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From the Editors: Summer issue of Current now available

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Saturday, May 28, 2016

Spring 2016 Current coverWe’re excited to bring you another general issue of Current featuring articles by NMEA members from all over the country and overseas to provide new ways to discover the "world of water.” In this issue, you’ll find a variety of engaging articles and activities, including a collaborative look at women in leadership who share their experiences in advancing science and protecting the ocean. An article on creating and evaluating discussion guides to improve learning experiences at public aquariums, science centers, and other out-of-school learning environments, a hands-on activity exploring environmental and economic impacts through engaging high school students in a mock Town Hall meeting, as well as many other exciting topics.

Please continue to send in your original manuscripts on research, lessons, resources, or strategies focused on marine education, including science, art, literature, and maritime history. The next deadline for submitting articles for consideration in the fall 2016 general issue of Current is September 12, 2016. And don’t forget to stay connected to the NMEA by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter for the latest news and updates.

Access the latest issue of Current here—happy reading!

Interested in submitting an article to Current? Guidelines for submissions are available here >

Not a member yet? Join NMEA and receive access to Current, as well as all our other member benefits, here >

Tags:  current 

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Guest Blog by Elaine Brewer: Massachusetts Marine Educators hold annual conference

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Last month, the Massachusetts Marine Educators held their annual conference and meeting at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). In a sunny, ocean-side room in the Clark Building on the WHOI Quissett Campus, participants arrived and chatted with exhibitors, including Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, Bow Seat Ocean Awareness, and the Museum Institute for Teaching Science.

As the event got underway, attendants were treated to two great keynote speakers. Dr. Ben Harden from Sea Education Association spoke about his research in the Arctic Ocean on where the Gulf Stream ends and other currents begin. He related his experience in using the temperature and salinity driven density gradients that power global ocean circulation, as a teaching tool, and even demonstrated some related classroom activities. Dr. Carla Curran from Savannah State University spoke on how educators can use marine mammals and other charismatic megafauna to drawn on the interest of students, and shared her inspiring experiences as a research scientist who has made K–12 outreach efforts a priority in her career and research program.

After a delicious lunch of soup and sandwiches, participants had many options for learning in the two two afternoon sessions. These activities ranged from classroom demonstrations and discussions to beach field trips and tours, and were led by a variety of MME member organizations including the Northeastern University Marine Science Center, NOAA, WHOI, and the New England Aquarium.

On the guided tour of the R/V Neil Armstrong, participants heard from the second mate and other crew members about the research and daily operations on WHOI’s newest research vessel. A climate education workshop demonstrated how teachers can implement the new Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Standards, while relaying to their students the importance of engineering climate change solutions. In a dolphin necropsy workshop, educators learned how to model a real life marine mammal stranding assessment for implementation as a cross-curricular STEM lab activity.

After a full day of learning, inspiration, and sharing of ideas, conference attendees enjoyed the chance to catch up with old friends and new at the reception held at the Sea Education Association. A huge thank you goes out to Dr. Amy Siuda for chairing the event and to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for hosting the event at the Clark Building on their Quissett Campus.

- Elaine Brewer, MME  

Tags:  MME 

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Guest Blog: Survey to define Marine Education

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Friday, May 13, 2016
Marine Education survey

We all know marine education is more and more important in the world. However, there isn’t a comprehensive connection for all the marine educators. We hope to further understand the background of marine education and research the integration system for marine educator international collaboration.

This survey is posted to encourage a wider worldwide definition of "Marine Education" and should take about 5 minutes to complete. All your responses will be kept confidential.

The data will be used in defining the research. Please pass this survey to groups you may be in, agencies you know that employ marine engineers, maritime academies, port workers, ship captains, and K-college and adult education. Thank you in advance - we appreciate for your help in promoting a marine education research summary!

This is a pre-trial for review at the #NMEA16 annual conference in Orlando, Fla., next month. 

Access the survey here > 

- Mare Timmons, UGA Marine Extension Service & Chia-Dai (Ray) Yen, Taiwan Marine Education Center 

Tags:  NMEA16  survey 

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Don't miss the Stegner Lecture at #NMEA16!

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Stegner Lecture

Here's another great reason to join us at our annual conference in Orlando next month - the Stegner Lecture!

National Parks are best known for wildlife and scenery, but the reasons parks matter go far beyond the tangible. From Yellowstone to Hawai’i Volcanoes, Gettysburg to Biscayne, national parks are deeply powerful places that impact people in extraordinary ways. Join Biscayne National Park Rangers Megan Davenport and Gary Bremen as they celebrate the National Park Service Centennial by blending music and storytelling to share deeply personal experiences from national parks across the nation.

Hear more from them in the short video below! 

Tags:  conference  NMEA16 

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#NMEA16 conference updates & call for volunteers

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Monday, May 9, 2016
NMEA16 Postcard

Are you interested in volunteering at our 2016 National Marine Educators Association Conference? Help is needed for all opportunities from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday through Friday. Volunteers who work at least one full day will be able to attend sessions, exhibits, and lunches! All volunteers will also receive NMEA t-shirts.

Be sure to visit the conference website for updates, and for more information on volunteering. Here is a related flyer to download and circulate! Any questions? Contact us via email > 

Here's a reminder of the great things you can take advantage of while in Orlando!

  • Bringing your family? Children can splash around at R Aqua Zone, a waterpark built to excite! Remember to take advantage of the $100 summer camp discount SeaWorld is offering to NMEA16 participants. Click here to find other family friendly opportunities at NMEA16!
  • Hungry? Five restaurants, a Starbucks and ice cream shop on site will please all palates.
  • Need to relax? Pamper yourself in style at the full-service Neu Lotus Spa and enjoy a massage, facial or scrub.
  • Staying longer? Ask the hotel's friendly Navigator for tips about hidden gems and plan your next big adventure at Renaissance now. Take advantage of Orlando's iRide Trolley to get around town.
  • On a budget? The Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld® has locked in an extremely low rate for NMEA16 Participants, starting at $129.00 per night! This special rate won't last long, so be sure to book your room by May 25th! Click here for reservations or call 1-800-266-9432 and be sure to mention the National Marine Educators Association 2016 Conference.
  • Need a roommate? The NMEA16 Conference Committee has created a room sharing document to help you find someone to share your room and help you to lower your costs.
  • Looking to stay green? The Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld has many green initiatives, making this a great home for NMEA16! Don't forget to bring your own water bottle, coffee mug, reusable straw and utensils to stay in a green state of mind.

Looking forward to seeing everyone in Orlando soon!

Tags:  conference  NMEA16 

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Guest Blog by Ariadne Dimoulas: 2016 Atlantic Miniboat Regatta

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Students around the Atlantic Ocean are about to have an unforgettable school year. Starting November 2016, schools from at least seven different countries across Europe, the Americas, and Caribbean will work together helping miniboats circle the Atlantic Ocean. Marine professionals and educators, interested in cultivating these real-time oceanographic science, geography, engineering, history, and international affairs projects, are invited to team up to join the educational adventure!

All of the boats in this regatta have a GPS unit aboard, sending real time data to satellites, communicating position, relative speed of travel, and weather’s effects on the ocean surface. At least two of the boats will be outfitted with sensors, providing real time data on both ocean and atmospheric conditions. Probable sensors include: water and air temperature, wave height and periodicity, wind speed at 1 meter, barometric pressure, salinity, and dissolved oxygen level.

International marine experts have partnered with Educational Passages in presenting two panel discussion at the 2016 National Marine Educators Association annual conference in Orlando, Fla. At the conference we plan to demo this equipment and cover details about the boundless multidisciplinary teaching opportunities and "hands on” education examples from this 2016 Atlantic Miniboat Regatta.

These miniboats are excellent downwind sailors, and show the effects of major ocean currents and winds on the ocean surface. Over 55 miniboats have crossed the oceans, weathering hurricanes and over 30 ft (9 m) seas, many sailing over 10,000 miles (16,100 km). Boats have watertight compartments where students are able to add messages, flash drives, and local items.

All boats have instructions on deck asking finders to take the boat to a local school where a new group of students can be engaged. We at Educational Passages are hoping to involve as many students and experts as possible in this Regatta, connecting a large network of students and professionals working together to help their miniboats complete a circle around the Atlantic Ocean. Educational Passages is a 501 (3) (c) non-profit and enjoys support from many organizations and institutions around the Atlantic including, NOAA, maritime academies, universities, and numerous professional marine and educational associations. For more information or to join the regatta, email our marine education coordinator or see our website!

And join us at NMEA 2016! Panel presentations at the conference in Orlando will be:

Tues., June 28 2:30 p.m.Bringing the Ocean Into Your Classroom   

Wed. June 29 2:15 p.m.Using Drifters and Mini Boats as Economical Research Platforms


-Ariadne Dimoulas
Marine Educator, Project Coordinator
Educational Passages

Tags:  conference; guest blog 

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Guest Blog: Opportunity to contribute to measuring Ocean Literacy! Want to join us?

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Sunday, May 1, 2016
Ocean Literacy

At the European Marine Science Educator Association 2015 Conference, members of the Ocean Literacy community discussed the urgent need to be able to measure progress in the development of Ocean Literacy in our respective countries and regions. We discussed a variety of ways to measure Ocean Literacy and ways that our community might use a widely accepted measurement tool. The Lawrence Hall of Science took the lead on this international project.


Here is what we have been up to and what we plan to do next:

  • We gathered the items from the various tools that have been used to measure constructs associated with Ocean Literacy. We compared the items and removed redundancies.

  • We will invite collaborators from European countries to translate the items on these scales to their language.

  • We will invite collaborators to administer these scales to a specific population (for example, 15-16 year olds).

  • We will gather the data and look at the item behavior within the scales and across countries to determine which set of items form scales for these constructs and seem to function well across linguistic and cultural differences.

  • We will finalize a valid and reliable instrument that will be freely available at least to all those who participate in its development.


Contributors will then be able to collect and analyze their own local/regional/national/project-specific data AND to contribute their data to a central repository at the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley, so that various data sets can be compared to one another and aggregated into an international or global picture of ocean literacy over time. Isn’t that awesome?

We have 56 items so far, but we still have some gaps in the Ocean Literacy Principles and Concepts. Here are the concepts that we still need items for:

   Principle 1: concept H.

   Principle 2: concept B

   Principle 3: concept G

   Principle 4: concept C

   Principle 5: concept D

   Principle 6: concepts C & G

   Principle 7: concepts B,C, E & F


For more information about each of these concepts, please see the most recent version of the Ocean Literacy Brochure here >

We have spent so much time on all these questions that we might decide to move to the desert if we are asked to come up with a single more marine-related question. So here is where you can contribute! Please, put your thinking cap on and suggest good survey items addressing any of the missing concepts.

To make sure creative people go in the right direction, here are some helpful tips to make a good question:

  • Use as few words and as simple of words as possible.
  • Do not write negative questions such as "What is not a factor influencing sea level rise?"
  • Avoid local knowledge such as "What impact does the current have on the Belgian coast?"
  • Create only multiple choice questions with no more than 5 answer options.
  • All the answer options should be about the same length and the wrong answers should be realistic.
  • It is ok to have more than one correct answer per question. Just add "Select all that apply".
  • For number answers, make the differences large. Ex. "10%, 50%, 75%" are better than "49%, 50%, 51%"
  • Your question should be accurate enough that the correct answer is accurate regardless of your marine expertise. For example to the question "What is the salinity of the ocean? 3.5%, 0.01%, 50%, 90%", a lay person might answer 3.5% but an expert would tell you that the salinity varies largely.

We would love to receive your suggestion by mid-May. Please send your items to this address > 

Thank you very much for your valuable help!


Mac Cannady, Craig Strang and Géraldine Fauville

Lawrence Hall of Science

 University of California, Berkeley   

Tags:  Ocean Literacy 

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NMEA 2016 Membership Drive kicks off today

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Thursday, April 21, 2016
Membership Drive

Join us during our Membership Drive, which officially starts today, Earth Day, and will conclude on World Oceans Day, June 8. 

We are reaching out to bring in new members to our dynamic and awesome organization, and all new members signed up during this period will be placed in an ‘opportunity drawing’ for some ocean and aquatic themed prizes, including a $100 Amazon gift card!

We have a team strategy, but all NMEA members are encouraged and requested to join in the Membership Drive! Ask your colleagues, friends, and associates, and let them know of the value of NMEA and welcome them to join.

Our Membership Drive Teams will be reaching out to their target audience to bring in members to NMEA (and we always encourage chapter membership, too!).The teams are designated by their audience:

  • University/College
  • Formal Education
  • Informal Education
  • Emerging Professionals
  • Agencies
  • Chapter Reps

See all of our membership levels here >  

Questions? please contact Lynn Whitley.

- Lynn Whitley, Membership Committee Chair

Tags:  membership 

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Check your inbox for our spring newsletter

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Wednesday, March 30, 2016
2016 Spring newsletter


Our spring newsletter is out!

It includes the latest on our annual NMEA 2016 conference in Orlando, Fla., information on our Share-a-thon and sessions at NSTA 2016, and a preview of our annual membership drive! 

Didn't see it in your inbox? No worries, you can access it here, and update your contact email or sign-up for future mailings here >

Tags:  newsletter 

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Exciting updates about our NMEA 2016 annual conference

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Wednesday, March 30, 2016
NMEA 2016 logo

If you haven’t already heard, registration for NMEA 2016 is NOW OPEN!

Join hundreds of fellow marine science education enthusiasts in sunny Orlando, Fla., for a week filled with learning, sharing, and exploration!

Classroom teacher? Informal educator? Government or agency outreach personnel? Volunteer? Researcher? No matter your connection to marine science education, NMEA 2016 has something for you!

In addition to daily plenaries and concurrent sessions, the always-popular Exhibit Hall, and the NEW Ocean Science Research Track, some of the week’s highlights include:

  • Monday, June 27Pre-conference Workshops, Buddy Welcome Reception, Tweet-up, Conference Kick-off Event
  • Tuesday, June 28NMEA Youth Conference, Evening event at SeaWorld
  • Wednesday, June 29 – Chapter Basket Auction, Silent Auction, Banquet Live Auction
  • Thursday, June 30 – NMEA Business Luncheon and Awards Ceremony, Stegner Lecture, Ticketed Evening Event at SEA LIFE Aquarium Orlando
  • Friday, July 1 – Enjoy deeply discounted experiences at some of the best attractions Florida has to offer with field trips around the state!

The Renaissance Orlando is home to NMEA 2016, so make your reservations today! This family-friendly, premier location is offering a conference rate of only $129/night, but reservations must be made by May 25 at 5 p.m.

Looking to bring your family? The Renaissance has tons of amenities for both kids and adults and is just a stone’s throw from the iRide Trolley (a shuttle to a variety of area attractions). NMEA 2016 field trips offer several options for children and SeaWorld is offering a $100 discount on its popular Camp SeaWorld. For more information on these and other family-friendly activities, visit the NMEA16 Family Friendly Opportunities page.

Be sure to visit the conference website for updates and follow along on social media with the hashtag #NMEA16!

NMEA16 is just around the corner, so start packing your flip-lops and sunscreen and register today!

Questions? Contact

See you in Orlando!

Tags:  conference 

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