Webinar Series

fish swimming around a coral reef

The National Marine Sanctuaries Webinar Series provides educators, students, and the interested public with educational and scientific expertise, resources and training to support ocean and climate literacy. This series generally targets formal and informal educators that are engaging students (elementary through college) in formal classroom settings, as well as members of the community in informal educational venues (e.g. after school programs, science centers, aquariums, etc.). However, the series is open to anyone interested in the topics listed below.

For distance learning programs about marine mammals and other protected species in the wild, please visit our Wildlife Viewing Guidelines and the NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources' Marine Life Viewing Guidelines to ensure you are aware of the regulations.

Upcoming Webinars

Left to right: A woman on a research boat holding a line off the boat; satellite image of the Great Lakes; and a woman on a pier talking to educators.

Why Should We Care About Freshwater Acidification? Science and Stewardship in Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Presenters: Dr. Reagan Errera, NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory and Stephanie Gandulla, NOAA’s Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

October 17, 2023 at 10 am Hawaii `i / 1 pm Pacific / 3 pm Central / 4 pm Eastern

Rising freshwater acidification levels have the potential to severely impact the Great Lakes environment. In 2022, scientists began an important research initiative to monitor acidification levels in Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The research will improve our understanding of lake acidification and its potential impacts to natural and maritime heritage resources in the Great Lakes. The data generated from this ongoing research in Thunder Bay sanctuary will result in the first baseline study specific to freshwater acidification in Lake Huron. During this webinar, learn about the working partnership with NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Program and the Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab, Thunder Bay sanctuary, and the local northern Michigan community. Find out what freshwater acidification is, why we should care, how acidification research is conducted, and how the community is involved in this effort to create a baseline of data. We will also discuss resilience to climate change in the Great Lakes.


From left to right: The cover of a curriculum about orca whales; a male artist standing in front of a canvas; and a drawing of an orca by a third grader.

Unique ways to connect kids and teens to the ocean and engage them as science communicators

October 18, 2023 at 12 pm Hawai`i / 3 pm Pacific / 5 pm Central / 6 pm Eastern

Presented by:

  • Nora Nickum, Senior Ocean Policy Manager at the Seattle Aquarium and author of Superpod: Saving the Endangered Orcas of the Pacific Northwest
  • Patricia Newman, award-winning author of Planet Ocean: Why We All Need a Healthy Ocean, Plastic, Ahoy! Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, Sea Otter Heroes: The Predators That Saved an Ecosystem , and A River’s Gifts: The Mighty Elwha River Reborn
  • Esteban Camacho Steffensen, international muralist with major works created throughout the Pacific Northwest, Costa Rica, China, and Spain
  • Alicia Keefe, NOAA Fisheries Outreach & Education Coordinator

How do we connect kids and teens to the ocean and empower them to act? Story–in all its forms. Humans are hard-wired to spin tales to create emotional connections that help us better understand the world. Join nonfiction storytellers Nora Nickum and Patricia Newman, artist Esteban Camacho Steffensen, and educator Alicia Keefe, who each have ways of translating their passion for ocean conservation and complicated ocean science into forms that entice kids and teens to ask questions, dig deeper, and engage with their communities. Together we will discover new ways to visualize concepts like climate change, ocean acidification, pollution, habitat loss, food web disruption, and underwater noise using an interdisciplinary approach that includes science, art, writing, and speaking.

Patricia and Nora will share examples from their written work as well as their live presentations with children and educators. NOAA Fisheries Outreach & Education Coordinator Alicia Keefe will highlight NOAA’s interdisciplinary Southern Resident curriculum, other NOAA educational resources, and how NOAA works with artists to advance conservation. Esteban Camacho will share images of his murals and talk about the process of creating them while working with children and youth in a variety of educational settings. His environmental murals tell stories about the crisis while also inspiring the public with the beauty of the natural world that we are striving to protect. His style also explores symbiotic relationships and the humane role we can play in the web of life. His slideshow will break down the process of creating large scale murals and encourage others to undertake their own climate mural projects!


Left to Right: A female scientist on a boat; a Latino male on a research vessel; and a close-up of female scientist, Dr. Tammy Silva.

Engaging the Next Generation of Marine Scientists with Storytelling and Culturally Relevant Media

November 14, 2023 at 1 pm Hawaii / 3 pm Pacific / 5 pm Central / 6 pm Eastern

Dr. Tammy Silva, Research Marine Ecologist at Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and Ben Gilbarg, Director of STEAM the Streets

How can we help build a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive Marine Science workforce? How can we help youth see it so they can be it? Reaching youth in culturally relevant, creative ways that they can relate to, is essential for accomplishing this.

STEAM the Streets specializes in producing unique content that promotes career paths in STEM and the Arts (STEAM), and through their experience as educators and youth developers, have a proven recipe for keeping youth engaged.

NOAA’s Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Marine Ecologist, Tammy Silva, partnered up with STEAM the Streets to create videos and a learning module to reach, engage, and educate youth about the triumphs and challenges of a career in Marine Ecology. The learning module and videos are included in the free STEAM the Streets mobile app, and the content can be utilized outside of the app to educate students in a classroom setting. In this webinar, educators will hear about the career module content, learn about the app, and receive access to the free materials so that they can implement the app or the lesson with their classes.