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Environmental Literacy Program

Supporting education programs that use NOAA science to promote stewardship and informed decision making.

NOAA’s Environmental Literacy Program provides grants and in-kind support for programs that educate and inspire people to use Earth systems science to improve ecosystem stewardship and increase resilience to environmental hazards. We build capacity for institutions and networks to advance NOAA’s mission through formal (K-12) and informal education at national, regional, and local levels.

Students in Golden Gate learn about marine creatures in the lab through NatureBridge, a NOAA Environmental Literacy Grantee.
Students in San Francisco learn about marine creatures in the lab through NatureBridge, a NOAA Environmental Literacy grantee. (Courtesy of NatureBridge)

Grants

The core of the Environmental Literacy Program is our highly competitive Environmental Literacy Grant competition. This competition is the longest standing and most comprehensive national funding opportunity focused on environmental literacy.  Since 2005, this regularly offered funding opportunity has attracted the nation’s premier education institutions in advancing NOAA's mission and vision. Learn more about how to apply to this competition.

Our grants have resulted in a dramatic increase in the coverage of NOAA-related topics in museum exhibitions, K-12 curricula, online educational resources, citizen science opportunities, civic engagement events, out-of-school programs, and professional development for formal and informal educators. To date, we have supported 123 grants totaling more than $67 million. Explore our awards portfolio.

Partnerships

We use partnerships to maximize our impact beyond grants. The Environmental Literacy Program supports long-term partnerships that enable the education community to incorporate and deliver NOAA's latest scientific information on the topics of the ocean, coasts, weather and climate. These are mutually beneficial relationships. Our partners have a proven track record in K-12 and informal education and the ability to leverage NOAA expertise and products to enrich their offerings. In turn, NOAA leverages their education capabilities to reach diverse audiences in new ways.

Advancing the field

NOAA's Office of Education created this program to build capacity within the fields of environmental education and science, technology, engineering and mathematics education to use NOAA assets in educationally effective ways. Projects and partners receiving support from NOAA are evaluated on their use of activity-specific, evidence-based practices. Program successes and challenges are shared through publications, presentations at professional meetings, and digital libraries specific to the field.

In 2015, the program impacted more than 100 science education institutions, 200,000 youth and adult learners, and 2,000 formal and informal educators.

For questions about the Environmental Literacy Program, please email oed.grants@noaa.gov.