The Watch. News You Can Use From NOAA Planet Stewards - 12 Sept. 2023

NOAA Planet Stewards The Watch Newsletter


News you can use from NOAA Planet Stewards 

September 12, 2023

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

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NOAA Planet Stewards First Book Club Meeting is Tonight!


Join NOAA Planet Stewards TONIGHT (Tuesday, September 12 at 8:00 PM ET) 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. You can find the discussion questions for tonight’s meeting posted on our website

Didn’t have a chance to watch it? That’s OK, we’d love to have you join us to see what the Book Club is all about.  

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#


Can’t Make it Tonight? That’s OK. Join Us At Our Next Meeting

Meeting Date & Time: Tuesday, October 10 at 8:00 PM ET.

Book: Diary of a Young Naturalist

And remember...

  • 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.

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.

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noaa in focus


Above are photos of a European green crab carrying thousands of eggs; a sign alerting residents to be aware of green crabs; and a photo of Linda Shaw, NOAA Wildlife Biologist, and Dr. Joseph Krieger, NOAA’s Invasive Species Program Coordinator.

NOAA’s Coast Survey:  Mapping US Waters for Navigation and More

September 14, 2023 | 2:00 - 3:30 PM Eastern


Since 1807 NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey has been responsible for mapping US waters and producing nautical charts to support safe navigation and efficient marine transportation. As the resolution, coverage, and accessibility of Coast Survey’s mapping data has increased, demand for this foundational geospatial information has grown. During this seminar, RDML Evans will trace Coast Survey’s evolution from an organization built around the production of paper nautical charts to one focused on data to support a broad range of applications to allow mariners to “Navigate with Confidence” now and in the future.

Register for the webinar

NOAA Needs to Hear From You!

Comment By: September 21, 2023


NOAA wants your feedback on our Equitable Delivery of Climate Services, so we can better our delivery of climate data, information, science, and tools (“climate services”) and ensure that this delivery is equitable and accounting for the needs and priorities of a diverse set of user communities, especially historically underserved communities — including Tribal and Indigenous communities – as they engage in climate preparedness, adaptation, and resilience planning. This process builds on NOAA’s Climate Equity Roundtables and Pilots, so we can create a Climate Ready Nation.

Read more about the RFI

The Florida Keys: Dive into History


Listen to the latest episode of the NOAA Ocean Podcast to learn about the Florida Keys maritime history. Brenda Altmeier, maritime heritage coordinator for Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, tells the story of the Florida Keys through maritime history to give you a taste of why this place is unlike anywhere else in the nation.

Catch a Sneak Peek of "Teek and Tom Explore Planet Earth"

Coming in early 2024


NOAA's Ocean Today team has been creating short educational videos packed with fascinating discoveries and vibrant visuals that'll make you want to dive right in. Over 360 videos are available for free on its website, and many of them can be viewed in museums and aquariums around the world. But Ocean's Today isn't stopping there. In 2024 Ocean's Today is going to space with Teek from planet Queloz, to help us understand more about the ocean, weather, climate connection. What do you want to know? Learn more Ocean Today and catch a sneak peak of Teek and Tom here.


Fuel for the Storm

Where do hurricanes come from? And how could our warming ocean lead to bigger hurricanes in the future? Watch the NOAA video: Fuel for the Storm (2:12)

noaa webinars
noaa webinars

NOAA Science Seminar Series - 
Something for Everyone!

14 September 2023 | 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm ET

Places Forgotten by History: The Archaeological Potential of Submerged Landscapes

Changing sea-levels have drastically changed the shape and amount of land available for habitation throughout human history. Using modern technologies, portions of these formerly exposed landscapes can be identified on or buried below the modern seafloor, and data gathered to illustrate what life would have been like in these areas. This talk will present the results of recent exploration along the northwestern Gulf of Mexico to map and illustrate these landscapes. In addition to discussing technologies, this talk will address how ocean exploration can further our understanding of settlement patterns and past human behavior. 


19 September 2023 | 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm ET

Uncharted: How Scientists Navigate Their Own Health, Research, and Experiences of Bias  

Uncharted is a collection of stories from scientists with disabilities and/or chronic conditions. Skylar will present on why she and Gabi chose to share stories, how they created the book, some excerpts and then suggestions for how to read the book in groups or classrooms.


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 is a threat to treasured places, critical biodiversity, and cultural resources across the national marine sanctuary system. Sanctuaries need to monitor climate change's impact on their natural resources, so they can identify and respond to these impacts. Everyone who visits and uses sanctuaries can play an invaluable role by helping to monitor sanctuaries for climate change impacts. Join the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries to learn more about the importance of climate change monitoring in sanctuaries, and how all kinds of visitors - from divers, to teachers, to fishers - are helping to monitor and educate about climate change impacts in them Solving the climate crisis is going to take all of us working together, how can you support climate monitoring at your local sanctuary?


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

Developing Offshore Wind in US Waters: 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

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

Ocean Expert Exchange webinar series!


Ocean Expert Exchange webinars delve into marine science, technology and conservation topics with subject-matter experts. Ocean Expert Exchange events welcome audiences of all ages, include a brief presentation on the featured topic, followed by Q&A with attendees. Curated educational resources are also made available for educators planning to dive deeper into the subject with their students. Event livestreams are accessible via Zoom (recommended, and pre-registration required) and YouTube.

For more information on these free events and to register, visit the site here.

Virtual Teacher Workshop: Resilient Colorado

Must Register by Sep 22

resilent CO

Secondary Earth and environmental science, civics, and social studies teachers are invited to learn a new place-based, NGSS-aligned science curriculum on natural hazards. The unit includes a lesson on natural hazards (wildfire, flood, or drought) that uses current Colorado case studies and local datasets, a scenario-based role-play game, and a project-based learning unit for students to take action to make their community more resilient. Instructional strategies include community-engaged learning, gamification, and design thinking. The course will be held with several virtual class meetings to discuss course material, scheduled based on your availability. Upon completion, attendees will receive 2 continuing education credits through Western Colorado University. Registration costs are free for Colorado educators.

The Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest is Back!

Apply by Oct 27!


The 14th annual contest is now open. Public school teachers in grades 6-12 can apply now to submit their students’ projects to the 2023-2024 Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest, for a chance at winning their school $100,000 in Samsung tech products and classroom materials. Three National Winner schools receive a $100K prize package including Samsung products and classroom resources. 10 schools will be named National Finalists and chosen to receive a $50K prize package including Samsung products and classroom resources. 50 schools will be named State Winner and will receive a $12,000 prize package including Samsung products and classroom resources, plus the opportunity to work with a Samsung employee mentor!

Student opportunities

What Story Would You Like to Share?


For the 13th annual Ocean Awareness Contest: Tell Your Climate Story, become a climate witness and share your own unique climate experience. 

Think about climate issues and solutions and consider how they have affected you or your community. Find something that resonates deeply with your experiences – perhaps a climate impact you witnessed, an initiative that you’ve participated in, or a source of strength and inspiration when thinking about the climate crisis. Share your personal climate story through art, writing, performance, film, or multimedia. What is the story that you’d like to tell?

Contest Details:

Explore the Submission Requirements to learn more about the Categories.

The 2024 National Geographic Society Slingshot Challenge


The Slingshot Challenge empowers your students to be change-makers and find solutions to the world’s top environmental issues. 13-18 year-olds are challenged to create a one-minute video with their solution to our current environmental problems. By joining the challenge you'll receive educator resources, opportunities to meet with National Geographic Explorers, and regular updates to help your students submit their one-minute video. 


Register for Ecybermission 2023-2024!

A Notice of Intent is Due by Oct 16 

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. Free teaching resources are available here. Plus, you can apply to receive funding for your classroom through eCybermission's 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

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


Looking for resources for the new school year ahead? NOAA Education’s resource database, NOAA Sea to Sky, can help you quickly find lesson plans, videos, data resources, activities, and more created by NOAA and our partners.

Not sure where to start? Check out these resources we think are a must-have for the classroom this year.

A New Season of Ocean Optimism!


The New Ocean Optimism podcast episode is out now! Featuring the internationally renowned marine scientist Dr. Joeli Veitayaki from Fiji, this episode sheds light on the power of partnerships in ocean conservation. Discover the challenges faced by small island nations and the unwavering determination that drives change. Dr. Veitayaki paints a vivid picture of resilience and community-centric efforts that inspire hope. Don't miss his insights on how culture and conservation intertwine in his FREE book "Living from the Sea: Culture and Marine Conservation in Fiji".

Check out all the Ocean Optimism podcasts and feel good about what we can do to help our ocean. 

Marine Debris Prevention Best Practices Manual


Created by One Cool Earth with funding provided by the NOAA MarineDebris 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.

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.


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

Make an Earth Science Connection

Every day, Earth-observing satellites like NOAA and NASA’s Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) help scientists measure land surface temperature, soil moisture, and precipitation. Bring the excitement of these Earth science observations into your K-12 classroom with these hands-on activities.



 Visualizing Energy is an open access, interdisciplinary science project working to increase knowledge about a sustainable and just energy transition. It uses engaging visualizations coupled with data stories to communicate in clear, concise, jargon-free language. It uses energy as an organizing principle to reveal logical connections across multiple disciplines. It focuses on three interconnected themes: energy and human well-being; the history of energy transitions; and equity issues surrounding energy transitions (energy justice, energy burden, energy poverty, energy insecurity). The project is supported by the Boston University Institute for Global Sustainability.

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Wayfinder Society for Environmental Education: Free Resources 


Wayfinder Society has comprehensive sets of FREE and open-source lessons, classroom toolkits, mini-grants, videos, and a Student Hub with 35 Actions for students to complete at home, in school, or in their community. They cover a range of themes and subjects educators may already be incorporating into curriculum, including Human Impacts, Pollution, Climate Change, Social Sciences, Biology, Synthetic Materials, Economics, Geography, and more. There are How-to Guides, Standard Alignment Guides, articles, community news, and mini-grants to provide educators with emotional, strategic, and financial support as well as connections to other educators passionate about environmental issues.

Toshiba America Foundation Education Grants

Application deadline: November 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 greater than $5,000 (apply by November 1, 2023).

New Graduate Student Level Ecosystem Science National Research Traineeship Program.

Coast of Maine
Check out this new National Research Traineeship program for graduate students interested in interdisciplinary marine ecosystem science that brings together collaborators from the University of Maine's School of Marine Sciences, School of Computing and Information Science, Native American Studies, and Department of Anthropology.  
The program, funded by the National Science Foundation, will support more than 20 graduate students over the next five years. Applications for Fall 2024 are now being accepted.



Education/Equity Bytes


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

Weather Extremes and Other Science News of Note

Planet Stewards jpg