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Q&A with NMEA Member Spotlight - Jennifer Magnusson

Posted By Jennifer Magnusson, Thursday, April 26, 2018

Describe your involvement in marine/aquatic education:

Jennifer Magnusson

I think of myself as a behind-the-scenes marine educator. I’ve worked in the classroom, aquarium, advertising agency, and research lab, and they all became a part of who I am and helped me find my niche. I am lucky to work with some really great organizations that are helping to make known the world of water—notably the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators (NAME), and now NMEA! The ocean inspires me and I aspire to boost ocean literacy through social media, science communication, website and graphic design.

I have helped organize and facilitate MBARI's EARTH Teacher Workshops since 2003. EARTH workshops connect teachers with scientists in order to bring current research and real-time data into classrooms and informal learning environments. I am always inspired by the fabulous teachers I get to work with every summer and am looking forward to this summer's workshop in Newport, Oregon, co-hosted by Oregon State University, NSF Regional Class Research Vessel (RCRV), and the Oregon Coast STEM Hub!

What do you like most about being a part of NMEA?

I love that feeling of belonging I get when I am with my fellow marine educators! It doesn’t matter where we are or what our focus is, the ocean brings us all together for conservation, education, and ocean literacy! The people I have met at conferences and events are all doing amazing things and their enthusiasm buoys me up. Right now I live over 1200 km away from the ocean in northern Alberta, so being with like-minded people really connects me back to the thing I love the most!

What issue are you most passionate about right now?

Jennifer Magnusson

I think the issue that is most relevant to my life right now is single-use plastics. My family has done our best to reduce or eliminate our use of things like plastic bags, plastic water bottles, Ziploc bags, plastic wrap, straws, and individually-wrapped snacks. So much of the marine debris and plastic pollution comes from our society’s need for things to be fast and easy, but if we all just take a few extra minutes to pack our child a litter-free lunch or bring our own cup and straw to the coffee shop, we could reduce that waste significantly. I am committed to doing my part and spreading the word to help others do theirs. There are many resources available to help end plastic pollution:

If you could go anywhere, where would you go?

I have always wanted to go to Antarctica and haven’t been able to get there yet! When I was in the 6th grade, we watched a film about an icebreaker in Antarctica, and some of the scientists came to visit our classroom. Oh, how I wanted to be one of those scientists on that icebreaker! There is so much exciting research going on right now in Antarctica…I just need to connect with someone who’s looking for a science communicator to take along on an expedition!

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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.

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NMEA Member Highlight: Christopher Petrone

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Chris Petrone on the R/V SharpChristopher Petrone is on the NMEA Board of Directors and is the marine education specialist for the Delaware Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service at the University of Delaware.

We asked him four key questions about his experience with NMEA:

1. Why did you join NMEA?

I originally joined when I registered for my first conference, 2006 in New York! I had been working for Virginia Sea Grant and the Bridge website for about a year at the time. Both Sea Grant and the Bridge are fixtures at NMEA conferences, so I was encouraged by my team to attend and present. It was one of my very first conference presentations!

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

Over the past nine years, NMEA has helped me build an invaluable network of colleagues from across the globe. I am constantly pulling activities, resources, and contacts from my “toolkit,” which I have compiled through attendance at NMEA conferences, the Scuttlebutt email list, and direct contact with my NMEA compadres.

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

By far, the creation of the Ocean Literacy Essential Principles, as well as NMEA’s work on the Next Generation Science Standards.

The Ocean Literacy principles have been a guiding force in my and fellow marine educators’ work. The principles have given us a common message and common voice which we use in each of our diverse education niches. Regarding NGSS, from initial review and comments, all the way through the current adoption and implementation phase, NMEA has been at the table, and will continue to play a major role in advancing science education in general, not just marine and freshwater science.

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

Network, collaboration, family.

Check out some of his recent work with these video recaps from Delaware Sea Grant: 

Catching the Wind: Petrone recently hosted a wind education program for 125 first graders from a local elementary school. Students rotated through four content stations, which included hands-on, interactive activities about wind and the university's turbine. The program was meant to supplement a first grade science unit titled "Catching the Wind."

 

2014 Chesapeake Bay Bowl: Petone served as coordinator of the Chesapeake Bay Bowl, which was held at the University of Delaware earlier this year.


Interested in becoming a member as well? Learn more about joining NMEA here >

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NMEA Member Highlight: Jim Wharton

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Jim Wharton is a Professional member of NMEA and director of conservation and education at the Seattle Aquarium

He is an active member on NMEA committees for Ocean Literacy, Scholarship, and Education Research. He is a member of the Executive Committee for NMEA and participating in the current strategic planning process. He is active in his local chapter, Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators (NAME), and a Life member of Florida Marine Science Educators Association (FMSEA).

Jim Wharton

We asked him four key questions about his experience with NMEA:

1. Why did you join NMEA?

I joined NMEA in 2004 while playing a small role in the 2004 conference planning effort. I recognized the potential networking benefit, but at the time, my primary motivation was identity-related. I was a marine educator and this was my professional organization. I wanted to be part of a larger movement to create an ocean-literate society and NMEA was the primary actor in this endeavor.  

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

My membership in NMEA and FMSEA (or more accurately, my activity in these organizations) has laid the foundation for much of my professional opportunity and accomplishment since. The professional network I’ve built through conferences and committee work has been integral to earning positions at Mote Marine Laboratory and the Seattle Aquarium, and was crucial to collaborating on major federally-funded marine science projects.

Being part of NMEA puts you in the middle of the most important conversations in our field surrounding ocean literacy, conservation, science education, and broadening participation. It gives you the chance to interact with accomplished professionals doing important work and have your voice heard. It also affords you the opportunity to give back through mentorship and service.    

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

NMEA has been the primary driver, with the help of many important partners, in the ocean literacy movement. Without their strategic and dedicated efforts over the last decade, ocean science may have evaporated from standards and classrooms altogether. NMEA is the most effective advocate we have for the role of the ocean in science and environmental education.  

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

Ocean, education, advocate.

Join Jim during our Google Hangout On Air on Wednesday, May 28 at 4 p.m. EST

Tags:  member highlight  membership 

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NMEA Member Highlight: Sean Russell

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Monday, May 12, 2014

Sean Russell is an Emerging Professional member of NMEA and founder and director of the Youth Ocean Conservation Team and Stow It-Don’t Throw It Project.

He is currently a member of the NMEA Conservation Committee and his local chapter, the Florida Marine Science Educators Association (FMSEA), and is participating in NMEA strategic planning that is currently underway. 

Sean RussellWe asked him four key questions about his experience with NMEA:

1. Why did you join NMEA?

I joined NMEA to have an avenue to expand the reach of my work engaging students in ocean conservation and marine debris prevention initiatives on a national level.

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

Through NMEA, I’ve had the opportunity to network with and be mentored by experts in the fields of marine science education and conservation. Their input and knowledge base has benefited my conservation work with young people, led to new partnerships to support this work, and has helped shape my career path.

Additionally, the national and international platform NMEA provides through its annual conference and online communication systems, has been a valuable asset to me as I work to spread a series of student-driven Youth Ocean Conservation Summits across the country and expand on my marine debris prevention work through the Stow It-Don’t Throw It Project.

Sean Russell

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

I’m most proud of NMEA’s work to ensure ocean education is a key component of science education programs across the U.S. and on an international scale. By supporting the development of ocean literacy principles, NMEA is helping disseminate knowledge of the ocean and its importance to students of all ages.  

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

Engaging, connected, knowledgeable.

Join Sean during our Google Hangout On Air on Thursday, May 15 at 4 p.m. EST

Tags:  member highlight  membership 

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NMEA Member Highlight: Sarah Richards

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Sarah RichardsSarah Richards is an associate chair and teacher in the Science Department of Saint Ann's School in Brooklyn, NY.

She is currently a member of the Executive Committee and secretary for NMEA and an active member of her local chapter, the New York State Marine Education Association (NYSMEA). 

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

1. Why did you join NMEA? 
I joined NMEA in order to meet and network with other teachers, share curriculum ideas, and to be a better-informed marine science educator.

2. How has NMEA helped you achieve your professional goals? 
I have certainly met the three goals stated above!  Through attending the annual conferences, using Scuttlebutt, and being a member of the NMEA board, I have met so many wonderful people who are passionate about marine science and marine education.

3. What are you most proud of NMEA for accomplishing/influencing?
I am most proud of the work that NMEA has done with the ocean literacy principles - helping to write them, and having them be incorporated into the Next Generation Science Standards.

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

Our Membership Drive is underway until June 8, so if you join now, you'll be eligible for raffle prizes from aquariums around the country and our grand prize, a GoPro camera! We'd love to have you join us! Find out more about membership in NMEA today >

Photo courtesy of Sarah Richards

 

Tags:  member highlight  membership  NYSMEA 

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