Ocean Currents Radio Program Celebrates Five Years on the Air
Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary has been reaching regional listeners for five years on its Ocean Currents radio program, hosted on KWMR, the community radio station for West Marin. The show dives into issues affecting our blue planet and provides interviews with experts in ocean research, exploration and conservation with a focus on local marine sanctuaries. The sanctuary’s podcast has had nearly half a million downloads to date and this year was included in the National Science Foundation’s Science 360 radio project, streaming national science radio programs 24 hours a day. Past shows are available online.
Ocean Science Program Helps Students Connect with the Ocean
Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, partnering with the Seattle Aquarium, completed its fifth year of “Ocean Science,” a five-year program funded by a NOAA Ocean Literacy grant. Ocean Science was designed to integrate NOAA ocean literacy concepts and principles into formal and informal educational programs. Approximately 400 elementary school students from 11 coastal schools, 100 parents and 20 teachers participated in classroom activities and beach field investigations. Data collected by students were submitted to a citizen science program.
Dive Into Education Teacher Program
Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary collaborated with the American Samoa Department of Education and Department of Commerce to host a training for local elementary school teachers. The purpose of the workshop was to provide the teachers with the skills to integrate marine science education into their classrooms. Each of the teachers received a $500 voucher for school supplies to teach marine science and conservation lessons and to share their training with other teachers at their school interested in applying ocean and climate change literacy skills.
Expedition Connects Classrooms to Corals
Science and education came together during a 14-day expedition to Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, dubbed “Coral Connections in the Gulf,” aboard the NOAA ship Nancy Foster. Six partners from government and academia joined forces to collect baseline data and bring real-time science to the public by showcasing the expedition online as an interactive experience. Viewers were invited to submit questions, which were answered by team members when posting their daily blogs and photos during the expedition. The team responded to more than 500 questions, submitted primarily by local students who followed the expedition as part of their coursework. Click here for more information.
Day in the Life of a Marine Science Researcher
More than 150 students and teachers spent a special day at sea learning to conduct marine science research through hands-on experiences organized by Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. The NOAA ship Oscar Elton Sette provided the platform for activity stations on plankton, water quality, navigation, marine mammal observation, ship operations, research programs and careers in marine science. This cruise was notable in expanding the program’s geographic reach by visiting the islands of O‘ahu, Kaua‘i, Maui and Moloka‘i during the five-day period. Nearly half of the participants came from schools that are located within or adjacent to sanctuary waters.
Monitor Programs Reach More Than 20,000
Through numerous education and outreach events and programs, USS Monitor National Marine Sanctuary reached more than 20,000 students, teachers and members of the general public in 2011. These events, held throughout the year, brought awareness to maritime heritage and ocean issues while focusing on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). In collaboration with various partners, such as Newport News and Virginia Beach Public Schools, Nauticus, The Mariners’ Museum, Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, North Carolina Aquarium, NASA, and Jeannette’s Pier, these programs offered a variety of learning experiences.
Mokupāpapa Discovery Center Sets Visitation Record
During 2011, nearly 61,000 people toured the Mokupāpapa Discovery Center in Hilo, Hawaii, to learn about the extensive natural and cultural resources of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Mokupāpapa is situated near the southernmost end of the Hawaiian archipelago and features exhibits, displays, interactivity and images highlighting life in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The center opened in May 2003 and has since logged over 427,000 visitors. For 2011, total visitation at Mokupāpapa Discovery Center was 60,979 people, up nearly 5,000 visitors from the previous year.
Helping to Educate Students About the Environment
Since 2006, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary’s Coastal Discovery Center in San Simeon, Calif., has served as an interpretive center for 15,000 visitors per year, as well as an education center for students in the region. Leffingwell High School, a local continuation school providing alternative education for at-risk students, has partnered with the sanctuary and other environmental groups to develop an experimental education program about the natural and cultural history of the coast. In the program’s third year, students participated in field activities like kayaking in a kelp forest, exploring an abalone farm, visiting an elephant seal rookery and touring a historical lighthouse.
Ocean for Life: Enhancing Cultural Understanding through Ocean Science
Twenty-eight high school students from around the globe traveled to Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary in July 2011 for “Ocean for Life,” an educational program that blends ocean science with cultural interaction and discovery. Participants in the marine science field study included youth from six countries in the Greater Middle East and 12 locations across North America. Assisted by National Geographic photographers and American University film students, the Ocean for Life participants took 54,000 photos and many hours of video and developed five youth media projects that will help them share their knowledge to promote ocean conservation and cultural understanding.
Climate Change Communication
In 2011, the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries education and outreach team finalized four broad climate change messages, along with sanctuary-specific talking points and case studies critical for the sanctuary system to communicate. Endorsed at the highest levels of the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, these climate change communication materials are intended for use by all staff within the National Marine Sanctuary System to understand and communicate through their work. Incorporating climate change concepts into presentations, reports and other avenues will help reinforce our commitment to creating a more climate-literate society.