The Watch. News You Can Use From NOAA Planet Stewards - 23 May 2023

NOAA Planet Stewards The Watch Newsletter


News you can use from NOAA Planet Stewards 

May 23, 2023

Keep Up with NOAA Planet Stewards:

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

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planet stewards

NOAA Planet Stewards is now accepting proposals for 2023/2024 project funding!

NOAA Planet Stewards is providing up to $5000 in federal funding support for formal and informal educators to carry out hands-on stewardship projects with elementary through college age students, as well as the general public. Stewardship projects must make a substantive, and quantitatively measurable impact on an environmental issue related to the educator’s community. Projects should focus on the conservation, restoration, and/or protection of human communities and/or natural resources from environmental issues in one of the following four focus areas:

  • Marine debris
  • Habitat conservation and/or restoration
  • Carbon footprint reduction
  • Carbon sequestration

All stewardship project funding applications and supporting documents are due by midnight (Pacific Time) June 4, 2023.

For complete information on eligibility, funding conditions, and the application process, go to our Supporting Stewardship page.

Join Planet Stewards at one – or Both - of our Educator Workshops!


This Summer NOAA Planet Stewards will be hosting two in person educator workshops with our partners:


At both workshops attendees will:

  • Have opportunities to learn from and interact with subject matter experts.
  • Learn how to incorporate standards-aligned climate change and environmental education lessons into existing curriculum.
  • Experience hands-on, outdoor lessons to use with students
  • Engage with NOAA Planet Stewards and uncover opportunities to develop stewardship projects that mobilize youth to take action in their communities
  • Leave with new professional contacts, teaching ideas, and educational materials!

Find out more about these opportunities and how to register for them here.

The Watch

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noaa in focus


Buzzards Bay Environments Restored 20 Years After Oil Spill


NOAA science guided the extensive cleanup of Buzzards Bay when the barge Bouchard 120 ran aground there 20 years ago releasing 98,000 gallons of fuel. 100 miles of Massachusetts and Rhode Island coastal coastal habitats were polluted, killing and injuring fish, shellfish, and bird species; and closing the coastline to the public. NOAA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the state of Rhode Island, conducted a detailed natural resource damage assessment, resulting in a $19.3 million settlement to restore injured natural resources and lost recreation. Today, Buzzards Bay is transformed, through the dedicated efforts of scientists, specialists and many partners. Read how the last two decades of work have restored fish, wildlife, birds, and public uses impacted by the spill.

noaa webinars
noaa webinars

NOAA Science Seminar Series

Something for Everyone!


24 May 2023 | 1:00 - 2:00 pm ET

Paralytic shellfish toxins in Alaskan Arctic food webs during the anomalously warm ocean conditions of 2019 and estimated toxin doses to Pacific walruses and bowhead whales



24 May 2023 | 2:00 - 3:00 pm ET

Diverse Voices in Fisheries Science - Dr. Verena Wang - East Carolina University

Diverse Voices in Fisheries Science highlights diversity in fisheries science by offering a platform for diverse speakers to share their research and by creating space for early career professionals to network in the industry.



24 May 2023 | 2:00 - 3:00 pm ET

Inland Flooding - What happens when the rain has nowhere to go?

Sometimes hurricane impacts can be felt well inland. Hear about NOAA’s Southeast River Forecast Center and how they assess inland river flooding and storm rainfall.



5 June 2023 | 6:00 - 7:00 pm ET

Discover the NOAA Coral Reef and Kelp Forest Ecosystem Resource Collections

Educator opportunities


MACAN Webinar: OA Research Highlights Around the Region: Part 2


Monday, May 22, 2023 | 12:00 - 1:30 pm ET

Register for the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Acidification Network’s (MACAN) Spring 2023 webinar series to learn more about:

  • Social vulnerability analyses for the Atlantic sea scallop fishery and Chesapeake Bay oyster growers.
  • How a 3D estuarine-carbon-biogeochemistry model is being used to assess effects of projected coastal acidification on oyster growth in Virginia tributaries
  • How climate resilience of selectively-bred larval aquaculture broodstock compares to that of the wild Eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica.

Featured speakers include Dr. Samantha Siedlecki (UConn), Brian Katz (OSU), Catherine Czajka (VIMS), and Annie Schatz (VIMS).

Registe for the webinar

Climate Conversations: Nuclear Energy

May 25 | 3:00 PM - 4:15 PM ET     Registration now open!

nuc energy

Nuclear energy is one of the most reliable sources of carbon-free electricity, and maintaining the current nuclear power fleet is a key part of U.S. trajectories to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. However, nuclear energy is not without risks, and it produces radioactive waste that lasts for millennia. As such, nuclear energy is a contentious topic with complex tradeoffs. Kara Colton (Energy Communities Alliance) will moderate a nuanced conversation with Ahmed Abdulla (Carleton University) and Michael Ford (Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory) about the challenges and opportunities related to the current and future role of nuclear energy in efforts to decarbonize the U.S. The conversation will touch on the science and engineering of nuclear reactors; the current social, political, and regulatory environment around nuclear energy in the U.S.; and lessons that can be learned from other countries that also employ nuclear energy.

Register for the webinar.

National Research Assessment from the US Global Change Research Program


No matter who you are, the Federal Steering Committee guiding the National Nature Assessment wants to hear from you: What does nature mean? What decisions should this assessment support? What questions should it answer? How do we make this assessment as useful as possible? These sessions will provide a brief overview of the scope of the National Nature Assessment and an opportunity to give direct input to the open request for information on framing the assessment. The events are free and open to the public, but registration is required (see links below for more information).

climate Interactive

Exciting Model Updates Coming Soon - Join the Webinar!

Thursday, June 1, 2023 | 7:00 am ET, 2:00 pm ET, and 7:00 pm ET

Climate Interactive’s two simulators, En-ROADS and C-ROADS, will be updated in June with an extensive new model structure that has been years in the making. This will include updates to food, forests, electrification, carbon price, and more! Register for the time slot that works for you.

The Science of Forecasting Hurricane Impacts

Tuesday, June 6, 2023 | 9:00 am ET


This event will focus on the science of forecasting hurricane impacts for classes grades 4-8. The webinar will be presented by graduate students at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography. Register for the webinar.

Topics include:

  • What are hurricanes?
  • What are hurricane impacts and why is it important to forecast ahead of time?
  • How do we forecast the impacts?
  • How does research fit into forecasting?
  • What are the challenges and areas of ongoing research?

This webinar is free, funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation and brought to you by the Inner Space Center at the Graduate School of Oceanography University of Rhode Island and the Hurricanes:Science and Society Project


Teaching about climate topics? If you are teaching or would like to teach about climate topics please take CLEAN's anonymous, 15-min online survey. As an appreciation for your participation, you can enter a drawing for one of six $50 Amazon gift cards. To enter the drawing complete the survey by June 10th, 2023, and provide your email address. Your email address will not be connected with your survey responses. 

This research is being conducted through the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) Education and Outreach program at the University of Colorado Boulder. The project is funded by the NOAA. 

CIRES Summer PD Opportunities

Wildfire, Drought, and the Future of Forests Online Workshop


June 7, Wednesday, and Thursday, June 8 |
11:00 am - 3:00 pm ET 

In this free workshop, University of Colorado Boulder curriculum developers will lead teachers through The Future of Forests, a middle school/high school curriculum connected to Next Generation life science standards that explore patterns of post-fire recovery (or lack thereof) across the west and inspire classrooms to engage in citizen science using NASA’s GLOBE Observer land cover app. Participants will engage with online interactives from the National Forest Service, authentic datasets, and app-based labs in this online workshop. Participants will have the option to receive a certificate for 10 PD hours (free) or purchase 1 graduate credit ($90) from the University of Colorado Boulder.


Other Opportunities coming this summer from CLEAN at the University of Colorado include:

2. A Changing Arctic Ecosystem

July 12-13, 2023 11:00 am - 3:00 pm ET each day

The Arctic is warming more rapidly than anywhere else on Earth. One consequence of a warming Arctic is a dramatic decline in sea ice, an important habitat for many Arctic plants and animals. In this FREE teacher workshop, you’ll hear from Arctic scientists and the curriculum developers as they lead you through "A Changing Arctic Ecosystem”, a MS/HS storyline unit tied to NGSS Life Science standards where students trace the flow of carbon through the Arctic food web to predict how declining sea ice might impact Arctic organisms.. Engage with ArcGIS Storymaps, hands-on investigations, authentic Arctic datasets, and more in this 2-day interactive virtual teacher workshop. Register now.


3. The Tipping Point Data Puzzle

Tuesday, June 20, 2023 | 10:00 am - 2:00 pm ET

Join developer Jon Griffith and ecologist Dr. Megan DeMarche as they lead you through "The Tipping Point", a 2-day MS/HS resource where students analyze ecological data to explain how rising temperatures are affecting the hearty tundra plant, moss campion, and consider what that might mean for the rest of the ecosystem. Register now.

4. Megafires: Rare Occurrences or the New Normal? Data Puzzle

Tuesday, July 18th, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm ET

Join developer Jon Griffith and  fire ecologist Dr. Natasha Stavros, as they lead you through "Megafires: Rare Occurrences or the New Normal?", a 3-day resource where students analyze megafire frequency data to explain how and why the number of megafires has changed over time. Register now.

Data Puzzles are 2-3 day MS/HS lessons that combine classroom-friendly datasets with Ambitious Science Teaching practices to help students make sense of phenomena. Engage with specific Data Puzzle resources during our summer workshops!

National Climate Educators Retreat in Maine

July 31 - August 4, 2023


The Climate Initiative’s National Climate Educators Retreat is a professional development opportunity to support high school classroom teachers in incorporating climate education in their curriculum to educate, empower, and inspire students and community members to take action to adapt to or to mitigate climate change. The Climate Initiative offers many educational materials free of charge:   Learning Labs,   Policy ToolkitsClimate Action Toolkits,  and its Ambassador Network.

Become a USA Blue School!

blue school

USA Blue Schools are K-12 schools that are working to increase awareness about the ocean and inspire educators, students, and community members to deepen their connection with the sea. Participating schools may be involved in action projects such as park/beach cleanups, data collection, community science activities, and educational workshops.

Learn more about the USA Blue Schools and complete the short application to register your school. Reach out to Meghan Marrero - the National Coordinator, with questions.


Free Learning Through Citizen Science Course - Now Available in Spanish!

Build your learners’ curiosity and collaborative skills through global citizen science, in which the public creates a plan for engaging K-12 students in one or more authentic research projects. In this new course ‘Learning Through Citizen Science,’ from National Geographic and California State University, Bakersfield, you will explore creative learning opportunities in documenting, visualizing, and analyzing data while tackling global challenges. The free course is self-paced and now available in both English and Spanish.

Student opportunities


ResilienSEA Externship

Apply by: May 26, 2023


EarthEcho International invites BIPOC youth ages 17-20 from frontline coastal communities in North America to apply for the ResilienSEA Externship - a hands-on learning experience that introduces participants to the field of regenerative ocean aquaculture – ocean “farming” that restores coastal habitats while creating economic and ecological benefits. As an externship, this opportunity is an introductory program that requires no previous coursework or experience with ocean science or aquaculture. This paid ResilienSEA Externship provides participants with an opportunity to learn from and network with professionals, participate in a job shadowing, and engage in peer learning with EarthEcho’s Youth Leadership Councilto build confidence and competence to take action in externs’ home communities.

Ed Resources


Black Birders Week 2023


It’s going to be another wonderful year of connection during Black Birders Week 2023, celebrating the theme Fly Full Circle. Look for a variety of activities from May 28 - June 3 as organizers and participants celebrate being bold, beautiful, and Black during Black Birders Week 2023.


  • Sunday, May 28: Roll Call & Introductions
  • Monday, May 29: History & Culture
  • Tuesday, May 30: Creativity
  • Wednesday, May 31: Rest Day
  • Thursday, June 1: Black Resistance
  • Friday, June 2: Community Awareness & Citizen Science
  • Saturday, June 3: Get Outside

Student Activity resources for kids, youth, and families:

As you participate in activities, always use #BlackInNature, #BlackBirdersWeek, and other fun hashtags like #BlackBirderCulture, #BlackBirdersSoFly, #CalmTheFlockDown,  #FreeAsABird, #FlockForce, and #JustWingIt. Keep visiting the Black AF in STEM (BAFiS) website to stay informed on new events and discussions as they develop. Follow BAFiS social media channels and repost or retweet from their platforms: Facebook;  Twitter; and Instagram.

Celebrate Urban Birds Community Science Project

May is a great time to step outside with your students and engage in a community science project all about monitoring birds in urban environments. Celebrate Urban Birds strives to make birding a more inclusive experience for all communities, and offers a suite of educational resources and activities no matter where you live.


Monarch Butterfly Teaching Toolkit

The phenomena of monarch butterflies is known far and wide—but if you’d like to dive deeper into the science of these spectacular insects, check out this teaching toolkit created by the World Wildlife Fund.


Ocean Plastic Pollution Online Course for Teachers

This course for educators from the Monterey Bay Aquarium is designed for educators of Grades 3-12 who are ready to go in-depth into plastic pollution issues and solutions with their students. The course is free and self-paced.


Evolution and Nature of Science


View this comprehensive teacher tested set of Lessons on Climate Change, Evolution and Nature of Science. The National Center for Science Education is celebrating its 40th anniversary of providing classroom resources created and tested by teachers from around the United States.

New STEMonstration: Properties of Water

In the latest STEMonstration episode, NASA astronaut Nicole Mann demonstrates the role water plays aboard the International Space Station and explains what makes water so important for life as we know it. Discover how astronauts water vegetables growing in microgravity and explore the six properties of water that distinguish it from other liquids. Check out the Classroom Connection lesson plan to determine how water’s molecular structure relates to its unique properties.

Conference Reports



Mid-Atlantic Climate Change Education Conference

June 21 | 10:00 - 3:30 pm ET & June 22 | 10:00 - 12:00 pm ET

Join educators, students, and individuals as we navigate how to advance education for climate action in the Mid-Atlantic at the 4th annual virtual conference. Sessions include: Teaching Climate Action, Building Climate Resilience, Exploring Climate Resources, and Starring in Solutions-focused workforce. Registration is $25 and full scholarships are available for Mid-Atlantic students and educators. Learn more and register.



NOAA Ocean Guardian School Applications are Now Open!

Apply by June 1, 2023

noaa ocean guardian

Applications to the NOAA Ocean Guardian School Program are now being accepted for the 2023-2024 school year! Grant amounts range from $1,000 - $4,000 per school depending on the program region and funding year.

Other Grants and Award Opportunities: 

  • Gravely & Paige Grants for STEM Teachers 2022-23: 
    Apply by July 31, 2023; The AFCEA Educational Foundation provides funding to US elementary or secondary/intermediate schools to promote STEM innovation in the classroom. Grants will be up to $2,000 for awarded STEM programs/projects. Learn more and apply.

Environmental Education/Outreach Jobs & Internships:


Education/Equity Bytes


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

Weather Extremes and Other Science News of Note

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