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Guest Blog by Carol Steingart: Whales take center stage at GOMMEA annual meeting

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Gulf of Maine Marine Education Association (GOMMEA) hosted their annual meeting on November 10 at the Seacoast Science Center in Rye, NH. The speaker for the evening was Dr. David Wiley, Research Coordinator of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary in Massachusetts. The title of Dr. Wiley's lecture was: "Catch and Release Whaling: Using Advanced Tagging and Data Visualization Technologies to Understand the Underwater Behavior of Humpback Whales (in New England Atlantic waters)."

The fascinating lecture revealed how scientists have been able to detect where whales are congregating both on the surface and down below. Swim patterns were mapped, which gave rise to international shipping lanes being shifted to less populated areas; a win-win situation that proved instantly successful with greatly diminished whale strikes.

GOMMEA President Kate Leavitt and Treasurer Sara Ellis presented Dr. Wiley with a framed print

GOMMEA President Kate Leavitt and Treasurer Sara Ellis presented Dr. Wiley with a framed print from a winning participant of "From the Bow Seat" contest, depicting a whale rising out of a sea of ocean plastic pollution.

Bill Andrake with Carol Steingart, past-president of GOMMEA

Fellow NMEA member Bill Andrake attended the event and joined his neighboring chapter. Bill is currently a member of Massachusetts Marine Educators (MME). Bill is pictured with Carol Steingart, past-president of GOMMEA.

- Carol Steingart, GOMMEA Chapter Representative

Tags:  GOMMEA 

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From the Editor - Fall issue of Current is now available online for members

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Sunday, October 25, 2015
October 2015 Current coverWe’re excited to bring you another general issue of Current featuring articles by members from all over the country and overseas. In this issue, you’ll find a variety of engaging articles and activities, ranging from a program led by California Sea Grant that explores the RESTOR project at Ormond Beach, to hands-on activities highlighting marine debris and its harmful effects on marine organisms, to coral disease research conducted at the Hawai’i Institute of Marine Biology, as well as many other exciting topics that provide new ways to discover "the world of water.”

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 November 16, 2015, April 25, July 18, and October 3, 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 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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Boston Harbor Educators Conference held at University of Massachusetts Boston

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Thursday, October 22, 2015

This year’s Boston Harbor Educators Conference was held on September 26. It was a spectacular day, full of learning and fun! This annual event—one of two yearly Massachusetts Marine Educators (MME) conferences—was held at University of Massachusetts Boston, which is undergoing a tremendous building expansion. Getting to the university was a challenge, but the day certainly proved worthy of it.

The first speaker was Dr. Greg Skomal from Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, well-known for his commentaries and work with white shark populations, particularly off the Cape Cod coastline. His research was absolutely fascinating, thought provoking, and very well-received; a great way to start the day.

 Boston Harbor Educator’s Conference

Boston Harbor Educator’s Conference

Boston Harbor Educator’s Conference

Hands-on workshops ranging from bird studies, fish ageing, elasmobranch physiology, and tide pool critters, to making drifters and tracking our waste provided opportunities for educators to explore new avenues.

Boston Harbor Educator’s Conference 

Boston Harbor Educator’s Conference

Boston Harbor Educator’s Conference

Boston Harbor Educator’s Conference Dr. John Mandelman from the New England Aquarium was the afternoon speaker, presenting a comprehensive look on the ‘catch and release’ interactions with sharks and rays and other species. This, too, was a most informative and enlightening talk with much audience interaction.

Boston Harbor Educator’s Conference  

Boston Harbor Educator’s Conference

The afternoon featured a trip to Lovell’s Island to actually explore and ‘play in’ the tide pools!

Boston Harbor Educator’s ConferenceIt was a great day and we hope many more will join us next year. We were especially excited to have several new people join MME!

Guest post by Elaine Brewer, MME

Tags:  conference  MME 

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Preview: October issue of Current Journal

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Sunday, October 4, 2015

From the Editor: We’re excited to bring you another digital issue of Current in October, featuring articles by members from all over the country and overseas! Here’s a sneak peek of what you’ll discover!

Underserved Youth Current articleUnderserved Youth and an Over-Used Wetland: The RESTOR Project Promotes a Win-Win Relationship at Ormond Beach
By Monique R. Myers
This article explores the RESTOR outdoor project at Ormond Beach, one of the most expansive natural coastal areas remaining in southern California. The program is led by California Sea Grant and provides underserved, multicultural fourth through ninth grade students and their teachers with the opportunity to learn and teach about this local natural refuge.

Activity: Litter isn’t Glitter: Beaches Should Be Clean
By Kelsey R. Cramer, Michele B. Sherman, and Mary Carla Curran
Find hands-on activities designed for middle school students to learn more about marine debris and its harmful effects on marine organisms along with data collected by scientists for students to analyze in the classroom. This activity addresses the Next Generation Science Standard of applying scientific principles for monitoring and minimizing human impacts on the environment.

Reel in Students: Using Real World Learning Objects (RWLO) and Real-Time Data in Ocean Science
By Jeff Thomas and Jill M. Raisor
This article provides educators with ocean-science based internet resources and activities to use in K-12 classrooms with connections to the Next Generation Science Standards and the National Common Core Standards for literacy and mathematics.

Activity: Corals: The Essence of Fluorescence
By: Jamie M. Caldwell, Carlie Wiener, Mark Heckman, and Judith D. Lemus
This activity engages students in grades five through eight in marine conservation through exercises based on coral disease research conducted at the Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology. The topics introduced encourage discussion about coral reef ecosystem health and conservation.

eaching An Undergraduate Teaching An Undergraduate "Tropical Marine Biology” Course
By Matthew Landau
This article shares a focused study that summarizes how college lecturers develop undergraduate tropical marine biology classes. The author shares planning, logistics, and an overview of a successful field course model at Richard Stockton College.

Ocean Literacy: Can Students Learn the Essential Principles?
By Laura Guertin, Ph.D., and Nina Clements
Are we creating an ocean-literate society? These authors share their studies and what they learned about what students are learning and recalling about our global oceans.

Please check back in late October and enjoy your member benefits by logging in to access the October issue of Current!

Tags:  current 

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

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Current Journal cover

The editors of Current: The Journal of Marine Education are seeking articles for upcoming general issues.

We hope to review and publish articles on topics related to marine education. We 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 at for consideration.

The deadlines for submitting articles to general issues for 2016 are:

  • November 16, 2015
  • April 25, 2016
  • July 18, 2016
  • October 3,2016

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

- Lisa Tooker, Editor

Tags:  current 

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Our latest newsletter recaps #NMEA15, looks ahead to #EMSEA15, and introduces President Robert Rocha

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Thursday, September 24, 2015
Sept 2015 newsletter Our fall newsletter is out!

It includes a recap of our annual conference, NMEA 2015 in Newport, looks ahead to the EMSEA 2015 conference in Crete, and introduces members to NMEA's 2015-16 president, Robert Rocha. It also includes other news about NMEA members and upcoming events! 

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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Following along with #EMSEA15 from afar

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Tuesday, September 22, 2015

EMSEA 2015 Storify

The third European Marine Science Educators Association (EMSEA) conference is being hosted by the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research in Heraklion, Crete, from September 28 through October 1. Follow along as we compile tweets, photos, and links in this Storify

Tags:  conference  EMSEA 

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NMEA 2015 Lightning Talks

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

Lightning Talks are a fast-paced, lively new format for science communication and outreach. Get a taste from this NMEA 2015 session with 5-minute talks on a wide range of topics by informal education thought leaders from across the country. Topics include: shark outreach, nature play, partnerships, behavior change, youth development, virtual learning, and public science events.

This playlist includes six of the sessions presented at our annual conference by: Jim Wharton (Seattle Aquarium), David Niebuhr (Audubon Nature Institute), E. Howard Rutherford (USF College of Marine Science), Kristin Evans (Texas State Aquarium), Kasey Gaylord-Opalewski (Mote Marine Laboratory), and Julie Henry (Ocean Advocate and Leadership Coach).

Apologies to David Bader (Aquarium of the Pacific) and Laura Diederick (Smithsonian Marine Station), who also presented sessions that were not fully recorded due to technical issues.

Tags:  conference  NMEA15 

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5 Questions with NMEA's new president, Robert Rocha

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Sunday, September 20, 2015

As is the annual tradition, NMEA leadership changed hands this summer at the annual conference in Newport, RI, and Robert Rocha, Director of K-12 and Science Programs at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, took the helm for 2015-2016. Get to know Bob better with this quick Q & A!

Robert Rocha

1) How long have you been involved with NMEA and what roles have you played in our organization?

I attended my first NMEA meeting in 1996, at the University of New Hampshire. I have missed just four conferences since then. I have been a chapter representative for Massachusetts Marine Educators (2009-2011), a member of the conference committee (2009-2011), chair of the 2011 annual conference in Boston, a board member (elected in 2013), member of the Executive Committee (2014-present), and president-elect (2014-2015).

2) In your view, what makes NMEA an unique organization?

NMEA has a great blend of work hard and play hard. We all take our work seriously but try not to take ourselves too seriously. I also think that the mix of formal educators, informal educators, administrators, writers, students and advocates is unique and ensures that perspectives won't get stale or one-sided.

3) What changes do you expect to see in NMEA over the next year and in the next decade?

In the next year I expect that NMEA's transition to a more streamlined, online tech-friendly organization will come to full fruition. I also expect great progress on many of the short-term steps laid out in the strategic plan. In ten years, I expect NMEA to be a more culturally diverse organization that will support and motivate new populations to get involved in marine education. I also expect that we will have more consistent significant annual sponsorship.

Bob Rocha on guitar 4) What's a favorite memory from a NMEA event or conference?

There are a few. I'll mention three:
  1. Having a nice conversation with a nice older lady at my first NMEA conference during the award ceremony and then hearing her name called as the recipient of Marine Education Award. That nice lady is Anita Freudenthal. I've been a big fan of Anita and Hugo, and the award ceremony, ever since.
  2. Hosting the 2011 conference and feeling proud of Massachusetts Marine Educators and our volunteers for running such a fun productive conference, and;
  3. Knowing that the Boston conference was the site of the meeting that led to the formation of the European Marine Science Educators Association (EMSEA) and that I got to be part of that process. What has happened in Europe since then in such a short amount of time is remarkable.

5) For fun ... if you were a superhero, what would your special power be?

I would have the power to make everyone clean up their own messes, including all businesses. Litter is so unnecessary and a clear sign of laziness.

Tags:  profile 

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5th anniversary of Youth Ocean Conservation Summit to be celebrated in Florida this November

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Friday, September 18, 2015
YOCS logo

Join NMEA board member Sean Russell for the 5th anniversary Youth Ocean Conservation Summit, which will be held on Saturday, November 14 at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Fla.! This event will provide young people with a unique opportunity to learn about current threats to marine ecosystems, develop action plans for their own conservation projects to address these issues in their local communities, and take part in special training sessions designed to give them the skills necessary to make these projects successful. Registration for this event, as well as the full summit details, is now available.

In celebration of the 5th anniversary of the Summit, the Community Ocean Conservation Film Festival will kick-off the weekend at Mote Marine Laboratory on the evening of November 13. This event will feature the award-winning film Shark Girl, which follows the powerful story of twenty-one year old Madison Stewart, and her work to save sharks. Admission to this event is free, but seating is limited and attendees must RSVP by completing the registration form. This event will also feature remarks from renowned shark conservation advocate, Wendy Benchley, a showcase of youth-driven ocean conservation projects and artwork, and a silent auction/raffle fundraiser.

Tags:  youth 

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