About the Education Council
Supporting a community of NOAA educators
At Education Council meetings, NOAA educators and partners share projects and activities, get feedback, and make connections.
Council members represent NOAA's line offices and staff offices, including special representation for offices whose education activities are specifically authorized by statute.Chair: Louisa Koch - Director of NOAA Education Vice Chair: Christos Michalopoulos - Deputy Director, Office of Education
Some voting members have designated a representative to serve as a secondary point of contact for Council-related activities:Bay Watershed Education and Training Program Climate Communications, Education and Engagement Division, NOAA Research
Member: Frank NiepoldCoral Reef Conservation Program
Member: VacantMarine Debris Program, National Ocean Service Member: Emma Tonge
Representative: Alexandria BrakeNational Estuarine Research Reserve System & Office of Coastal Management, National Ocean Service National Marine Fisheries Service - At Large National Ocean Service - At Large National Sea Grant Program, NOAA Research Members: Joshua Brown, Maddie Kennedy
Representative: Linda Chilton (USC Sea Grant)National Weather Service - At Large
Member: Mary FairbanksNOAA Ocean Exploration Member: Kristen Crossett NOAA Research - At Large Members: Eric Hackathorn, Mike Walker
Representative: Claire MontgomeryNOAA Satellites & Information - At Large Member: Ryann Agbasi
Representative: Rafael DeAmellerOffice of Education - Higher Education
Member: Natasha WhiteOffice of Education - K-12/Informal Education Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, National Ocean Service Teacher at Sea Program, National Marine Fisheries Service
Member: Jennifer HammondWarning Coordination Meteorologists, National Weather Service
Advising seatsNOAA Budget Office NOAA Central Library Office of Communications
Terms of Reference
The Terms of Reference describe the guiding principles of the Education Council. They were last updated in 2017.
The Education Council is the primary forum for discussing ideas and proposals for NOAA's education activities and priorities. The Education Council:
- Provides advice and counsel to the Under Secretary on matters pertaining to education
- Coordinates education activities across NOAA
- Ensures that NOAA’s education programs and activities are based on NOAA-related science
- Works with external partners to promote education efforts that directly and indirectly benefit the NOAA mission
In conjunction with NOAA's Office of Education, the Council develops and monitors the implementation of the Education Strategic Plan and makes recommendations to NOAA leadership on all aspects of NOAA's educational activities. This includes the development of any relevant documents and reports in support of these activities.
Roles and responsibilities
NOAA's Office of Education serves as the Executive Secretariat for the NOAA Education Council by scheduling meetings, developing agendas based on input from Council members, and keeping records of proceedings. The Council meets monthly, or as needed. The Council may authorize the formation of task-specific working groups.
Council Members contribute to the development of recommendations through discussion at meetings, review of materials, and participation in working groups.
Decision making process
Decisions will be accomplished by voting. Each council member can vote in favor, against or request additional discussion. The Chair will strive for consensus on every issue. The Chair maintains 51% of the vote, therefore the final decision is made by the Chair when consensus is not achieved.
New membership criteria
New voting Council members must:
- Represent sustained, significant education programs
- Demonstrate a high level of education capacity (with steady, documented history and/or budget continuity)
- Bring a capability that benefits the Education Council and broader NOAA community
- Have support from appropriate NOAA leadership
- Spend a significant portion of time dedicated to education
- Represent programs that support the NOAA Education Strategic Plan
- Agree to implement the NOAA Education Monitoring and Evaluation System