The Watch. News You Can Use From NOAA Planet Stewards - 29 August 2023

NOAA Planet Stewards The Watch Newsletter


News you can use from NOAA Planet Stewards 

August 29, 2023

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

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The Planet Stewards Book Club -- We're Back!


Join NOAA Planet Stewards for our first Book Club meeting of the 2023-2024 academic year. We’ll discuss Don’t Look Up, an apocalyptic political satire comedy film that tells the story of two astronomers attempting to warn humanity about an approaching comet that will destroy human civilization. The impact event is an allegory for climate change, and the film is a satire of government, political, celebrity, and media indifference to the climate crisis. The film is available on Netflix.

Meeting Date & Time: Tuesday, September 12 at 8:00 PM Eastern Time

Video Conference Log In:

Phone Dial In #: (‪US) ‪+1 401-285-4760

Pin: 743 337 488#


  • For details on all our meeting dates, times, selections, and how to log in, go to our Upcoming Events Page.
  • Make sure you receive reminder announcements! Sign up to our mailing list.
  • See previously selected books and discussion questions in our Book Club Archive.

Get Inspired for Stewardship!


In the latest issue of The Earth Scientist read stories NOAA Planet Stewards educators engaging their students, schools, and communities to affect real and lasting changes - and get inspired to take action in your community!

Congratulations to all our Planet Stewards authors! Read all their articles here including:

  • Advocates for Change by Amy Durham Shea
  • Floating Wetlands for the Future by Deanna Orr
  • Keepers of Turtle Islands by Amelia Cook
  • Clean Up Crew: Empowering Changemakers by Kelley Hodges
  • Beaumont Rain and Butterfly Garden by P. Goff & K. Trahan
  • Seminole HS Landscape Architecture Project by Jerry Cantrell

Kids Against Climate Change

kids climate change

Kids Against Climate Change is a by-kids-for-kids website created by NOAA Planet Steward, Kottie Christie-Blick. Students like it because it connects them with other students via discussion boards to talk about climate change concerns and ideas. Teachers like it because there are resources they can use in the classroom, divided into sections for older students and younger students, all “teacher approved”. There are pictures and videos, lesson plans and hands-on climate activities for overworked teachers. The site is free for students and teachers to use, thanks to NOAA Planet Stewards.

Kids Against Climate Change wants to feature photos of middle school and high school students using the website and/or doing climate action. If you and your students are interested in inspiring others to take action and being featured on the website, contact Kottie Christie-Blick.

noaa in focus

NOAA banner

The Search for the USS Monitor

The 50th Anniversary of Monitor's Discovery!

When: August 31, 2023 - 7am Hawaii / 10 am Pacific / 12 pm Central / 1 pm Eastern

In the early morning hours of New Year's Eve 1862, the Civil War Ironclad, USS Monitor, sank beneath the ocean waves during a terrible storm off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.16 men went down with the ship, and although numerous people searched for it for over a century, the Monitor’s final resting location remained a mystery until 1973.

Join John Broadwater, former superintendent at Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, to learn about the search, discover why the shipwreck was difficult to locate, and learn about the expeditions to find it. This webinar is one of the first in NOAA's 50th anniversary celebrations of USS Monitor. Stay tuned for more!

Register for the webinar!

Combating Labor Abuse in the Seafood Sector


Listen to a new podcast by NOAA Fisheries on a new initiative that brings together public and private partners to address labor abuses in the seafood sector.

Find the podcast here.

NOAA High Tide Flooding Portal and Annual Predictions


Check out NOAA's new high tide flooding portal! Using the portal, you can view the likelihood of high tide flooding for every day of the year, up to a year in advance, for specific locations. You can also view high tide flooding predictions for the next year. The annual outlook provides predictions of high tide flooding expected to occur from May 2023 to April 2024 and a summary of past high tide flooding from 2022 to 2023 at 98 NOAA tide gauges around the U.S. Explore the portal and annual outlook here!


The graphic above is a visionary underwater habitat being developed by the Proteus Ocean Group.

Discover more about this underwater habitat!

noaa webinars
noaa webinars

NOAA Science Seminar Series

Something for Everyone!


31 August 2023 | 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. ET

U.S. Eastern Region Climate Services: Atlantic Hurricane Season

This webinar features a recap of August's conditions and provide an update on the Atlantic Hurricane Season.


19 September 2023 | 3:00 pm - 4:00 p.m. ET

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: How Visitors Help Sanctuaries Monitor Climate Change

From severe storms to ocean warming to sea level rise, climate change poses a clear and present threat to treasured places, critical biodiversity, and cultural resources across the national marine sanctuary system. Sanctuaries need to monitor climate change's impact so they can identify and respond to these impacts. Everyone who visits and uses sanctuaries can play an invaluable role. Join the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries to learn more and how all kinds of visitors  are helping to monitor climate change impacts in Stellwagen Bank and Florida Keys national marine sanctuaries.


21 September, 2023 | 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. ET

Developing Offshore Wind in US Waters Part 2: Offshore Wind Development

and the Structure and Function of Marine Ecosystems

The pace, scale, and magnitude of offshore wind development in the US and around the globe is increasing rapidly. Countries are committing to this new ocean use to decarbonize their energy systems, and as a goal for economic growth. This webinar explores the potential interactions of this growing industry with the structure and function of marine ecosystems, and what science is still needed to better understand these interactions..

Educator opportunities

NOAA's Ocean Acidification Listening Sessions

When: All of August 2023

NOAA's Ocean Acidification Program advances ocean acidification science, education and outreach. The listening session provides a brief overview of the program and a stakeholder needs assessment project. Participants will then have the opportunity to share their concerns on the impact of ocean change and ocean acidification, and identify ways NOAA can be of support. All responses will be anonymous. Register here.


Recruiting Educators for Polar STEAM

Apply by: September 24, 2023

Polar STEAM is recruiting educators for 2024–2025 collaborations with polar researchers to create educational resources about polar regions and science. Applications are open for Arctic and Antarctic deployments as well as virtual collaborations in both regions. This opportunity is open to community college and minority-serving institution faculty, middle and high school educators, and informal educators.


Science Update: The Science of Oil Spill Response and Cleanup

oil spill response at sea

Join NOAA and NSTA on Thursday, September 28, 2023, from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM ET, for an NSTA Science Update.

Major oil spills are rare, but thousands of spills occur each year into our coastal waters, which can harm people, the environment, and cause substantial and widespread economic impacts.

In this web seminar, Douglas Helton - Regional Operations Supervisor for NOAA's Emergency Response Division, will discuss improvements in prevention, response to recent incidents, research on the detection and surveillance of spills at sea, cleanup alternatives, and the effects on natural resources.

Register here

CNN Call to Earth Day on November 8th


CNN will be holding their third annual Call to Earth Day on November 8, 2023, featuring classes and groups from around the world working to protect our connected ecosystems. CNN is looking to raise awareness of environmental issues and engage with conservation education. Project-Based Lesson Plans, written by NOAA Planet Steward, Kottie Christie-Blick, are on CNN Call to Earth Day: Our Shared Home.

What can you and your class do to help protect our planet? Join CNN on November 8th for a special day of coverage on TV, digital, and their social media channels, to celebrate a planet worth protecting. But first, click here to learn more and to register your event. 

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 via webinars with scientists and marine educators, online symposia for students to share their successes, and opportunities to connect with other Blue Schools, both in the US and internationally.

Learn more about the USA Blue Schools and complete the short application to register your school. 

Student opportunities

2023 Get Into Your Sanctuary Photo Contest

Contest  Deadline: 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.


Register for Ecybermission 2023-2024!

eCYBERMISSION is a free, virtual STEM competition for 6-9 graders, administered by the National Science Teaching Association. Students form teams of 2-4, led by an adult Team Advisor, and select a problem in their community to investigate with science, or solve with engineering.

eCYBERMISSION aligns with NGSS, Common Core, and state science standards, and teaching resources are available for free here. Plus, apply to receive funding for your classroom through their mini-grants program.  

2024 NASA Gateway to Blue Skies Competition


As climate change increasingly influences the frequency and severity of natural disasters on a global scale, opportunities to contribute at the intersection of technological advancement, aviation, and natural disasters grow in both number and importance. NASA Aeronautics is dedicated to expanding its efforts to assist and speed up recovery efforts.

In the 2024 Blue Skies Competition,, teams will conceptualize feasible and viable aviation-related system(s) that can be applied by 2035 to management of a chosen type of natural disaster. Teams are encouraged to consider high-potential technologies and systems that aren’t currently mainstream or are highly regarded as becoming mainstream in the future.

Apply here

Future City Competition

Competition Deadline: February 2024

Future City

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!

Ed Resources

Events for ages 4-8 are Mondays at 11am ET; events for ages 9-14

are Thursdays at 10am & 2pm ET, with special events added on a rolling basis.

Join Explorer Classroom —  live interactive sessions that connect young people with National Geographic Explorers — to hear behind-the-scenes stories and engage with cutting-edge scientists, researchers, and powerful storytellers from around the globe. All events are free, open to the public, and include an instructional guide to help learners get the most out of the experience.

You can check out all the free upcoming opportunities and register for them here.

Marine Debris Prevention Best Practices Manual


Created by One Cool Earth with funding provided by the NOAA Marine Debris Program, this Marine Debris Prevention Best Practices Manual is a comprehensive guide to help establish lasting change on school campuses. It covers tips and tricks for engaging students in assessing school waste, bringing student leaders together into “Green Teams,” and supporting the entire school community with marine debris prevention. Learn creative ways to minimize waste in the classroom, in the cafeteria, in school gardens, and on the playground. These strategies are accompanied by case studies, standards-aligned lesson plans, videos, and other resources.

Learn more.

Broken Record

This summer, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels jump again!


During summer break, scientists from NOAA and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography summarized their latest findings: another record year of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels into territory not seen for millions of years. Last month, measurements of CO2 obtained by NOAA’s Global Monitoring Laboratory averaged 424.0 parts per million (ppm), a 3.0 ppm increase over the 2022 average for May.

Carbon dioxide levels are now more than 50% higher than they were before the onset of the industrial era.

So, what IS the cost to the ocean? Students can explore the lessons in the Ocean Acidification module to explore cause-and-effect relationships between rising carbon dioxide concentrations, ocean chemistry and the growth and survival of shell-building organisms! 

Explore the Module Resources!

National Estuarine Research Reserve Data Mysteries

Grab your magnifying glass and we’ll bring the data. Let’s solve a mystery

.From oyster health to wildfire predictions and water quality, teachers can work with their students to explore real events using the System-Wide Monitoring Program data from the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. Students graph and then analyze each parameter to find out what happened in the watershed or estuary based on the data from actual events. Through these mysteries, students gain awareness of the System-Wide Monitoring Program, learn to use the data graphing tool to interpret ecological data, and incorporate background information into their conclusions. Access the mysteries here.


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.


Unlocking Ice Secrets


Click on the links below to find how Ice Cores can tell us about past climates and help us make predictions on future climate changes.

Air bubbles in an ice core from the Antarctic: The ice is up to 24,000 years old.
Credit: Bernhard Bereiter/Scripps Institution of Oceanography/Empa/University of Berne

I live in the Eastern US - Should climate change matter to me?

This video in climate expert Katharine Hayhoe's Global Weirding series discusses impacts that the Eastern US is experiencing due to climate change. It describes the seasonal shifts that may affect tourism in New England, extreme heat in the Southeast, how rising sea level affects coastal areas, as well as other topics.

This CLEAN Collection resource has teaching tips, relevant standards, and other guidance for how to use the video in a classroom setting.

Find it here.


Explore The Dangers of Sea Level Rise with your Students


This resource from the CLEAN collection has teaching tips, relevant standards, and other guidance for how to use an interactive tool from Climate Central to help students identify potential risks (to people, buildings, infrastructure, contamination, land) for selected coastal areas in the US, using scenarios of water level rising from 0-10 feet.

Surging Seas Risk Finder

Subject to Climate

Subject to Climate is an online connector for K-12 teachers of all subjects to find credible, unbiased, and engaging materials related to climate change at no cost. The goal is to enhance our understanding of climate change knowledge and inspire action by making climate change teaching and learning accessible to all.


Sea2Earth Fund: Connect Youth and Adults to Nature 

Letter of Intent due by: September 10, 2023


The Sam and Mary Lawrence Foundation’s Sea2Earth Fund will provide up to $50,000 in small grants to 501c3 nonprofit organizations that support the Sea2Earth Fund’s goals of connecting youth and adults to nature through immersive experiences that inspire caring and stewardship. 

To apply to Sea2Earth's funding opportunity, please send a brief Letter of Interest (LOI) by Friday, September 10, 2023, which responds to the LOI outline found on the Sea2Earth Website here. Learn more about the Sea2Earth Fund. 

Toshiba America Foundation Education Grants

Application deadlines begin September 1, 2023


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).

Educator Fellowship Opportunity

Apply by September 1, 2023


Ecology Project International (EPI) is now accepting applications for its 2024 Teacher Fellowship program -- an 8-day professional development program that focuses on progressive science teaching methodologies and hands-on field science.

Each year,  50 educators travel on the program. Fellows connect with peers, study with EPI instructors, and collect data on wildlife at field sites in Costa Rica, Mexico, and Yellowstone. Apply!

Job Opportunities


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