Division of Ocean Sciences - Fall 2002 Newsletter
NSF 04-003
(Replaces NSF 03-014)

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INTEGRATED PROGRAMS SECTION

Crosscutting Programs | Biological Oceanography | Chemical Oceanography | Physical Oceanography | Marine Geology and Geophysics | Ocean Drilling Program | Education | Ocean Technology and Interdisciplinary Coordination


Education

Research Experiences for Teachers

PI’s may now request supplements to support teachers who wish to participate in their research programs. The intent of this endeavor is to facilitate professional development of K-12 science teachers through research experience at the cutting edge of science. OCE encourages all its grantees to make special efforts to identify talented teachers for participation in this RET-supplement opportunity.

We believe that encouraging active participation of teachers in on-going NSF projects is an excellent way to reach broadly into the teacher talent pool of our nation. The goal of the RET-supplement is to help build long-term collaborative relationships between K-12 teachers of science and the NSF research community. OCE is particularly interested in encouraging its researchers to build mutually rewarding partnerships with teachers in economically disadvantaged school districts.

For further information about this opportunity, please see the more complete description under the “Crosscutting Programs” heading at the front of this Program News section.

Centers for Ocean Science Education Excellence (COSEE) Network

The Ocean Education program is pleased to announce the initiation of a new network that seeks to improve ocean science education across the nation. The Centers for Ocean Science Education Excellence (COSEE) network was begun in the Fall of 2002 with the announcement of awards made to seven new COSEE centers and one central coordinating office.

History

The COSEE network developed in response to a community ‘needs assessment’ workshop for ocean science educators and researchers held in Long Beach, MS May 23-26, 2000. The 69 page report from the workshop was followed by a much shorter document in 2001 outlining key priorities for implementation of the community recommendations.

Funding

The first cohort of Centers was funded in 2002 after peer review of proposals submitted to NSF’s Division of Ocean Sciences. In addition to NSF support, funding has been provided by the Office of Naval Research, the U.S. Navy, the National Sea Grant College Program, the National Ocean Service and the Office of Undersea Exploration. The last three units are part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Goals

The COSEE network has several broad goals:

  1. to develop catalytic partnerships that link ocean science researchers and educators and add value for each group,

  2. to improve communication and coordination among ocean science education initiatives nationwide,

  3. to promote ocean education as an exciting vehicle to interest students in science and enhance science edu- cation, and

  4. to foster a deeper public understanding of the ocean and its influence on quality of life and national prosperity.

A Diverse Network

The COSEE network consists of seven regional Centers and one Central Coordinating Office (CCO) in Washington, DC. All regional Centers are partnerships that include: (1) a research institution or university ocean or environmental science program, (2) an informal education center or aquarium and (3) a formal education entity (such as a school district, community college or other educational institution). Network level coordinating and administrative services are provided by the CCO with guidance from the COSEE Council of representatives from each Center and the CCO.

The first cohort of NSF funded COSEE Centers is focused on the needs of a number of different audiences. All seven Centers seek to involve more ocean researchers in education. Five have major teacher professional development components. Two will develop or adapt new courses or curricula for undergraduate students. Three will design innovative new programs for informal educators. One focuses on African American cultural heritage and emphasizes the importance of regional community leadership.

Diversity is an important cross-cutting theme. Four of the seven Centers involve institutions or programs with a strong minority enrollment or focus. Three are working to improve science education in large urban areas with highly diverse school-age populations.

The Centers and Their Programs

Central Coordinating Office (Consortium for Oceanographic Research & Education; Va. Inst. Marine Science; U. of So. Carolina. Contact: Sarah Schoedinger (sschoedinger@coreocean.org). Coordinating and administrative functions. Network website. Network-level evaluation & outreach.

California COSEE (Lawrence Hall of Science, U. C. Berkeley; Monterey Peninsula College; Scripps Inst. of Oceanography). Contact Craig Strang (cstrang@uclink.berkeley.edu). Undergraduate ‘communicating ocean sciences’ course. CAREERS website. Links between researchers and educators. Whole school immersion in ocean science (K-8).

COSEE West (U.C.L.A.; Univ. of Southern California). Contact: Tony Michaels (tony@usc.edu). Master Teacher network and lectures focused on recent discoveries in ocean science to enhance K-12 science education. Scientist-educator forums. On-line teacher workshops. Web-site with real-time data.

Central Gulf of Mexico COSEE (U. of Southern Mississippi; LUMCON; Dauphin Island Sea Lab; Marine Science Inst. U. Texas; Florida Sea Grant). Contact: Sharon Walker (Sharon.walker@usm.edu). Summer Teacher Institutes. Workshops for informal educators and scientists. ‘Teacher at sea’ programs. Internships for minority students.

Florida COSEE (U. of So. Florida; Florida A&M U). Contact: Paula Coble (pcoble@marine.usf.edu). Web portal to support Center activities & enhance collaborative interactions statewide. Development and testing of an Oceans Concept Interactive Curriculum model for post-secondary non-science majors.

Southeastern COSEE (South Carolina Seagrant). Contact: L. Spence (lundie.spence@scseagrant.org). Regional inventories of ocean science research and education programs. Charrette to focus on effective design of programs for underrepresented groups. Regional Education Leadership Institute.

Mid-Atlantic COSEE (Rutgers U.; Stevens Institute of Technology; Virginia Institute of Marine Science; Hampton U.). Contact: Mike De Luca (Deluca@imcs.rutgers.edu). Effective use of near-real-time data from coastal observing systems in K-12 classrooms. Exemplary Internet resources. Exhibits at public aquaria using observatory data. Middle and high school teacher professional development. Training for graduate students and pre-service teachers.

New England Regional COSEE (New England Aquarium, Woods Hole Oceanographic; U. Mass @ Boston). Contact: Carolyn Levi (clevi@neaq.org). Distributed communications network for region. Experiments with different workshop models. Resource and Support Center to identify and evaluate exemplary materials.

Lisa Rom (erom@nsf.gov)
Sue Cook (scook@nsf.gov)

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