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Guest Blog: Opportunity to contribute to measuring Ocean Literacy! Want to join us?

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Sunday, May 1, 2016
Ocean Literacy

At the European Marine Science Educator Association 2015 Conference, members of the Ocean Literacy community discussed the urgent need to be able to measure progress in the development of Ocean Literacy in our respective countries and regions. We discussed a variety of ways to measure Ocean Literacy and ways that our community might use a widely accepted measurement tool. The Lawrence Hall of Science took the lead on this international project.


Here is what we have been up to and what we plan to do next:

  • We gathered the items from the various tools that have been used to measure constructs associated with Ocean Literacy. We compared the items and removed redundancies.

  • We will invite collaborators from European countries to translate the items on these scales to their language.

  • We will invite collaborators to administer these scales to a specific population (for example, 15-16 year olds).

  • We will gather the data and look at the item behavior within the scales and across countries to determine which set of items form scales for these constructs and seem to function well across linguistic and cultural differences.

  • We will finalize a valid and reliable instrument that will be freely available at least to all those who participate in its development.


Contributors will then be able to collect and analyze their own local/regional/national/project-specific data AND to contribute their data to a central repository at the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley, so that various data sets can be compared to one another and aggregated into an international or global picture of ocean literacy over time. Isn’t that awesome?

We have 56 items so far, but we still have some gaps in the Ocean Literacy Principles and Concepts. Here are the concepts that we still need items for:

   Principle 1: concept H.

   Principle 2: concept B

   Principle 3: concept G

   Principle 4: concept C

   Principle 5: concept D

   Principle 6: concepts C & G

   Principle 7: concepts B,C, E & F


For more information about each of these concepts, please see the most recent version of the Ocean Literacy Brochure here >

We have spent so much time on all these questions that we might decide to move to the desert if we are asked to come up with a single more marine-related question. So here is where you can contribute! Please, put your thinking cap on and suggest good survey items addressing any of the missing concepts.

To make sure creative people go in the right direction, here are some helpful tips to make a good question:

  • Use as few words and as simple of words as possible.
  • Do not write negative questions such as "What is not a factor influencing sea level rise?"
  • Avoid local knowledge such as "What impact does the current have on the Belgian coast?"
  • Create only multiple choice questions with no more than 5 answer options.
  • All the answer options should be about the same length and the wrong answers should be realistic.
  • It is ok to have more than one correct answer per question. Just add "Select all that apply".
  • For number answers, make the differences large. Ex. "10%, 50%, 75%" are better than "49%, 50%, 51%"
  • Your question should be accurate enough that the correct answer is accurate regardless of your marine expertise. For example to the question "What is the salinity of the ocean? 3.5%, 0.01%, 50%, 90%", a lay person might answer 3.5% but an expert would tell you that the salinity varies largely.

We would love to receive your suggestion by mid-May. Please send your items to this address > 

Thank you very much for your valuable help!


Mac Cannady, Craig Strang and Géraldine Fauville

Lawrence Hall of Science

 University of California, Berkeley   

Tags:  Ocean Literacy 

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NMEA 2016 Membership Drive kicks off today

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Thursday, April 21, 2016
Membership Drive

Join us during our Membership Drive, which officially starts today, Earth Day, and will conclude on World Oceans Day, June 8. 

We are reaching out to bring in new members to our dynamic and awesome organization, and all new members signed up during this period will be placed in an ‘opportunity drawing’ for some ocean and aquatic themed prizes, including a $100 Amazon gift card!

We have a team strategy, but all NMEA members are encouraged and requested to join in the Membership Drive! Ask your colleagues, friends, and associates, and let them know of the value of NMEA and welcome them to join.

Our Membership Drive Teams will be reaching out to their target audience to bring in members to NMEA (and we always encourage chapter membership, too!).The teams are designated by their audience:

  • University/College
  • Formal Education
  • Informal Education
  • Emerging Professionals
  • Agencies
  • Chapter Reps

See all of our membership levels here >  

Questions? please contact Lynn Whitley.

- Lynn Whitley, Membership Committee Chair

Tags:  membership 

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Check your inbox for our spring newsletter

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Wednesday, March 30, 2016
2016 Spring newsletter


Our spring newsletter is out!

It includes the latest on our annual NMEA 2016 conference in Orlando, Fla., information on our Share-a-thon and sessions at NSTA 2016, and a preview of our annual membership drive! 

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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Exciting updates about our NMEA 2016 annual conference

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Wednesday, March 30, 2016
NMEA 2016 logo

If you haven’t already heard, registration for NMEA 2016 is NOW OPEN!

Join hundreds of fellow marine science education enthusiasts in sunny Orlando, Fla., for a week filled with learning, sharing, and exploration!

Classroom teacher? Informal educator? Government or agency outreach personnel? Volunteer? Researcher? No matter your connection to marine science education, NMEA 2016 has something for you!

In addition to daily plenaries and concurrent sessions, the always-popular Exhibit Hall, and the NEW Ocean Science Research Track, some of the week’s highlights include:

  • Monday, June 27Pre-conference Workshops, Buddy Welcome Reception, Tweet-up, Conference Kick-off Event
  • Tuesday, June 28NMEA Youth Conference, Evening event at SeaWorld
  • Wednesday, June 29 – Chapter Basket Auction, Silent Auction, Banquet Live Auction
  • Thursday, June 30 – NMEA Business Luncheon and Awards Ceremony, Stegner Lecture, Ticketed Evening Event at SEA LIFE Aquarium Orlando
  • Friday, July 1 – Enjoy deeply discounted experiences at some of the best attractions Florida has to offer with field trips around the state!

The Renaissance Orlando is home to NMEA 2016, so make your reservations today! This family-friendly, premier location is offering a conference rate of only $129/night, but reservations must be made by May 25 at 5 p.m.

Looking to bring your family? The Renaissance has tons of amenities for both kids and adults and is just a stone’s throw from the iRide Trolley (a shuttle to a variety of area attractions). NMEA 2016 field trips offer several options for children and SeaWorld is offering a $100 discount on its popular Camp SeaWorld. For more information on these and other family-friendly activities, visit the NMEA16 Family Friendly Opportunities page.

Be sure to visit the conference website for updates and follow along on social media with the hashtag #NMEA16!

NMEA16 is just around the corner, so start packing your flip-lops and sunscreen and register today!

Questions? Contact

See you in Orlando!

Tags:  conference 

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In Nashville for NSTA 2016? Join us on Thursday for our Share-a-thon & sessions

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Tuesday, March 29, 2016

NSTA 2016 Nashville logo

Are you attending NSTA's annual conference in Nashville, Tenn.? Join us on Thursday, March 31, in the Davidson Bay of Music City Center for our Share-a-Thon and sessions! 

Here's our schedule:

8:00-9:00 Whale of a Tale Share-a-thon with NMEA Chapters

9:30-10:30 Oil Spill Research: a microcosm for understanding how science works
Jessica Kastler, Program Development Coordinator, Marine Education Center, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory & Outreach Coordinator, GoMRI CONCORDE


11:00 – 12:00 Dedicated Exhibit Hall Time

12:30-1:30 Starting a STEM Program In Your School On Next to Nothing
Lisa Wininger, Plainwell Middle School STEM Academy

2:00-3:00 Ocean Literacy: Identifying constructs that go beyond content knowledge
Dr. Timothy Goodale,Program Coordinator MAT in STEM Education, North Carolina State University

3:30-4:30 Kelp Forests: A Free eBook for iPads AND Conservation and Children
Joey Lehnard, Senior Education Specialist, Monterey Bay Aquarium

FYI - the Call for Presenters for sessions at the 2017 NSTA conference in Los Angeles, Calif., will go out right after this year's event! 


Tags:  NSTA 

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Guest Blog by Lynn Whitley - Join us in bringing in new members during the 2016 NMEA Membership Drive

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Wednesday, March 23, 2016
NMEA Membership DriveWhat:
  • NMEA is reaching out to bring in new members to our dynamic and awesome organization.
  • All new members signed up in the designated time period will be placed in an ‘opportunity drawing’ for some ocean and aquatic themed prizes.
  • If everyone could sign up at least two members we would greatly enhance our membership and focus on the goal of retention of these valued additions!



  • We have a team strategy, but all NMEA members are encouraged and requested to join in the Membership Drive! Ask your colleagues, friends, and associates, and let them know of the value of NMEA and welcome them to join.
  • Our Membership Drive Teams will be reaching out to their target audience to bring in members to NMEA (and we always encourage chapter membership, too!).The teams are designated by their audience:
       o University/College,
       o Formal Education,
       o Informal Education 
       o Emerging Professionals 
       o Agencies
       o Chapter Reps
  • If you are interested in serving on a team please contact Lynn Whitley. We welcome your help!

Thank you and please keep in mind: The larger goal is to welcome and engage new members into being active long-term members of NMEA and part of our NMEA Family! 

- Lynn Whitley, Membership Committee Chair

Tags:  membership 

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Youth Conference at NMEA 2016

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Wednesday, March 23, 2016
NMEA youth conference participants

On Tuesday, June 28, the National Marine Educators Association invites students in high school and college who are passionate about marine science, education, and conservation to join them for a special Youth Conference at our annual conference in Orlando, Fla.

This day-long event will connect student participants to experts in the fields of marine science education through engaging sessions and workshops and give them a chance to present their personal marine conservation/education work in a professional setting. Additionally, this event will give students a chance to learn about careers in marine science education by networking with professional educators from diverse backgrounds and by providing them with an opportunity to learn about how the National Marine Educators Association can support their career interests in marine conservation. NMEA youth conference participants

During the day participants will also have the chance to work with their peers on hands-on marine conservation service projects, visit the marine animal rescue and rehabilitation center at SeaWorld Orlando, and take part in the Conference evening event at SeaWorld Orlando, allowing for additional networking with members of the National Marine Educators Association. The conference registration fee of $25 includes all activities, lunch, dinner, and admission to the National Marine Educators Association evening event at SeaWorld Orlando, as well as a one year NMEA student membership! We hope you’ll join us for this special event!

Tags:  conference  youth 

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Scholarships available for NMEA 2016

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Tuesday, March 1, 2016
NMEA logo

Attending the annual conference in Orlando this summer? There are two scholarships available!

Are you an NMEA member already? Then consider the Member-only Scholarships, which are available to assist members in good standing.

If you have you never attended an NMEA conference and are not yet a member, and you represent and/or educate underrepresented minorities, then check out the Expanding Audiences Scholarship!

Visit our scholarships page for more information on both of these scholarships and to download nomination and/or application forms. Don't delay, the deadline is March 15! 

Tags:  conference 

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Share your ideas, lessons, or research in marine education in our journal!

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Friday, February 19, 2016
Current cover

The editors of Current: The Journal of Marine Education are seeking articles for upcoming general issues. The journal features articles on topics related to marine education and the editors seek original manuscripts that describe research, lessons, resources, or strategies for teaching marine and aquatic lessons to a variety of audiences, including science, art, literature, and maritime history.

Please submit manuscripts to the editors electronically for consideration. The deadline for submitting articles for the fall general issue is July 25, 2016.

For information on submitting articles to Current, please visit our Guide for Contributors > 

Tags:  current 

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FMSEA Chapter Winter Update & Award Nominations Sought

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Tuesday, February 16, 2016

FMSEA Chapter Winter Update 

FMSEA Board MeetingThe Florida Marine Science Educators Association (FMSEA) Board and Committee Chairs have been working very diligently on NMEA 2016. The 2016 Conference Committee continues to have monthly conference calls and recently met at the Renaissance Hotel for a weekend planning meeting.

FMSEAEach of FMSEA’s seven regions has quarterly outings. The Southeast Regional Outing was to the Smithsonian Marine Station in Fort Pierce. This Regional Outing provided participants an opportunity to get "behind the scenes” of the Smithsonian Marine Station’s unique facilities and learn more about the Smithsonian’s work in Florida and beyond.

In addition to the regional outings FMSEA conducted several Aquatic Species Collections Workshops (ASCW) this winter. The Aquatic Species Collection Certification requires successful completion of the training workshop. The primary workshop objective is to promote best practices in the collection and maintenance of aquatic organisms for educational activities.

FMSEA workshopA curriculum has been established to achieve the primary workshop objective. The certificate does not supersede any state or federal regulations, but it does allow the collection of specified numbers of certain species for educational purposes, some undersized, and to use certain types of collecting gear that would not be allowed under recreational fishing guidelines.

- Submitted by Mellie Lewis, FMSEA Chapter Rep

FMSEA Board photo by Laura Diederick; Southeast Regional outing photo by Kerri Allen

FMSEA Award Nominations Sought 

Each year, FMSEA recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions towards moving the field of marine science forward, who provide outstanding marine science education and who want to share their successes with other practitioners. Award recipients are recognized and will receive their awards at the National Marine Educators Association Conference in Orlando, Fla., which will be held June 25-July 1. You do not need to be a FMSEA member submit a nomination - so nominate someone today!

All Award Nominations must be received by no later than March 25, 2016.


The FMSEA Outstanding Marine Educator Award began in 1986. It was renamed in 1999 in honor of John Beakley, a Marine Science Resource Teacher in Palm Beach County and one of FMSEA’s founders.

This award is given to an educator who has demonstrated dedication to promoting and developing marine science in Florida. Nominees need not be members of FMSEA, but member nominations are encouraged. Self-nominations are accepted. Please ask the person you nominate to address the following categories (we encourage bullets of information as opposed to a narrative):

   Professional experience and background
   Special recognition already received relating to marine education
   Marine Science programs/projects developed by nominee
   2016 John Beakley Marine Educator of the Year Award Nomination Form (Access here)

Submit your application to


The FMSEA Service Award began in 1993 and is given each year to a member who has exhibited dedicated service to the organization. Nominees must be FMSEA members. Self-nominations are accepted. The nomination must address the following points. Please submit bullets instead of a long narrative:

   Professional experience and background
   Projects/programs related to FMSEA undertaken by nominee
   Number of years and in what capacities nominee has served in FMSEA
   2016 FMSEA Service Award Nomination Form (Access here

Submit your application to


The purpose of the two Student Project Awards is to encourage continuing education and study of the marine environment. A $300 Cash Award will be given to both a Junior and Senior Section student whose research demonstrates outstanding environmental science research with a marine and/or aquatic science connection.

The awards will be presented at the Annual State Science and Engineering Fair of Florida (SSEF)
The senior student project award was renamed in 2011 to honor John Booker, a marine biologist at Seacamp and former FMSEA president (1988-89).

Submit your application to

For questions about these awards, please contact Jaclyn Gerakios, FMSEA President-Elect, via e-mail > 

Tags:  fmsea 

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