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We'll be seeing you at the conference this time next month!

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Tuesday, June 24, 2014
NMEA14 is just a month away, so we thought we'd share a few pics of the venue to get you even more excited! Our "home" will be the Loews Annapolis Hotel, which not only has a fitting maritime theme, but is also in the heart of historic Annapolis, steps away from great eateries and shops! 

The concurrent session schedule is now available on the conference site, so you can start planning your schedule, and don't forget to sign up for a field trip - they are filling fast! Check out our Pinterest board to see where all the great trips go. 

Tags:  conference 

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NMEA Membership Drive - It's the Final Countdown!

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Friday, June 6, 2014

In case you haven't heard (because we're just a little bit excited about it!), we're in the final days of our first-ever Membership Drive! We've so thrilled that so many of you have chosen to join us during the time and we look forward to getting to know you better. 

If you haven't joined us yet, here's a recap of the fabulous raffle prizes you could win if you join by this Sunday, June 8 (World Oceans Day). 


  • GoPro camera
  • Life on an Ocean Planet classroom set of materials from Current Publishing
  • Sustainable seafood cookbook provided by Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch
  • World Oceans Day t-shirt donated by The Ocean Project
  • Ocean DVD's from MacGillivray Freeman Films including the Academy Award nominated "The Living Sea"
  • "Ocean Soul" by Brian Skerry donated by National Geographic
  • Beach towels
  • Starbucks gift cards

Thank you to our friends and supporters for providing these raffle items in support of our Membership Drive. Find out more about NMEA and join us here > 

Tags:  membership 

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Guest Blog by Bill Mott: Together, we have the power to protect the ocean

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Friday, June 6, 2014

World Oceans DayOnce a year, the world has a special opportunity to honor our shared ocean that connects us all, no matter where we live. From California to Kansas to Connecticut, the ocean affects each of us and each of us affects the ocean. World Oceans Day, June 8th, provides a time to reflect on how we all depend on a healthy ocean for our survival and how each one of us can help with the solutions to create a more sustainable society and a healthier ocean.

On and around June 8th, people around the globe will join with their communities to celebrate this year's World Oceans Day theme of “Together we have the power to protect the ocean.” This event serves as a global rallying point for raising awareness and promoting personal and community action in fun and positive ways. This year there are already hundreds of events organized to help individuals be part of the solution to environmental issues by supporting clean energy choices, trash-free coasts and beaches, sustainable seafood, and more. 

World Oceans DayThe concept for a “World Ocean Day” was first proposed in 1992 by the Government of Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. The Ocean Project "adopted" this event in 2002. At that time, there were no events in the U.S. and very few worldwide. We envisioned this event growing as a global platform to capture people's imaginations with engaging experiences that inspire them to take action for our ocean.

To help us do so, and working together with some key partners overseas, The Ocean Project developed and widely circulated a petition to the United Nations (UN) urging them to officially recognize World Ocean Day. Tens of thousands of people from all parts of the world signed online or paper copies of the petition.

As a result of a United Nations General Assembly resolution passed in December 2008, World Oceans Day is now officially recognized by the UN as June 8th each year. UN designation provided an important boost to those organizations and individuals who have been deeply committed to ocean conservation and is another important step toward improving the health of our world’s ocean.

World Oceans DayAs a side note, The Ocean Project recognizes that there is one world ocean that connects us all. One need just look at an image from space to see that our planet should have been named “Ocean” rather than “Earth.” Until 2009, we promoted “World Ocean Day” but added the “s” after the UN officially recognized June 8th as World Oceans Day. Perhaps one day the UN will embrace the singular “Ocean” but in the meantime, we are following the UN-designated use of World Oceans Day to show solidarity for the conservation of this important resource that connects us all.

Over the years, we've helped promote and coordinate World Oceans Day, working collaboratively with partners around the world. Each year an increasing number of countries and organizations mark June 8th. Last year, approximately 600 events were held in 70 countries to and we aim to double that number the number of events in 2014, with aquariums, zoos, museums, youth groups, conservation organizations, universities, schools, state and federal agencies, sailors, surf clubs, civic organizations, bloggers and businesses all participating in different ways. In addition, social reach is helping immensely to spread the word about World Oceans Day, through blogs like this one!

World Oceans Day also provides opportunities to build synergies, with media and decision-makers, helping to focus more positive attention on the ocean every year. For instance, Capital Hill Oceans Week (CHOW) is always held in June, right around World Oceans Day, the last several U.S. Presidents have declared June to be National Oceans Month, and new policy initiatives are often announced on or around World Oceans Day.

World Oceans DayTo help capture the imaginations and tap into the innovativeness of Americans and others around the world to help collaboratively solve the problems facing our shared ocean and society, we are looking to significantly grow this event. Together, with key partners, including NMEA, we are looking to develop World Oceans Day into a global force for positive change. All our work thus far has been done with only .25 FTE on average so with more dedicated resources, and being able to further collaborate with additional networks - and especially focusing on youth involvement and leadership -- this is just the beginning.

Beyond its direct reach and impact, we envision World Oceans Day as a way to create a rising tide that can help lift all ocean (and related/aquatic and climate) conservation boats. With NMEA and other strategic partners, we look forward to help making World Oceans Day even more impactful than Earth Day!

Bill Mott is a NMEA member and director of The Ocean Project, which inspires action to protect our ocean through the world's most extensive network of aquariums, zoos, science museums, youth groups, and other organizations. Watch Bill talk about World Oceans Day in our recent Google Hangout On Air, titled: What's the story behind World Oceans Day? - An Insider's Look.

Tags:  World Oceans Day 

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NMEA Member Highlight: Terri Kirby-Hathaway

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Thursday, June 5, 2014

Terri Kirby-Hathaway is a Professional Member of NMEA and a Marine Education Specialist with North Carolina Sea Grant

Terri Kirby-HathawayTerri has been an active member of NMEA for 29 years and is currently Vice Chair of the By-Laws Committee and a member of the Awards Committee. She was Co-Chair of the NMEA 2003 National Conference held in North Carolina and as a Life Member of the Mid-Atlantic Marine Education Association (MAMEA), looks forward to welcoming everyone back to their region this year for the national conference in Annapolis!

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

1. Why did you join NMEA?

I started in marine education as the education coordinator at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island in June of 1985.  Being the new kid on the block in the mid-Atlantic area, I was “volunteered” to drive on one of field trips for the NMEA national conference in 1985, which was held in Williamsburg, Va., and hosted by MAMEA. So, I joined the organization so I could participate in the conference and meet people.

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

Networking and meeting marine educators and scientists from around the country (and beyond), has been extremely valuable professionally (and personally, too – who am I kidding?).  If I get questions I can’t answer or have ideas that I want to bounce off someone, I have a long list of people that I can contact for answers, advice, and assistance.  NMEA has been instrumental in creating that network!Terri Kirby-Hathaway

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

I am impressed that NMEA has been able to get ocean literacy into the education conversation nationwide and also influence the Next Generation Science Standards to include ocean science!

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

Supportive, valuable, incomparable.

Our Membership Drive is underway until June 8, so if you join now, you'll be eligible for raffle prizes from aquariums around the country and our grand prize, a GoPro camera! We'd love to have you join us! Find out more about membership in NMEA today >

Tags:  membership 

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Our latest Google Hangout On Air - World Oceans Day

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Thursday, May 29, 2014

We held our second Google Hangout On Air this week, titled: What's the story behind World Oceans Day? - An Insider's Look.

We spoke with Bill Mott, director, The Ocean Project, and World Oceans Day partner, on how the event came to be - from the early days of discussing possibilities to this year's plans to make it bigger and more impactful than ever.

We also chatted with Jim Wharton, a NMEA Executive Committee member, and director of Conservation and Education at the Seattle Aquarium, about how NMEA colleagues are working together at local and global levels to celebrate and support World Oceans Day.

Check out some of the fun initiatives that were discussed, including ways in which you can get involved!

Missed the Hangout? No problem - you can see it in it's entirety below, and join today

Tags:  hangout  World Oceans Day 

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NMEA Member Highlight: Jim Wharton

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Jim Wharton is a Professional member of NMEA and director of conservation and education at the Seattle Aquarium

He is an active member on NMEA committees for Ocean Literacy, Scholarship, and Education Research. He is a member of the Executive Committee for NMEA and participating in the current strategic planning process. He is active in his local chapter, Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators (NAME), and a Life member of Florida Marine Science Educators Association (FMSEA).

Jim Wharton

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

1. Why did you join NMEA?

I joined NMEA in 2004 while playing a small role in the 2004 conference planning effort. I recognized the potential networking benefit, but at the time, my primary motivation was identity-related. I was a marine educator and this was my professional organization. I wanted to be part of a larger movement to create an ocean-literate society and NMEA was the primary actor in this endeavor.  

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

My membership in NMEA and FMSEA (or more accurately, my activity in these organizations) has laid the foundation for much of my professional opportunity and accomplishment since. The professional network I’ve built through conferences and committee work has been integral to earning positions at Mote Marine Laboratory and the Seattle Aquarium, and was crucial to collaborating on major federally-funded marine science projects.

Being part of NMEA puts you in the middle of the most important conversations in our field surrounding ocean literacy, conservation, science education, and broadening participation. It gives you the chance to interact with accomplished professionals doing important work and have your voice heard. It also affords you the opportunity to give back through mentorship and service.    

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

NMEA has been the primary driver, with the help of many important partners, in the ocean literacy movement. Without their strategic and dedicated efforts over the last decade, ocean science may have evaporated from standards and classrooms altogether. NMEA is the most effective advocate we have for the role of the ocean in science and environmental education.  

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

Ocean, education, advocate.

Join Jim during our Google Hangout On Air on Wednesday, May 28 at 4 p.m. EST

Tags:  member highlight  membership 

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International Pacific Marine Educators Network 2014 Conference

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Tuesday, May 20, 2014

IPMENInterested in taking part in collaborative relationships to build ocean literacy in the Pacific region? Then consider participating in the International Pacific Marine Educators Network 2014 conference! This event will take place July 10-16 in Tokyo and Iwate, Japan, where the tidal wave devastation occurred in 2011.

If flying to Japan doesn’t fit your schedule or budget, consider participating online – you can do so from the comfort of your home and minimize your carbon footprint as well!

The deadline to submit abstracts for proposed presentations, which may be delivered online as well as in person, is May 31. Papers have already been accepted from Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Thailand, and the U.S.!

IPMEN Japan 2014 poster May 31 is also the deadline to register to attend the conference in person. Please visit the IPMEN website for conference details.

Registration for online participation is now available, and participation by groups is encouraged. For example, during the 2010 IPMEN conference held in Australia, members of the OCEANIA Marine Educators Association participated online as a group from Hawaii. For the 2014 IPMEN conference, Hawaii marine educators are planning to participate remotely again as a group.

Keep updated on the conference on Twitter via @IPMENJapan and #IPMEN14.

NMEA and the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council have provided financial support for the online component of the IPMEN Japan conference.

Stay tuned here for more info on this exciting conference!

Tags:  conference  IPMEN 

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Why be a member of NMEA?

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Monday, May 19, 2014
Updated: Monday, May 19, 2014

We're halfway through our Membership Drive! Have you become a member?

A few of our members explain how NMEA membership has impacted them:

And don't forget: in addition to all of the benefits available online, in person, and through our peer-reviewed journal, we’re pleased to offer you the opportunity to join at our low professional rates (before they increase on August 1, 2014) and gain entry to our Membership Drive raffle. Thanks to our colleagues and supporters, by joining during our Membership Drive, you will be eligible to win raffle prizes including packages from aquariums throughout the U.S. and our Grand Prize – a GoPro camera! So join us today!

Already a member? Please keep on helping us spread the word by using the hashtag #CatchtheCurrent on social media! 

Tags:  membership 

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Our first Google Hangout On Air - focused on students & emerging professionals

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Friday, May 16, 2014
Updated: Saturday, May 17, 2014

We held our first Google Hangout On Air this week, titled: Hey students & emerging professionals - curious why you should join us?

We spoke with Sean Russell, founder and director of the Youth Ocean Conservation Team and The "Stow It-Don't Throw It" Project, on the advantages of being a student or emerging professional member of NMEA.

Sean also provided a sneak peek, along with Maria Madero, Education Specialist-Youth Programs at the National Aquarium and several student volunteers, into the first Youth Ocean Conservation Summit to be created and hosted by youth at the National Aquarium in Baltimore this July.

Missed it? No problem - you can see it in it's entirety below, and join today

Tags:  membership 

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NMEA Member Highlight: Sean Russell

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Monday, May 12, 2014

Sean Russell is an Emerging Professional member of NMEA and founder and director of the Youth Ocean Conservation Team and Stow It-Don’t Throw It Project.

He is currently a member of the NMEA Conservation Committee and his local chapter, the Florida Marine Science Educators Association (FMSEA), and is participating in NMEA strategic planning that is currently underway. 

Sean RussellWe asked him four key questions about his experience with NMEA:

1. Why did you join NMEA?

I joined NMEA to have an avenue to expand the reach of my work engaging students in ocean conservation and marine debris prevention initiatives on a national level.

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

Through NMEA, I’ve had the opportunity to network with and be mentored by experts in the fields of marine science education and conservation. Their input and knowledge base has benefited my conservation work with young people, led to new partnerships to support this work, and has helped shape my career path.

Additionally, the national and international platform NMEA provides through its annual conference and online communication systems, has been a valuable asset to me as I work to spread a series of student-driven Youth Ocean Conservation Summits across the country and expand on my marine debris prevention work through the Stow It-Don’t Throw It Project.

Sean Russell

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

I’m most proud of NMEA’s work to ensure ocean education is a key component of science education programs across the U.S. and on an international scale. By supporting the development of ocean literacy principles, NMEA is helping disseminate knowledge of the ocean and its importance to students of all ages.  

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

Engaging, connected, knowledgeable.

Join Sean during our Google Hangout On Air on Thursday, May 15 at 4 p.m. EST

Tags:  member highlight  membership 

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