The Watch. News You Can Use From NOAA Planet Stewards - 21 May 2024

NOAA Planet Stewards The Watch Newsletter


News you can use from NOAA Planet Stewards 

May 21, 2024


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

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Join our May Book Club event!

consumed book cover

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

At our final Planet Stewards Book Club of the 2023-2024 academic year 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!

Deadline: June 2, 2024

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

Explore Planet Earth with Teek and Tom in NOAA’s First Ever Animated Series

teek n tom

Join the intrepid student explorer Teek from planet Queloz and NOAA climate scientist Tom Di Liberto as they explore planet Earth. This fun, science-driven, five-part series is designed for students in the fourth through sixth grades. The series guides students on how the ocean influences Earth’s weather and climate; weather extremes; the technologies scientists use to gather weather data; and what this information tells us about our changing planet.

Please note that these episodes are a work in progress, and may be subject to small changes over the coming months.

noaa webinars
noaa webinars

NOAA Science Seminar Series - 
Something for Everyone!

NOAA Science Seminar Series


May 22, 2024 | 3-4 p.m. ET

Enhancing Credibility in Your Community Science Project

Register for to join the webinar.


May 30, 2024 | 1:30-2:30 p.m. ET

Ocean Microplastic Pollution

Register for the webinar.


Educator opportunities

Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and Environmental Learning Center June Events

Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center

300 Tower Rd.

Naples, FL 34113

Visit to more details and to register for the following events. 

rookery bay

The attraction at 300 Tower Road in Naples features aquariums, touch tanks with marine critters, natural history, environmental and wildlife exhibits, an art gallery, picnic area, guided walking trails, butterfly garden and a scenic overlook bridge. Special events and activities for all ages are held year-round including watercolor and photography classes, gallery nights, presentations about wildlife and conservation, birding field trips, marine science camps and more! The hours are 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. Tuesday – Saturday.  Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 4-12 and 3 and under are free.

Rookery Bay Research Reserve also offers guided boat tours or kayak adventures into the tranquil waters of Rookery Bay Reserve. Guests can choose from a variety of tours including shelling trips to deserted white sand islands, sunset tours or bird rookery excursions. Call 239-530-5972 for more information.


Rookery Bay Research Reserve Marine Science Camp

Registration is still OPEN.

A perfect camp for middle or high school students who love coastal waters, marine wildlife and want to experience hands-on marine science with biologists. Join Rookery Bay Research Reserve's flexible and fun marine science camp in June. Select 1, 2 or 3 days of camp and choose from a variety of themes like kayaking through mangroves tunnels, searching for coastal critters in the bays and beaches or get hands-on in the labs with microscopes and a real squid dissection. Don't miss out on this amazing opportunity - that also happens to look great on a college application!

Camp Dates:

Choose just 1 day, 2 days or an entire session week.

  • June 4, 5 and 6
  • June 11, 12 and 13
  • June 18, 19 and 20
  • June 25, 26 and 27

9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

$75 per day (camp scholarships are available)

Registration is required!


Watercolors & Wildlife: Painting with Jan at Rookery Bay

June 20 – Reflections on Water

$85, (includes all materials)

Registration is required!

Paint the beauty of coastal Naples and the wildlife of estuary waters in this watercolor painting class. Local artist Jan Deswik offers step-by-step simple instructions and creative support perfect for beginners or anyone inspired by the coastal environment and wants to bring it to life in a one-of a-kind painting. Each class spotlights a natural theme from shells to birdlife to local waterways. Held in classrooms at the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center, all materials are included. Participants will complete a painted piece with matte at each session.

Essentials of Digital Photography Workshop

June 22

9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


Registration is required!

If you want to get the best pictures possible and a true understanding of your camera’s features, this camera workshop is for you. The class covers the essentials of your digital camera. You will learn how to use your camera's shutter, aperture, ISO control and the drive modes to create images with impact and creativity. Sonny Saunders has over 35 years of experience in photography and instruction and is renowned for his ability to communicate to a wide variety of students. No previous camera or photography experience is necessary, just a desire to learn.


Rookery Bay Eco Kayak & Boat Tours – Get out on the water with us!

Join Rookery Bay Research Reserve for a guided boat tour or kayak adventure into the beautiful waters of Rookery Bay Research Reserve. With our kayak tours, guests paddle through beautiful mangrove tunnels, teeming mudflats and intricate oyster reefs while searching for amazing wildlife like sea stars, large snails, birds, dolphins and manatees! Our boat tours are small 6-passenger boats and offer a comfortable and informative ride. Guests can choose from different tours including a shelling trip to a deserted barrier island or a sunset tour. Call 239-530-5972 to find out more.

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 to attend the Mid-Atlantic Climate Change Education Conference.

If needed, please apply for a scholarship available to Mid-Atlantic educators and students.

Mid-Atlantic Climate Change Education Conference

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.

Using Data Puzzles to Explore Ecological Tipping Points

Wednesday, July 17-Thursday, July 18 from 11 am -3 pm ET each day.

Audience: Middle and High School Science Teachers

data puzzle

In this free virtual teacher workshop, you'll hear from curriculum developer Jon Griffith and featured CIRES Scientists as they walk you through the Data Puzzles instructional framework in the context of new and exciting phenomena. Participants will engage with Data Puzzle lesson tasks from both the teacher and student perspective and leave the workshop prepared to facilitate Data Puzzle lessons in their classrooms! We'll also be joined by our good friend, Kristin Hunter-Thomson from Dataspire, who will describe different ways we can help students "muck about" with data to get comfortable with and better understand it.

Student opportunities

NOAA Young Changemakers Fellowship: Applications now open!

Audience: Students in grades 9-12 | Application Deadline: June 10, 2024

noaa changemakers photo

NOAA has opened of the NOAA Young Changemakers Fellowship application for the 2024-2025 school year. This program is designed for high school students who are passionate about the environment, climate, ocean, Great Lakes, and/or coasts. Participants receive mentorship, skill-building opportunities, and financial resources to design and lead an action project in their community. They also learn about and share their perspectives on NOAA priorities, helping to inform the decisions that NOAA leaders make. Full participation comes with an $800 stipend and paid travel to Washington, D.C., for a kick-off summit in July 2024.

Questions? Contact:

[The Young Changemakers Fellowship class of 2023-2024. Photo Credit: NOAA]

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

BIMS Bites Kids-Guardians of the Chesapeake Bay: Exploring the Eastern Oyster

bims oyster

Embark on an exciting journey into the world of oysters, providing viewers with a comprehensive introduction. This episode will delve into the basics of oysters, offering insights into their health, biology, and ecology. By exploring these fundamental aspects, we aim to lay a strong foundation for understanding and appreciating the importance of oysters in our marine ecosystems.

Graphic Novel Series – Astrobiology: The Story of Our Search for Life in the Universe

nasa graphic novels

Are you curious about the origin of life on Earth and the potential for life beyond our planet? Explore the story of life in the Universe – or at least the story as we know it so far – with this series of graphic novels about the history of astrobiology.


In the latest issue, find out what it takes to become an astrobiologist. Turn the pages to learn everything from what to study in school to opportunities for starting a career as a scientist.

Energy Card Game

energy game

Designed for grades 3-8, with this engaging card game students learn about the Sun as the ultimate source of energy for most processes and living things on Earth. While playing the game, students create connections that show energy converting from one form to another so they can better comprehend the connections between fuel sources. Make complex energy concepts accessible and fun with this printable card game.

Climate Change Explained

clim chng expl

In this SubjectToClimate course, teachers will learn about climate change basics. The course consists of five modules, including the history of climate science, climate science basics, and climate solutions.

Recycle or Not Game

Use this sorting game to test recycling knowledge in an engaging way.

recycle or not

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

Planet Stewards jpg