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Exploring Inner Space: Linking Aquariums with Ocean Scientists

Funding: 
$1,799,964
Year: 
2009

This program is a pilot project and collaborative effort to develop partnerships and educational programming using state of the art technology. The project partnership is comprised of a leading ocean science research and education institution, the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography and its new state of the art Inner Space Center (ISC), and two strong national ocean science education networks: the National Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) Network and NOAA's Office of Exploration and Research (NOAA-OER) Education Alliance.

This program is a pilot project and collaborative effort to develop partnerships and educational programming using state of the art technology. The project partnership is comprised of a leading ocean science research and education institution, the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography and its new state of the art Inner Space Center (ISC), and two strong national ocean science education networks: the National Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) Network and NOAA's Office of Exploration and Research (NOAA-OER) Education Alliance. In addition, two partner sites will serve as proof of concept sites and education hubs - Mystic Aquarium and Institute for Exploration (CT) and South Carolina Aquarium (SC), both affiliated with COSEE, the Coastal Ecosystem Learning Center Network (CELC), and NOAA-OER. Through this initiative, the ISC will install new Exploration Command Stations (ECSs) and enhance Ocean Today kiosks at the partner sites, strategically selected aquariums. Through this pilot project, the ECSs and kiosks (modeled after the original Ocean Today kiosk in the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History’s Sant Ocean Hall) will form an Ocean Interpretive Station at the partner sites. The ISC will provide live links from the Center's facilities to the newly installed ECSs and kiosks using feeds from various remote Ocean Exploration platforms, including the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer and the exploration vessel, E/V Nautilus. The project's Content Development Team (CDT) will develop associated educational materials for use in public programs at the partner sites.

Competition: 2009: Ocean Education Grants for AZA Aquariums
Award Number: 
NA09SEC4690043
Grant Dates: 
01/01/2010 to 12/31/2014
PI: 
Dwight Coleman
State: Connecticut   County: New London   District: CT02 
Partners:   Oregon State University (OSU) / Hatfield Marine Science Center, Seward Association for the Advancement of Marine Science / Alaska SeaLife Center, Coastal Ecosystem Learning Center (CELC) Network, Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL), University of Rhode Island (URI) / Inner Space Center (ISC) South Carolina Aquarium

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. Over the past decade, a large percentage of the region’s 23 million people living within 50 miles of the Sound were 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. Over the past decade, a large percentage of the region’s 23 million people living within 50 miles of the Sound were directly affected by severe weather events, providing a timely opportunity to educate students, teachers and the public about community resilience. In a three-year program, the Maritime Aquarium will deliver education related to environmental hazards, resilience, and the underlying science to schools from ten towns along or near Connecticut’s coast, including eight in the Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan Draft 2016-2021 for Southwestern Connecticut. In these towns as in many coastal regions, the most significant environmental threats are related to the nexus of land and water. To reflect that nexus, education will occur both in the classroom and on the water, aboard the Aquarium’s hybrid-electric research vessel, Spirit of the Sound. An exhibit featuring NOAA assets related to threats and resilience will also build environmental literacy as it engages Aquarium visitors. The project will be supported by an advisory board of local educators, planning and emergency management officials, representatives from Connecticut Sea Grant, the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation and the Western Connecticut Council of Governments.

Competition: 2016: ELG for Community Resilience to Extreme Weather Events and Environmental Hazards
Award Number: 
NA16SEC0080005
Grant Dates: 
10/01/2016 to 09/30/2020
PI: 
Mr. Thomas Naiman
State: Connecticut   County: Fairfield   District: CT04 
Partners:   NOAA Office for Coastal Management (OCM), National Sea Grant College Program / University of Connecticut, 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), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) / Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Norwalk Public Schools State of Connecticut / Department of Economic and Community Development

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)

Earth as a System is Essential- Seasons and the Seas (EaSiE- SS)

Funding: 
$566,467
Year: 
2007

The project will fill the critical need for a relevant, contextual curricular theme for middle school learning. Its goal is to incorporate NOAA resources and virtual visits by NOAA scientists to integrate authentic earth systems science content into existing instructional units using the theme of seasons on land and in the ocean.

The project will fill the critical need for a relevant, contextual curricular theme for middle school learning. Its goal is to incorporate NOAA resources and virtual visits by NOAA scientists to integrate authentic earth systems science content into existing instructional units using the theme of seasons on land and in the ocean. Development of these materials -- in association with appropriate standards-based middle school learning goals and pedagogy, supported by substantive professional development, collegial networking, and supplied with the tools to meet this need, -- form the rationale for this project. In EaSiE-SS, thirty middle school teachers from Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts will become Teacher Resource Agents. Working with state science supervisors, NOAA scientists, educators, and MMSA staff, these individuals will complete 120 hours of professional development over 24-months including two Summer Institutes, two Fall Conferences, one Spring Conference, two web conferences, two unit implementations, webinars, podcasts, and web discussion boards. They will gain content background, integrate MMSA staff reviewed and aligned materials into their instruction, conduct field tests of the materials, and share them with colleagues in their own states and across the country through state science supervisors, the project web ite, marine science teachers, and state science teachers associations.

Competition: 2007: ELG for Formal K-12 Education
Award Number: 
NA07SEC4690002
Grant Dates: 
10/01/2007 to 09/30/2011
PI: 
Janice Mokros
State: Maine   County: Kennebec   District: ME01 
Partners:   Seacoast Science Center, State of Maine (ME) Department of Education (DOE) University of New Hampshire (UNH) / Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS)

Community Resilience Informed by Science and Experience (C-RISE)

Funding: 
$499,181
Year: 
2015

The goal of Community Resilience Informed by Science and Experience (C-RISE) was to build the capacity of coastal communities to support resiliency planning and adaptation actions.

The goal of Community Resilience Informed by Science and Experience (C-RISE) was to build the capacity of coastal communities to support resiliency planning and adaptation actions. To accomplish this the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) worked with an advisory group including representatives from NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management, Maine Geological Survey, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, the cities of Portland and South Portland, Greater Portland Council of Governments, New England Environmental Finance Center, and Axiom Technologies to develop public programming that provided participants with knowledge of and access to local sea level rise data. This program, "Preparing Coastal Communities for Sea Level Rise" is a community education event that built participant knowledge in sea level rise science, future projections, and local impacts. Through visual presentations and facilitated discussions, GMRI brought regional relevancy to global climate data using local history and case studies of past flooding events. Using technology and peer discussions, GMRI staff provided participants with access to interactive data sets and maps that visualized the impacts of sea level rise and weather events on community resources like roads, parks, hospitals, schools, and other valued assets—and how climate projections will increase these impacts over time. Over the course of this grant, GMRI staff facilitated over 60 community events in over 30 coastal communities in Maine, reaching over 2,000 individuals. While many of the participants had heard about sea level rise and storm surge prior to this program, few had internalized what this meant for their own communities. Post-event surveys indicated that participants discussed flooding issues with their families, friends, and neighbors, further examined local sea level rise maps, and engaged with community decision-makers about resiliency planning. GMRI believes that strong and informed representation of citizens is vital to addressing climate challenges and resiliency actions. We continue to leverage this work through various projects as we collaborate with coastal communities to provide them with knowledge, skills, and tools needed to develop community-focused resilience plans for sea level rise.

Competition: 2015: ELG for Community Resilience to Extreme Weather Events and Environmental Changes
Award Number: 
NA15SEC0080006
Grant Dates: 
10/01/2015 to 09/30/2019
PI: 
Ms. Leigh Peake
State: Maine   County: Cumberland   District: ME01 
Partners:   NOAA Office for Coastal Management (OCM), City of South Portland, City of Portland, Greater Portland Council of Governments (GPCOG), University of Southern Maine / New England Environmental Finance Center, Axiom Technologies, Southern Maine Conservation Collaborative, Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Island Institute, Maine Geological Survey, Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, Nature Conservancy / Maine Field Office, Portland Society for Architecture Upswell

Community Resilience Informed by Science and Experience (C-RISE)

Funding: 
$183,366
Year: 
2020

Coastal rural communities have deep cultural connections to and rely heavily upon the marine environment and economy. Due to their remoteness, isolation from central planning agencies, and lack of financial and municipal resources, they are highly vulnerable to climate impacts such as sea level rise.

Coastal rural communities have deep cultural connections to and rely heavily upon the marine environment and economy. Due to their remoteness, isolation from central planning agencies, and lack of financial and municipal resources, they are highly vulnerable to climate impacts such as sea level rise. The Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) and key project partners, Upswell and the Island Institute, will develop, convene and facilitate regional trainings by which Maine’s rural coastal communities can increase their capacity to plan and prepare for coastal climate impacts by developing the knowledge, skills, and relationships necessary to create data- and community-informed climate resilience plans. Cornerstone to the regional trainings is an engagement tool that builds common knowledge, incorporates diverse community value and voice, provides a framework for community planning and decision making, and builds relationships amongst participants. These trainings will also leverage and engage resilience professionals in Maine to share and represent their resources as communities apply those to their newly acquired skills and frameworks for community planning and decision making. Community leaders from the regional trainings will continue their learning through participation in a professional learning community. We will also leverage GMRI’s prior NOAA Environmental Literacy Grant, titled “Community Resilience Informed by Science and Experience (C-RISE),” to deliver community education programming that builds the capacity of residents in coastal communities to support resiliency planning and adaptation actions by providing participants with knowledge of and access to local sea level rise data. This project will serve 20 rural coastal and island communities in Maine through four regional trainings. Each community will select a diverse and equitable representation of 10 stakeholders and community leaders to participate in the trainings. Community education events will be accessible to all residents of each community. These interventions will build community literacy and capacity for developing coastal resilience plans that benefit the social, environmental, and economic health of the community and align with Maine’s Climate Action Plan. An advisory group including representatives from NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management, Maine Sea Grant, Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve, the State of Maine’s Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future, Maine Geological Survey, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, the Town of Vinalhaven, and the Town of St. George will guide the development and implementation of this project. Researchers at the University of Maine, Orono will evaluate the implementation of the project as well as assess the impact of this project on a communities’ ability to make community-informed climate plans. This project reflects NOAA’s Community Resilience Education Theory of Change, specifically supporting resilience planners and community members to develop trusting relationships focused on their collective environmental literacy through genuine conversations around resilience planning and decision making. With NOAA, we envision communities that have the capability to anticipate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from significant multi-hazard threats with minimum damage to social well-being, the economy, and the environment.

Competition: 2020: ELG for Community Resilience to Extreme Weather Events and Environmental Hazards
Award Number: 
NA20SEC0080006
Grant Dates: 
10/01/2020 to 09/30/2023
PI: 
Ms. Gayle Bowness
State: Maine   County: Cumberland   District: ME01 
Partners:   NOAA Office for Coastal Management (OCM), Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), National Sea Grant College Program / University of Maine / Maine Sea Grant, National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) Wells, Island Institute, Maine Geological Survey, Upswell, Town of Vinalhaven, Town of St. George State of Maine (ME) Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future