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Science Center Public Forums: Community Engagement for Environmental Literacy, Improved Resilience, and Decision-Making

Funding: 
$499,901
Year: 
2015

By engaging diverse publics in immersive and deliberative learning forums, this three-year project will use NOAA data and expertise to strengthen community resilience and decision-making around a variety of climate and weather-related hazards across the United States. Led by Arizona State University’s Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes and the Museum of Science Boston, the project will develop citizen forums hosted by regional science centers to create a new, replicable model for learning and engagement.

By engaging diverse publics in immersive and deliberative learning forums, this three-year project will use NOAA data and expertise to strengthen community resilience and decision-making around a variety of climate and weather-related hazards across the United States. Led by Arizona State University’s Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes and the Museum of Science Boston, the project will develop citizen forums hosted by regional science centers to create a new, replicable model for learning and engagement. These forums, to be hosted initially in Boston and Phoenix and then expanded to an additional six sites around the U.S., will facilitate public deliberation on real-world issues of concern to local communities, including rising sea levels, extreme precipitation, heat waves, and drought. The forums will identify and clarify citizen values and perspectives while creating stakeholder networks in support of local resilience measures. The forum materials developed in collaboration with NOAA will foster better understanding of environmental changes and best practices for improving community resiliency, and will create a suite of materials and case studies adaptable for use by science centers, teachers, and students. With regional science centers bringing together the public, scientific experts, and local officials, the project will create resilience-centered partnerships and a framework for learning and engagement that can be replicated nationwide.

Competition: 2015: ELG for Community Resilience to Extreme Weather Events and Environmental Changes
Award Number: 
NA15SEC0080005
Grant Dates: 
10/01/2015 to 03/31/2019
PI: 
Dr. Dan Sarewitz
State: Arizona   County: Maricopa   District: AZ09 
Partners:   Bishop Museum, Science Museum of Minnesota, Northeastern University (NU) / Marine Science Center (MSC), Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), Museum of Science Boston, Arizona Science Center, Chabot Space and Science Center, Museum of Life and Science, Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association, City of Cambridge, U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), NOAA Climate Program Office (CPO), University of Arizona / College of Agriculture & Life Sciences / Arizona Project WET, UM School for the Environment, Boston Harbor Now, City of Boston, Newton Public Schools / Newton North High School, Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM), Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center, University of Southern Alabama / Civil, Coastal, and Environmental Engineering, North Suffolk Mental Health, Arizona State University (ASU) / Decision Center for a Desert City (DCDC), City of Louisville City of Honolulu / Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency

Recharge the Rain: Community Resilience through STEM Education

Funding: 
$498,575
Year: 
2016

Recharge the Rain moves sixth through twelfth grade teachers, students and the public through a continuum from awareness, to knowledge gain, to conceptual understanding, to action; building community resiliency to hazards associated with increased temperatures, drought and flooding in Arizona. Watershed Management Group with Arizona Project WET will utilize NOAA assets and experts from the National Weather Service and Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS) to inform citizens and galvanize their commitment to building a community, resilient to the effects of a warming climate.

Recharge the Rain moves sixth through twelfth grade teachers, students and the public through a continuum from awareness, to knowledge gain, to conceptual understanding, to action; building community resiliency to hazards associated with increased temperatures, drought and flooding in Arizona. Watershed Management Group with Arizona Project WET will utilize NOAA assets and experts from the National Weather Service and Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS) to inform citizens and galvanize their commitment to building a community, resilient to the effects of a warming climate. Project activities will be informed by Pima County’s hazard mitigation plan and planning tools related to preparing for and responding to flooding and extreme heat. Starting January 2017, this four-year project will 1) develop curriculum with Tucson-area teachers that incorporates systems-thinking and increases understanding of earth systems, weather and climate, and the engineering design of rainwater harvesting systems 2) immerse students in a curricular unit that results in the implementation of 8 teacher/student-led schoolyard water harvesting projects, 3) train community docents in water harvesting practices and citizen-science data collection, 4) involve Tucson community members in water harvesting principles through project implementation workshops, special events, and tours, and 5) expand program to incorporate curriculum use in Phoenix-area teachers’ classrooms and 6) finalize a replicable model for other communities facing similar threats. Environmental and community resiliency depends upon an informed society to make the best social, economic, and environmental decisions. This idea is not only at the core of NOAA’s mission, but is echoed in the programs provided by Watershed Management Group and Arizona Project WET.

Competition: 2016: ELG for Community Resilience to Extreme Weather Events and Environmental Hazards
Award Number: 
NA16SEC0080003
Grant Dates: 
01/01/2017 to 06/30/2021
PI: 
Mr. Catlow Shipek
State: Arizona   County: Pima   District: AZ02 
Partners:   Arizona State University (ASU) / Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes, University of Arizona / Water Resources Research Center (WRRC), NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) Tucson, AZ Weather Forecast Office, University of Arizona / waterWRLD, University of Arizona / College of Agriculture & Life Sciences / Arizona Project WET, University of Arizona / Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, NOAA National Ocean Service (NOS) / NOAA Planet Stewards, University of Arizona / Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS), City of Tucson / Tucson Water Department, Sunnyside Unified School District / STAR Academic High School, CITY Center for Collaborative Learning / City High School, Catalina Foothills Unified District / Esperero Canyon Middle School, Santa Cruz Catholic School Tucson Unified School District / Drachman Montessori K-8 Magnet School

Ocean Interpretive Stations: A Pilot Program for Coastal America Coastal Ecosystem Learning Centers

Funding: 
$443,671
Year: 
2007

This project creates a pilot program to deliver ocean literacy learning opportunities to 7 million people across the country through installation of dynamic Ocean Interpretive Stations at five Coastal America Coastal Ecosystem Learning Centers: the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA; the J.L.Scott Marine Education Center in Ocean Springs, MS; the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, IL; the National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD; and the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium in Dubuque, IA.

This project creates a pilot program to deliver ocean literacy learning opportunities to 7 million people across the country through installation of dynamic Ocean Interpretive Stations at five Coastal America Coastal Ecosystem Learning Centers: the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA; the J.L.Scott Marine Education Center in Ocean Springs, MS; the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, IL; the National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD; and the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium in Dubuque, IA. These Interpretive Stations present vital messages of ocean literacy to the broad public using and expanding on a proven product in a free choice learning environment in four key sites across the country. The pilot kiosks provide the regional stories of Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic, the Great Lakes, the Mississippi River watershed and the Gulf of Mexico, and the Pacific. The Ocean Interpretive Stations enhance ocean literacy among museum goers through multimedia offerings, providing current, newsworthy and foundational ocean topics to encourage visitor learning. The project has the potential to be disseminated to 18 other Coastal Ecosystem Learning Centers throughout the United States, with the possibility of reaching over 25 million visitors. The project outcomes are: Increased awareness of ocean issues on the part of visitors; increased knowledge of regional ocean issues; increased capacity of sites to provide additional resources to teachers in the four regions; and encouragement of additional partnerships in the future.

Competition: 2007: ELG for Free-choice Learning
Award Number: 
NA07SEC4690005
Grant Dates: 
10/01/2007 to 09/30/2011
PI: 
Mr. Jerry Enzler
State: Iowa   County: Dubuque   District: IA01 
Partners:   Aquarium of the Pacific, John G. Shedd Aquarium / Shedd Aquarium National Association for Interpretation (NAI)

Science On a Sphere in the Forces of Nature Exhibition

Funding: 
$198,744
Year: 
2008

Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is developing a new permanent public exhibition gallery focusing on environmental and earth systems science to be called Forces of Nature. With NOAA support, Science On a Sphere will be the centerpiece for this new gallery. A collaboration is planned between Whitaker Center and the Department of Meteorology at The Pennsylvania State University in which existing datasets provided by Penn State researchers with NOAA data and meteorological models will be prepared for presentation on spherical display systems.

Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is developing a new permanent public exhibition gallery focusing on environmental and earth systems science to be called Forces of Nature. With NOAA support, Science On a Sphere will be the centerpiece for this new gallery. A collaboration is planned between Whitaker Center and the Department of Meteorology at The Pennsylvania State University in which existing datasets provided by Penn State researchers with NOAA data and meteorological models will be prepared for presentation on spherical display systems.

Competition: 2008: ELG for Spherical Display Systems for Earth Systems Science-Installations & Content
Award Number: 
NA08SEC4690034
Grant Dates: 
09/01/2008 to 12/31/2009
PI: 
Mr. L. Bishop
State: Pennsylvania   County: Dauphin   District: PA10 
Partners:   Pennsylvania State University (PSU) / Department of Meteorology

Science on a Sphere and Flood Forums: Education to Action

Funding: 
$341,274
Year: 
2010

The Nurture Nature Center (NNC) in Easton, PA, a joint project of the multi-state Nurture Nature Foundation and NNC, Inc., will install a Science on a Sphere and develop a new SOS module about climate and flooding. Working with the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore, the Da Vinci Science Center in Allentown, PA, and science advisers from NOAA and research universities, NNC will use existing SOS datasets, as well as new data formats, to create a docent-guided program that explains the connections between climate patterns and flooding.

The Nurture Nature Center (NNC) in Easton, PA, a joint project of the multi-state Nurture Nature Foundation and NNC, Inc., will install a Science on a Sphere and develop a new SOS module about climate and flooding. Working with the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore, the Da Vinci Science Center in Allentown, PA, and science advisers from NOAA and research universities, NNC will use existing SOS datasets, as well as new data formats, to create a docent-guided program that explains the connections between climate patterns and flooding. The Flood Forums: Education to Action program will engage audiences in deliberative forum programming to promote public understanding of the atmospheric, oceanic, and other climatic factors affecting flooding in some regional communities. Project deliverables include a program on climate change and flooding for SOS users; the same program calibrated for Magic Planet users; Forum models on issues related to climate change and flooding; project and evaluation reports; and training materials for SOS network members and other informal educators.

Competition: 2010: ELG for Informal/Nonformal Education
Award Number: 
NA10SEC0080020
Grant Dates: 
10/01/2010 to 07/31/2013
PI: 
Ms. Catherine Brandes
State: Pennsylvania   County: Northampton   District: PA07 
Partners:   Maryland Academy of Sciences / Maryland Science Center, Da Vinci Science Center, Lehigh University NOAA Regional Climate Center / Northeast Regional Climate Center

CREATE Resilience: Community Resilience through Education, Art, Technology, and Engagement

Funding: 
$429,420
Year: 
2018

CREATE Resilience: Community Resilience through Education, Art, Technology and Engagement, is a multi-disciplinary collaboration between youth and community to 1) improve environmental hazards literacy, and 2) increase engagement in resiliency actions by youth and adult residents in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania. CREATE Resilience is designed to increase community knowledge about weather and climate science, risks from local hazards, and strategies for hazard mitigation, while co-creating a vision for community resilience.

CREATE Resilience: Community Resilience through Education, Art, Technology and Engagement, is a multi-disciplinary collaboration between youth and community to 1) improve environmental hazards literacy, and 2) increase engagement in resiliency actions by youth and adult residents in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania. CREATE Resilience is designed to increase community knowledge about weather and climate science, risks from local hazards, and strategies for hazard mitigation, while co-creating a vision for community resilience. Developed by Nurture Nature Center (NNC) in Easton, PA, the four-year project will work with local, state and federal partners in three hazard-prone communities in the Lehigh Valley (Easton, Bangor and Wilson areas). Hazards, particularly weather-related hazards including flooding, have had major impacts in these communities historically and recently, causing extensive damage to property and disruption to community services. Damaging river flooding along the Delaware River in 2004, 2005 and 2006 highlighted major planning and safety challenges for many municipalities in the area with high flood risk, and a recently updated regional Hazard Mitigation plan highlighted other hazards – as well as the need for public education about hazards and mitigation. CREATE Resilience’s advisory board will work with NNC to bring education and engagement events to teach the science of these hazards, as well the household and community-level strategies and tools available for resilience. Partners include the National Weather Service (NWS) Middle Atlantic River Forecast Center and Mt. Holly, NJ Weather Forecast Office, and Weather Prediction Center, as well as LV Planning Commission, Northampton County Emergency Management Agency, LV Community Foundation, Lafayette College, and FEMA Region 3 Mitigation Division. In years 1 and 2, the project will form CREATE Youth Ambassador teams, in which student interns from area high schools will meet NWS meteorologists, engage in community storytelling events, develop local hazard and resilience tours, and learn from climate and other scientists about hazards and strategies for resilience. Ambassadors will also develop and lead programming for community residents. Simultaneously, residents will participate in active-learning education events, dialogue forums, arts-based activities, technology-based programs using NOAA assets, and hands-on preparedness activities. Each community will build a collective understanding of local hazards and mitigation strategies, and co-create a vision for resilience, represented in traveling visual artist-designed murals in the third year of the project. This education and shared vision will build community support for planning and resilience and help households in making better preparedness decisions. Dissemination through Science on a Sphere® and guidebooks will share the replicable model with other organizations and communities, extending the reach of the project. Close cooperation with NWS offices helps the project meet key goals of NOAA’s Education Strategic Plan, related to safety/preparedness and a science-informed society. Through public events and print materials, the project will showcase and interpret NOAA-related science and data with area residents, while creating collaborative learning opportunities for youth and community to interact with NOAA scientists. CREATE Resilience also engages youth and adults in preparing for hazards, and in multi-generational learning to improve community awareness and involvement in preparedness and mitigation.

Competition: 2018: ELG for Community Resilience to Extreme Weather Events and Environmental Hazards
Award Number: 
NA18SEC0080005
Grant Dates: 
10/01/2018 to 09/30/2022
PI: 
Ms. Rachel Carr
State: Pennsylvania   County: Northampton   District: PA07 
Partners:   NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, City University of New York (CUNY) / Hunter College, NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) / National Centers for Environmental Prediction, NOAA Climate Program Office (CPO), Consortium for Climate Risk in the Urban Northeast (CCRUN), NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) Mount Holly, NJ Weather Forecast Office, NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) State College, Pennsylvania Forecast Office, Lehigh Valley Community Foundation, Lafayette College / Civil and Environmental Engineering, Easton Area School District, Wilson Area School District, Northampton County Emergency Management Services, Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) / Middle Atlantic River Forecast Center (RFC), Bangor Area School District, American Society of Civil Engineers / Lehigh Valley Section Northampton County Conservation District