National Marine Educators Association (NMEA) is a dedicated, influential member-based organization of classroom teachers, informal educators, university professors, scientists, and more from around the world working together to advance the understanding and protection of our freshwater and marine ecosystems. From scientists working in the deep sea to students studying underwater archeology in the Great Lakes, NMEA members are dedicated to making known the world of water, both fresh and salt.
NMEA is a national organization powered by 17 individual, regional chapters who provide the on-the-ground efforts that support and promote national initiatives in education and conservation such as ocean literacy.
NMEA has a 40-year history and hosts inspiring annual conferences in different locations across North America. NMEA has also recently inspired the creation of the European Marine Science Educators Association (EMSEA) and the Asia Marine Educators Association (AMEA), and collaborates regularly with similar associations based in Australia (MESA) and beyond.
Our Core Values
We utilize and provide access to the best available science and educational practices and resources in everything we do.
We demonstrate integrity and lead by example, practicing what we teach at our conferences, in our work, and in our everyday lives.
We continually work to strengthen NMEA as a healthy, fiscally responsible organization.
We cherish the camaraderie among our members, building strong, lasting professional and personal relationships among colleagues who share common goals.
The relationships among members nurture and support us as individuals, allow us to leverage each other as resources, and lead to important collaborations and partnerships.
We enjoy working together and we take NMEA’s mission seriously – we know that in order to successfully fulfill our mission and vision, we must do it together.
Our leadership within NMEA provides links among all members and to other professional organizations, enabling the sharing of ideas, resources, and progress, lending fulfillment to our vision.
We educate and inspire people to understand and value their relationship with the ocean and all watersheds, so that they can make informed choices about their behavior.
We value the role of educators and support them with tools, conferences, publications, and resources so that they, in turn, can promote understanding and action in their students.
We empower the public to take an active role in protecting the global ocean and water resources.
We believe that bringing together a wide variety of communities with diverse perspectives strengthens marine and aquatic education.
We encourage interdisciplinary approaches to our activities and strive to incorporate many disciplines into resources we provide.
We welcome and include many types of educators, and we honor and utilize the contributions of all our members.
We are passionate about reaching and inspiring broad audiences, and will stay open to new ideas, perspectives, and input.
We inspire and encourage our members to serve as tenacious, passionate leaders, both within and outside the organization.
We support our members as they serve in leadership positions in universities, government agencies, and in formal and informal education institutions and businesses.
We drive the conversation regarding marine and aquatic education, influencing policy, practice, and funding.
We encourage you to join your regional chapter. Use this map to identify your region, and click the contact information below. If your state is not listed, a chapter from a neighboring state would love to have you join.
Florida Marine Science Educators Association (FMSEA)
Florida & Caribbean
Great Lakes Educators of Aquatic and Marine Sciences
OH, PA, MI, WI, MN, IL, IN; Currently inactive
Gulf of Maine Marine Education Association (GOMMEA)
ME, NH, VT, Canadian Maritimes
Massachusetts Marine Educators (MME)
Mid-Atlantic Marine Education Association (MAMEA)
NC, VA, DC, MD, DE
New Jersey Marine Education Association (NJMEA)
NJ & Eastern PA
Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators (NAME)
WA, OR, AK, British Columbia
Hawai'i and other Pacific Island Nations
South Carolina Marine Educators Association (SCMEA)
Southeastern New England Marine Educators (SENEME)
Rhode Island & Connecticut
Southwest Marine/Aquatic Educator's Association (SWMEA)
CA, CO, NM, NV, AZ
Texas Marine Educators Association (TMEA)
Texas; Currently inactive
Board of Directors
Bylaws: David Christopher
Chapters: Kate Achilles, Chair; Mellie Lewis, Vice Chair
Executive: Meghan Marrero
Finance: Jackie Takacs
Grants and Development: Kristin Evans
History: Sarah Richards
Outreach: Debbi Stone
Current: Laura Good
Social Media: Joanna Chierici and Laura Bracken
Technology: Ariel Zych
Expanding Audiences: DJ Kast
International: Géraldine Fauville, Chair; Susan Haynes, Vice-Chair
Membership: Lynn Whitley
NSTA Liaison: Mellie Lewis
Student Engagement: Sean Russell; Kathy Fuller, Co-Chairs
Issues and Trends Pod
Conservation: Heather Segura, Chair; Sarah Wilson, Vice Chair
Education Research and Evaluation: Jenny East, Chair; Joanna Philippoff, Vice Chair
Ocean Literacy: Diana Payne, Chair; Sarah Schoedinger and Catherine Halversen, Vice Chairs
Traditional Knowledge: Sylvia Spalding, Linda Chilton, George Matsumoto
Awards: David Wehunt, Chair; Jessica Kastler, Vice Chair
Conference: Jaime Thom
Scholarship: Kate Achilles
National Office Manager: Jeannette Connors
National Office Coordinator: Adam Frederick
Social Media Community Manager: Jennifer Magnusson
Current Editor: Lisa Tooker
Florida Marine Science Educators Association (FMSEA):
Jenna LoDico, St. Petersburg, FL
Georgia Association of Marine Education (GAME):
Kim Morris-Zarneke, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, GA
Great Lakes Educators of Aquatic and Marine Science (GLEAMS)
Gulf of Maine Marine Education Association (GOMMEA):
Kate Leavitt, Seacoast Science Center, Rye, NH
Mid-Atlantic Marine Educators Association (MAMEA):
Kathy Fuller, MD
Massachusetts Marine Educators (MME):
Sandi Ryack-Bell, Museum Institute for Teaching Science, Quincy, MA
Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators (NAME):
William (Bill) Hanshumaker, Oregon State University/Hatfield Marine Science Center/Oregon Sea Grant, Newport, OR
New Jersey Marine Educators Association (NJMEA):
Kaitlin Gannon, Rutgers, Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve, Tuckerton, NJ
New York State Marine Educators Association (NYSMEA):
Leann Winn, Trevor Day School, New York, NY
OCEANIA (Hawai'i and Pacific Islands):
Joanna Philippoff, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI
Southern Association of Marine Educators (SAME):
Jessica Kastler, Marine Education Center, Gulf Coast Research Lab, MS
South Carolina Marine Educators Association (SCMEA):
Jaime Thom, South Carolina Aquarium, Charleston, SC
Southeastern New England Marine Educators (SENEME):
Valerie Cournoyer, Amity High School, Woodbridge, CT
Southwest Marine Educators Association (SWMEA):
Alie Lebeau, Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, CA
Tennessee Educators of Aquatic and Marine Science (TEAMS):
David Wehunt, Soddy Daisy High School, Soddy Daisy, TN
Texas Marine Educators Association (TMEA)
Dawn Chegwidden, LISD, Lewisville, TX
For a full listing with contact information, download the Directory >
We encourage NMEA members to check out and get involved in one or more of our committees! See our committee page for committee descriptions, chairs, and contact info. You can join once you have logged into your membership profile.
Note: NMEA has three types of committees:
Open: current members can join immediately
Closed: members can request to join these committees
Operational: not open to members to join
We offer a variety of exciting scholarships and awards to provide financial support for educators.
Our scholarships provide funding for recipients to attend our annual conference. There are currently two different types of scholarships available: NMEA member-only scholarships and Expanding Audiences scholarships.
All scholarship nominations and applications are due on March 15, and notifications will be made by April 15, so that everyone can register by the 2019 NMEA conference registration early-bird deadline! Learn more on our Scholarships page >
Our awards include the Outstanding Teacher Award, James Centorino Award, and Marine Education Award. All award recipients will receive a one-year NMEA membership and an engraved award.
We are also honored to have added the Johnette D. Bosarge Memorial Award in 2014. 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.
February 28 is the deadline for all awards submissions. A complete nomination form, along with any recommendation letters and all other supporting materials, must be received by the awards committee chairperson on or before February 28. Full details about these awards and the nomination process can be found on our Awards page >