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NMEA Member Highlight: Christopher Petrone

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Chris Petrone on the R/V SharpChristopher Petrone is on the NMEA Board of Directors and is the marine education specialist for the Delaware Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service at the University of Delaware.

We asked him four key questions about his experience with NMEA:

1. Why did you join NMEA?

I originally joined when I registered for my first conference, 2006 in New York! I had been working for Virginia Sea Grant and the Bridge website for about a year at the time. Both Sea Grant and the Bridge are fixtures at NMEA conferences, so I was encouraged by my team to attend and present. It was one of my very first conference presentations!

2. How has NMEA helped you achieve your professional goals?

Over the past nine years, NMEA has helped me build an invaluable network of colleagues from across the globe. I am constantly pulling activities, resources, and contacts from my “toolkit,” which I have compiled through attendance at NMEA conferences, the Scuttlebutt email list, and direct contact with my NMEA compadres.

3. What are you most proud of NMEA for accomplishing/influencing?

By far, the creation of the Ocean Literacy Essential Principles, as well as NMEA’s work on the Next Generation Science Standards.

The Ocean Literacy principles have been a guiding force in my and fellow marine educators’ work. The principles have given us a common message and common voice which we use in each of our diverse education niches. Regarding NGSS, from initial review and comments, all the way through the current adoption and implementation phase, NMEA has been at the table, and will continue to play a major role in advancing science education in general, not just marine and freshwater science.

4. If you had to describe NMEA in three words, what would they be?

Network, collaboration, family.

Check out some of his recent work with these video recaps from Delaware Sea Grant: 

Catching the Wind: Petrone recently hosted a wind education program for 125 first graders from a local elementary school. Students rotated through four content stations, which included hands-on, interactive activities about wind and the university's turbine. The program was meant to supplement a first grade science unit titled "Catching the Wind."


2014 Chesapeake Bay Bowl: Petone served as coordinator of the Chesapeake Bay Bowl, which was held at the University of Delaware earlier this year.

Interested in becoming a member as well? Learn more about joining NMEA here >

Tags:  member highlight 

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Guest Blog by Carole McCauley: 5th Biennial Ocean Literacy Summit held in Woods Hole

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Sunday, November 23, 2014

Where better to celebrate our connection to the marine environment than the historical epicenter of American marine research: Woods Hole, Mass.? The New England Ocean Science Education Collaborative (NEOSEC) held its 5th biennial Ocean Literacy Summit from November 6-7, and was hosted by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute with support from the Marine Biological Laboratory.

The Summit opened on November 6 with an opening reception, exhibits, and presentation by the Synergy Research group, which pairs artists and scientists to render works of art that communicate complex research. Additionally, the COSEE Graduate Students for Ocean Education (GrOE) hosted a Science Café and poster session in conjunction with the other evening activities. A number of field trips in and around Woods Hole were offered before and after the event, as well as during an extended networking lunch break.

On November 7, the 220 attendees enjoyed an inspiring keynote speech by Smithsonian “Oceans” author, Deborah Cramer, as well as introductory remarks by WHOI’s Senior Scientist, Scott Doney.  Concurrent sessions involved joint presentations by a number of high-caliber scientists and educators on topics related to the Summit’s theme, “Ocean Literacy Principle #6: Humans and the Oceans are Inextricably Connected.”  Some of these pairs had worked together, and some had not; this novel format was extremely well-received, and hopefully encouraged some new collaborations. The Summit wrapped up with a panel discussion about our collective responsibility to sustain and protect our oceans that was moderated by public radio’s Ari Daniel Shapiro (himself a WHOI Ph.D.).

The 2014 Ocean Literacy Summit was made possible by a number of generous sponsors, chief among which is the Northeast Regional Association of Coastal Ocean Observing Systems (NERACOOS), whose outreach work closely aligns with NEOSEC’s mission to “leverage and strengthen the region’s extraordinary ocean science and educational assets to advance the understanding of the vital connections between people and the ocean.”

The event would not have been possible without the unflagging effort of a number of individuals who dedicated many, many hours of their time and energy.  NEOSEC supports 55+ member institutions from around New England whose impact stems from collective work, learning, and dissemination of resources and shared experiences in marine education.

- Carole McCauley, Board Member, Massachusetts Marine Educators (2011 to present)
Outreach Program Coordinator, Northeastern University Marine Science Center
Past-Chair, NEOSEC (2014-15)

Tags:  conference  Ocean Literacy 

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Youth Ocean Conservation Summit draws over 200 participants to Florida

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Thursday, November 20, 2014
Updated: Thursday, November 20, 2014

Over 200 youth participants, from 10 states, attended the Youth Ocean Conservation Summit at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium in Sarasota, Fla., on November 8. The summit, which is in its fourth year, is organized by the Stow It-Don't Throw It Project, headed by Sean Russell (pictured below at the Summit with participants), who is the project director, as well as a very active NMEA member. 

2014 Youth Ocean Conservation Summit

The event is designed to empower youth participants with the knowledge, skills, and resources to successfully launch ocean conservation projects in their local communities. The day was kicked off by an inspiring keynote from Steve Culbertson, President and CEO of Youth Service America, with the powerful message that “the ocean needs young people now.”

The summit continued with outstanding presentations by past Youth Ocean Conservation Summit participants who shared their work over the past year on ocean conservation initiatives in their local communities.2014 Youth Ocean Conservation Summit

Student attendees then had the chance to work on action plans for their own ocean conservation projects with the help of expert mentors from across the country, and take part in a session focused on careers in ocean conservation. Participants also had the chance to attend workshop focused on topics such as fundraising, social media marketing, using art as advocacy, working with government officials, filmmaking, and grant writing.

2014 Youth Ocean Conservation Summit

The Summit ended with an inspiring “call to action” message from long time event supporter, singer/songwriter Jack Johnson!

Immediately following the Summit, the third annual Community Ocean Conservation Film Festival provided an additional avenue to raise awareness about ocean conservation issues, and the work of young people in the field of ocean conservation, to a greater community audience. This year’s event featured screenings of the winning films from the 2014 Community Ocean Conservation Film Festival, the short film Cabo Pulmo, and the featured presentation – Mission Blue, the powerful story of Dr. Sylvia Earle and her mission to save the ocean.

The 2014 Youth Ocean Conservation Summit weekend wrapped up with an exploration of Sarasota Bay featuring hands on seining, marine life observation, and kayaking experiences on Sunday morning. A wonderful way to end a successful and inspiring weekend!

2014 Youth Ocean Conservation Summit

Tags:  youth 

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Guest Blog by Kate Leavitt: "Green Crabs Wreak Havoc" focus of GOMMEA annual meeting

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Tuesday, November 18, 2014

"If you can't beat 'em, eat 'em!"

This was the mantra in practice at last week's Gulf of Maine Marine Education Association's annual meeting, titled "Green Crabs Wreak Havoc," as members and guests wove their way through interactive displays and sampled homemade and commercially-prepared versions of the European green crab.

Invasive Green Crabs

The event featured a keynote by Dr. Brian Beal, Professor of Marine Ecology, University of Maine at Machias, and brought together 91 attendees including students, community members, chapter members, and other stakeholders to discuss the ecological and commercial impacts of the European green crab on the local soft-shell clam population.

2014 GOMMEA annual meeting

Outgoing President, Carol Steingart, was the visionary for this event. Her interest in the spread of these invasives convinced the Board of the need to bring together local scientists, educators and community members to share stories, dispel myths, spark discussions, and learn from our local experts. As a result, rich discussions around biology, ecology, commerce, and cultural history ensued. To learn more about Carol's adventures in crab cuisine, check out the additional local coverage from the Portland Press Herald here >

- Kate Leavitt, GOMMEA president

Tags:  GOMMEA 

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Current: The Journal of Marine Education

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Thursday, November 6, 2014

Current Journal Our peer-reviewed journal has appeared in a variety of formats since its beginning in 1976 and is now moving into the digital realm! Current: The Journal of Marine Education is a benefit of your membership and features lively, in-depth articles and activities relating to all aspects of the world of water.

Learn more about Current on its new landing page and get details on how you can submit a piece for publication on our Guide for Contributors. And stay tuned for the next issue of Current - it's in production now, and should be out to members by the close of the year!  

Tags:  current 

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Celebrate a Marine Halloween!

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Monday, October 27, 2014

Coastal Living pumpkin patternHalloween is this Friday, so we're going to have some spooky fun with a marine focus! Follow us on Twitter to meet some truly creepy, crawly, and downright different critters from the sea - we'll be using the tag #MarineHalloween, so share your own favorites with that tag as well!

Need some inspiration? Check out this post from Smithsonian's Ocean Portal to get started > 

Looking for other ways to celebrate the sea this autumn? How about carving a coastal pumpkin? Take a peek at these great ideas and patterns from Coastal Living magazine > 

Tags:  halloween 

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October 2014 Newsletter

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Friday, October 10, 2014

Fall 2014 NewsletterOur fall newsletter is out! It provides a recap of our national conference, which was held in Annapolis, Md., in July, as well as a preview of all that you will be able to see and do at next year's conference in Rhode Island. It also takes an insider's look at the EMSEA14 conference in Sweden, provides guidance on how to update your member profile on our website, and more!

Didn't see it in your inbox? No worries, you can access it here, and update your contact email or sign-up for future mailings here >

Tags:  newsletter 

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Guest Blog by Erin Hobbs: Boston Harbor Educators Conference recap

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Thursday, October 2, 2014

What a great Saturday at the Boston Harbor Educators Conference hosted by Massachusetts Marine Educators (MME) at UMass Boston!

Boston Harbor

Phil Colarusso, a diving scientist for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, started the day with a great talk discussing the recovery of Boston Harbor. He showed incredible footage of sea life found in the newly improved Boston Harbor and contributed its success to the installation of the Deer Island wastewater treatment facility.

Phil Colarusso, a diving scientist for the EPA

The second speaker of the morning was Marc Albert, Boston Harbor Islands Stewardship Program coordinator. He gave educators an overview of all the major projects and research on the Boston Harbor Island.

Marc Albert, Boston Harbor Islands Stewardship Program coordinator

One thing that struck me during his presentation was the amount of challenges associated with civic engagement. As an educator, I encourage my students to be stewards and there are many individuals that want to help, but how? How do we improve park management and research in a way that includes everyday stewards like myself and my students? This is a question educators throughout the state and country are asking and simultaneously trying to answer.

In addition to the great speakers, there were great snacks and engaging workshops. I personally loved the workshop on citizen science. Loree Griffin Burns presented not only on her series of books, but on many fabulous projects that scientists of all ages could participate in. Loree discussed possible citizen science projects for collecting marine debris, tracking monarchs, frog watch, and more. This is the stuff that gets kids excited and I recommend her books.

Loree Griffin Burns

To top off the beautiful 83 degree Saturday, participants cruised to Thompson Island and toured through Boston Harbor. This was just another spectacular event hosted by MME!

- Erin Hobbs, president, Massachusetts Marine Educators

Tags:  conference  MME 

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Guest Blog by Géraldine Fauville: A sneak peek at the second European Marine Science Educators Association conference

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Wednesday, September 24, 2014

EMSEA14 conference venue The second European Marine Science Educators Association conference, hosted by the University of Gothenburg in Sweden (pictured), is only few days away and everything is starting to fall into place to welcome the 130 participants from 22 countries.

EMSEA14 delegates come from a broad professional horizon; project managers, researchers in marine sciences or in education sciences, leaders of funding agencies, and educators of all kinds. We are delighted to count about 35 teachers participating in this event and even some students who will have the opportunity to present the work they have been conducting in school!

This community is gathering to speed up the transition to a more ocean literate society where European citizens understand the influence the ocean has on them and their own influence on the ocean and are able to take responsible decision accordingly. But the task is not easy. Marine education stakeholders have to deal with a vast number of languages and many social, cultural, and political differences. Moreover, European formal education includes various schools system and a plethora of school curricula where marine science related topics are excluded.

In that respect, European marine education needs an effective transformation and stronger international connection in order for marine educators to feel more supported, engaged, and equipped for the task to make European citizens more ocean literate.EMSEA14 logo

EMSEA, founded on this vision three years ago by Evy Copejans, Fiona Crouch, and Géraldine Fauville, takes its inspiration from the tremendous work accomplished by NMEA in the United States and aims at writing a similar marine education success story in Europe.

If you have already attended a NMEA conference, EMSEA14, a three-day conference, would feel like home to you. We have organized three presentation sessions dealing with marine education: in outreach, in school curriculums, and in aquariums and museums. Three workshops in smaller groups will also take place to facilitate the exchange of ideas, discussions, and foster collaboration between participants. Approximately 30 posters will be displayed and in addition those submitting posters will have the opportunity to give a one-minute presentation to introduce delegates to their work.

All good conferences include social events as well, and delegates will be invited to enjoy some wine and local seafood at the Maritime Museum and Aquarium. During the evening delegates will be able to wander around the museum and go behind-the-scenes of the aquarium and visit the research labs. The conference dinner will take place in one of the best fish restaurants in Gothenburg, which combines top-class cooking with in-depth knowledge of marine products.

Field trip location Sven Loven Centre for Marine SciencesFinally, the last day will be dedicated to the field trips. Participants can choose from three options: a visit to the University of Gothenburg’s marine station located at the mouth of the Gullmar Fjord, the only true Swedish fjord (pictured); a behind-the-scene visit of the largest Scandinavian science discovery center, the Universeum; or a visit to the sailing high schools where students spend a total of six months on the school ship T/S Gunilla.

On behalf of the organizing committee, I would like to warmly welcome all the NMEA members to EMSEA14. For those of you who cannot get across the big pond, don’t despair, you can follow @EMSEA_news and participate in the conference using the hashtag #EMSEA14 on Twitter or join our Facebook group here >

Looking forward to seeing you in Gothenburg!

Géraldine Fauville, Chair of EMSEA14

Tags:  conference  EMSEA 

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Members: Join us for a NMEA Strategic Planning Webinar

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Saturday, September 6, 2014
NMEA Strategic Planning Session

Calling all NMEA members! Please join members of the NMEA Strategic Planning team and provide your input to the future of our organization! 

We've held one of two strategic planning meetings, interviewed members at the NMEA annual conference, and hosted a Wiki for member input. This is the last opportunity for member input before a small group of people gather to build the final strategic planning product that will carry the organization through the next several years. 

The NMEA Strategic Planning - Membership Input Webinar will be held on September 15 at 7 p.m. EDT.

Registration is available online here >

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

We look forward to your participation!


Tags:  membership  strategic planning 

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