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Letter to members from NMEA President Tami Lunsford

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Dear NMEA,

This year, more than ever, we need to make our voices heard. “Making known the world of water” is a passion that we all share and strive to help others better understand as well. Why is that so important? Why does that matter? Knowing about the ocean is critical to an understanding of our climate, our economy, our food, our security, and even the air we breathe, yet curriculum and science standards in our education systems rarely include the ocean. Learning about oceans, lakes, and rivers, can encourage our youth and the general public to gain a love for nature and for science itself. So what can we do? We can each share how our love for the ocean has inspired us to love science. We can share how learning about the ocean has supported us to have the critical thinking skills that are so important in understanding the major environmental challenges that we face today.

I would go further to say that we MUST each use our knowledge and passion to help people to see the beauty of the scientific process of taking in evidence,analyzing it, asking questions, taking in new evidence, making claims based on that evidence, and sharing that evidence broadly with others to check the validity of your claims. I work on this everyday with my students, as I am sure each of you do with your audience, and I am often blown away by what they create and are inspired to do. I currently have one group weaving sleeping mats for the homeless out of plastic bags they gathered to recycle; one group made a mural out of plastic bottle caps that will travel to local schools and business; one group gathered samples of environmentally-friendly sunblock to donate to local summer camps, and the list goes on and on. There is hope and we are part of that hope, but there is so much more to do.

This is why the NMEA Fundraising and Development committee recently asked the membership to consider donating funds to help support me, as a high school science teacher and the current NMEA President, to attend the Blue Vision Summit in DC in May. NMEA has never been represented at that event, and we believe it is time to broaden NMEA's participation in such national events, both to further our mission and to gather critical information to inform our membership of the trends in policy. We also want to encourage each of you to consider attending the event to represent your region as well, especially if you are in one of the priority states of Alabama, Connecticut, Louisiana, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas. Thank you for your continuing passion and support for NMEA!


Tami Lunsford

NMEA President

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NMEA 2018 Annual Conference