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Guest Blog by Carolyn Sheild: 39th Annual MME Conference and Meeting at WHOI

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Thursday, May 28, 2015

The 39th Massachusetts Marine Educators' annual conference and meeting was once again held at the world renown Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) in Woods Hole, Mass., on May 2. This year’s theme was "Adventures with Marine Technology.” Attendees enjoyed listening to stimulating speakers, and many took part in enriching afternoon options.

MME 2015 conference

Dr. James Yoder, Vice President for Academic Programs and Dean at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, welcomed us and gave a WHOI update. Our first speaker, software engineer Gwyneth Packard, spoke about "REMUS AUV’s: Autonomy, Tracking, and Imaging.” She described the range of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) that have been used for a variety of challenging tasks and missions, from examining underwater tunnels to finding plane wreckage on the seafloor. To better understand shark behavior, the REMUS SharkCam has been deployed on several occasions. The footage was fascinating, especially when a shark bit the vehicle tracking it! The use of AUV technology has improved our capacity to attain data and make new discoveries.

The second speaker, Liz Magee, gave an engaging talk entitled "Two Weeks Living Under the Sea: Research and Daily Life on Mission 31.” Liz, who is a diving safety officer at Northeastern University, was an aquanaut who participated on Mission 31 last June with Fabien Cousteau. She spoke about the research scientific divers conducted off the coast of Florida while living underwater in the Aquarius habitat. Being saturated gave divers the unique opportunity to collect two years worth of data in just a few weeks. Intriguing videos illustrated the many aspects of climate change being studied, including sampling coral polyps and giant barrel sponges, as well as collecting zooplankton. Liz knows this adventure was a chance of a lifetime, and we were fortunate to have her share the experience with us.

MME 2015 conference

After a delicious lunch of Roland’s clam chowdah or Joe’s bean soup, participants enjoyed receiving eclectic and sometimes useful door prizes. This year, instead of having an afternoon speaker, the MME Board decided to offer more afternoon field trips and tours. Attendees could choose from five options: the zephyr cruise, a tour of the Marine Biological Laboratories (MBL) Marine Resources Center, an extended WHOI dock tour, a piloting lesson at Nobska Light, or a self guided tour at WHOI’s Ocean Science Exhibit Center.

MME 2015 conference 

It was a beautiful day to be outside, and see more that Woods Hole has to offer. Those who journeyed out on the water were pleased to be able to collect and examine a wide range of organisms. Dock tour participants were thrilled to get the opportunity to go aboard the Knorr, which discovered the Titanic. The tour of the Marine Resources Center excited those interested in seeing a diverse array of organisms. Since the exhibit center had the "shark cam” on display, many attendees took a trip across the street to check out the bite marks! And the new Nobska piloting lesson challenged those who took part to use math and navigation skills while enjoying the scenery. The afternoon concluded with a relaxing social reception at Sea Education Association.

Thanks to all who attended, and to all those who did so much to make this conference run so smoothly. Hope to see you next year!

- Carolyn Sheild, MME Conference Chair

Tags:  MME 

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From the Editor - Current preview

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Keep an eye out for the newest edition of Current: The Journal of Marine Education, which will be out in mid-June! Current is a wonderful member benefit - don't miss this summer issue, join today

If you are interested in submitting an article for publication, please see our Guide for Contributors > 

Current Contents: Vol. 29 No.2 Spring/Summer 2015

This issue includes one article and six activities, covering upper elementary, middle and high school, as well as undergraduate.

Do You See Me? How Fish Play Hide and Seek (Activity, Grade 6)

By Matthew C. Hunnewell, Mary Carla Curran, and Michele B. Sherman

Activity on the different types of camouflage fish use to avoid predation and ensure survival. Students use classroom materials to replicate background matching by coloring and camouflaging a fish outline. Students are guided to see how coloration can influence survival. Both Next Generation Science Standards and Ocean Literacy Principles are addressed in this activity.

Enhancing Climate Education for a Changing Chesapeake Bay (Activity, Grades 9-12)

By Sarah Nuss and Jaclyn Beck

The Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Virginia (CBNERR), located at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), coordinates Climate Education for a Changing Bay (CECB), a program on watershed educational experiences (MWEEs) that are integrated and systemic into the classroom curriculum. The objective of CECB is to improve climate literacy within local high schools by advancing the use of locally relevant environmental data and information in classroom curriculum, field experiences, and professional teacher training. Throughout the program, salt marshes are used as a model ecosystem to study the impacts of climate change.

Self-Awareness at International Pacific Marine Educators Conference 2014 Japan (Article)

By Tsuyoshi Sasaki

Article on the The International Pacific Marine Educators Network Conference held in summer 2014 in Tokyo and Iwate Prefecture. Overview of the conference and focus on the possibilities for reconstruction after the tsunami and discussions on the contributions of marine education. Following the conference, the attendees went to Iwate prefecture to meet with local people living in the mountains, rivers, and coastal areas of the devastated region. Goal of the conference was to further strengthen the international network of marine education and to contribute to the sustainable utilization and conservation of global environments.

Let Me Grow! (Activity, Grades 7-8)

By Raisa Hernández-Pacheco, Bárbara Casañas-Montes, Aileen Morales-Figueroa, María E. López, Ana-Rita Mayol, and Liz M. Díaz-Vázquez

Activity looks at how ocean acidification affects coral reef growth. Students define/utilize pH acidity scale, explain carbon dioxide and its impact on atmosphere and the ocean. Connects pH, carbon cycle, and coral reef growth, as well as conservation issues related to ocean acidification and affects on coral reef ecosystem.

Mapping the Migration of American Eels (Activity, Grades 5-8)

By Chris Bowser and Rebecca Houser

Activity on the American eels along the East Coast and their reliance on the aquatic habitat from ocean to estuary to freshwater streams and ponds. By mapping the journey of young eels, students learn about migration, habitats, and oceans using math and graphic arts skills.

Managing a Mess of Cumulative Effects: Linking Science and Policy to Create Solutions (Article with activity; undergraduate/graduate)

By Megan E. Mach, Sarah M. Reiter, Laura H. Good

Hands-on scenario developed to introduce students to the concept of cumulative effects, why cumulative effects are a linchpin to managing for coastal impacts, and the challenges associated with managing for cumulative effects when faced with limited time and resources. By engaging in decisions while confronted by these cumulative effects challenges, students learn to apply the scientific and policy principles necessary to make their own management decisions. Coastal ecosystem management involves consideration of some of the most biologically diverse marine habitats. These ecosystems also represent a major interface of human activities and marine ecosystems, and are subject to impacts from both land and sea activities.

Wave Energy Engineer: Building a Model Wave Energy Generator (Activity, Grades 4-12)

By William Hanschumaker, Ruby Moon, and Alan Perrill

Activity asking students to describe a variety of wave energy devices, and identify which devices are best suited for which ocean space (nearshore or offshore technology).The devices also identify how changes in design can impact efficiency.

Tags:  current 

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From the Organizers: NMEA 2015 Update

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Saturday, May 23, 2015

Have you registered for the 2015 National Marine Educator's Association Conference yet? If not, please be sure to take advantage of the Early Bird Registration discount (a $50 savings!), which has been extended to May 31!

Please note that field trip pre-registration has NOT been extended and will close on Tuesday, May 26! Southeastern New England Marine Educators (SENEME) encourages you to join other formal and informal educators, scientists, students, and government and industry members from across the U.S. and around the world to explore our world of water at this unique conference event in Newport, RI, June 28 - July 2.

To register for the 2015 NMEA Conference, please go here > 

Rhode Island is a quintessential New England summer destination, and Newport is at its hub. Home to spectacular coastal scenery, historic architecture, and a thriving and lively waterfront downtown, Newport is perfect for outdoor summer adventures or just relaxing.

Experience all that Rhode Island (and other Southern New England destinations) have to offer through the incredible field trips offered before and after NMEA. Enjoy a classic New England seafood luncheon at the highly rated Matunuck Oyster Bar and learn about local aquaculture efforts during a special tour of this unique shellfish farm in Potter’s Pond. Through NMEA field trips, participants can also explore lighthouses and enjoy the seashore, scuba dive in one of the most frequented dive sites in southern New England (Ft. Wetherill), learn the basics of sea kayaking, or fish for cod, sea bass, tautog, fluke, bluefish, or even tuna in the waters off Block Island.

The May 26 deadline for field trip pre-registration is quickly approaching and space is limited- be sure to reserve your spot on one of these fantastic trips ASAP!

Register for a NMEA field trip here >

Tags:  conference 

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Guest Blog: Time to submit your abstract for the EMSEA 2015 conference

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Saturday, May 16, 2015
EMSEA15 logo

The third European Marine Science Educators Association (EMSEA) conference (#EMSEA15) will be hosted by the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research and held at the Aquarium Cretaquarium in Crete from Sept. 28 through Oct. 1 this fall.

As EMSEA is now a well-established and widely recognized conference around Europe, we decided to take it a step further this year and challenge what we know and how we can use that to our benefit to grow, develop and build on this ever-increasing, active ocean literate community.

The idea is to focus on evaluating the impact of actions, projects and activities that have taken place since the first European conference on ocean literacy, in Bruges, in 2012. We want to look ahead to the future, and be part of ‘the way forward’ for ocean literacy! We want to thereby explore and discuss the development of ocean literacy in Europe, how ocean literacy is being used within formal and informal education and, finally, is ocean literacy really affecting us and the society we live in?

Evaluating and measuring the impact of ocean literacy and seeing the results from around the world is also important as we can learn and develop new ideas or collaborate with our counterparts from around the globe.

Based on the above, two main sessions have been formulated, one on "Evaluation of Actions and Measured Impact” and the other one on "The Way Forward”.

Both sessions are split into two parts, to make it easier to distinguish between different target groups.

SESSION 1 Ocean Literacy: Evaluation of Actions and Measured Impact:

     1.a) Schools
     1.b) Museums, Aquariums and Science Centres

EMSEA is continuously gaining support in Europe and beyond, however, it is time to pause, reflect and evaluate how far we have come and where we can go from here. It is time to evaluate past actions that have brought us here and use our lessons learned to shape the way forward and develop new ideas for the future of ocean literacy.

In this session, we therefore, expect to see abstracts that describe actions, activities and initiatives that have measured their impact on their audiences.

We are inviting abstracts that not only describe the activities carried out but also the evaluation of these actions and their impact. In this way, we will have a clearer picture of how ocean literacy has been, so far, perceived, by the target audiences of both formal and informal education.

SESSION 2 The Way Forward: Innovative Methods of Promoting Ocean Literacy:

    2.a) Schools, Aquariums, Science Centres and Industry
    2.b) Research Projects

This session looks at innovative methods of how to best promote ocean literacy in settings such as formal and informal education, or industry. The word ‘industry’ here could include companies responsible for children’s books, learning materials, educational toys, resources for school children and youth in general, ecotourism, recreation, and other related commercial ocean enterprises.EMSEA Facebook page

Research projects are often required to dedicate a part of their work on educational activities. It is interesting to look at these activities and see how we can keep the momentum going as, too often, when a project ends all efforts fade and results from educational activities are not further used or taken up once funding has terminated.

At the end of both sessions, ample discussion time and a "concluding remarks” session will allow for comments and suggestions on how to work around the issues identified during the sessions and on how to best use our knowledge, experience and resources for building and advancing ocean literacy in Europe and beyond.

We invite you to submit your abstract through May 30.

For further information concerning EMSEA15, visit our conference website and stay tuned by liking us on our new Facebook page!

- by Martha Papathanassiou and Géraldine Fauville on behalf of the EMSEA15 organizing committee

Tags:  conference  EMSEA 

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Guest Blog by Bill Andrake: MME high school science symposium recap

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Thursday, April 30, 2015

For over thirty years, the Massachusetts Marine Educators (MME) chapter have held high school marine science symposia, where high school students and their teachers have an opportunity to hear from speakers and participate in workshop sessions led by scientists, students, educators, and other professionals working in a variety of marine related disciplines

In 2013, after many years of running a single event, MME expanded this program by holding two symposia simultaneously, one on the South Shore of Boston at UMass Dartmouth, as well as an event on the North Shore. This year’s North Shore High School Marine Science Symposium (NSHMSS) was held on March 18 at Salem State University in Salem, Mass. 


The program began with a continental breakfast and welcome from the Salem State Administration and Faculty:  Mary Dunn, Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Admissions; Ryan Fisher, Biology Department Chair; and Steve Young, Professor of Geography. Next, students and teachers spent two hours in classrooms and labs for hands-on workshop sessions.

Each student had the opportunity to select and participate in two workshops from the fourteen offered on the program. The sessions engaged students in hands-on activities which covered a wide range of marine related topics. Students were able to explore relevant environmental issues by constructing computer maps of sea level rise as well as perform chemistry experiments to understand ocean acidification.


Through squid and fish dissections, students learned about the fascinating biology of cephalopods and how to determine the age of a fish from its otoliths (ear stones). Techniques for exploring the deep were presented in sessions that mapped shipwrecks and engineered underwater vehicles. Students learned about important ecosystems such as coral reefs and the rocky intertidal and could even play detective as they pieced together the actual skeletons of marine mammals. The 28 workshop presenters included scientists, graduate students, educators, as well as other high school students who shared their projects in ocean stewardship.

Following the workshop sessions, all participants gathered in Veteran’s Memorial Hall for our keynote speaker, Liz Magee, who manages the Three Seas Program and diving operations at Northeastern University’s Marine Science Center located in Nahant, Mass. Liz told the story of her two weeks of living and working under the sea as an aquanaut in Fabien Cousteau’s "Mission 31.” She was a part of a team that conducted over one hundred hours of research in 63 feet of water inside and out of the Aquarius Reef Base off the Florida Keys. It was a fascinating adventure and inspirational story and we were so thankful to have Liz share it with all of us.

Following our keynote address the day concluded with a lunch for all the participants and another successful MME event came to a close.

This year’s NSHSMSS was attended by over 150 students and their teachers. Our South Shore event at UMass Dartmouth did not happen this year, however we do plan to hold it in 2016. The High School Marine Science Symposia are events that MME is especially proud to continue to offer as we fulfill our mission which is to support all educators to inspire students of all ages to be stewards of the ocean. In addition, this event may serve as a vehicle for addressing a "Key Focus Area” in the new strategic plan of the National Marine Educators Association to "Engage Youth Leaders.”

More information about our presenters, workshops, and program can be seen by downloading the program >

For more about MME and other events visit their website>

- Bill Andrake, MME Chapter Rep.

Tags:  MME 

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NMEA 2015 registration is now open

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Thursday, April 30, 2015

NMEA 2015 logoRegistration is now available for our annual conference, which will be held June 29 through July 2 in Newport, RI

Discounted early bird registration rates are available through May 31 (they've been extended!), and online registration will be available until June 24. 

Exhibitor and vendor registration is also available here > 

And don't forget to check out all the fun field trips and book your hotel room at our fabulous group rate, which is only available through June 7! Make your reservation here > 

Tags:  conference 

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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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Our Spring newsletter highlights #NSTA15, #NMEA15 & Current Journal

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Thursday, April 2, 2015
2015 Spring newsletter

Our Spring newsletter is out!

It provides a recap of all the fun that was had at NSTA 2015 in Chicago, updates on our next annual conference, NMEA 2015 in Newport, what's happening with our journal, Current, and other updates from NMEA members!

Didn't see it in your inbox? No worries, you can access it here, and update your contact email or sign-up for future mailings here >

Tags:  newsletter 

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Announcement of nominees for the 2015 NMEA Board Election

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Friday, March 20, 2015

Nominees for the 2015 NMEA board election slate are:

President-Elect Candidate
Tami Lunsford - Delaware

Treasurer Candidate
Jackie Takacs - Maryland

Board of Directors Candidates
Kate Achilles - California
David Christopher - Maryland
Geraldine Fauville - EU (Sweden)
Jessica Kastler - Mississippi
Meg Marrero - New York
Sean Russell - Florida

The general membership of the organization is encouraged to submit other nominees for elected positions on the Board.

Deadline for submissions is April 17 and each submission from the membership must include signatures of at least five members of the organization in addition to the signature of the nominee. Submissions should be sent to Susan Haynes here >

Voting will take place online April 20 - May 20, 2015.

Tags:  Board 

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NMEA at NSTA 2015 in Chicago

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Sunday, March 15, 2015

Thanks to everyone who joined us at the National Science Teachers Association's annual conference in Chicago!

Our Board of Directors had a productive mid-year meeting at the Lincoln Park Zoo, who were wonderful hosts! We hosted the Whale of a Tale Share-a-thon for teachers the following morning at the NSTA conference, with many of our chapters hosting tables with fun activities and useful organizational information.

The Share-a-thon was followed by a full day of educational sessions, with many focusing on Great Lakes literacy. These showcased our GLEAMS chapter- the Great Lakes Educators of Aquatic and Marine Sciences.

Enjoy a few photos of the festivities below - then check out more on our Facebook page here > 














Tags:  NSTA 

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