The Watch. News You Can Use From NOAA Planet Stewards - 30 January 2024

NOAA Planet Stewards The Watch Newsletter


News you can use from NOAA Planet Stewards 

January 30, 2024

Keep Up with NOAA Planet Stewards:

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

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Get a head start on February’s Book Club!

Meeting Date & Time: Tuesday, February 13, 2024 | 8:00 PM ET


At our next Planet Stewards book club we’ll discuss Engage, Connect, and Protect: Empowering Diverse Youth as Environmental Leaders.

While concern about the state of our land, air, and water continues to grow, there is widespread belief that environmental issues are primarily of interest to wealthy white communities. Engage, Connect, Protect explodes this myth, revealing the deep and abiding interest that African American, Latino, and Native American communities ― many of whom live in degraded and polluted parts of the country – have in our collective environment. This book is part eye-opening critique of the cultural divide in environmentalism, part biography of a leading social entrepreneur, and part practical toolkit for engaging diverse youth.

Engage, Connect, Protect is a wake-up call for businesses, activists, educators, and policymakers to recognize the work of grassroots activists in diverse communities and create opportunities for engaging with diverse youth as the next generation of environmental stewards. 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

Stewardship Inspiration:

Planting Roots in Our Community: Leaving a Legacy Behind


Julie Houck, a K-5 STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) teacher at Defiance Elementary School in Defiance, Ohio designed a project to reduce the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere through tree planting around the Defiance, Ohio area. She worked with her students, their families, and many local organizations to plant trees in a nature preserve, a therapeutic horse riding center, the Defiance Elementary School, as well as local church grounds and backyards. The project was planting 112 trees with a calculated 1,322 pounds of carbon absorbed for the first year which will continue to grow in years to come. Once the trees are fully grown, they will remove 5,555 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year. Students involved in the project showed an increase from pretest to post-test about their desire to do science, choose a STEAM- related career for their future job, and take care of the environment.

Read about this terrific stewardship project!


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noaa in focus


From the hatch of a NOAA Twin Otter aircraft, NOAA Corps pilot Lt. Cmdr. Nick Toth hands off cold-stunned Kemp’s ridley sea turtles to the SeaWorld rescue team.

Learn more about the Kemp Ridley Sea Turtle here.

Arctic report card

2023 Arctic Report Card

The Arctic is increasingly warmer, less frozen, and wetter, with regional extremes in weather, climate patterns, and ecosystem responses. Local and international-focused partnerships, long-term observations, and equitable climate solutions provide Arctic communities and nations as well as society-at-large with information and mechanisms to cope with a rapidly changing Arctic. Visit the 2023 Report Card for Essays, Summaries, and the Overview Video

noaa webinars
noaa webinars

NOAA Science Seminar Series - 
Something for Everyone!

See All of NOAA Science Seminar Series here

February 7, 2024 | 7:30-8:30 p.m. ET 

Climate Monitoring in Flower Garden Banks and Florida Keys


February 15, 2024 | 1-2 p.m. ET 

Mud matters: Understanding the role of ocean sediments in storing carbon



February 20, 2024 | 6-7 p.m. ET 

Exploring Ocean Mysteries: From Dynamic Shores to the Deep-Sea

Educator opportunities

Webinar: A Dive into Sea Turtle Research Planning in Support of Impact Assessment for US Atlantic Offshore Wind

Wednesday, February 7, 2024 | 2-3 p.m. ET

The MARCO Ocean Conservation Work Group is hosting a webinar with a featured presentation by Dr. Susan Barco, followed by an audience Q&A discussion. During the presentation, Dr. Barco will highlight recommendations from the Sea Turtle Chapter of the Regional Wildlife Science Entity Science Plan.

Register and learn more about the webinar. 


Teaching about Climate and Energy with CLEAN

Wednesday, February 7, 2024 | 6:30-7 p.m. ET


The CLEAN Collection is a high-quality and rigorously reviewed collection of climate and energy educational resources and lesson plans aligned with the Climate Literacy and Energy Literacy frameworks, and the Next Generation Science Standards.

Through peer-review, scientists and educators ensure scientific accuracy, pedagogic effectiveness, and classroom readiness for each resource. This 30-min webinar introduces the Climate and Energy Literacy Principles and how they are integrated with the CLEAN collection of climate and energy resources. These principles provide the foundation for understanding the science behind climate and energy concepts. Register for the webinar.

Webinar: The Impact of Wildfire

Thursday, February 8, 2024 | 6:30-8 p.m. ET

This collaborative, virtual workshop, will explore the connection between changing weather patterns and increased wildfire activity through the lens of the Phenomena to Inquiry process. The Ecology Project International organizers will employ the I2 method of unpacking data in graphs, unveil classroom-ready tools, and harness newfound skills to spark student inquiry. Register for the workshop.


Teaching about Climate Change and Ocean Acidification

February 28-29, 2024


Join this Teacher's on the Estuary (TOTE) professional development workshop for grade 6-12 teachers. On the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Washington you will:

Gain knowledge of climate change and ocean acidification in the Pacific Northwest.

Explore sources of local environmental data and work towards incorporating data into inquiry-based science learning experiences.

Receive materials and activities in the Ocean Sciences Sequence (OSS) curriculum on Climate Change developed by UC Berkeley Lawrence Hall of Science

What you will receive:

  • Substitute Teacher reimbursement
  • 15 STEM Clock Hours (free)
  • Ocean Sciences Sequence curriculum ($200 value)
  • Lunch and light refreshments
  • $100 stipend upon implementation in your classroom

Register for the webinar.

Contact Chandler Colahan via email or phone (360) 428-1080 with questions.

Climate and Equity Education: A Summer Institute for Learning and Teaching

Dates: Sunday, July 21-Saturday, July 27, 2024


High school teachers are invited to apply for a one-week, all-expenses-paid institute on the beautiful coast of Maine.

Teachers will:

  • explore the inequitable impacts of climate change
  • be inspired by sharing best practices for teaching climate equity
  • build community
  • converse with scientists
  • enjoy the tranquility of Maine woods and seashore
  • leave with a renewed sense of hope and purpose about making a difference!

Questions? Email: and learn more here.

Student opportunities

2024 Maurice R. Hilleman Essay Contest: What scientific issue would you take on if given the chance and why?

Submission deadline: February 15, 2024



Students in grades 6 to 12 living in the United States (including the District of Columbia and U.S. Territories) or Canada and enrolled in a public, private, cyber, religious, charter school, or who attend a home school pro­gram can participate.


Learn about Dr. Hilleman, and write a 500- to 1,000-word essay that responds to this prompt: “Dr. Hilleman made his impact on the world through the development of vaccines. What scientific issue would you take on if given the chance and why?” The essay should be written in English for U.S. submissions and English or French for Canadian submissions using complete sentences and appropriate grammar. One entry per person. See “Official Rules” for complete details.

Winners will receive:

  • Cash prize: 1st place US $500; 2nd place US $250
  • Winner certificate
  • Recognition at a virtual award event on May, 2024. The event will be hosted by Dr. Paul Offit - VEC director, vaccine inventor and Hilleman biographer. The event will include special guests and student winners reading their essays.

Find out more information about the contest, how to enter, and examples of winning essays from past years here.

New Storm Surge Resources and Challenge With Prizes!

Entry deadline: March 1, 2024

The National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB) has posted its first STEAM Leader Challenge on "Understanding Storm Surges and Protecting Our Communities" on Scoutlier, a free online learning platform for teachers to borrow, build, and assign self-paced, interactive lessons.

Any interested students (or teams of students) can submit a final product pitch for scoring and the opportunity to win cash prizes.

Additional Information and how to apply are on the NOSB website.


Biomimicry Youth Design Challenge

Registration deadline: March 28, 2024

Submission deadline: April 3, 2024

Looking for a new way to blend biology, ecology, and engineering? The Biomimicry Institute’s Youth Design Challenge is a project-based learning experience that asks middle and high school teams to design bio-inspired ideas that can provide solutions to critical real-world problems.



The 3M Young Scientist Challenge is now open for entries!

Application deadline: May 2, 2024

3M child

As the nation’s premier middle school science competition, the annual 3M Young Scientist Challenge invites students in grades 5-8 to compete for an exclusive mentorship with a 3M scientist, a $25,000 grand prize, and the chance to earn the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist.”

Each year, the 3M Young Scientist Challenge recognizes the grand prize winner, 10 finalists, four honorable mentions, and up to 51 state merit winners – nationwide and in Washington D.C – who have demonstrated a passion for using science to solve everyday problems and improve the world around them..

The 3M Young Scientist Challenge is now open for entries! Apply today!

Do You Have a Climate Story to Share? Enter Bow Seat's Student Ocean Awareness Contest

Deadline: 10 June, 2024


Tell Your Climate Story, become a climate witness, and share your 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

Ed Resources

River Runner Visualization

In this visualization, users click to drop a raindrop anywhere in the contiguous United States and watch where it ends up. The visualization teaches users about the relationship between precipitation and freshwater in the US.


NOAA’s Data in the Classroom

Data in the Classroom features structured, student-directed lesson plans that use historical and real-time NOAA data. The five modules address research questions and include stepped levels of engagement with complex inquiry investigations with real-time and past data.


Celebrate Black History Month with Subject to Climate


Subject to Climate is spotlighting the incredible contributions of Black individuals while also addressing the crucial topics of environmental racism and environmental justice with the following resources:

Redlining & Environmental Racism (Grades 6-8): Connect redlining with current issues of environmental and racial justice for your middle school students in this lesson plan.

Climate Justice Can't Happen Without Racial Justice (Grades 6-12): Teach about various Black inventors and the unequal effects of climate change experienced by some groups with this resource.

Black Leaders in Energy (Grades 7-12): Use this video to teach about the interconnectedness of racial justice and environmental justice.

Join GLOBE's Year of Climate and Carbon

GLOBE students are invited to consider what environmental changes are emerging in their local ecosystems and how they can pursue further understanding by collecting phenological and biomass data.

Visit GLOBE's Year of Climate and Carbon Campaign website to learn more.


Measuring Carbon Storage in Trees

The “Photosynthesis: Calculating Biomass and Carbon Storage in Trees” activity gives students a chance to make measurements of trees; practice reading graphs and other math skills; and learn about forests as climate change solutions.

earth at home

Ghost Gear Activity Book

Ghost Gear

Learn about ghost gear, its impacts, and ways to solve the problem while solving puzzles and completing activities.

Ghost gear is a harmful form of marine debris that affects our oceans, and many lakes and rivers around the world. This guide provides information on ghost gear, including what it is, where it comes from, what the effects are, and what is being done to address it in Canada and around the world.

The guide includes free, printable, engaging activities for youth G4-12 at home or for use in a classroom setting. The written materials and concepts are suitable for G8-12, and can be easily adapted by parents or teachers to educate younger students about ghost gear.

Equipping High School Students for Climate Action: Carbon Removal Education Resources


By educating students on carbon removal, you empower the next generation with the knowledge and skills to actively participate in solutions. Explore these resources curated for Grades 9-12:

Sequestering Carbon Activity: Teach about the technologies being investigated to directly remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Carbon Offsets: Teach about carbon offsets and the Kyoto Protocol through data investigations, discussions, and historical analysis.

Solving the Carbon Dioxide Problem Activity: Teach about climate solutions by sector, investigate sources and sinks of greenhouse gasses, and create a plan to remove 1,000 gigatons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by 2100.


Report: Support for climate justice across Global Warming’s Six Americas

rainbow at conference

Climate justice is an essential component of addressing climate change. The groups and nations that have historically contributed least to the causes of climate change are experiencing the most harm from it. These harms, in turn, often make existing challenges even worse, including those based on personal factors (such as age or health issues) and social factors (such as systemic racism and poverty). Finally, communities that face greater harm are also often excluded from the decision-making process, resulting in climate solutions that can disproportionately benefit people who are less impacted.

Overall, results from this report show that the audiences most worried about climate change are also the most supportive of policies that will advance climate justice. Because most Americans are alarmed or concerned about climate change, this suggests that the potential number of climate justice supporters is substantial.

2023 NGO and Foundation Transparency Report Card

Green 2.0 has just released its 2023 NGO and Foundation Transparency Report Card. View the full report and the details of how it was created. This report, focusing on nonprofits and foundations in the environmental sector, reveals that:

  1. Entire racial and ethnic groups are missing from leadership at environmental foundations.
  2. There are no nonbinary, agender, Two-Spirit, or gender-fluid people leading environmental NGOs.
  3. Only 3.1% of staff at environmental NGOs reported having a disability.
  4. Progress on diversity within the environmental movement has lost momentum. The Transparency Report Card 2023 shows no year-over-year growth in people of color as senior staff or on boards at environmental NGOs.

Paid Summer Internship Opportunity with My NASA Data!  

Application due: February 2, 2024

My NASA Data is seeking interns experienced in teaching Earth Science, environmental science, and/or Earth Systems Science at the middle or high school level to assist in the development of Earth science education resources. This is a paid position and remote work is possible.

Contact Angela Rizzi if you are interested or have trouble with the website.

2024 NOAA B-WET Competitions Are Open!

2024 competitions are currently open in Chesapeake Bay, Great Lakes, Gulf of Mexico, and New England. Application deadlines range from January 31 - March 1, 2024. Be sure to check each region’s website for informational webinar dates and application deadlines.


IMET Summer Undergraduate Internship Program

Deadline: February 9, 2024

The program will run from June 10 to August 9, 2024. This is a paid internship, with an option for housing for students who need it. Apply now.

Environmental Science

Education/Equity Bytes


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

Weather Extremes and Other Science News of Note

Planet Stewards jpg