are an explanatory video and photographs of each step of the activity.

uv hands

Using Primary Source Documents to Explore Freezing Point Depression

prime source doc

Engage high school students in analyzing primary source documents and provide practice in reading measurements from a thermometer with this activity from the Teaching With the Library of Congress (LOC) blog. The activity centers on an image of a thermometer from the LOC’s Digitized Book Collection, "Measurement for the Household," which was published in a catalog from the Commissioner of Standards, Massachusetts, 1916.

Examining the historical photograph lets students familiarize themselves with key temperatures at which phase changes occur and develop understanding for later examinations of phase change diagrams. The activity includes questions to prompt reflections , as well as a second primary source image to examine: This image and a subsequent hands-on activity—making ice cream—extends learning and challenges students to think more deeply about freezing point depression and the factors that affect it.

“Government scientist cools water to -6 degrees without freezing it. Washington, D.C., Aug. 9., 1938, Harris and Ewing, photographer.”

Conference ReportsPoSea

When: September 29 - October 2, 2022

The organizations of Minorities in Shark Sciences, Black in Marine Science, Black Women in Ecology, Evolution and Marine Science, Minorities in Aquarium and Zoo Science and Minorities in Aquaculture are collaborating to host a virtual joint conference for the marine science BIPOC community.

This conference will provide networking opportunities and professional development opportunities for participants while showcasing the work of BIPOC marine scientists from around the world. Allies are welcome to attend the main conference events and support the conference by purchasing a $10 ally ticket. The conference is free for BIPOC scientists.

Register to attend the conference and take advantage of having scientists share their work (FYI there will be education and science communication presentations as well).


NOAA Great Lakes Bay Watershed Education and Training
(B-WET) program

2023 Federal Funding Opportunity Deadline: Sept. 20, 2022, 11:59 pm ET


The NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries is seeking proposals under the Great Lakes B-WET program. Great Lakes B-WET is a competitive grant program that supports existing, high quality environmental education programs, fosters the growth of new, innovative programs, and encourages capacity building and partnership development for environmental and place-based education programs throughout the entire Great Lakes watershed (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin). Successful projects provide Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs) for students and related professional development for teachers, while advancing regional Great Lakes watershed education priorities. The Great Lakes B-WET program is funded through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Take a look at the applicant resources.

Contact the Great Lakes B-WET program coordinator for questions: or phone at (989) 312-3520.

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Have questions, comments, or suggestions? We love to hear from you! You can also share opportunities for your fellow educators, students, educational resources and more! Email us at: Be sure to include:

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  • Date and time if applicable
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  • Link or email address for more information
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