The Watch. News You Can Use From NOAA Planet Stewards - 21 June 2023

NOAA Planet Stewards The Watch Newsletter


News you can use from NOAA Planet Stewards 

June 21, 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

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


Postcard From the Field: Twin Power in Guam


Shown are twin brothers, Marcus Landon Aydlett and William Brandon Aydlett. As Typhoon Mawar lashed Guam last week, they and their noaa National Weather Service Guam colleagues helped keep communities safe and the world informed. Landon is the Warning Coordination Meteorologist and Brandon the Science and Operations Officer at Weather Forecast Office Guam, where they have worked since 2010. Holed up with other forecasters, technicians and IT personnel, the North Carolina natives tag-teamed on Facebook Live, giving memorable updates as the storm hit, saying, for instance: “What used to be a jungle now looks like toothpicks.” 

Celebrate National Ocean Month with NOS!

ocean month

NOAA is dedicated to addressing the evolving economic, environmental, and social pressures on our oceans. Every June we work to raise awareness about the ocean and highlight our efforts in safeguarding it. Join us this month as we celebrate National Ocean Month. We'll be sharing videos, imagery, and trivia about our ocean and coasts with a different theme each week:

  • June 1-3: Corals (past)
  •  June 4-10: New Blue Economy (past)
  • June 11-17: The Ocean is for Everyone (past)
  • June 18-24: Conserve, Restore, and Connect to Coastal and Marine Ecosystems
  • June 25-20: Coastal Resilience

Participate by visiting NOAA's National Ocean Service National Ocean Month webpage and following us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram to keep an eye out for #OceanMonthNOAA content.

NOAA Teachers on the Estuary Workshops

When: June 13 to August 11, and other times during the school year

NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) holds Teachers on the Estuary (TOTE) workshops research and field-based training programs for K–12 teachers at research reserve sites across the country. TOTE workshops offer a minimum of 15 contact hours, giving teachers the opportunity to

  • Explore coastal habitats and conduct field investigations;
  • Interact with local scientists and experienced coastal educators;
  • Integrate local and national monitoring data into the classroom; and
  • Learn hands-on field activities highlighting various Estuary Education Resources.

With TOTE, teachers and students interact with scientists, find information about local environmental issues, and participate in field trips and community conservation projects. Some workshops are free of charge and/or offer stipends upon completion. Advance registration is required. 

Find out about the TOTE workshop opportunities near you and sign up for one - or more, today! 

noaa webinars
noaa webinars

NOAA Science Seminar Series

Something for Everyone!


21 June 2023 | 1:00 - 2:30 pm ET

Understanding the socioeconomic impacts of climate change

Air quality monitors are placed in large metropolitan areas by the EPA around the United States. The citizen science project, PurpleAir works to place their monitors in Metropolitan Areas that the EPA does not cover. When looking at the geographic locations where PurpleAir monitors are placed, we noticed that they seem to be in Whiter and richer tracts/block groups. Our research question asks whether there is a racial disparity between the PurpleAir monitors and their geographic locations to those who are affluent and those who are BIPOC in Baltimore City. Our findings determined that there is a significant median household income and percent BIPOC difference when comparing PurpleAir tracts, especially in the Baltimore City area. Tune in to learn about our findings, our research methods, other highly uneven geographies in Portland, OR and Seattle, WA .


21 June 2023 | 3:00 - 4:00 pm ET

New NOAA/NESDIS Satellite Products for Wildland Fire Applications


22 June 2023 | 3:00 - 4:00 pm ET

Career Pathways to Collaborative Science Success


26 June 2023 | 2:00 - 3:00 pm ET

Pacific Northwest Drought Early Warning System Drought & Climate Outlook Webinar


29 June 2023 | 9:30 - 10:30 am ET

U.S. Eastern Region Climate Services: Heat Season Preparedness and City Pilots


29 June 2023 | 12:00 - 1:00 pm ET

Autonomous High-Resolution Ocean Floor Mapping

Educator opportunities

Future City Competition

Competition Timeline: May 2023 - February 2024

Future City is a hands-on, cross-curricular middle school STEM educational program with prizes suitable for all environments - in-school, after-school, and youth-focused organizations such as Scouts or 4H. This year, students are challenged to build 100% electrically powered cities with energy generated from sources that keep their citizens and the environment healthy and safe. Register now!

Future City

Webinar: Climate Justice and Health

Wednesday, June 28, 2023 | 12:00 - 1:30 pm ET

The National Environmental Education Foundation is presenting their “Climate Justice and Health: Educating for Change” webinar that explores the complex dynamics of climate justice, environmental justice, systemic racism, and their profound implications for health. Gain practical strategies and valuable knowledge to apply in your daily practice, empowering you to take action, build relationships, and make meaningful contributions toward addressing these challenges within your community. Register today.


2023 Jearld Lecture - Geosciencing While Black

20 Years of Unsettling Racial Discrimination and the White Gaze in Earth Sciences Research and Workforce Preparation

Wednesday, June 28, 2023 | 1:00 pm ET

Racism in Geo

The Geoscience community is a microcosm of the larger STEM community as well as US society. Calls to eradicate systemic racism in U.S. institutions have both been amplified and received greater attention over the past few decades. Systemic racism is a multidimensional challenge that often frames the day-to-day experiences of both racialized scientists and their “seemingly“ unracialized counterparts. This talk will discuss six forms of erasure that undergird racial discrimination in science and how they manifest, then highlight a number of programs and countermeasures to the numerous systemic factors entrenching racism in STEM. Presented by Dr. Vernon Morris, Foundation Professor and Associate Dean of Knowledge Enterprise and Strategic Outcomes in the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University. Register now.



CIRES Summer PD Opportunities

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 in which students trace the flow of carbon through the Arctic food web to predict how declining sea ice might impact Arctic organisms large and small. Engage with ArcGIS Storymaps, hands-on investigations, authentic Arctic datasets, and more in this 2-day interactive virtual teacher workshop. Register now.

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.

data puzzles

 Also from CIRES, 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! Participants will have the option to receive a certificate for 4 PD hours (free) or purchase 0.5 graduate credit ($90) from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Megafires: Rare Occurrences or the New Normal?

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 resource where students analyze megafire frequency data to explain how and why the number of megafires has changed over time. Register now.

Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education STEM Competitions for K–12 Educators

oak ridge 1

Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) is holding the following two competitions.

1. June Social Media Contest 

Deadline: June 30, 2023

ORISE wants to know what kind of lesson plans you would like to see in their free lesson plan library. To enter the contest, follow ORISE on social media, complete a brief survey, and comment  on new focuses or types of lesson plans on ORISE’s social media post. Three randomly selected winners will receive the Back-to-School Supplies Bundle, which contains:

oak ridge 2
  • 10 Drawer Cart
  • Post-it Flip Charts
  • Flip Chart Markers
  • Paper Mate Flair Pens
  • Black and Multicolored Expo Markers
  • and more!

2. Back-to-School Lesson Plan Competition 

Deadline: July 31, 2023

ORISE wants to see your best back-to-school STEM lesson plans. Teachers of any grade level or subject are invited to submit a STEM lesson plan that includes back-to-school activities. Three teachers who submit lesson plans will be selected to receive mini-grants of up to $1,500 to help buy equipment for their classroom. First prize is a $1,500 mini-grant; second prize, a $1,000 mini-grant; and third prize, a $500 mini-grant.

Latino Conservation Week 2023

July 15 - 23, 2023

Latino Conservation Week is a national initiative of Hispanic Access Foundation to support the Latino community getting outdoors and participating in activities to protect our natural resources. Participate in a week full of fun activities that will engage you with the outdoors and learn how to take action to tackle some of the challenges faced by Latino communities nationwide!

Latino week

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 teachers in incorporating climate education into their curriculum to educate, empower, and inspire students and community members to take action to adapt to, or mitigate the impacts of 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. 

Student opportunities

Youth Innovation Challenge 2023

Apply by July 19, 2023


The Global Environmental Education Partnership is excited to announce its 2023 Youth Innovation Challenge: Saving Our Seas! In partnership with the Taiwan Ocean Conservation Administration, this year's challenge provides an opportunity for young people ages 15–30 around the world to share their innovative solutions to protect marine resources and support people of all ages to be engaged stewards for marine conservation. Learn more and apply!

June 26, 2023 at 10:00 AM U.S. ET: Watch the Youth Innovation Challenge Applicant Webinar!

Register for Global Indigenous Youth Summit on Climate Change!

August 9, 2023

The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) invites registration for the Global Indigenous Youth Summit on Climate Change (GIYSCC). The GIYSC is being convened by, for, and among Indigenous youth (in contrast to Elders), who will design the agenda and invite the participants from three eight-hour time zones, in a 24-hour period, on 9 August 2023 (United Nations International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples). In a complementary context, the Summit will precede the United Nations International Youth Day on 12 August. More Info & Sign Up here.

2023 Get Into Your Sanctuary Photo Contest


Contest dates: May 26, 2023 through September 4, 2023

Welcome all photographers, regardless of skill level or experience, to participate in the 2023 #GetIntoYourSanctuary Photo Contest. Learn more about the contest and how to participate.

Ed Resources

Current Deep Sea Expeditions to Explore!

E/V Nautilus, Ocean Exploration Trust

Central and Eastern Pacific, April - December, 2023

The Ocean Exploration Trust and its partners will spend the season exploring in and around the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument (Kingman Reef, Palmyra Atoll, Johnston Atoll, and Jarvis Island) and the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument and south of the main Hawaiian Islands. The team will map the seafloor, use remotely and autonomously operated vehicles, an autonomous surface vessel, and an emerging exploration tool capable of autonomously profiling and sampling the full depth of the water column — from the sea surface to the seafloor.

NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer

Seascape Alaska 2023, May 5 - October 14, 2023

NOAA and its partners will conduct six expeditions mapping the seafloor and using remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to close gaps in our understanding of one of the least explored but incredibly economically and culturally important areas in the United States: Alaska. This expedition will focus on deepwater areas in the Gulf of Alaska, Aleutian Islands, and the Aleutian Trench. ROV dives from 250 to 6,000 meters deep are anticipated from June 29 - July 24  and August 24 - September 15 and will explore seafloor subduction zones, deep-sea coral and sponge habitats, seamounts, mud volcanoes, hydrothermal vents, marine minerals, underwater cultural heritage sites, and the water column.

Seascape Alaska is a multiyear, multipartner cooperative research campaign to create accessible, high-quality modern seabed data for Alaskan waters to support U.S. research, resource management, sustainable economic growth, and the health and security of Americans.

R/V Falkor (too), Schmidt Ocean Institute

Octopus Odyssey, Costa Rica, June 2023

This expedition will investigate the biodiversity of unprotected seamounts in an under-explored region in Costa Rica. The primary target is the Dorado Outcrop, where a “garden” of female octopuses was first discovered in 2013 brooding their eggs along low-temperature vents, a phenomenon scientists had never seen before. The goal for this expedition is to better understand the hydrogeology, microbiology, ecology, and geochemistry that may facilitate this fascinating behavior.

To stay up to date on where these three ships are, tune in via the Deep Ocean Education Project website Vessels page.

Video: What is Ocean Today?

Hey teachers and ocean lovers, do you have curious friends or students who would love to learn more about marine biology, ocean conservation, and deep sea exploration? Then watch this video from the award winning NOAA Ocean Today program. In partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, Ocean Today has created over 360 short educational videos packed with fascinating discoveries and vibrant visuals that'll make you want to dive right in.


CLEAN Teacher Newsflash: Arctic Ice Focused Lesson Plans


As our planet faces the challenges of a changing climate, understanding the Arctic's delicate ecosystem and the significance of melting ice is crucial for our students. The following activity, video, and article will inspire curiosity, critical thinking, and a deeper appreciation for the interconnectedness of our world.


English Learners in STEM: Interactive Graphic Organizer and Mix & Match

View this eight-minute lesson from the Smithsonian Science Education Center that shows a teacher modeling how to use two strategies to help her students. The mix and match cards shown in this lesson are free download.



“Gikinoo’wizhiwe Onji Waaban” (Guiding for Tomorrow) Curriculum

Gikinoo’wizhiwe Onji Waaban (GWOW) is an online service learning curriculum that weaves together Indigenous Ecological Knowledge of the Ojibwe with data-driven science to help students understand climate change impacts.

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.

Together We Thrive: Fostering a Sense of Belonging

July 18-20, 2023


The Smithsonian will be hosting the National Education Summit. The no-cost, three-day convening is a unique opportunity to explore critical issues facing teachers and network with others both virtually and in person. The Summit will focus on sustainability, STEAM, the Smithsonian’s “Our Shared Future: Reckoning with Our Racial Past” initiative, arts education, and more.



Green Our Planet Grant Programs

Apply by: July 21, 2023

Green Our Planet is providing grants to 250 schools this fall to help fund the implementation of the Hydroponics School Garden Program.

green grants

Investing in Our Ocean Future: STEM Education Grants to Broaden Access to Ocean Sciences

Proposals Accepted: June 15 - August 15, 2023

NOAA Ocean Exploration, is excited to offer grants to educators and education programs that lead workforce development initiatives to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in ocean science and/or exploration careers. The overarching goal of this program is to support a future ocean workforce that is more representative of US demographics by funding projects that minimize barriers to entry and retention of diverse youth from communities historically marginalized from ocean science and exploration industries. These grants are an investment in projects and partners that are leading science, education, technology, and engineering (STEM) education programming for diverse youth in middle school, high school, undergraduate, and/or community college to learn about the ocean, develop or advance STEM skills, and increase awareness of ocean science careers.

Learn more about the grants and explore previously funded projects!

Clean School Bus Program Grants

Apply by: August 22, 2023

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency anticipates awarding approximately $400 million in competitive grant funding under the Clean School Bus Grants Program. The program will fund the replacement of existing school buses with clean and zero-emission school buses.

Toshiba America Foundation Education Grants

Application deadlines are this fall! They vary for grade band and funding: see below for details!

The Toshiba America Foundation awards grants to support innovative STEM educational programs. Grades K-5 teachers are invited to apply for grants up to $1,000 by October 1, 2023. Middle school and high school teachers are invited to apply for grants up to $5,0000 (apply by September 1, 2023) and greater than $5,000 (apply by November 1, 2023).

Fellowship Opportunities: 


Education/Equity Bytes


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

Weather Extremes and Other Science News of Note

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