Explore awards

Use the filter menu and interactive map to explore the past competitions offered and grants awarded through the Environmental Literacy Program.

To learn more about project findings and outcomes, view the summaries of our grantees’ summative evaluation reports.

Sound Resilience-Get on Board!

Funding: $484,955
Year: 2016
The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is located at the mouth of the Norwalk River where it flows into Long Island Sound. Its mission is to inspire people to appreciate and protect the Sound and the global environment. As global climate change increases, extreme storms and sea levels continue to rise and a growing percentage of the 23 million people living within 50 miles of the Sound are directly affected by severe weather events, providing a timely opportunity to educate students, teachers, and the public about community resilience.

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is located at the mouth of the Norwalk River where it flows into Long Island Sound. Its mission is to inspire people to appreciate and protect the Sound and the global environment. As global climate change increases, extreme storms and sea levels continue to rise and a growing percentage of the 23 million people living within 50 miles of the Sound are directly affected by severe weather events, providing a timely opportunity to educate students, teachers, and the public about community resilience. From 2017-2020, the Aquarium developed and delivered an innovative three-session climate resilience education program to more than 2,000 middle and high school students in Fairfield County, Connecticut. The Sound Resilience student experience began in the classroom, where students learned about the impacts of hurricanes and coastal storms on their communities and used a hands-on “beach in a box” to model the effectiveness of built structures like seawalls and natural resilience features including salt marshes and oyster reefs. Then, during a two-hour research cruise on the Aquarium’s hybrid-electric research vessel, Spirit of the Sound, students collaborated to map their home coastlines from the water: identifying vulnerable locations from apartment buildings to power plants, as well as the existing resilience structures protecting their coast. On the vessel they also stepped into the role of climate scientists, conducting real-time weather and water sampling, including collecting and examining photosynthetic plankton that absorb carbon and help to slow down the effects of climate change. The third program session, back in the classroom, sent students on a design and decision-making journey, in which they compared their collaboratively created resilience map with flood-risk maps of their hometown, then worked together to identify gaps in resilience infrastructure and design a resilience plan for their community. As a result of Sound Resilience – Get on Board!, there were significant gains in students’ understanding of resilience science and their own sense of agency in creating a resilient future for their communities. Participants also reported deeper understanding of, and connection to, the Sound’s coastal ecosystems, which serve to buffer storm waves, sequester carbon, and protect communities from extreme weather and climate change. The Aquarium also developed and delivered a teacher professional development workshop focusing on effective and standards-aligned methods of teaching climate change, resilience, and environmental justice issues. Finally, an interactive experience was created for guests in one of the Aquarium’s most highly trafficked spaces. It includes a series of twenty-foot map projections of Long Island Sound showing present and future vulnerabilities and resilience methods, as well as a touch-screen kiosk where guests can interact with NOAA resources showing the risks that floods and sea level rise pose to their home communities. Although the grant period has ended, the resources created thanks to NOAA’s Environmental Literacy Program will live on. The guest experience on the Aquarium floor will continue for the foreseeable future and the student programs—in-person as well as virtual—and teacher workshops will remain available within the Aquarium’s program catalog.

Award Number: NA16SEC0080005
Grant Dates: 10/01/2016 to 09/30/2020
PI: Thomas Naiman
State: Connecticut   County:   Fairfield District: CT04
Partners: NOAA Office for Coastal Management (OCM) · National Sea Grant College Program / University of Connecticut · National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) / Northeast Fisheries Science Center · University of Connecticut / Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) · Western Connecticut Council of Governments (WestCOG) · Stamford Public Schools · Bridgeport Public Schools · City of Bridgeport · Norwalk Fire Department · City of Stamford · Fairfield Fire Department · Norwalk River Watershed Initiative (NRWI) · Norwalk Public Schools · State of Connecticut / Department of Economic and Community Development ·

Citizen Science, Civics, and Resilient Communities (CSCRC)

Museum of Science Boston offsite link · Boston, Massachusetts
Funding: $500,000
Year: 2018
The "Citizen Science, Civics, and Resilient Communities" (CSCRC) education project led by the Museum of Science, Boston in partnership with Arizona State University and Northeastern University will increase resilience to extreme weather and environmental hazards through citizen-created data, local knowledge, and community values.

The "Citizen Science, Civics, and Resilient Communities" (CSCRC) education project led by the Museum of Science, Boston in partnership with Arizona State University and Northeastern University will increase resilience to extreme weather and environmental hazards through citizen-created data, local knowledge, and community values. Building upon previous funding from NOAA in which a set of modules were created and used to engage participants in active learning and resilience planning about four natural hazards (heat waves, sea level rise, extreme precipitation, and drought), the museum and its partners will add participatory citizen science activities selected in close collaboration with resilience planners. This new and expanded project will involve diverse groups of participants at 28 U.S. science centers collecting, analyzing, and sharing data relevant to local resilience planners, learning about vulnerabilities through visualizations of geospatial data and deliberative problem-solving, sharing perspectives about resilience strategies and their societal and environmental trade-offs, formulating community resilience plans, and presenting findings and recommendations to resilience planners and publics. The project aims to formulate a theory of action that sustains engagement and increases environmental literacy among participants, contributes citizen-created data, knowledge, and values to resilience planning, and increases capacity among science centers for including publics in resilience planning and data collection.

Award Number: NA18SEC0080008
Grant Dates: 10/01/2018 to 09/30/2022
PI: David Sittenfeld
State: Massachusetts   County:   Suffolk District: MA08
Partners: NOAA Climate Program Office (CPO) · Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) · National Sea Grant College Program / North Carolina State University (NCSU) / North Carolina Sea Grant · Bishop Museum · New England Aquarium Corporation / New England Aquarium (NEAq) · Nurture Nature Center · Science Museum of Minnesota · Science Museum of Virginia · Cornell University / Cornell Lab of Ornithology · Northeastern University (NU) / Marine Science Center (MSC) · North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences · Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) · Arizona State University (ASU) / Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes · Arizona Science Center · Chabot Space and Science Center · Museum of Life and Science · Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association · City of Cambridge · Boston Harbor Now · City of Boston · Portland State University / Sustaining Urban Places Research (SUPR) Lab · Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center · University of Southern Alabama / Civil, Coastal, and Environmental Engineering · Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) · University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) · General Services Administration (GSA) / CitizenScience.gov · Town of Brookline · Climate CREW · Charles River Watershed Association · Mystic River Watershed Association · The Harborkeepers · Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH) · Durham County Government · North Carolina State University (NCSU) / Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center · North Carolina State University (NCSU) / State Climate Office · Explora · ExplorationWorks · California State University at Chico / Gateway Science Museum · Montana State University · Science Museum Oklahoma · South Dakota Discovery Center · Insights El Paso Science Center · McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center · Children's Museum of the Treasure Coast · Cape Fear Museum of History and Science · Tulsa Children's Museum Discovery Lab · Western Kentucky University / Hardin Planetarium · Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center · Kentucky Center for African American Heritage · Owensboro Museum of Science & History · Pensacola Mess Hall · SEE Science Center · Cape Cod Museum of Natural History · Long Island Explorium · Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) Tampa · University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) / Center for the Study of the American South · Town of Nags Head / Planning Department · North Carolina Cooperative Extension / Duplin County Center · North Carolina Cooperative Extension / Columbus County Center · Extra Terrestrial Projects · North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services · Trees Durham · City of Asheville / Office of Sustainability · Colorado State University / Colorado Climate Center (CoCoRaHS) · Duke University / Nicholas School of the Environment · Climate Central · ISeeChange · Arizona State University (ASU) / SciStarter · California State University at Bakersfield ·