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Guest Blog by Kate Wade: Connecting to the Community

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Saturday, April 11, 2015
Informal education -seining

There used to only be two ways to reach classroom students as an informal educator: site visits and field trips. These methods have changed. Technology provides us with the ability to enhance these experiences with lessons, discussions, and follow-ups all conducted online. This isn’t a new thing, but it is quickly becoming a more common approach to informal education experiences.

In a time when classroom budgets and lessons are severely restricted, informal educators now have a tool that allows them to squeeze in extra time with students and provide additional enrichment experiences. Not only are educators able to reach the target audience in a more efficient way, but they are also able to connect with one another like never before.

The National Marine Education Association supports and fosters the connection between the classroom and the informal educator and is dedicated to reaching a larger audience. A common component of the 2014 NMEA conference was the importance of communication and the connections and experiences made possible by technology. There is a trend among government organizations, private institutions and local non-profit groups towards the use of social media and video conferencing as a means of reaching target audiences.

Various social media platforms provide the opportunity for organizations to contact and notify an audience outside of their local area. Not only is it an essential tool for educators, the access and connectivity that social media creates is a valuable marketing strategy for many of these institutions. Educators are often a naturally collaborative and communicative community; sharing and creating meaningful connections is important professionally and personally. The connections made through online technology between educators, organizations, and schools are changing the landscape of outreach education.


Organizations across the country offer quality educational experiences throughout the year; yet many schools fail to participate in programming. Online educational opportunities allow informal educators to share lessons, experiments, or experiences with students who may not be able to attend programming due to location or budget constraints. Many informal educational groups are specifically designing programming for presenting online; communicating scientific ideas and developing meaningful cognitive experiences using videos, experiments, and presentations conducted in real-time.

This approach increases the likelihood that students located in communities that have insufficient funding will have the opportunity to participate in programming without the added cost of travel and valuable time away from the classroom. School districts that have limited access to marine science programs due to location are no longer inhibited by distance; students are able to participate in marine science in real-time, virtual classrooms. Online educational programming provides students with access to the marine science community in a new format.

By changing our approach, online technology has given informal educators a means to share our story and our experiences with our target audience. To reach a wide range of audiences we must share the possibilities of online learning experiences and encourage the use social media to increase awareness and improve communication between science organizations and school districts. Information regarding grant funded opportunities, outreach programming, and classroom curriculum will increase the probability of a schools’ participation. The ultimate goal is to connect to classrooms across the country and provide students with marine science experiences and knowledge. To truly expand our audience, we must use online tools of communication to reach those who do not have access to marine science education.

Author Kate Wade was a 2014 Expanding Audiences scholarship recipient. Learn more about the scholarship here > 


Tags:  conference  guest blog  scholarship 

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Guest Blog by Bethany Ricks: Coming Home to NMEA

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Saturday, March 7, 2015

Northwoods“Getting to know home is the most human and necessary of occupations.” But what is home? Is home the “ground at our own feet," as Wendell Berry says? Or is home the entire planet? Is home somewhere in between?

I was thankful to attend the NMEA conference in 2014 as an Expanding Audiences scholarship recipient. I am a graduate student in environmental education, working in the northwoods of Wisconsin. My time in the northwoods has been disorienting, a vast change from my years as a marine educator in Minnesota, South Carolina, and Oregon. Returning to the world of marine education for NMEA 2014 felt like a homecoming, and made me wonder what my parallel worlds of marine education and environmental education can learn from one another.

One of the striking themes of NMEA was how globally-focused we are as marine educators. Coming from my graduate program in environmental education, which focuses narrowly on local ecosystems, returning to the global focus of marine education was a relief. However, both global and local approaches have their flaws. How can the marine education and environmental education communities learn from one anothers’ approaches?

In my experience, marine education is necessarily global. When I was teaching about gray whales on the Oregon coast, it was impossible to only discuss gray whales’ time in Oregon; we also needed to discuss their lives in Alaska and in Baja California. Climate change, ocean acidification, overfishing and bycatch: these are all global issues. In fact, the Ocean Literacy Principles reflect a global vision of marine education:Canoe paddle

  1. The Earth has one big ocean with many features.
  2. The ocean and life in the ocean shape the features of Earth.
  3. The ocean is a major influence on weather and climate.
  4. The ocean made Earth habitable.
  5. The ocean supports a great diversity of life and ecosystems.
  6. The ocean and humans are inextricably interconnected.
  7. The ocean is largely unexplored.


Our global vision of marine education is useful, but it can be exhausting if not tied to local experiences. The Earth is huge, and any one person is small; how can any of us really make a difference? How can I care, when the problems feel abstract? Perhaps one way to combat this feeling is to develop caring for a nearby, familiar place.

LichenWhen I began my graduate program in environmental education, I experienced some culture shock as I learned about environmental education methods that were incredibly locally-focused. I found myself crawling on my knees along a meter of string, noticing everything along it, from lichen to leaf litter to insects. I found myself identifying local trees, local soils, and local birds, without much thought to the bigger picture. I was exploring my own backyard, but I had no idea how that backyard fit into the world.

The methods have helped me to know this one place, but not how this place fits into the world. To “watch a spider construct a web; observe a caterpillar systematically ravaging the edge of a leaf; close your eyes, cup your hands behind your ears, and listen to aspen leaves rustle or a stream muse about its pools and eddies” may help one to fall in love with one’s little corner of the world, but not how to protect it. For that, the global view of marine education helps: this little corner of the world matters to me, and it is affected by forces both near and far. This is summed up nicely by John Muir Laws:

Love of nature is the spring from which stewardship flows. In contrast, disconnection from nature leads to apathy in the face of all environmental problems. A useful way to define love is sustained, compassionate attention.

DragonflyLike all the best learning experiences, NMEA left me asking questions. How can we all bring a little more global perspective to our locally-focused programs, and a little more local perspective to our globally-focused programs? How can we help people care through local focus, while giving them the tools to act on issues, both globally and locally? What does home mean to me? To my students? I am still wrestling with these questions, months later, and I am thankful for the experience that spurred them.

All photos courtesy of author Bethany Ricks, a 2014 Expanding Audiences scholarship recipient. Learn more about the scholarship here > 

Tags:  conference  scholarship 

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Make your trip to NMEA 2015 even more special with a visit to Block Island

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Saturday, February 21, 2015

Block IslandNMEA 2015 will have a wide variety of field trips, which we will highlight here as we get closer to the conference. We are starting with this trip to Block Island because it is limited to 22 participants and early sign-up is highly encouraged - especially to obtain your preference in lodging accommodations!

It will be an active and moderately strenuous introduction to Block Island, a 10 square mile island located 13 miles off the Rhode Island coast with a winter population of about a thousand residents. The trip will include an overnight stay at either The Surf Hotel or The National Hotel, both overlooking Old Harbor.

Available rooms at this peak holiday time on Block Island do differ to some extent and will be assigned on a first come/first choice basis (with an option to upgrade if available).

The field trip itself will include:

  • Ferry excursion to and from Block Island
  • An island tour
  • A “wet & dirty” salt marsh exploration
  • An update on Native American archaeological sites exposed by recent erosion
  • A visit to the Block Island Historical Society
  • An early morning kayak expedition across the Great Salt Pond accompanied by local naturalists
  • Lighthouse tours
  • An update on the Deep Water Wind Offshore project
  • A geological “plunge” off the bluffs
  • A visit to Sun Farm Oysters with its solar upwellers
  • A guided beach hike to the North Light surrounded by dunes filled with nesting gulls

Check out this short video from the Block Island Tourism Council for a peek at what makes the island so special:

Interested in learning more? Visit our Block Island field trip page for full details. If you have any questions, need further information about this trip, or are ready to lock in your hotel and room assignment and register, please contact Lorrie Martin via e-mail here> 

Photo by Block Island Tourism Council - see more here > 

Tags:  conference  NMEA15 

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It's time to consider awards and scholarships for NMEA 2015

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Monday, January 26, 2015

NMEA Annual awardsWe may be in the midst of winter at the moment, but it's time to think ahead to the warm days of summer and our national conference, which will be held June 29 through July 2 in historic Newport, RI! We have a variety of scholarships and awards available to provide support for and recognize the achievements of our members.  

Scholarships provide funding for recipients to attend the conference. Nominations and applications are due on March 15. Learn more about the three types of scholarships that are offered here > 

Our award recipients receive a one-year NMEA membership and engraved awards at the conference. April 1 is the deadline for all awards submissions, except for the new Johnette D. Bosarge Memorial Award, which is due February 20 . The recipient of this award will receive a sea star sculpture with their name, which will also be presented during the awards ceremony at our annual conference. FInd out more about our awards and nomination process here > 


Tags:  award  conference  scholarship 

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Nominations are open for the Johnette D. Bosarge Memorial Award

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Bosarge headshotWe're proud to offer this award in loving memory of Johnette D. Bosarge, who served as our administrative assistant from 1999-2013.

This is an annual, monetary award in the amount of $500 to be used as the recipient deems appropriate for attending the annual NMEA conference and/or in the recipient’s formal or informal facility for educational purposes.

A sea star sculpture containing the recipient’s name will also be presented during the awards ceremony at the annual NMEA conference. This award is not based on fiscal need.

Access the full description and application form here >

Deadline: Feb. 20, 2015

Tags:  award  conference 

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Guest Blog by Anne Stewart: EMSEA 2014

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Saturday, December 20, 2014

EMSEA14 logoThe 2014 European Marine Science Education Association (EMSEA) conference was held at Gothenburg University, a center of marine science, in the medieval heart of the old city of Gothenburg, Sweden. The city boasts Sweden’s biggest science center as well as a wonderful aquarium and maritime museum. Lobster season was open as the conference began and so were the hearts and minds of attendees from around the world, ready to be inspired about ocean literacy and best practices in marine science education.

This blog is just a sketch of the conference, it only includes a few of the presentations and the view is my own. I also tweeted at the conference from my account and you can find everyone’s tweets by looking at #emsea14 on Twitter.

Gaelle Le Bouler opened the conference, addressing the audience from the perspective of the European Commission, where she is the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation. Gaelle put the importance of the conference into the context of current affairs in the European Union (EU) and emphasized the high-level, political will to advance ocean literacy in Europe. She spoke about the Galway Statement signed by EU, Canada and US and explained the structure and progress of working research groups. She shared her surprise with us at receiving thirteen proposals from consortiums responding to the EU Horizon 2020 called “BG-13-Ocean Literacy”.

Lisa Emelia SvenssonLisa Emelia Svensson, was the keynote speaker and as Sweden’s Ambassador for Oceans, Seas and Fresh Water, provides advice and expert guidance to the Swedish Minister for the Environment on the action needed to move forward on Sweden’s international ocean and water agenda. She is part of the Foreign Service and spoke knowledgeably about ocean issues, the different sectors, sustainability, politics and ocean literacy. She inspired all of us to view potential challenges as opportunities, by thinking outside of the box for a blue economy that is integrated with the green.

Svensson reminded us that new approaches, such as ecosystem-based management, must be explained to people with language that they understand. Sweden has committed to an ecosystem approach by 2018 and people need to understand the benefits. Ocean governance is also a challenge as there are 576 bilateral and multilateral frameworks.

She also spoke about a broad range of topics from maritime spatial planning, to maritime transportation, to innovations for a healthy planet, new consumerism and social media, and emphasized the importance of cross-sector work within government. She reminded us that ocean literacy is also needed within the government and she reported that on a global level, there are a lot of events and activities that can raise awareness about the ocean.

Svensson brought the audience back to self and the importance of individuals at the end of her talk, reminding us that ideas and leadership come from individual people. She suggested facilitating dialogue between scientists and policy makers, by starting at a local level and then scaling up. It was a treat to experience Svensson’s presentation. In my view, the creation of ambassadorships for oceans and water in more countries would help further global ocean literacy faster than any action.

The first session presenter was Joachim Dengg from GEOMAR in Germany. There are about 500 scientists at GEOMAR working on topics such as ocean circulation and climate dynamics, marine bio-geology, deep sea, natural hazards, resources from the sea and plate tectonics. He questioned whether school outreach in marine research was a welcome addition or an extra effort and concluded that scientists needed to be able to choose. He demonstrated the positive difference to the efficacy of outreach efforts that a judicious coordinator could make and how he plays this role himself. 

John Parr (MBA) takes over from Geraldine FauvilleSam Dupont presented on a case study of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) Facebook page and ocean literacy. The question was: can Facebook be used to increase scientific literacy? Geraldine Fauville, the PI, was at MBARI for ten weeks and had access to their amazing stories and materials. She was looking at how to optimize the posting strategy to engage users and was evaluating this using quantitative and qualitative techniques.

Their findings indicated that strategy doesn’t seem to change number of fans. The numbers reached were very variable, none to 50 per day, whether there was a post or not. She found that there are more hits if there are photos and videos and their conclusions were: use visuals, post as often as possible and when does not matter. The authors felt that there was a lot of investment of time and energy for a potentially limited rewards since it was a little like “singing to the choir”. However, a tweet from Jim Wharton of the Seattle Aquarium was a good reminder that “singing to the choir” is not in vain as it supports them in communicating to their networks which adds to the ripple effect that can ultimately have the most impact.

Next we jumped to Malta where Alan Deidun is setting up an ocean literacy hub. The International Ocean Institute (IOI) was started in 1972, has special consultative status at the United Nations and although centred in Malta, is now also found in 25 countries around the world. The Malta center is working toward ocean literacy and advocacy, training and education, and research and collaboration.

Spot the JellyfishDeidun talked about several IOI citizen science projects such as Spot the Jellyfish, which involves a range of participants, from school children to mobile phone users at sea, who photograph jellies and send them in along with location data. The program has produced posters, waterproof jelly guides, GIS jelly apps for iPhone and Android, and postcards. IOI has also produced three popular under-water documentaries on Marine Protected Areas as well as YouTube videos.

IOI is interested in taking this maritime hub further and is seeking partners on possible projects. They will be hosting the PERSEUS conference in November 2015. A question about divers had Alain pointing out that Malta has about 100,000 SCUBA divers visit annually so the potential for citizen science is great and already happening with invasive species.

The flash (one minute) poster presentations were a really great way for everyone to hear from all of the poster presenters and helped inform later discussions at the posters. Portuguese high school students and their teacher presented my favourite EMSEA poster. It outlined their original research on beach micro-plastics from clothing and gave us all a reason for ocean optimism. The integrity, passion and excitement of youth, certainly gives me hope for the future. Portuguese students with their teacher

Annie Russell and Susan Gebbels spoke about two of the different types of programs to create young coastal guardians at the Dove Marine Laboratory, at Newcastle University, and in local communities. The first uses a pedagogy that is student-led and includes topics such as marine ecology, maritime heritage, shipping and renewable energy. The questions that the students ask leads where the session will go, and yes, that is a scary idea for many educators. The learning then follows a truly inquiry-based approach, which is both interactive and provides access to things (objects, tools, artifacts) that promote learning not available to the students everyday. Educators have to be incredibly flexible, and aware that the children may learn things other than pre-set goals. 

The second type of program Russell and Gebbels spoke about was a five day program culminating in a multi-school event that raised awareness about ocean litter through art, including music, poetry and posters. On the final day all five schools got together on Oceans Day for a marine mammal talk, sand sculpting, and a poster competition. Students also created a huge collage, made a giant plastiki boat, sang sea shanties, wrote a messages in a bottle with what they learned, and made a pledge of what they would do to help.

Russell and Gebbels reported that the student buy-in is instant: they get to be creative, they gain confidence, and the legacy is that they become the teacher. Children and teachers were absolutely ‘hooked’ and all the resources are free online. Their advice for the audience was: make it relevant, achievable, and fun. 

One of my favourite sessions was a hands-on lab led by Mirjam Glessemer, who took her learners on adventures in oceanography and teaching right in the classroom. Her methodologies advance learning speed and depth through enquiry, peer-to peer learning, building on prior knowledge and understanding prior misconceptions. This was a busy, noisy, engaged workshop where everyone was talking, reasoning, and manipulating water, salt, and ice.

Nia Haf JonesNia Haf Jones presented on the Nautilus Exploration Program, which uses tele-presence technology to inspire the next generation in real-time. Nia is a very passionate Science Communication Fellow with the Ocean Exploration Trust, when not working with north Wales Conservation Fund. The Science Communication Fellows are trained at NOAA’s Inner Space Station at the University of Rhode Island, the site of next year’s NMEA conference. They also go to sea aboard the Nautilus for three week expedition and engage learners in events over the year. During the lunch break we had a brief tele-presence connection with the Nautilus crew as they did a deep dive in the Caribbean - an unplanned but awesome addition to the program.

Portugal stands out as a maritime nation that takes ocean literacy really seriously - they have designed a map for youth to help change their view of their country and extend their perspective out to sea. The beautiful new map places the outer limit of the continental shelf and Portugal on the right side, with the map centered on the sea. It was validated pedagogically and maps went to all the schools. Politicians, including the President, and the media got involved and there was lots of coverage by the press.

The educational team created teacher’s resources for geology, economy, ecology, pulled together lists of hands-on and minds-on activities, and the mapping team made maps of living and non-living resources, which all help in learning through discussion and debate. Workshops and teacher training was carried out to satisfy teacher’s needs for information, resources and access to the teams. Further links were made between the policy makers and educators/schools. I really like the way Portugal tackles Ocean Literacy and identifies itself as a maritime nation. Check out the map online even if you don’t speak Portuguese - it is pretty inspirational!

The last session I am going to cover is that of Luc Zwartjes, an amazing Belgian geography teacher who led a great open source GIS workshop that demonstrated how creating and manipulating maps can increase ocean literacy. In brief, he had a group of GIS neophytes making and saving ocean maps of wind-farms and shipping routes in no time at all. We can all be thankful that Luc also trains teachers amongst his many other contributions and accomplishments.

Finally, I have to add just one more tantalizing link: Discovery of Sound in the Sea. This is thanks to Gail Scowcroft’s thought-provoking presentation on ‘The science of underwater sound: merging research, education, and policy.” 

I'd like to send a big shout-out to the organizers of this conference including the EMSEA team, the University of Gothenburg and their friends at the Maritime Museum & Aquarium, Universeum, Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Science at Kristineberg and the upper secondary sailing school, Öckerö Gymnasieskola. I thank the organizers for allowing me to do a five-minute, dance-along presentation on ‘Canadian progress in Ocean Literacy with the Voices of Youth’ in the closing ceremonies. I am personally grateful to NMEA for a scholarship that helped me to attend. I hope that my tweeting and blogging goes a little ways towards showing my deep gratitude for that assistance to participate in the great conference that was EMSEA14. Also, thanks to Peter Tuddenham for his photos that I've included in this post.

If you want more information, check out the EMSEA conference website >

- Anne Stewart,  marine environmental educator and communicator
Read more from Anne on her personal blog, A Stewart in Bamfield

Tags:  conference  EMSEA 

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We want you to come present at NMEA 2015!

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Friday, December 12, 2014

NMEA 2015 logo2/2 UPDATE: The deadline has been extended and submissions will be accepted through Friday, Feb. 6! 

Our 2015 Conference’s Call for Presenters is now open! Please consider presenting a session at this year’s conference, held in scenic and historic downtown Newport, Rhode Island.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Ocean State, Ocean Planet: Exploring Our World of Water.” The conference brings together formal and informal educators, scientists, students and government and industry members to share ideas on the world of water.

This year there are five conference tracks: in the classroom, out of the classroom, next generation science standards (NGSS), today’s scientific research, and partnerships with industry and government.

We look forward to seeing you in Newport!

Visit the submission page here > 

Session submissions will be accepted through January 30. For questions, please e-mail Andrea Gingras, Programs Committee Co-Chair.

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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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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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7/15/2018 » 7/20/2018
NMEA 2018 Annual Conference