Online Professional Development Center

Online professional development offered by NOAA's Office of Exploration and Research provides educators with more in-depth studies into specific ocean science content through the context of ocean exploration. In partnership with The College of Exploration, an online campus setting provides the venue through which educators from around the world can meet, view keynote addresses given by ocean explorers and ask questions of keynote speakers online.

Inquiry- and Standards-based activities and other resources are also provided in a facilitated environment to enable educators to take content from the keynote addresses into a variety of teaching environments in an effort to enhance ocean science literacy and further promote Ocean Literacy Essential Principle #7 – “The ocean is largely unexplored.

Current Workshops

Ocean Sampling Day - Transatlantic Ocean Science and Ocean Literacy Online Workshop

May 4–22, 2015 and June 17-24, 2015 (optional follow-on)

NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, the European Union’s Micro B3 Project and the College of Exploration are working together to offer this online program.


  • Microbial Biodiversity in the Ocean
  • Importance of Establishing Baselines to Measure Changes in the Environment
  • Why Ocean Microbes are Canaries in the Coal Mine
  • OSD Sample Sites, Times, Protocols, Processing and Analysis
  • MyOSD Discover the superheroes of our ocean
  • River Sampling Day complementary activity

To learn more, download flyers and register, click here.


Explore the ocean

All life on Earth relies on the ocean — yet, the ocean is 95 percent unexplored, unknown and unseen by human eyes.

To understand, manage and protect the ocean and its resources, NOAA believes it is critical to support a systematic program of ocean exploration, using the best of ocean technology to explore, discover, inform, educate, and motivate.

The NOAA Ocean Exploration program strives to engage broad audiences to enhance America’s environmental literacy through the excitement of ocean discovery. Increasing this literacy requires high-quality, effective collaborations between ocean explorers and America’s teachers. NOAA regularly forms such collaborations to reach out in new ways to the public to improve the literacy of learners with respect to ocean issues.

All of our online professional development events are free for all participants and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Past Events / Workshops:

NOAA OER Online Professional Development Center (See legacy log-in box on right)

Explore Past Events:

  • Deep-sea Discoveries in the Atlantic onboard the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer (2014)
    (Click here to learn more about this past Online Workshop)
  • How Do We Explore? (Jan-Feb, 2011)
  • Lessons from the Deep: Exploring the Gulf of Mexico’s Deep-Sea Ecosystems (Oct 2010)
  • Why Do We Explore? (2010 and 2009)
  • Classroom Exploration of the Ocean - The NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer (2008)
  • International Pacific Marine Educators Conference (2007)
  • From Sea to Shining Sea: Exploring America's Ocean Realms (2006)
  • Classroom Exploration of the Ocean (II)  (2005)
  • Ocean Exploration: H.M.S. Challenger and Beyond (2004)
  • Classroom Exploration of the Ocean (I)  (2003)