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Important #NMEA16 Awards Update

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Monday, January 25, 2016
NMEA 2016 logo

Please note a change to annual award nomination deadlines this year.

The deadline for ALL award submissions has been moved up to February 15. 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 Feb. 15. All award recipients will receive a one-year NMEA membership and an engraved award.

Visit the Awards page for full award descriptions and submission details > 

Tags:  award  conference 

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Our winter newsletter introduces the latest issue of Current, a call for presenters for #NMEA16, recaps #EMSEA15, and much more!

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Wednesday, December 23, 2015
December 2015 Newsletter

Our winter newsletter is out!

It includes the latest edition of our journal, Current, the call for presentations for NMEA 2016 in Orlando, Fla., a recap of the EMSEA 2015 conference in Crete, and other news about NMEA chapter events and upcoming opportunities!

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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Guest Blog by Robert Rocha: EMSEA 2015 in Crete

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Monday, December 21, 2015

The third annual European Marine Science Educators Association (EMSEA) conference was held from September 28 through October 1, 2015, at the CretAquarium in Gournes, Crete. More than 100 people from 22 countries attended this great event. The conference focused on two topics: evaluating actions and methods as well as their impact on diverse audiences, including schools and aquaria; looking ahead into the future and shaping ‘the way forward’ for ocean literacy in Europe and beyond. Workshops were well run and well attended.

EMSEA 2015

Social events included a roof-top ice breaker, and one night later a tour, dinner and traditional Cretan dancing at an open-air museum. Pierre-Yves Cousteau gave an inspiring keynote lecture and, to end the conference, attendees very enthusiastically, and very generously, participated in Aquarium Bingo, as a means of raising scholarship funds for EMSEA 2016.

EMSEA 2015

NMEA was well represented with fifteen members in attendance. Several, including Ivar Babb, Tina Bishop, Evy Copejans, Geraldine Fauville, Susan Haynes, Meg Marrero, Diana Payne, Gail Scowcroft, Craig Strang, Peter Tuddenham, and I, led workshops and/or poster sessions.

EMSEA 2015

An interesting and successful format for sharing information was the Open Space Discussion. Everybody in attendance gathered in one large room and were encouraged to offer topics of discussion by writing them on a sticky note, ‘selling’ the topic to the crowd and choosing a time to lead the talk. Once the topics were posted, attendees could choose one for the first time slot and another for the second time slot. According to the rules, ‘Whoever shows up is the right amount of people for that group and whatever takes place is the only thing that could have happened.’ Personally, I enjoyed the Open Space Discussion about finding international ways of celebrating the 500th anniversary of Magellan’s voyage.

EMSEA 2015

Congratulations to conference chair Martha Papathanassiou, the EMSEA team, the staffs of the Hellenic Center for Marine Research and the CretAquarium for a successful and informative conference. Mark your calendars for the fourth EMSEA conference, scheduled for October 4-7, 2016 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

- Robert Rocha, 2015-16 NMEA President

Tags:  conference  EMSEA  guest blog 

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'Tis the season! Happy #H2OHolidays!

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Monday, December 21, 2015
Reindeer Wrasse

We're having some fun with festive marine and aquatic critters this holiday season! Follow along on social media with the hashtag #H2OHolidays - both on our Twitter account and Facebook page!

Tags:  social media 

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From the Editors: Winter issue of Current now available

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Saturday, December 19, 2015

December 2015 issue of CurrentWe’re excited to bring you a special issue of Current supported in part by the University of Georgia Office of Public Service and Outreach and its units in Marine Extension and the Georgia Sea Grant College Program!

In this issue, you’ll find a variety of engaging articles and activities on how "…successful marine education programs are dependent on collaborative work, such as bringing together policy managers, scientists, extension specialists, and commercial shrimpers to manage issues related to Black Gill in shrimp, or implementing citizen science programs to address water quality concerns;” as well as many other exciting topics focused on "…engaging communities, solving problems, and creating effective educational programs.”

Please continue to send in your original manuscripts on research, lessons, resources, or strategies focused on marine education, including science, art, literature, and maritime history. The deadlines for articles for general issues in 2016 are: April 25, July 18, and October 3, 2016. (Update 2/19/16: There will now be two general issues of Current per year. The deadline for submitting articles to the fall general issue is now July 25, 2016.)

And don’t forget to stay connected to the NMEA by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter for the latest news and updates. 

Access the latest issue of Current—happy reading!

Interested in submitting an article to Current? Guidelines for submissions are available here > 

Interested in advertising in Current? Please see our ad rates 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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Guest blog by Meghan Marrero - Our Ocean in Your Hands: From Science to Solutions

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Thursday, December 17, 2015
Ocean Webinar Flyer

How can you inspire students to seek solution to real-world problems in our world’s ocean? How can you students get their questions answered by people already making a difference? Join us for Our Ocean in Your Hands: From Science to Solutions, live webinar that will be held January 22, 2016, at 1 p.m. EST/10 a.m. PST.

This webinar, featuring Dr. Edie Widder, Anna Cummins, and myself, will inspire students to critically examine current issues, such as plastic pollution in the ocean, and consider action steps for positive change. Students will see and hear the scientists and their slide presentations, and get an opportunity to ask questions.

Registration is free, but limited to the first 50 classrooms that sign up. The webinar will be geared toward middle and high school students who are ready to make a difference. Registered classrooms will receive preparation materials at least 1 week before the webinar. Login information will be sent at least 48 hours prior to the event. The easiest way to participate is by using your computer with speakers and projector or SmartBoard. Register today >

This special event is co-sponsored by NMEA, WINGS Worldquest, ORCA, and the 5-Gyres Institute.

Learn more about our panelists:

Edith WidderDr. Edith Widder is a MacArthur Fellow, a deep-sea explorer, ocean conservationist and Wings Fellow. A specialist in bioluminescence, she has been a leader in developing new ways to explore the deep sea. Her innovations have produced footage of rare sharks, squid, jellyfish, and crustaceans, as well as led to the first recordings of the giant squid, Architeuthis, in its natural habitat. In order to help save and protect the ocean she loves, in 2005 Edie helped found the Ocean Research & Conservation Association, also known as ORCA. ORCA is the world’s first technology focused, marine conservation, not-for-profit, which is using leading-edge scieince to find pollution and stop it at its source. ORCA’s tagline, which is Mapping Pollution, Finding Solutions, describes a results-driven approach to meeting some of the greatest challenges our ocean planet is currently facing.

Anna CumminsAnna Cummins has over 15 years of experience in environmental non-profit work, education, writing, and campaign development. She has worked in marine conservation, coastal watershed management, sustainability education, and high school ecology instruction. Anna received her undergraduate in History from Stanford University, and her Masters in International Environmental Policy from the Monterey Institute for International Studies. In 2008, Anna completed a month long, 4,000-mile research expedition studying plastic debris in the North Pacific Gyre. The journey inspired the launch of 5 Gyres. Anna was elected a fellow of the Wings World Quest in 2011, and received a Golden Goody Award in 2013.

View or share our flyer >

- Meghan Marrero is an Associate Professor of Secondary Science Education at Mercy College and currently serves on the NMEA Board of Directors 

Photo credits: Widder, courtesy of TED and Cummins, courtesy of 5-Gyres Institute

Tags:  guest blog  webinar 

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Call for 2016 NMEA conference session proposals is now open!

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Wednesday, December 16, 2015
NMEA 2016

UPDATE 2/28: The deadline has been extended to 3/11!

The call for concurrent session proposals for the 2016 NMEA conference – Making Waves: Current Connections in Marine Science – is NOW OPEN!

Plan to share your passion and experiences with your fellow marine educators June 27-30, 2016, in sunny Orlando, Florida.

Conference strands include:

  • Global connections
  • Technology connections
  • Classroom connections
  • Informal education connections
  • Educational research connections

    Concurrent sessions will be 45 minutes in length or submitters may elect to present during the poster session. All session proposals must be submitted online here >

    The call for proposals closes at 5 p.m. EST on Monday, February 29 Friday, March 11.

    Questions? Please contact Concurrent Sessions Chair, Ann Marie Shields, at

    For general questions about #NMEA16, please contact the conference chairs at

    See you in Orlando!

    Tags:  conference  NMEA16 

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    #GivingTuesday & our Annual Fund - A letter to members from President Robert Rocha

    Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Tuesday, December 1, 2015
    Giving Tuesday logo



    The National Marine Educators Association is an organization that has served as an immensely important part of the professional network of its members throughout its existence. We now turn to you for your support as we embark upon our second annual appeal.

    In a short, intense period of time, NMEA has transformed itself to enable us to provide to you, our members, a vibrant, engaging website, consistent e-newsletters, a revived peer-reviewed Current: The Journal of Marine Education, and a new National Office with new staff. We have pulled together a new strategic plan that is comprehensive yet flexible, and is being guided by veteran NMEA members with the help of some dedicated new members. We continue to serve as a leader in Ocean Literacy (OL) efforts nationally and collaborate with international partners in their efforts to promote OL worldwide. Our national conferences inspire, educate and connect educators from around the globe.

    Financial support from our members helps us maintain our staffing in the National Office and provide the services necessary to run the organization with the consistency and efficiency you expect from a professional association. Your help is key as we implement our new strategic plan and continue to strengthen NMEA.

    It is both a great privilege and a great responsibility to serve as the President of the National Marine Educators Association. I do not take this role lightly and I do not take asking you for a donation lightly. We are all in this field and ‘promote the world of water both fresh and salt’ because we love what we do and enjoy working with each other. The rewards rarely help us leap upwards into new tax brackets!

    As I stated at this year’s annual meeting in Newport, RI: "What we do matters. We protect our aquatic resources, we educate thousands of children and adults, we share our educational tricks and materials with each other, and we continue to motivate each other and the generation that will take the reins from those of us who have been doing this for quite some time”.

    What you contribute during an annual appeal also matters. Each and every gift provides a measure of the support needed to sustain NMEA as the global standard for marine education. You can make an unrestricted gift that will help underwrite daily operations, you can direct your gift to Current, or you can support a conference scholarship, including the Johnette Bosarge Memorial Fund. This fund, which honors the memory of our late administrative assistant, provides an annual conference scholarship to a member who best exemplifies Johnette’s selfless spirit and dedication to NMEA.

    Please consider a gift to the NMEA Annual Appeal. Visit here to make your donation to NMEA. Thank you.


    Rocha signature





    Robert C. Rocha, Jr.
    President, National Marine Educators Association

    Tags:  annual fund  giving Tuesday 

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    Guest Blog by Andy Gould: MAMEA holds annual conference in NC

    Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Sunday, November 29, 2015

    The Mid-Atlantic Marine Education Association (MAMEA) held their annual conference November 6-8, at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher in Wilmington, NC. A total of 54 educators from 5 states attended the conference.

     MAMEA 2015 Conference

    The event included presentations from formal and informal educators on topics ranging from plankton to ROV’s, several aquatic-focused curricula, and hands-on activities centered on climate change.

    MAMEA 2015 Conference

    Also highlighted were several presentations about youth, and how to encourage and enable them to take leadership roles in conservation education. Participants were treated to two excellent guest speakers: Andy Wood from the Coastal Plain Conservation Group presented Ecosystem Collapse or Habitat Shift: Climate Change, Snails, and Unanticipated Consequences. 

    MAMEA 2015 Conference

    And  Bonnie Menteleone from the Plastic Oceans Project, who presented about her work in studying and teaching about marine plastics around the world.

    MAMEA 2015 Conference  

    During the conference, MAMEA presented their two annual awards. Tami Lunsford of Newark, Del., received the Outstanding Classroom Educator of the Year award, and Dr. Roseanne Fortner of Oak Island, NC, received the Outstanding Informal Marine Educator Award. It was a pleasure to have a chance to honor both of these talented and dedicated educators! 

    - Andy Gould, President, MAMEA 



    Tags:  conference  MAMEA 

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    Guest Blog by Elaine Brewer: Massachusetts Marine Educators co-sponsor annual student marine art contest

    Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Monday, November 23, 2015

    2016 MME student art contestStellwagen Bank is a marine protected area covering over 800 square miles at the mouth of Massachusetts Bay. For hundreds of years, this area has acted as a productive fishing ground, and more recently as a whale watching destination. It has been a National Marine Sanctuary since 1992.

    For over a decade, Massachusetts Marine Educators (MME) have co-sponsored the annual Marine Art Contest with Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. The contest has been, and still continues to be, a great way for students to get involved with the aquatic world around them. Each year, the contest has a different theme which students depict with their artistic talents. Teachers have incorporated the contest into their curriculum, using it as a way to entice students to become conscious of the world around them.

    The theme for 2016’s contest is "Marine biodiversity of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary: Celebrating the amazing ocean creatures of New England’s national marine sanctuary.” Although the theme focuses on Stellwagen Bank, students from all over the world enter their art pieces. Not only do winning students have their artwork displayed throughout New England and in an annual calendar, they can also win prizes!

    This contest isn’t just for the classroom. Students can individually send their artwork in as well! The deadline to submit artwork for the 2016 Art Contest is April 29, 2016. If you have any questions, visit the Stellwagen Bank’s Kids Corner, the MME webpage, or contact Anne Smrcina at Best of luck to all those who enter!

    View the full contest brochure (PDF) here > 

    And check out the 2016 calendar (PDF) for inspiration here > 

    Tags:  contest  MME 

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