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Aquarium-wide Climate Change and the Ocean Initiative: Public Engagement from Awareness to Action

Funding: 
$915,885
Year: 
2009

As part of its on-going commitment to engage, inform, and inspire visitors around issues of critical importance to ocean conservation, the Monterey Bay Aquarium opened the nation's first live aquatic animal exhibition on climate change and the ocean. This award supports a comprehensive and integrated suite of associated informal educational activities, designed to extend the exhibit experience and allow visitors to explore this critically important topic in more depth during their visit and after leaving the Aquarium.

As part of its on-going commitment to engage, inform, and inspire visitors around issues of critical importance to ocean conservation, the Monterey Bay Aquarium opened the nation's first live aquatic animal exhibition on climate change and the ocean. This award supports a comprehensive and integrated suite of associated informal educational activities, designed to extend the exhibit experience and allow visitors to explore this critically important topic in more depth during their visit and after leaving the Aquarium. These activities include: community engagement events, virtual reality auditorium programs using Google Earth, musical theater presentations, and exhibit interactives that allow audiences to discuss solutions to ocean issues. Over the course of three years, this initiative will reach more than 4.5 million people and: 1) raise public awareness about the connection between climate change and ocean health; 2) demonstrate that public actions do have an impact on climate change (and therefore ocean health); and 3) encourage meaningful action to address climate change.

Competition: 2009: Ocean Education Grants for AZA Aquariums
Award Number: 
NA09SEC4690040
Grant Dates: 
10/01/2009 to 09/30/2013
PI: 
Ms. Cynthia Vernon
State: California   County: Monterey   District: CA20 

A National Coalition of Aquariums Educating About Climate Change

Funding: 
$505,679
Year: 
2009

This collaboration led by three major national aquariums - Monterey Bay Aquarium (MBAq), National Aquarium in Baltimore (NAIB), and New England Aquarium (NEAq) - is developing a leadership initiative to build capacity within aquariums and related informal science education institutions nation-wide, enabling education staff to engage and inspire millions of visitors to take action about climate change and the ocean.

This collaboration led by three major national aquariums - Monterey Bay Aquarium (MBAq), National Aquarium in Baltimore (NAIB), and New England Aquarium (NEAq) - is developing a leadership initiative to build capacity within aquariums and related informal science education institutions nation-wide, enabling education staff to engage and inspire millions of visitors to take action about climate change and the ocean. The project increases climate literacy among informal science educators by: 1) creating a national network for training, resource sharing and support; 2) developing climate change activity carts to support exhibit interpretation; 3) providing training for youth interpreters; and 4) hosting regional and national summits to strengthen collaboration and showcase and disseminate model programs. Outcomes for educators include increased knowledge of climate change science; knowledge of strategies, tools and materials for educating about climate change; and confidence in their ability to communicate about climate change.

Competition: 2009: Ocean Education Grants for AZA Aquariums
Award Number: 
NA09SEC4690045
Grant Dates: 
10/01/2009 to 03/31/2013
PI: 
Ms. Cynthia Vernon
State: California   County: Monterey   District: CA20 
Partners:   North Carolina Aquarium Society / North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, California Academy of Sciences, National Aquarium / National Aquarium In Baltimore (NAIB), New England Aquarium Corporation / New England Aquarium (NEAq), Seward Association for the Advancement of Marine Science / Alaska SeaLife Center, Florida Aquarium National Association for Interpretation (NAI)

Teen Conservation Leadership

Funding: 
$453,622
Year: 
2010

Teen Conservation Leadership is a major integration and expansion of the Monterey Bay Aquarium's existing teen education programs (Student Oceanography Club, Young Women in Science and Student Guides).

Teen Conservation Leadership is a major integration and expansion of the Monterey Bay Aquarium's existing teen education programs (Student Oceanography Club, Young Women in Science and Student Guides). The project is growing and enhancing these programs through the following activities: Service Learning and Leadership Activities – including: 1) Guest Service Track: professional development and training as interpreters 2) Camp and Club Track: serving as a mentor for other participants 3) Program Track: assisting in the delivery of programs - Conservation and Science Activities, including participating in and leading projects with local organizations, and participating in technologically facilitated outdoor learning experiences – Teen Network and Technology Activities, including onsite networking and information sharing through Web 2.0 technology The project will reach 930 teens. Each teen will provide 200 service-learning hours per year. The sequential nature of this project will encourage many teens to participate for multiple years.

Competition: 2010: ELG for Informal/Nonformal Education
Award Number: 
NA10SEC0080022
Grant Dates: 
10/01/2010 to 09/30/2013
PI: 
Rita Bell
State: California   County: Monterey   District: CA20 
Partners:   Fresno Chaffee Zoo, Save the Whales Wild Farm Alliance

Building Ocean Awareness Together (BOAT)

Funding: 
$390,249
Year: 
2012

A consortium of Alaska SeaLife Center, Florida Aquarium and Monterey Bay Aquarium with their partner National Association for Interpretation will increase the effectiveness of informal science educators (ISE) to promote public understanding of three complex topics that impact the ocean (oil spills, ocean acidification, and energy literacy) and encourage stewardship of ocean and coastal resources. This project will have a direct impact on 252 interpreters in and around Alaska, California, and Florida through 12 weeklong trainings.

A consortium of Alaska SeaLife Center, Florida Aquarium and Monterey Bay Aquarium with their partner National Association for Interpretation will increase the effectiveness of informal science educators (ISE) to promote public understanding of three complex topics that impact the ocean (oil spills, ocean acidification, and energy literacy) and encourage stewardship of ocean and coastal resources. This project will have a direct impact on 252 interpreters in and around Alaska, California, and Florida through 12 weeklong trainings. Groups of interpreters will develop, assemble and produce online training toolkits, all of which will be widely disseminated to the ISE community. Each toolkit will utilize NOAA multimedia content, data visualization products, expertise and other relevant resources. Project participants – who interact with a diverse mix of local, regional, national and international visitors (including underserved local populations) – will provide enhanced training content for their colleagues through professional trainings, presentations, and online networks.

Competition: 2012: Ocean Education Partnership Grants
Award Number: 
NA12SEC0080025
Grant Dates: 
10/01/2012 to 03/31/2015
PI: 
Ms. Cynthia Vernon
State: California   County: Monterey   District: CA20 
Partners:   Aquarium of the Pacific, California Academy of Sciences, New England Aquarium Corporation / New England Aquarium (NEAq), Seward Association for the Advancement of Marine Science / Alaska SeaLife Center, Florida Aquarium, University Corporation / California State University, Monterey Bay, Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Fresno Chaffee Zoo, National Association for Interpretation (NAI), U.S. National Park Service, Aquarium of the Bay, University of Alaska (UA-Fairbanks), NOAA Office for Coastal Management (OCM) / Pacific Islands, NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL), NOAA Climate Program Office (CPO), National Marine Sanctuary (NMS) / Channel Islands, NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, Woodland Park Zoo, National Marine Sanctuary (NMS) / Florida Keys, NOAA Habitat Conservation, Prince William Sound Science Center (PWSSC), Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council (RCAC), NOAA Research Lab / Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Oil Spill Recovery Institute (OSRI), Seymour Marine Discovery Center, Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, U.S. National Wildlife Refuge / Don Edwards San Francisco Bay, Brookfield Zoo, California State Parks / Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, U.S. National Parks / Golden Gate, Central Coast Aquarium, National Marine Sanctuary (NMS) / Monterey Bay, National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) Elkhorn Slough, Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, Monterey Bay Whale Watch (MB-WW) Coyote Hills Regional Park

From Mt. Rainier to the Pacific Coast: Fostering Resilient Climate Leaders, Communities and Coastal Ecosystems

Funding: 
$298,713
Year: 
2015

Nisqually River Foundation with partners (South Sound GREEN, Chehalis Basin Education Consortium, and Mount Rainier Institute) with support from NOAA Fisheries’ West Coast Region implemented their project, “From Mt. Rainier to the Pacific Coast: Fostering Resilient Climate Leaders, Communities and Coastal Ecosystems,” over 3 years, from 2016-2018. Our region faces the climate change threats of sea level rise, receding glaciers, extreme weather/flooding, ocean acidification and impacts on humans and important local resources, such as surface and groundwater, salmon, forests, and shellfish.

Nisqually River Foundation with partners (South Sound GREEN, Chehalis Basin Education Consortium, and Mount Rainier Institute) with support from NOAA Fisheries’ West Coast Region implemented their project, “From Mt. Rainier to the Pacific Coast: Fostering Resilient Climate Leaders, Communities and Coastal Ecosystems,” over 3 years, from 2016-2018. Our region faces the climate change threats of sea level rise, receding glaciers, extreme weather/flooding, ocean acidification and impacts on humans and important local resources, such as surface and groundwater, salmon, forests, and shellfish. Together we engaged more than 120 teachers and their 3,000+ students from the Nisqually, South Puget Sound and Chehalis watersheds to understand and predict changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts. We held three Summer Teachers Institutes to bring teachers connect teachers with local science experts in climate change impacts in the Pacific Northwest. Our 2017 Institute was held in partnership with Mount Rainier Institute, who also hosted Climate Resilient Youth Leadership Programs for 350 12-18-year olds. Participants generated and participated in Community Resilience Action Projects to conserve local ecosystems and increase resiliency in their communities to extreme weather events and changing climate. These projects included: riparian habitat restoration in the Nisqually, Chehalis, and Deschutes basins; creating recycling and composting programs on school campuses; eliminating Styrofoam from school cafeterias; creating a Migration Parade event to explore climate impacts on migratory species; the “Pick a DOT- Do One Thing - What’s your thing?” on-line videos; and the creation of high-impact environmental education art installations, to name a handful. Students also monitored local stream flows, temperatures, and water quality, building on a previous Targeted Watershed Grant from the EPA and a data set that goes back to 1992. NOAA’s mission of Service was supported as teachers and students shared their knowledge in their classrooms, with school districts, at community meetings, and through social media. NOAA assets used included the NW Marine Fisheries staff, Data in the Classroom, CoCoRaHS, NOAA-NASA Cloud Watcher Chart, NOAA’s Climate Literacy Principles, Beat the Uncertainty game, Game of Floods, Thermal Expansion label, the Marine Mammals of the US West Coast, and more. Other local contributing partners include the Nisqually Indian Tribe, the Squaxin Tribe, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Nisqually Land Trust, Thurston Conservation District and Capital Region Educational Service District 113.

Competition: 2015: ELG for Community Resilience to Extreme Weather Events and Environmental Changes
Award Number: 
NA15SEC0080007
Grant Dates: 
04/01/2016 to 07/31/2019
PI: 
Mr. Justin Hall
State: Washington   County: Thurston   District: WA10 
Partners:   National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) / West Coast, Chehalis Basin Education Consortium, South Sound GREEN (Global Rivers Environmental Education Network), Mount Rainier Institute, U.S. National Park Service / Mount Rainier National Park, Nisqually Land Trust, Capitol Land Trust, Chehalis River Basin Land Trust, NOAA Office of Education, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service / Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, Nisqually Tribe, Joint Base Lewis–McChord, Mason Conservation District, Squaxin Island Tribe Puget Sound Estuarium

Connecting Tennessee to the World Ocean

Funding: 
$1,352,253
Year: 
2009

Connecting Tennessee to the World Ocean is a three-year capacity building project of the Tennessee Aquarium and its partners, the Hamilton County Department of Education, Calvin Donaldson Environmental Science Academy, and NOAA’s National Weather Service. Expanded capacity, in turn, allows the institution to reach a broader audience with a message connecting Tennessee’s waterways to the world ocean. Primary project outcomes are increased ocean literacy and expanded ocean stewardship ethics in targeted Aquarium audiences.

Connecting Tennessee to the World Ocean is a three-year capacity building project of the Tennessee Aquarium and its partners, the Hamilton County Department of Education, Calvin Donaldson Environmental Science Academy, and NOAA’s National Weather Service. Expanded capacity, in turn, allows the institution to reach a broader audience with a message connecting Tennessee’s waterways to the world ocean. Primary project outcomes are increased ocean literacy and expanded ocean stewardship ethics in targeted Aquarium audiences. A series of specific activities focused on ocean literacy and global change make this possible, including expanding Aquarium classroom capacity by 60% to serve more students, expanded videoconferencing opportunities in partnership with NWS, free admission and programming for underrepresented students from across the region, expanded educational opportunities on the Aquarium’s website, updated interpretive panels focusing on global change, installation of a NOAA WeatherBug station, a civic engagement series, and professional development for Aquarium educators.

Competition: 2009: Ocean Education Grants for AZA Aquariums
Award Number: 
NA09SEC4690041
Grant Dates: 
10/01/2009 to 09/30/2012
PI: 
Mr. George Bartnik
State: Tennessee   County: Hamilton   District: TN03 
Partners:   Hamilton County Department of Education, Hamilton County School District / Calvin Donaldson Environmental Science Academy, NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) Morristown, TN Weather Forecast Office, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Natural Encounters National Marine Sanctuary (NMS) / Flower Garden Banks