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Raindrop: An Innovative Educational Tool for River Awareness

Funding: 
$259,770
Year: 
2010

This project will create a new educational tool for river awareness in the United States through a mobile device application called Raindrop. Raindrop traces the flow of water from the user's home location to a downstream watershed location. Raindrop is part of a larger installation named FLOW (Can You See the River?), which joins the cognitive power of science with the affective power of the arts by creating virtual and physical spaces for river awareness in the White River watershed in Indianapolis, IN.

This project will create a new educational tool for river awareness in the United States through a mobile device application called Raindrop. Raindrop traces the flow of water from the user's home location to a downstream watershed location. Raindrop is part of a larger installation named FLOW (Can You See the River?), which joins the cognitive power of science with the affective power of the arts by creating virtual and physical spaces for river awareness in the White River watershed in Indianapolis, IN. In addition to the flow path, Raindrop functionality includes watershed context and physical marker mapping, flow path water quality indicators, utilization of NOAA weather feeds and alerts, weather and climate comparisons, storm event size implications, and guidance on watershed restoration actions. Artist-designed physical markers are strategically located in the watershed to direct the virtual user to physical areas of interest.

Competition: 2010: ELG for Informal/Nonformal Education
Award Number: 
NA10SEC0080027
Grant Dates: 
10/01/2010 to 09/30/2013
PI: 
Dr. Timothy Carter
State: Indiana   County: Marion   District: IN07 
Partners:   Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA), IUPUI's Center for Earth & Environmental Science (CEES), IUPUI's Indianapolis Mapping and Geographic Infrastructure System (IMAGIS), Marian University, City as a Living Laboratory, Office of the Mayor of Indianapolis, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Purdue University / Indiana State Climate Office (Iclimate), Project School, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) / Indiana Water Science Center, White River Alliance Williams Creek Consulting

Ocean Science - Formal and Informal Education for Ocean Literacy

Funding: 
$599,735
Year: 
2006

The Ocean Science project integrates the Ocean Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts into a Western Washington region-wide, coordinated program of formal and informal education consisting of: 1. Teacher professional development in the ocean sciences to integrate the Ocean Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts into inquiry-based marine science education and instruction; 2.

The Ocean Science project integrates the Ocean Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts into a Western Washington region-wide, coordinated program of formal and informal education consisting of: 1. Teacher professional development in the ocean sciences to integrate the Ocean Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts into inquiry-based marine science education and instruction; 2. Evaluation and re-alignment of existing Sound Science ecosystems curricula into Ocean Science, incorporating NOAA data and promoting the Ocean Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts; 3. Classroom programs, beach field investigations, and on-site programs at the Seattle Aquarium of the Olympic Coast national Marine Sanctuary's Olympic Coast Discovery Center for grades 4-5 students, their parents and teachers; 4. Parent training in ocean science content, the Ocean Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts, and inquiry-based methods for supporting their children's science education; 5. Informal education for the general public via an interactive learning station linked to the Window on Washington Waters exhibit and designed to innovatively use NOAA data and information (videos, computer simulations and other creative media) to increase and evaluate ocean literacy in adults and children. Window on Washington Waters displays the outer coast marine environments and sea life of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.

Competition: 2006: Environmental Literacy
Award Number: 
NA06SEC4690008
Grant Dates: 
09/01/2006 to 08/31/2011
PI: 
Ms. Kathleen Sider
State: Washington   County: King   District: WA07 
Partners:   Highline Public Schools, Seattle Public Schools, Environmental Science Center (ESC), Feiro Marine Life Center (Feiro) Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Visualizing Change: Training and Tools to Support Informal Educators

Funding: 
$121,751
Year: 
2013

A consortium of Aquarium of the Pacific, National Aquarium in Baltimore, New England Aquarium and Seattle Aquarium will build educator capacity in the aquarium community and informal science education field to more effectively communicate about climate change and its impact on coastal zones and marine life. The project will utilize NOAA datasets and visualizations in providing interpreters with training and strategic framing communication tools based on the best available social and cognitive research.

A consortium of Aquarium of the Pacific, National Aquarium in Baltimore, New England Aquarium and Seattle Aquarium will build educator capacity in the aquarium community and informal science education field to more effectively communicate about climate change and its impact on coastal zones and marine life. The project will utilize NOAA datasets and visualizations in providing interpreters with training and strategic framing communication tools based on the best available social and cognitive research. The objectives of the project are to: (1) develop and test four exemplary interpretive “visual narratives” that integrate research-based strategic communication with NOAA data visualization resources; (2) test the application of the visual narratives in a variety of geographic regions and institution types (aquarium, science center, etc.) using multiple technology platforms; (3) build a professional development program for climate change interpretation with data visualization; and (4) leverage existing networks for dissemination and peer support. Other key partners include the NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory (VisLab), the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL), the Exploratorium in San Francisco, the Ocean Explorium in southern Massachusetts, FrameWorks Institute and New Knowledge Organization.

Competition: 2013: ELG for Building Capacity of Informal and Formal Educators
Award Number: 
NA13SEC0080011
Grant Dates: 
10/01/2013 to 09/30/2017
PI: 
Mr. Jim Wharton
State: Washington   County: King   District: WA07 
Partners:   Aquarium of the Pacific, Exploratorium, Monterey Bay Aquarium, National Aquarium / National Aquarium In Baltimore (NAIB), New England Aquarium Corporation / New England Aquarium (NEAq), Science Museum of Minnesota, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL)

HEARTForce: Hazard Education, Awareness & Resilience Taskforce

Funding: 
$500,000
Year: 
2018

Communities in Colorado are increasingly experiencing major disruptions from environmental hazards, such as fire, flood, drought and extreme heat. With this rise in hazardous events, there is a pressing need for communities increase their resilience. An interdisciplinary team from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) Education & Outreach Program at the University of Colorado at Boulder is developing and implementing an innovative, action-oriented youth engagement project targeting rural Colorado students, teachers and communities.

Communities in Colorado are increasingly experiencing major disruptions from environmental hazards, such as fire, flood, drought and extreme heat. With this rise in hazardous events, there is a pressing need for communities increase their resilience. An interdisciplinary team from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) Education & Outreach Program at the University of Colorado at Boulder is developing and implementing an innovative, action-oriented youth engagement project targeting rural Colorado students, teachers and communities. Our engagement model empowers youth i) to envision community resilience through immersive scenario-based role play based on a solid understanding of the relevant science, ii) to learn about natural hazards through engaging Colorado-focused lessons, iii) to initiate conversations about hazard preparedness from within communities, and iv) to develop and implement student-led resilience action projects. The project team is developing instructional materials for middle and high school students: four lesson plans focused on different hazards (fire, flood, drought, extreme heat), four complementary scenario-based role-play games with a focus on youth empowerment and a teacher workshop based on these materials. Each school implementation follows a sequence in which the lesson plan activities are conducted, followed by a scenario-based role play game and reflection. Building on their experience with the game, students develop resilience strategies for their community and present those at a community Resilience Expo. The project has the following three objectives: 1) Increase Colorado secondary teachers’ knowledge and confidence to teach about local natural hazards, and to facilitate discussions about community resilience; 2) Increase Colorado youth’s understanding of natural hazards, their community’s vulnerability, and their involvement in resilience planning efforts, and 3) Enhance the capacity and empowerment of young people in Colorado to engage in dialogue with their peers, families, and community stakeholders about community resilience issues and identify, develop, and implement resilience actions. A needs assessment disseminated to Colorado teachers guides the project team in the development of all instructional materials and allows for customizing the content to teacher needs. The project evaluation explores the efficacy of the program model and studies the impact of the project activities on students and teachers. Specifically, the evaluation studies students’ confidence and ability to engage in dialogue around community resilience, level to which students increase their understanding of natural hazards and resilience planning, and the ways in which teachers increase their content knowledge and confidence in teaching about natural hazards. The project fills a critical gap in Colorado’s resilience planning which does not include teachers and youth. The project is guided by partners from the NOAA RISA program Western Water Assessment, seven NOAA science advisors, Science on the Sphere collaborators, and is being implemented together with over 20 community partners, school partners and collaborators from across Colorado. Over the course of the three-year program, the project activities will train and support 140 teachers, engage 400+ students and result in 11 Resilience Expo events across Colorado, from primarily rural communities. The instructional units and the games will be used in classrooms with 600+ students.

Competition: 2018: ELG for Community Resilience to Extreme Weather Events and Environmental Hazards
Award Number: 
NA18SEC0080007
Grant Dates: 
10/01/2018 to 10/31/2021
PI: 
Dr. Anne Gold (Reuther)
State: Colorado   County: Boulder   District: CO02 
Partners:   Earth Force, NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL), Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks / The Wild Center, NOAA Climate Program Office (CPO), NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) Boulder, Colorado Forecast Office, NOAA National Ocean Service (NOS) / NOAA Planet Stewards, Foothills United Way, City of Boulder / Office of Emergency Management, University of Massachusetts (UMASS) Lowell / Climate Change Initiative, Wild Rose Education, Roaring Fork School District No. Re-1 / Glenwood Springs Middle School, Montrose County Re-1j School District / Montrose High School, Gunnison Watershed Re1J School District / Gunnison Middle School, Early College of Arvada, St. Vrain Valley Re 1j School District / Westview Middle School, Estes Park R-3 School District / Estes Park High School, Estes Park R-3 School District / Estes Park Middle School, Garfield County / Community Development, Gunnison County / Office of Emergency Management, City of Arvada / Office of the City Manager, City of Longmont / Public Works & Natural Resources, Larimer County / Office of Emergency Management, City of Boulder / Resilient Boulder, Colorado Department of Public Safety, Colorado Department of Natural Resources, Colorado Department of Local Affairs, University of Colorado Boulder / CIRES / Education & Outreach, Mountain Studies Institute, University of Colorado Boulder / CIRES / Western Water Assessment, Adams State University / Luter Bean Museum / Salazar Rio Grande del Norte Center, Northeast Colorado BOCES Western Colorado University