The Watch. News You Can Use From NOAA Planet Stewards - 7 May 2024

NOAA Planet Stewards The Watch Newsletter


News you can use from NOAA Planet Stewards 

May 7, 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 in May for two Book Club events!


Tuesday, May 14, 2024 | 8 p.m. ET

At our May Book Club meeting, we’ll discuss Fen, Bog & Swamp: A Short History of Peatland Destruction and Its Role in the Climate Crisis

A lifelong acolyte of the natural world, Annie Proulx brings her witness and research to the subject of wetlands and the vitally important role they play in preserving the environment—by storing the carbon emissions that accelerate climate change. Fens, bogs, swamps, and marine estuaries are crucial to the earth’s survival, and in four illuminating parts, Proulx documents their systemic destruction in pursuit of profit.

In a vivid and revelatory journey through history, Proulx describes the fens of 16th-century England, Canada’s Hudson Bay lowlands, Russia’s Great Vasyugan Mire, and America’s Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. She introduces the early explorers who launched the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, and writes of the diseases spawned in the wetlands—the Ague, malaria, Marsh Fever.

A sobering look at the degradation of wetlands over centuries and the serious ecological consequences, this is “an unforgettable and unflinching tour of past and present, fixed on a subject that could not be more important” (Bill McKibben)


consumed book cover

Tuesday, May 28, 2024 | 8 p.m. ET

At our second Planet Stewards May book club we’ll discuss Consumed: The Need for Collective Change: Colonialism, Climate Change, and Consumerism 

We live in a world of stuff. We dispose of most of it in as little as six months after we receive it. The byproducts of our quest to consume are creating an environmental crisis. Aja Barber wants to change this--and you can, too.

In Consumed, Barber calls for change within an industry that regularly overreaches with abandon, creating real imbalances in the environment and the lives of those who do the work—often in unsafe conditions for very low pay—and the billionaires who receive the most profit. A story told in two parts, Barber exposes the endemic injustices in our consumer industries and the uncomfortable history of the textile industry, one which brokered slavery, racism, and today’s wealth inequality. Once the layers are peeled back, Barber invites you to participate in unlearning, to understand the truth behind why we consume in the way that we do, to confront the uncomfortable feeling that we are never quite enough and why we fill that void with consumption rather than compassion. Barber challenges us to challenge the system and our role in it. The less you buy into the consumer culture, the more power you have. Consumed will teach you how to be a citizen and not a consumer. Read a summary of the book Consumed for more details.

More information:


NOAA Planet Stewards is Now Accepting Proposals for 2024/2025 Project Funding!

NOAA Planet Stewards is now accepting proposals of up to $5000 from formal and informal educators to carry out hands-on stewardship projects with elementary through college age students, as well as the general public. Projects must make a substantive, and quantitatively measurable impact on an environmental issue related to the educator’s community. Projects should focus on the conservation, restoration, and/or protection of human communities and/or natural resources in the following environmental areas: mitigation or removal of marine debris; habitat conservation and restoration; carbon footprint reduction; or carbon sequestration. Full details are on our website.


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noaa in focus

Planet NOAA Podcast Episode 4: Into the eye of the storm

Planet NOAA Episode 4 Hurricane Hunter Plane in the Sky

Are you prepared for hurricane season?

Tune in to Episode 4 of the #PlanetNOAA Podcast, where Rear Admiral Nancy Hann, Hurricane Hunter Lt. Kevin Doremus and other guests talk about:

The mechanics of hurricanes.

What it’s like to fly directly into a storm as a Hurricane Hunter.

How NOAA helps people understand and prepare for these dangerous storms.

PLUS: Go crate digging for vintage storm warning vinyls with the NOAA Heritage team. 

Listen now!

Also available on Apple Podcasts.

hpw 2024

2024 National Hurricane Preparedness Week

National Hurricane Preparedness Week  is May 5-11 (beginning Sunday). Please join us in spreading the word about hurricane safety and preparedness. Each day has a theme to help everyone prepare and stay safe during hurricane season:

  • Know Your Risk: Water & Wind
  • Prepare Before Hurricane Season
  • Understand Forecast Information
  • Get Moving When a Storm Threatens
  • Stay Protected During Storms
  • Use Caution After Storms
  • Take Action Today

Share the themes and messaging on social media throughout the week to keep your community safe!

noaa webinars
noaa webinars

NOAA Science Seminar Series - 
Something for Everyone!

NOAA Science Seminar Series


May 9, 2024 | 4-5 p.m. ET

Land-based sources of pollution on coral reefs in Aua, American Samoa

Add the webinar to your calendar.


May 17, 2024 | 1-2 p.m. ET

Climate Disinformation: Why we’re vulnerable, how we can protect ourselves and others, and actions we can take now

Register for the webinar.


Educator opportunities

Webinar: Indigenous Climate Action at the Speed of Consent

Tuesday, May 7, 2024 | 4-5 p.m. ET


Register to join the National Academies for the lecture, "Indigenous Climate Action at the Speed of Consent," Dr. Kyle Whyte (University of Michigan) will share his perspectives on growing cooperative relationships between Indigenous peoples and scientific communities, and how these relationships can improve responses to climate change.

Deep Dive into Maritime Heritage/Archaeology Online!

May 14 & 16, 2024

Deep Dive

Interested in learning more about maritime heritage/archaeology and expert thoughts on what the future of maritime heritage work may look like? Join NOAA Ocean Exploration for a 90-minute Deep Dive with experts to explore the science and sociology of shipwrecks, plane wrecks, paleolandscapes and more. We will also briefly explore associated resources for classroom use! This NOAA Ocean Exploration professional learning event will take place on May 14 and May 16 in various time zones; register today for the date and time that suits you best.

Program Pilot: Addressing Climate Emotions in Schools

Application deadline: May 31, 2024       |     Audience: Middle school teachers


The Climate Mental Health Network and the National Environmental Education Foundation are seeking participants to pilot a new set of resources to address climate emotions in schools. These resources aim to prepare teachers to teach about climate change in developmentally appropriate ways and effectively respond to students’ emotional reactions to this issue. Those selected to participate in the pilot will be paid $500 upon completion of the program. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Find out if you are eligible for participation in the program pilot and apply today.

2024 North Carolina Teachers On The Estuary 

June 14-17, 2024


Participating in this Teachers on the Estuary workshop (TOTE) will provide educators the opportunity to: experience research & field-based teacher training, enhance understanding of estuary environments using local examples, incorporate  of estuary & watershed topics into classroom teaching, promote student stewardship of estuaries & watersheds, receive content aligned with national education standards and/or North Carolina Essential Standards.

This opportunity is for Carteret County K-12 Teachers.

To register, contact Lori Davis (

Chesapeake Bay NERR Virginia TOTE


June 18, 2024

The topic for this Teachers on the Estuary workshop is TBD. Please check the Upcoming TOTE Workshops Webpage for additional details as they become available.

Educators are encouraged to email Sarah Nuss ( to register.

Erie County TOTE - Old Woman Creek NERR


June 25-27, 2024     |     Audience: Middle and High School                                                  teachers, informal educators

Connecting our agricultural county to our Great Lakes!

Learn how our community’s activities on the land impacts Lake Erie. K-12 teachers are invited to learn conservation strategies for agricultural land, your own backyard, and the lake shore; wade in to study the wetland ecology, water quality, and natural resource management survey techniques; and receive education materials targeted for your students.

To register and obtain more information: contact Jennifer Bucheit (

Exploring the ACE Basin 2024 TOTE

June 26-27, 2024


This workshop will explore the three rivers that give the ACE Basin its name: the Ashepoo, the Combahee and the Edisto. Part of the day will be spent in the marsh or on a boat with biologists and science educators learning how to monitor the estuary and analyze the data. The rest of the day will be spent planning how to translate that research to your students through lesson plans and educational resources. This workshop will be focused on investigating coastal environmental issues and ways to promote solutions in your classroom and school.

Register for the ACE Basin NERR workshop                                   [Photo credit: Erica Connery, ACE Basin NERR]  

Mid-Atlantic Climate Change Education Virtual Conference

June 25-27, 2024

Join formal and non-informal educators from across the Mid-Atlantic to share ideas, resources, and inspiration for advancing education for climate action. 

The $20 registration fee supports speaker fees, virtual platforms, and scholarships. Full scholarships are available for Mid-Atlantic educators.

Register here to attend the Mid-Atlantic Climate Change Education Conference.

Limited scholarships are available for Mid-Atlantic educators and students. Apply here.

Mid-Atlantic Climate Change Education Conference

Webinar Archives from the  National Environmental Education Foundation

neef climate and mental health webinar

NEEF and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) hosted the Understanding the Connection Between Climate and Mental Health webinar in August 2023 examining the toll that climate change takes on mental health and how healthcare professionals, educators, and community leaders can help youth navigate their emotions related to climate change. Featured guest speaker, Deputy US Surgeon General, Rear Admiral Denise Hinton, the event explored the nuance of climate change-related trauma experienced by children and adolescents, and its negative mental health effects. The webinar shared effective strategies for educators and caretakers to engage with youth in conversations about climate emotions to build mental resilience.

abandoned store

NEEF and the USFS hosted the Health Equity and Barriers to Access webinar in December 2023 geared toward social and community health workers that focused on nature-based trauma-informed care in BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities. In addition to facing safety concerns in public spaces, BIPOC communities are disproportionately affected by climate-related weather events, which may lead to increased trauma and mental health disturbances.

During the webinar, eco-feminist Brenda Richardson shared success stories and practical tips from her work in southeast DC, where higher rates of violence and chronic disease are real concerns in many neighborhoods. The discussion highlighted opportunities for collaboration with law enforcement and local organizations to use green spaces as a tool for mental wellness. A key message was that building a sense of community and a feeling of togetherness is crucial.

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 curricular 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.

Coursework will be available to complete at your own pace over 3 weeks (June 10-28), with three virtual class meetings scheduled based on participants' availability, and recorded for those who cannot make it. 

Upon completion, attendees will receive 2 continuing education credits through the University of Colorado Boulder. Registration costs are free for Colorado educators. Sign up today!

Summer Institute for Climate Change Education w/ Climate Generation

July 15-19, 2024

Summer Institute

Are you looking for a professional learning experience to rejuvenate you? The Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) will be co-leading the Summer Institute for Climate Change Education with Climate Generation. Join them for a virtual conference full of powerful and engaging keynote speakers, meaningful discussion about the intersection of social justice and climate change, and collaborative conversations between a national network of climate change education leaders.

$250 Registration. Scholarships are available.

Student opportunities

NASA Spotlite Design Challenge

Audience: Students in grades 6-12

NASA Spotlite

NASA Spotlites are short (90 to 120 second) student-produced videos where learners actively confront and disprove science misconceptions. Student teams choose a topic area for their video (e.g., Solar Eclipses, Clouds, Land Covering, Mars, Moon, and Plant Movement); select a misconception within the topic area to debunk; and identify criteria, brainstorm ideas, select a design (e.g., experiments, animation, demonstration) to capture questions and findings, and create the video. Finally, students refine their design and share the videos on the NASA eClips website. 

Accept the Spotlite Design Challenge!

(Note: Teachers MUST register student teams on the Spotlite website to participate in the challenge and create and share videos.)

2024 Youth Innovation Challenge

yic 2024

Submission deadline: June 12, 2024

The Global Environmental Education Partnership (GEEP) is excited to announce its 2024 Youth Innovation Challenge (YIC): Advancing Marine Conservation! 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. The challenge explores how we can address marine issues, including loss of biodiversity, marine debris, lack of awareness, and other related issues, and support people of all ages to be engaged stewards to support marine environments. The YIC seeks solutions that are innovative, feasible, and informed by research. Winning solutions will receive global recognition and a $1,000 USD prize and be invited to attend the YIC award ceremony at the Taiwan OCA’s marine debris conference in Taiwan in September 2024 (all travel expenses covered)! 

Find out more about the Challenge and register to participate today!

Ed Resources

Matty the Water Molecule Video Game, Educator Training, and Supporting Resources

Matty the Water Molecule

Engage students and meet NGSS, Common Core, Climate Literacy, and Ocean Literacy Standards with the new Matty the Water Molecule game and supporting resources. 

You can also join a short online educator workshop featuring ways to develop water/climate/ocean literacy in students on May 21 or 23, 2024.

Register for one of the May workshops here!

Your Future in Marine Hydrokinetics Teacher Guide

teacher guide cover

Your Future in Marine Hydrokinetics (MHK) is an exploratory unit from National Energy Education Development for grades 9–12 that teaches students about electricity, magnetism, and the process of generating electricity from marine environments. Through the unit’s inquiry-based explorations, cooperative learning activities, and group presentations, students review energy forms and sources, electricity generation and transmission, water movement in the ocean, the technologies used to generate energy from ocean waves, currents, and tides. Students also learn about the specific skills needed to succeed in careers in MHK. One activity highlight is CTE Model Wave Generator, in which students apply technologies learned to build two working models that generate electricity from wave action. Another activity, MHK Bingo, helps students summarize what they’ve learned through an engaging game with the whole class.

New Classroom Resources from National Geographic

sea turtle swimming

Lead your students through a brainstorm of what it means to be an explorer, watch a short video, and write or draw on a world map what they would like to explore in the ocean.

The Ocean Exploration Idea Set will guide you and your class through a discussion of what ocean exploration looks like today and provides engaging prompts and activities for your class to complete together.

alex nat geo headshot

Meet Alexandra Schnell, a producer and the principal storyteller for “Secrets of the Octopus,” is a National Geographic Explorer and a researcher with a passion for inspiring diverse audiences to care for the natural world. Learn about how marine life like octopuses and other cephalopods display their incredible intelligence with videos and activities to help your students better understand these fascinating creatures.


You can now view the next episode of the “I Wonder” video learning series with your class. The episode "Defamiliarize the Familiar" focuses on the process Explorer Anand Varma goes through to observe and document creatures he has become familiar with in order to share what makes them unique and complex.

WonderLab Learning Resources is a collection of online activities, learning tools, professional learning modules, and videos. The resources in this collection allow educators and youth “to slow down, observe, find the mystery of things that hide in plain sight and take the time to explore the wonder of our world” as they develop skills and attitudes of an Explorer.

woman on a boat in the ocean with binoculars

Hear from Carissa Cabrera, an ocean conservationist and informal educator, about collaborative exploration projects from the National Geographic Society and Ocean Exploration Trust. Learn more about the benefits of her three-day hybrid learning curriculum called “Cetacean Connections,” designed for students to immerse themselves in ocean exploration and marine mammal research.

seals diving underwater

MapMaker, National Geographic’s geovisualization tool developed in partnership with Esri, contains an ever-expanding list of map layers curated for students. Use this engaging activity to help your learners develop their mapping and spatial reasoning skills, all while exploring the ocean with National Geographic Pristine Seas.

Role Play Activity: Six Views on Global Warming

Equip your 9-12 class for respectful climate discussions with a role-playing activity designed to facilitate communication with people holding dissimilar opinions on climate change.

role playing climate change activity


Toshiba America Foundation Grants

Application Deadline: June 1, 2024

Teachers of grades 6–12 can apply online for a Toshiba America Foundation grant of less than $5,000 to help bring an innovative project into their own classroom. If you have a unique idea for improving STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning in your classroom, and if your idea involves project-based learning with measurable outcomes. Grant decisions will be made by July 15.

students showing their proj

NSHSS Conference Grants

Application deadline: August 15, 2024

The National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) is providing five $500 grants for NSHSS Educators to help defray the costs of educational conference registration, travel, and accommodations. Registration as an NSHSS Educator is free on the website.


Join the American Climate Corps!

amer climate corps

The American Climate Corps is officially opening its doors and accepting applications! More than 2,000 positions are available across 36 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico for those ready to fight climate change. This is a historic step towards a more sustainable and resilient future that everyone can join.

NESTA Seeking Executive Director

The National Earth Science Teachers Association (NESTA) is seeking an Executive Director (ED) to lead its vibrant community of Earth and space science educators into the future. The organization is for K-12 educators and is led by K-12 educators. The ideal candidate has a passion for Earth science education and has connections to support our mission “Champion excellence in Earth and Space Science for all in a community of support.” Visit the webpage to learn more about NESTA, and for details about the position, reach out to Belinda Jacobs at or Missy Holzer, PhD at



Education/Equity Bytes


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

Weather Extremes and Other Science News of Note

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