2019 NMEA Award Winners

Johnette D. Bosarge Memorial Award—for service and dedication to NMEA or the local chapter.

Carrie Carlin

Carrie, a formal educator, has been an active member of the Mid-Atlantic Marine Education Association (MAMEA) regularly attending the annual conference, and participating in mini-conferences and other opportunities for networking and professional development. Carrie was elected Virginia State Representative on the MAMEA board in 2012 and is the chapter’s current President.

As President-Elect, Carrie was responsible for planning the 2018 MAMEA conference, and she has since transitioned into the President role, leading the chapter in all aspects of our organization. Carrie encourages new members to become more involved, developing future board members and active supporters of MAMEA.

In the classroom, Carrie is extremely enthusiastic about marine education. One step into her classroom at Atlee High School and you know that this is a personal and professional passion of hers, with ocean related décor and hands-on science equipment everywhere. From developing unique tools to engage her students, to taking standardized concepts and transforming them into a unique curriculum, marine education is a huge part of Carrie’s teaching. Carrie can always be called on to test a lesson that formal and informal educators are creating to see how it will work in classroom environment.

James Centorino Award—for distinguished performance in marine education at a regional and/or national level.

Craig Strang

A long time NMEA member and leader, Craig has made major contributions and demonstrated dedication to marine and environmental education that truly exemplifies the qualities of the James Centorino Award. Craig is a well-respected leader at local, regional, national and international levels and works tirelessly on behalf of the Ocean Literacy Campaign as well as on other science and environmental education endeavors.

As Associate Director of the Lawrence Hall of Science at University of California Berkeley, and Director of the Learning and Teaching Group, Craig is Principal Investigator (PI) on a wide variety of grants and author of many articles, presentations and instructional materials in marine science.

For example, Craig served as PI and Director of the Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE)-California. Craig’s vision, collaborations, and support were instrumental, as he co-led the development of Ocean Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts, which resulted in the Ocean Literacy Guide in 2005, and the development of the Ocean Literacy Scope and Sequence for Grades K-12 in 2010. This publication has been shared with many educators across the country as Craig and colleagues present it through workshops and presentations often at NMEA conferences.

Craig has been an invited keynote speaker and presenter at many organizations where he shares information on ocean and environmental education and science learning, including speaking before the House Appropriations Committee in Congress, regarding the importance of inquiry-based science education. Craig has made more than 50 presentations about Ocean Literacy and the Ocean Literacy Framework documents.

He uses every opportunity he can to benefit the marine environment and support marine science education through his involvement in multiple science and education organizations and committees, such as the West Coast Governor’s Agreement on Ocean Health. He has disseminated marine science education programs developed at Lawrence Hall of Science to Germany, Sweden, Japan, China, and Korea making an even broader impact on marine science education.

Aside from all of these accomplishments, one thing that stands out is Craig’s long and productive involvement with NMEA. Craig has been a clear and respected voice and supporter in NMEA since 1985 and has presented countless times at the annual conferences. His involvement in NMEA includes serving: 1) on the NMEA Board of Directors for many years, 2) on the NMEA Board Executive Committee (more than once), 3) as the founding Chair of the Ocean Literacy Committee, and 4) as President of NMEA (2012-2013).

Craig has broadened the message of NMEA and of Ocean Literacy through his active engagement and support of new “NMEA” modeled marine science organizations, which have arisen from international interest in NMEA. As one of the original members of the International Pacific Marine Educators Network (IPMEN) he continued to promote OL to other areas of the globe. He has been active in the creation of the European Marine Science Educators Association (EMSEA), the recently formed Asia Marine Science Education Association (AMEA), and other international ocean and aquatic focused organizations.

Craig’s guidance, wisdom, dedication and thoughtfulness have benefitted NMEA at the national and international level, representing not only NMEA, but truly helping to bring the world of water, both salt and fresh, and Ocean Literacy to the rest of the country and the world.

Outstanding Teacher—for effective and innovative classroom teaching at any level.

Julianne Mueller-Northcott

Julianne is a Marine biology teacher at Souhegan High School in Amherst, New Hampshire who helps her students develop skills as scientists by combining innovative projects with her enthusiasm for science, and her passion for the ocean and our responsibility to maintain and sustain it.

Julianne has her students investigate current ocean issues and then propose solutions. For instance, Julianne uses documentaries like "Sharkwater" and "Sharkwater Extinction,” by Rob Stewart to provide her students with an initial source of information about shark finning and then encourages them to find ways to publicly spread the word, thus getting them involved in advocacy.

Another example of how Julianne uses current issues to teach marine biology was when there was the Unusual Mortality Event of seals in the Gulf of Maine. Students learned about the relationship between the seals and pollution and compared current data with historic data.

Julianne uses intriguing and creative methods of instruction that make her students key stakeholders in their own learning. Examples of this are the Bio-Diversity and Climate Change Summits in which Marine Biology students worked with both Statistics and Environmental Sciences classes to collaborate and share ideas. Through these types of projects, Julianne demonstrates how different disciplines work together in the sciences and that advancements in marine science are dependent upon different scientists working together.

Julianne's students not only learn how design their own inquires, they also learn how to apply what they learn to real world topics such as SCUBA. Her water chemistry unit includes scuba diving and how it affects a person on a biological and chemical physiology. The unit includes different diving methods, the equipment used, different types of gasses, how humans adjust to the conditions, diving’s importance in marine biology, and the dangers of diving in marine field research. In correlation with this unit the students read the book, Deep, by James Nestor, and his journey of learning how to free dive.


Marine Education Award—Individual: for outstanding work and leadership in any aspect of marine education at the local, regional, or national level.

Kyle Troy

Kyle is a naturalist and Marine Educator in the Village of Mamaroneck, New York's Marine Education Center.

Kyle has created a program from scratch at the Marine Education Center located in Harbor Island Park that has introduced young people and adults to the natural environment and abundant marine life that surround the Long Island Sound Shore community. She is passionate about teaching children to appreciate and treasure the nursery of life that is the Village of Mamaroneck's section of Long Island Sound.

Kyle operates the Center from April till November where families drop in daily at a steady and consistent rate. Kyle has been described as unfailingly kind, patient and considerate with all the residents who come through the Center. Her knowledge of local marine life is described as “encyclopedic.” In the off season, she guest lectures at local schools on the local marine environment and works with youth groups on special projects. One of those projects was a floating wetland that Kyle made in conjunction with a local Girl Scout troop.

Her innovation, passion and commitment make her an exemplary recipient for this year’s NMEA Marine Education Award.

Marine Education Award—Organization: for outstanding work and leadership by an organization in any aspect of marine education at the local, regional, or national level.

Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs

The Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs’ (Bow Seat) mission is to activate the next wave of ocean leaders through the arts, science, and advocacy. Since 2012, Bow Seat has provided a space for teens to connect, create, and communicate for our blue planet through innovative programming that works at the intersection of science and arts education, with a focus on amplifying youth voices to advance dialogue and participation in ocean conservation.


  • The Ocean Awareness Contest (Contest), challenges teens to creatively explore the connections between human activities and the health of our ocean through visual art, writing, music, and film. With themes ranging from overfishing and oil spills to plastic pollution and climate change, the Contest has been at the forefront of introducing ocean issues to thousands of students around the world.

  • The Marine Debris Creative Advocacy Competition (Competition)—endorsed by the NOAA Marine Debris Program—challenges students to design and lead creative campaigns in their community that educate others about marine debris and inspire action to reduce or prevent pollution. Through beach cleanups, art exhibitions, and public awareness campaigns, participants have made tangible impacts on the ocean and local watersheds.

Since 2012, Bow Seat has engaged nearly 10,000 teens from 78 countries and all 50 U.S. states, and it has awarded almost $300,000 in scholarships to help advance their creative talents and their passion for the ocean.

For many students, participating in Bow Seat’s programs is a stepping stone into the world of advocacy. The artistic process is a means for them to investigate knowledge and feelings around issues, as well to find and share their voice. It shapes their attitudes about their own power to make a difference and gives them the courage to speak up about the changes they want to see for their community and for their future.

President’s Award—given by the current President of NMEA based on outstanding contributions to NMEA and/or marine education.

Jennifer Magnusson

Jenn began working as our Social Media and Community Manager in 2018. No matter what idea our Board or members throw at her, Jennifer responds positively and thoughtfully, with ideas to engage our community and share our messages.

Jenn describes herself as a behind-the-scenes marine educator. She has worked in the classroom, at an aquarium, in an advertising agency, and at research lab, and credits each experience with helping her to develop her science communication skills. She has worked with a variety of 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! Jenn says, “the ocean inspires me and I aspire to boost ocean literacy through social media, science communication, website and graphic design.”

This year, Jennifer has spearheaded our #WeAreNMEA Campaign, and picked up where our technology committee left off to create a beautiful, welcoming, and more functional website. We are all grateful for Jenn’s work, and I’m glad to award her the 2019 NMEA President’s Award.

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