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Call for content - Current Journal

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Current Journal We want you to share your ideas, lessons or research in marine education!

The editors of Current: The Journal of Marine Education are seeking articles for upcoming general issues. We seek original manuscripts that describe research, lessons, resources, or strategies for teaching marine and aquatic lessons to a variety of audiences.

Deadlines for 2015 article submissions are March 23, July 20, and September 14.

Please submit manuscripts to Lisa Tooker at for consideration. Information on author guidelines can be found here > 

Tags:  current 

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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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We're heading to Chicago!

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

NSTA Share-a-thonWe're heading to the Windy City for the National Science Teachers Association's annual conference!

Our Board of Directors will be Chicago-bound to conduct their annual mid-year meeting on Wednesday, March 11, at the Lincoln Park Zoo, who has graciously offered to host the gathering. Then on Thursday, March 12, our chapters will offer a fun-filled day of NMEA-hosted workshops, including quick make-and-take activities for teachers! 

This Whale of a Tale Share-a-thon is always a large draw for teachers at the NSTA conferences. Each of our chapters hosts a table to provide activities and organizational information to attending teachers.

Afterwards, we are looking forward to another great day of workshops - with many focusing on Great Lakes literacy. This event will also be a tremendous opportunity to increase interest in our GLEAMS chapter- the Great Lakes Educators of Aquatic and Marine Sciences. NSTA Share-a-thon

Current members and individuals who are interested in learning more about NMEA are encouraged to stop by the McCormick Place Convention Center on Thursday to join in the learning. The room opens at 8 a.m. for the Share-a-thon, which will be followed by hour-long sessions until 6 p.m. Follow the NMEA signs and look for the door decorations provided by our GLEAMS chapter!

Session Schedule for NSTA Chicago 2015

8 to 9 a.m. Whale of a Tale Share-a-thon with Lauren Rader and NMEA Chapters

9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Great Lakes Literacy ... Coming Soon to a Classroom near You with Lyndsey Manzo, Kristin TePas, Cynthia Hagley, and Terri Hallesy

11 a.m. to Noon Creatively Engaging Middle School in the science of Ocean
Acidification with Perrin Chick

12:30 to 1:30 p.m. The Climate Expedition: Exploring Local Impacts of a Global Issue with Lyndsey Manzo

2 to 3 p.m. Set Sail with GLEAMS! with Lyndsey Manzo and Brandon Mullins

3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Ocean for Life: A cross roads of Western and Middle Eastern students learning about one global ocean with Tracy Hajduk, Kate Thompson, and Clare Fackler

5 to 6 p.m. Ocean 180 Video Challenge: Bringing Ocean Scientists to a Classroom Near You with Laura Diedrick

Tags:  NSTA 

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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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NMEA Member Highlight: Meghan Marrero

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Meg Marrero spotlightDr. Meghan Marrero is on the NMEA Board of Directors, chairs the Current Committee and is Associate Professor of Secondary Science Education at Mercy College in New York.

We asked her four key questions about her experience with NMEA:

1.Why did you join NMEA?

I initially joined because I wanted to go to the conference in Hawaii in 2005. I haven't missed a conference since then, but NMEA has become so much more to me.

2. How has NMEA helped you achieve your professional goals?

NMEA has helped me professionally in a lot of ways, but it was probably most evident when I was working on my dissertation. My topic was related to ocean literacy, and talking with diverse NMEA members was critical to finishing it. I got suggestions on literature to search and people to talk to, critical feedback on initial findings, and even the opportunity to present and publish some of my work.

3. What are you most proud of NMEA for accomplishing/influencing?

The whole ocean literacy movement has made great strides in about ten years. We have gotten the word out and influenced curriculum, professional development, standards, programming, evaluation, and more.

4. If you had to describe NMEA in three words, what would they be?

Fun, community, inspiring.

Tags:  member highlight 

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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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Massachusetts Marine Educators launch new website

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Sunday, January 25, 2015

Look at who has a new website: our Massachusetts Marine Educators (MME) chapter! Their aim was to create a updated and dynamic site that could better showcase all of the wonderful activities and opportunities MME and its members have to offer. 

MME new website design

The site was developed in Wordpress to allow for easy posts and updates by MME's board and  features a dynamic homepage with news, upcoming events, links, and a photo slider.

MME website photo page

The site also includes photo galleries, and allows MME to better manage content and inform the community of thier conferences and opportunities. Check it out here > 

Tags:  MME 

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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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From the Editor - Current is now available online for members

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Saturday, January 17, 2015

December 2014 Current After a long hiatus, we’re thrilled to be relaunching Current in a new digital format! The latest issue of our peer-reviewed journal is now online for NMEA members only.

Four recipients of NMEA’s Expanding Audiences scholarships are among the authors featured in this general issue and we couldn’t be more proud of them! The eight articles in this issue highlight teachers who are working with elementary school children, middle school students, and high schoolers in places that range from California, Florida, and Bermuda to New York, Maine and Indiana.

A common thread runs through these stories: the ocean belongs to each of us, and we are all entrusted with its care. This notion is so basic that it actually forms the 6th Essential Principle of Ocean Literacy: The ocean and humans are inextricably connected.

As educators and scientists, we must advocate for the health of our ocean and its resources in a way that ordinary people can understand, enabling them to recognize how their own actions have an impact upon the ocean, no matter where they live. The young people being educated and inspired by this issue’s contributors seem to understand this instinctively, embracing both the science and the advocacy with a passion that gives us hope for our ocean planet’s future.

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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It's not too late to donate to our Annual Fund

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Saturday, January 17, 2015

Don Hudson"I like making an annual contribution to NMEA because I believe in the mission to make known the world of water. The wonderful community of colleagues that comes together every summer to explore new ideas and celebrate past successes inspires me to dig a little deeper."

- Don Hudson, NMEA treasurer & member  

Did you know the NMEA Annual Fund was created in 2013 to broaden financial support of the mission of the organization? The Annual Fund helps to support three important areas of our work: the staff in the National Office who manage our membership and communication, scholarships for the annual conference, and the publication of our peer-reviewed journal, Current.

And don't forget: tax-deductible donations made through the end of January can be applied to 2014 tax returns! Donate today > 


Tags:  annual fund 

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