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Guest blog by Meghan Marrero - Our Ocean in Your Hands: From Science to Solutions

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Thursday, December 17, 2015
Ocean Webinar Flyer

How can you inspire students to seek solution to real-world problems in our world’s ocean? How can you students get their questions answered by people already making a difference? Join us for Our Ocean in Your Hands: From Science to Solutions, live webinar that will be held January 22, 2016, at 1 p.m. EST/10 a.m. PST.

This webinar, featuring Dr. Edie Widder, Anna Cummins, and myself, will inspire students to critically examine current issues, such as plastic pollution in the ocean, and consider action steps for positive change. Students will see and hear the scientists and their slide presentations, and get an opportunity to ask questions.

Registration is free, but limited to the first 50 classrooms that sign up. The webinar will be geared toward middle and high school students who are ready to make a difference. Registered classrooms will receive preparation materials at least 1 week before the webinar. Login information will be sent at least 48 hours prior to the event. The easiest way to participate is by using your computer with speakers and projector or SmartBoard. Register today >

This special event is co-sponsored by NMEA, WINGS Worldquest, ORCA, and the 5-Gyres Institute.

Learn more about our panelists:

Edith WidderDr. Edith Widder is a MacArthur Fellow, a deep-sea explorer, ocean conservationist and Wings Fellow. A specialist in bioluminescence, she has been a leader in developing new ways to explore the deep sea. Her innovations have produced footage of rare sharks, squid, jellyfish, and crustaceans, as well as led to the first recordings of the giant squid, Architeuthis, in its natural habitat. In order to help save and protect the ocean she loves, in 2005 Edie helped found the Ocean Research & Conservation Association, also known as ORCA. ORCA is the world’s first technology focused, marine conservation, not-for-profit, which is using leading-edge scieince to find pollution and stop it at its source. ORCA’s tagline, which is Mapping Pollution, Finding Solutions, describes a results-driven approach to meeting some of the greatest challenges our ocean planet is currently facing.

Anna CumminsAnna Cummins has over 15 years of experience in environmental non-profit work, education, writing, and campaign development. She has worked in marine conservation, coastal watershed management, sustainability education, and high school ecology instruction. Anna received her undergraduate in History from Stanford University, and her Masters in International Environmental Policy from the Monterey Institute for International Studies. In 2008, Anna completed a month long, 4,000-mile research expedition studying plastic debris in the North Pacific Gyre. The journey inspired the launch of 5 Gyres. Anna was elected a fellow of the Wings World Quest in 2011, and received a Golden Goody Award in 2013.

View or share our flyer >

- Meghan Marrero is an Associate Professor of Secondary Science Education at Mercy College and currently serves on the NMEA Board of Directors 

Photo credits: Widder, courtesy of TED and Cummins, courtesy of 5-Gyres Institute

Tags:  guest blog  webinar 

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Call for 2016 NMEA conference session proposals is now open!

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Wednesday, December 16, 2015
NMEA 2016

UPDATE 2/28: The deadline has been extended to 3/11!

The call for concurrent session proposals for the 2016 NMEA conference – Making Waves: Current Connections in Marine Science – is NOW OPEN!

Plan to share your passion and experiences with your fellow marine educators June 27-30, 2016, in sunny Orlando, Florida.

Conference strands include:

  • Global connections
  • Technology connections
  • Classroom connections
  • Informal education connections
  • Educational research connections

    Concurrent sessions will be 45 minutes in length or submitters may elect to present during the poster session. All session proposals must be submitted online here >

    The call for proposals closes at 5 p.m. EST on Monday, February 29 Friday, March 11.

    Questions? Please contact Concurrent Sessions Chair, Ann Marie Shields, at

    For general questions about #NMEA16, please contact the conference chairs at

    See you in Orlando!

    Tags:  conference  NMEA16 

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    #GivingTuesday & our Annual Fund - A letter to members from President Robert Rocha

    Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Tuesday, December 1, 2015
    Giving Tuesday logo



    The National Marine Educators Association is an organization that has served as an immensely important part of the professional network of its members throughout its existence. We now turn to you for your support as we embark upon our second annual appeal.

    In a short, intense period of time, NMEA has transformed itself to enable us to provide to you, our members, a vibrant, engaging website, consistent e-newsletters, a revived peer-reviewed Current: The Journal of Marine Education, and a new National Office with new staff. We have pulled together a new strategic plan that is comprehensive yet flexible, and is being guided by veteran NMEA members with the help of some dedicated new members. We continue to serve as a leader in Ocean Literacy (OL) efforts nationally and collaborate with international partners in their efforts to promote OL worldwide. Our national conferences inspire, educate and connect educators from around the globe.

    Financial support from our members helps us maintain our staffing in the National Office and provide the services necessary to run the organization with the consistency and efficiency you expect from a professional association. Your help is key as we implement our new strategic plan and continue to strengthen NMEA.

    It is both a great privilege and a great responsibility to serve as the President of the National Marine Educators Association. I do not take this role lightly and I do not take asking you for a donation lightly. We are all in this field and ‘promote the world of water both fresh and salt’ because we love what we do and enjoy working with each other. The rewards rarely help us leap upwards into new tax brackets!

    As I stated at this year’s annual meeting in Newport, RI: "What we do matters. We protect our aquatic resources, we educate thousands of children and adults, we share our educational tricks and materials with each other, and we continue to motivate each other and the generation that will take the reins from those of us who have been doing this for quite some time”.

    What you contribute during an annual appeal also matters. Each and every gift provides a measure of the support needed to sustain NMEA as the global standard for marine education. You can make an unrestricted gift that will help underwrite daily operations, you can direct your gift to Current, or you can support a conference scholarship, including the Johnette Bosarge Memorial Fund. This fund, which honors the memory of our late administrative assistant, provides an annual conference scholarship to a member who best exemplifies Johnette’s selfless spirit and dedication to NMEA.

    Please consider a gift to the NMEA Annual Appeal. Visit here to make your donation to NMEA. Thank you.


    Rocha signature





    Robert C. Rocha, Jr.
    President, National Marine Educators Association

    Tags:  annual fund  giving Tuesday 

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    Guest Blog by Andy Gould: MAMEA holds annual conference in NC

    Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Sunday, November 29, 2015

    The Mid-Atlantic Marine Education Association (MAMEA) held their annual conference November 6-8, at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher in Wilmington, NC. A total of 54 educators from 5 states attended the conference.

     MAMEA 2015 Conference

    The event included presentations from formal and informal educators on topics ranging from plankton to ROV’s, several aquatic-focused curricula, and hands-on activities centered on climate change.

    MAMEA 2015 Conference

    Also highlighted were several presentations about youth, and how to encourage and enable them to take leadership roles in conservation education. Participants were treated to two excellent guest speakers: Andy Wood from the Coastal Plain Conservation Group presented Ecosystem Collapse or Habitat Shift: Climate Change, Snails, and Unanticipated Consequences. 

    MAMEA 2015 Conference

    And  Bonnie Menteleone from the Plastic Oceans Project, who presented about her work in studying and teaching about marine plastics around the world.

    MAMEA 2015 Conference  

    During the conference, MAMEA presented their two annual awards. Tami Lunsford of Newark, Del., received the Outstanding Classroom Educator of the Year award, and Dr. Roseanne Fortner of Oak Island, NC, received the Outstanding Informal Marine Educator Award. It was a pleasure to have a chance to honor both of these talented and dedicated educators! 

    - Andy Gould, President, MAMEA 



    Tags:  conference  MAMEA 

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    Guest Blog by Elaine Brewer: Massachusetts Marine Educators co-sponsor annual student marine art contest

    Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Monday, November 23, 2015

    2016 MME student art contestStellwagen Bank is a marine protected area covering over 800 square miles at the mouth of Massachusetts Bay. For hundreds of years, this area has acted as a productive fishing ground, and more recently as a whale watching destination. It has been a National Marine Sanctuary since 1992.

    For over a decade, Massachusetts Marine Educators (MME) have co-sponsored the annual Marine Art Contest with Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. The contest has been, and still continues to be, a great way for students to get involved with the aquatic world around them. Each year, the contest has a different theme which students depict with their artistic talents. Teachers have incorporated the contest into their curriculum, using it as a way to entice students to become conscious of the world around them.

    The theme for 2016’s contest is "Marine biodiversity of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary: Celebrating the amazing ocean creatures of New England’s national marine sanctuary.” Although the theme focuses on Stellwagen Bank, students from all over the world enter their art pieces. Not only do winning students have their artwork displayed throughout New England and in an annual calendar, they can also win prizes!

    This contest isn’t just for the classroom. Students can individually send their artwork in as well! The deadline to submit artwork for the 2016 Art Contest is April 29, 2016. If you have any questions, visit the Stellwagen Bank’s Kids Corner, the MME webpage, or contact Anne Smrcina at Best of luck to all those who enter!

    View the full contest brochure (PDF) here > 

    And check out the 2016 calendar (PDF) for inspiration here > 

    Tags:  contest  MME 

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    Guest Blog by Carol Steingart: Whales take center stage at GOMMEA annual meeting

    Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Wednesday, November 18, 2015

    The Gulf of Maine Marine Education Association (GOMMEA) hosted their annual meeting on November 10 at the Seacoast Science Center in Rye, NH. The speaker for the evening was Dr. David Wiley, Research Coordinator of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary in Massachusetts. The title of Dr. Wiley's lecture was: "Catch and Release Whaling: Using Advanced Tagging and Data Visualization Technologies to Understand the Underwater Behavior of Humpback Whales (in New England Atlantic waters)."

    The fascinating lecture revealed how scientists have been able to detect where whales are congregating both on the surface and down below. Swim patterns were mapped, which gave rise to international shipping lanes being shifted to less populated areas; a win-win situation that proved instantly successful with greatly diminished whale strikes.

    GOMMEA President Kate Leavitt and Treasurer Sara Ellis presented Dr. Wiley with a framed print

    GOMMEA President Kate Leavitt and Treasurer Sara Ellis presented Dr. Wiley with a framed print from a winning participant of "From the Bow Seat" contest, depicting a whale rising out of a sea of ocean plastic pollution.

    Bill Andrake with Carol Steingart, past-president of GOMMEA

    Fellow NMEA member Bill Andrake attended the event and joined his neighboring chapter. Bill is currently a member of Massachusetts Marine Educators (MME). Bill is pictured with Carol Steingart, past-president of GOMMEA.

    - Carol Steingart, GOMMEA Chapter Representative

    Tags:  GOMMEA 

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    From the Editor - Fall issue of Current is now available online for members

    Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Sunday, October 25, 2015
    October 2015 Current coverWe’re excited to bring you another general issue of Current featuring articles by members from all over the country and overseas. In this issue, you’ll find a variety of engaging articles and activities, ranging from a program led by California Sea Grant that explores the RESTOR project at Ormond Beach, to hands-on activities highlighting marine debris and its harmful effects on marine organisms, to coral disease research conducted at the Hawai’i Institute of Marine Biology, as well as many other exciting topics that provide new ways to discover "the world of water.”

    Please continue to send in your original manuscripts on research, lessons, resources, or strategies focused on marine education, including science, art, literature, and maritime history. The deadlines for articles for general issues in 2016 are November 16, 2015, April 25, July 18, and October 3, 2016. And don’t forget to stay connected to the NMEA by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter for the latest news and updates.

    Access the latest issue of Current here —happy reading!

    Interested in submitting an article to Current? Guidelines for submissions are available here >

    Not a member yet? Join NMEA and receive access to Current, as well as all our other member benefits, here >

    Tags:  current 

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    Boston Harbor Educators Conference held at University of Massachusetts Boston

    Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Thursday, October 22, 2015

    This year’s Boston Harbor Educators Conference was held on September 26. It was a spectacular day, full of learning and fun! This annual event—one of two yearly Massachusetts Marine Educators (MME) conferences—was held at University of Massachusetts Boston, which is undergoing a tremendous building expansion. Getting to the university was a challenge, but the day certainly proved worthy of it.

    The first speaker was Dr. Greg Skomal from Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, well-known for his commentaries and work with white shark populations, particularly off the Cape Cod coastline. His research was absolutely fascinating, thought provoking, and very well-received; a great way to start the day.

     Boston Harbor Educator’s Conference

    Boston Harbor Educator’s Conference

    Boston Harbor Educator’s Conference

    Hands-on workshops ranging from bird studies, fish ageing, elasmobranch physiology, and tide pool critters, to making drifters and tracking our waste provided opportunities for educators to explore new avenues.

    Boston Harbor Educator’s Conference 

    Boston Harbor Educator’s Conference

    Boston Harbor Educator’s Conference

    Boston Harbor Educator’s Conference Dr. John Mandelman from the New England Aquarium was the afternoon speaker, presenting a comprehensive look on the ‘catch and release’ interactions with sharks and rays and other species. This, too, was a most informative and enlightening talk with much audience interaction.

    Boston Harbor Educator’s Conference  

    Boston Harbor Educator’s Conference

    The afternoon featured a trip to Lovell’s Island to actually explore and ‘play in’ the tide pools!

    Boston Harbor Educator’s ConferenceIt was a great day and we hope many more will join us next year. We were especially excited to have several new people join MME!

    Guest post by Elaine Brewer, MME

    Tags:  conference  MME 

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    Preview: October issue of Current Journal

    Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Sunday, October 4, 2015

    From the Editor: We’re excited to bring you another digital issue of Current in October, featuring articles by members from all over the country and overseas! Here’s a sneak peek of what you’ll discover!

    Underserved Youth Current articleUnderserved Youth and an Over-Used Wetland: The RESTOR Project Promotes a Win-Win Relationship at Ormond Beach
    By Monique R. Myers
    This article explores the RESTOR outdoor project at Ormond Beach, one of the most expansive natural coastal areas remaining in southern California. The program is led by California Sea Grant and provides underserved, multicultural fourth through ninth grade students and their teachers with the opportunity to learn and teach about this local natural refuge.

    Activity: Litter isn’t Glitter: Beaches Should Be Clean
    By Kelsey R. Cramer, Michele B. Sherman, and Mary Carla Curran
    Find hands-on activities designed for middle school students to learn more about marine debris and its harmful effects on marine organisms along with data collected by scientists for students to analyze in the classroom. This activity addresses the Next Generation Science Standard of applying scientific principles for monitoring and minimizing human impacts on the environment.

    Reel in Students: Using Real World Learning Objects (RWLO) and Real-Time Data in Ocean Science
    By Jeff Thomas and Jill M. Raisor
    This article provides educators with ocean-science based internet resources and activities to use in K-12 classrooms with connections to the Next Generation Science Standards and the National Common Core Standards for literacy and mathematics.

    Activity: Corals: The Essence of Fluorescence
    By: Jamie M. Caldwell, Carlie Wiener, Mark Heckman, and Judith D. Lemus
    This activity engages students in grades five through eight in marine conservation through exercises based on coral disease research conducted at the Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology. The topics introduced encourage discussion about coral reef ecosystem health and conservation.

    eaching An Undergraduate Teaching An Undergraduate "Tropical Marine Biology” Course
    By Matthew Landau
    This article shares a focused study that summarizes how college lecturers develop undergraduate tropical marine biology classes. The author shares planning, logistics, and an overview of a successful field course model at Richard Stockton College.

    Ocean Literacy: Can Students Learn the Essential Principles?
    By Laura Guertin, Ph.D., and Nina Clements
    Are we creating an ocean-literate society? These authors share their studies and what they learned about what students are learning and recalling about our global oceans.

    Please check back in late October and enjoy your member benefits by logging in to access the October issue of Current!

    Tags:  current 

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    Share your ideas, lessons, or research in marine education!

    Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Tuesday, September 29, 2015
    Current Journal cover

    The editors of Current: The Journal of Marine Education are seeking articles for upcoming general issues.

    We hope to review and publish articles on topics related to marine education. We seek original manuscripts that describe research, lessons, resources, or strategies for teaching marine and aquatic lessons to a variety of audiences, including science, art, literature, and maritime history.

    Please submit manuscripts to the Editors at for consideration.

    The deadlines for submitting articles to general issues for 2016 are:

    • November 16, 2015
    • April 25, 2016
    • July 18, 2016
    • October 3,2016

    For information on submitting articles to Current, please visit our Guide for Contributors.

    - Lisa Tooker, Editor

    Tags:  current 

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