The Watch. News You Can Use From NOAA Planet Stewards - 13 February 2024

NOAA Planet Stewards The Watch Newsletter


News you can use from NOAA Planet Stewards 

February 13, 2024

Keep Up with NOAA Planet Stewards:

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

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Join us for TONIGHT’S Book Club!

Meeting Date & Time: Tuesday, February 13, 2024 | 8 p.m. 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: Young Stewards Promoting Border Resiliency

El Paso Border

The city of El Paso is located along the Rio Grande River and borders of Mexico and New Mexico, all of which are situated in the Chihuahuan Desert. The region faces a variety of environmental threats, including habitat loss due to urbanization, deterioration of freshwater resources and climate change. The Border Region (82% Hispanic and poverty rate of 22%) is also very much an underserved community. Working in partnership with the Rio Bosque Wetlands Park and with funding provided by the NOAA Planet Stewards program, Insights Science Discovery (Insights) created the Young Stewards Promoting Border Resiliency project. The project armed high school students from underserved communities with the knowledge and skills to restore a riparian wetland habitat. The project also fostered career development in STEM fields by providing students the opportunity to engage with STEM experts. The students removed invasive species and transplanted native vegetation in the wetland, restoring a small portion of this river- valley environment while instilling a greater sense of conservational awareness among the next generation of decision makers.

Read about this terrific stewardship project!


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noaa in focus

Valentine's Day at NOAA: Downloadable Cards, Games, and More

Whether you’re planning a romantic seafood dinner date or spreading the love with our printable cards, celebrate Valentine’s Day with NOAA-themed content that is sure to make you and yours swoon!

Check it all out here!


Planet NOAA: From Sun to Sea and Everything in Between


On Planet NOAA, go behind NOAA news headlines, get up close with cool science, and stream one-one-one conversations with scientists straight from your mobile device or computer! Join us monthly for the Planet NOAA Podcast to learn more about how NOAA’s impact is felt from sun to sea and everything in between, whether it’s delivering America its daily weather forecasts or unlocking the secrets of the deepest depths of the ocean.

In Planet NOAA episode 1, host Symone Barkley unpacks the 2023 Arctic Report Card with resident Arctic experts from across the NOAAverse. Pay a visit to the Leadership Corner to hear from NOAA Administrator Dr. Rick Spinrad on NOAA’s impact from sun to sea and everything in between. Plus, catch up on NOAA in the News and put your scientific trivia knowledge to the test. Listen to episode 1 of the podcast.

The Water Cycle Video and Atmospheric Rivers from NOAA

The recent flooding in California was due to an atmospheric river rolling in from the Pacific. This would be a good time to review the basics of how the "water cycle" works with your students in one of Ocean Today’s most popular videos.  The Water Cycle video (2:42)

When you’re done watching the video, you can check out this fantastic NOAA resource: What is an Atmospheric River?

noaa webinars
noaa webinars

NOAA Science Seminar Series - 
Something for Everyone!

See All of NOAA Science Seminar Series here

February 15, 2024 | 1-2 p.m. ET 

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



February 15, 2024 | 3-4 p.m. ET 

Marine Mammal Deterrence for Pollution Response



February 20, 2024 | 1-2 p.m. ET 

Submerged NC: Along the Waterfront - Archaeological Investigations
of Chesapeake Bay Oyster Boats



February 20, 2024 | 6-7 p.m. ET 

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



February 28, 2024 | 7:30-8:30 p.m. ET 

Chasing Microbes: Diving into the Mystery of Coral Disease

Educator opportunities

Webinar: Coral Reef Conservation: Challenges & Solutions

Thursday, February 15, 2024 | 4-4:30 p.m. ET


At this event you can explore the challenges that coral reefs face from climate change and the research underway to restore and build their resilience.

Climate LIVE K12 is a series of video events featuring live lectures and interactive activities with Columbia University scientists and experts. Ideal for students grades 6-12, undergraduates, educators, families, and the public! All events are FREE but registration is required.

Register today!

Education & Outreach Workshops from CIRES

Register for one or all of these upcoming workshops on Feb. 21, Feb. 28, and April 3!


Snow in the Rockies

Wednesday, February 21, 2024 | 3:30-4 p.m. ET

Register for the webinar focused on the Snow in the Rockies Data Puzzle (to be published soon). Participants will leave the webinar confident in their ability to implement the resource in their own classrooms. Curriculum developer Jon Griffith will lead participants through the resource, including an overview of the Data Puzzle instructional framework and lesson-specific implementation strategies. Participants will also be eligible to receive a free 1-hr PD certificate from the University of Colorado Boulder.


Winds of Change Data Puzzle

Wednesday, February 28, 2024 | 6-7 p.m. ET

Register for the webinar focused on the Winds of Change Data Puzzle. Curriculum developer Alyse Thurber. She will lead participants through the resource, including an overview of the Data Puzzle instructional framework and lesson-specific implementation strategies. Participants will leave the webinar confident in their ability to implement the resource in their classrooms. Participants will also be eligible to receive a free 1-hr PD certificate from the University of Colorado Boulder. A Zoom link will be sent after registration. For questions, please email

solar eclipse

EclipseEd: Illuminating Learning Paths for the April 8th Total Solar Eclipse

Wednesday, April 3, 2024 | 6-7 p.m. ET

Join CIRES Science Show & Share this April for a special webinar featuring Science on Sphere. In honor of the April 8th, 2024 total solar eclipse event, NOAA Science On a Sphere program has developed datasets showing cloud cover potential, eclipse paths, and a narrated movie describing the total eclipse phenomenon. This workshop will dig deeper into the datasets and best practices for sharing them with your class, ways to incorporate art into your eclipse teaching, and lessons you can add to your unit using citizen science applications - Globe Observer and CrowdMag.

Register for the webinar.

Webinar: Setting the PACE With NASA’s PACE Mission

Wednesday, February 22, 2024 | 7 p.m. ET

Audience: K-12 STEM educators


NASA’s PACE (Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem) mission will provide the first-ever global measurements to identify communities of microscopic algae that float in our ocean. Join NASA STEM for a webinar about the role the mission will play in studying air quality and Earth’s climate and discover NASA’s Next Gen STEM activities to bring NASA's 20-year record of satellite observations of global ocean biology, aerosols, and clouds to your classroom.

Attendees will receive a one-hour professional development certificate and gain access to instructional slideshows, videos, and links to standards-aligned resources. Register for the webinar. Contact:


Essential Estuaries Ed-Venture: Teacher's on the Estuary (TOTE)

February 23-24, 2024

Calling all current educators, pre-service teachers, and active STEAM Coach Volunteers! You are invited to a crab-tastic one-and-a-half day workshop in Garibaldi, Oregon to learn about the benefits, issues, and solutions of healthy estuaries on the North Oregon Coast. This workshop will include several engaging crab themed activities.

A $150 stipend is available for current-educators and pre-service teachers who attend this event. Overnight hotel accommodation in Garibaldi on February 23rd is available by request. Funding for substitute teacher reimbursement for Friday afternoon is also available.

Register now to save your spot! Space is limited.

Feb Approaches Workshop

Tuesday, February 27, 2024 | 3-3:45 p.m. ET

The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow (CoCoRaHS) is a community-based network of volunteers working together to measure and map precipitation. The new CoCoRaHS Data Explorer is a user-friendly online tool that provides observers and other users easy access to the 69+ million daily precipitation reports collected by trained volunteers. NOAA’s Office of Education supported development of the tool through the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere at Colorado State University. is hosting this spotlight chat with a demonstration of the Data Explorer, a discussion about how crowdsourcing data collection supports federal agency goals, and facilitated Q&A.

Register today!

 Teaching about Climate Change and Ocean Acidification

  February 28-29, 2024

padilla bay

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 Conversations: Offshore Wind

Thursday, February 29, 2024 | 3-4:15 p.m. ET

wind energy

Join the National Academies for a webinar about the opportunities and challenges facing offshore wind energy.

Offshore wind is one of the many sources of clean electricity being implemented as part of the push to decarbonize the grid. As states vet and approve projects, scientists, policymakers, and communities are working to better understand the potential economic and environmental impacts of offshore wind. Join us for a discussion about the potential benefits and challenges presented by offshore wind, what the current economic and policy landscape for implementing the technology is, and considerations for future projects.

The webinar will be webcast on the Climate Conversations: Offshore Wind webpage Closed captioning will be provided. The conversation will include questions from the audience and will be recorded and available to view on the page after the event. Register for the webinar.

Climate & Equity Education: Summer Institute for Learning & 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.

USPTO’s 10th Annual National Summer Teacher Institute!

Deadline: Sunday, March 31, 2024;   Event Dates: July 21-26, 2024;   Location: Alexandria, VA


Apply to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) National Summer Teacher Institute (NSTI) to:

  • Work with USPTO experts, inventors, and teacher ambassadors to explore IP, innovation, and STEM concepts: creativity, problem solving and critical thinking, and collaboration and teamwork.
  • Design and build prototypes as part of a week-long invention project.
  • Learn how to engage students in authentic, real-world projects and problem-based learning across all fields of study.
  • Collaborate and share best practices with educators from across the country.
  • Receive free, ready-to-use, educator-tested teaching materials, lesson plans, and activities to take back to your classroom.

The application and program are free! If selected, flight, lodging, and meals are covered for teachers who live more than 50 miles from Alexandria, Virginia. Teachers who reside less than 50 miles from the NSTI venue will receive all the benefits of the program except travel and lodging support.

Where do I get more information and apply? Interested individuals can find more information about the program and apply on the NSTI webpage. Check out this Instagram reel to see NSTI teachers in action. Apply for the Summer Teacher Institute today!

Great Lakes Watershed Field Course

Deadline to apply: April 21, 2024 by 5 p.m. ET;      Course dates: August 6-9, 2024


Apply for the Inland Seas Education Association's 2024 Great Lakes Watershed Field Course (GLWFC), a 4-day free professional development experience for teachers from throughout the Great Lakes region in Suttons Bay, MI. Training in the course includes watershed and environmental concepts, place-based education and environmental education pedagogy, and curriculum development. Educators will learn how to engage students in local environmental issues, investigate solutions, devise a plan, and take action during this course. Inland Seas supports teachers as they implement their watershed-based stewardship action projects.

There is no cost for this experience, but space is limited to 21 participants. Interested educators can learn more and apply at the GLWFC webpage.

Student opportunities

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

Recommended Black History Month Resources from the National Environmental Education Foundation.  


Educate yourself and your students during Black History Month!

●       Watch the documentary “Twenty & Odd.”This short film uses the backdrop of federally managed lands to highlight the trauma and resilience of the African American experience and shows that African American history is American history.

●       Learn about environmental justice. Dr. Sharunda Buchanan, Interim director of the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Environmental Justice, shared how she is advancing the cause of the environmental justice movement to ensure equal access to a healthy environment for all.

●       Read about the Black women changing the face of ecology in America. Read about three scientists who represent the state of environmentalism as it is—enthusiastic about education, resolute in their stewardship, and committed to community action—as well as what it could be.

From the Climate Literacy and Energy Education Network: CLEAN’s Climate Mental Health Activity Guide

Teaching about climate change can bring up many  emotions, especially for today’s youth, leading to a need for educator resources that can help address these complex feelings. To support the whole student, CLEAN has assembled a Climate Change Mental Health Activity Guide with youth-friendly resources that aid teachers in approaching complex and sensitive topics in the classroom.  Explore the activity guide.


CLEAN’s Climate Justice Resources


People from marginalized communities disproportionately feel the impacts of climate change as they often live in communities that experience more natural disasters, higher air pollution, or higher temperatures. Due to these disproportionate effects, climate justice should beat the center of every discussion about climate change and its impacts on health. Climate justice is not possible without racial justice. Explore the resources.

Resources from The Bridge

Coral Snapshots -- While it is possible to survey a coral reef using quadrats, scientists now use technology to closely examine the entire reef; instead of extrapolating results from several study sites. In this classic DATA lesson, students will identify species, compare biodiversity, and discuss the merits and limitations of Marine Protected Areas.


Sea Ice Story Map -- This StoryMap, "An Introduction to Sea Ice" was created by ESRI and National Geographic. Packed with a full suite of related resources, students in grades 5-8 can use this interactive resource to see how sea ice plays a vital role in the health and maintenance of our planet.

Sea Ice

Ghost Gear

Learn about Ghost Gear

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.


Funding Opportunity: Empowering K-8 Youth Through Place-Based Education

  • February 21, 2024: Funding Opportunity Question & Answer Office Hours; 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. ET (Held virtually over Zoom)

  • April 9, 2024: Grant Submission Help Hours; 1– 4 p.m. ET (Zoom link will be sent to active applicants)

  • April 10, 2024: Deadline for submission of proposals due by 5 p.m. ET

place based ed

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Gulf Research Program (GRP) will fund grants of $75,000 or more to support projects that engage children and youth in place-based educational activities that foster the development of the scientific and environmental skills, competencies, and capabilities that are critical to solving complex issues in the Gulf now and into the future. Proposals will be accepted from nonprofit, state, and local entities, excluding federal agencies, which support educational, service, and/or coordination activities for children and youth in the K-8 grade range.

Find out more and apply!

DEVELOP National Program Opportunities

Application Deadline: February 23, 2024

Audience: collegiates, recent graduates, early career & transitioning-career professionals


DEVELOP provides 10-week research opportunities for participants to address environmental and public policy issues through interdisciplinary research projects that apply the lens of NASA Earth observations to community concerns around the globe. Working in teams and with the support of science advisors and mentors, DEVELOP participants build research and science communication skills that help them succeed in the workforce.

DEVELOP offers both in-person and virtual opportunities depending on the project. Browse the proposed project list.

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.


The National Environmental Education Foundation’s 2024 Biodiversity Conservation Grant

Letters of Intent Due: March 1, 2024

NEEF is offering $200,000 in grant funding for shovel-ready projects focused on improving pollinator habitat on public lands, beginning in July 2024.

Visit the Biodiversity Conservation Grant webpage to find more information about this exciting grant opportunity.




Education/Equity Bytes


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

Weather Extremes and Other Science News of Note

Planet Stewards jpg