Empowering Literacy through Coexploration

At the College of Exploration, we are committed to advancing literacy in critical areas that shape our understanding of the world and our place within it. Our mission is to foster collaborative environments that bring together experts, educators, and learners from diverse backgrounds to explore, understand, and disseminate knowledge on complex subjects like oceanography, earth sciences, and systems literacy and network literacy..

Our Journey in Literacy began in 2000

Our partnership with esteemed organizations such as the National Geographic Society between 2000 and 2002 laid the foundation for our literacy initiatives. The culmination of this collaboration was the groundbreaking “Oceans for Life” guide, an invaluable resource for teaching geography through the lens of ocean science. 

The Oceans for Life guide was published by the National Geographic in 2003

Ocean Literacy 2004 – present

In 2004, we expanded our horizons by organizing, hosting, and co-leading an online conference and planning process with partners to develop the Ocean Literacy guide, published in 2005. This guide not only offered a comprehensive definition of ocean literacy but also outlined seven essential principles and 44 concepts integral to understanding the ocean’ influence on us and our influence on the ocean.

The orginial College of Exploration ocean literacy website created in 2005 is at https://oceanliteracy.wp2.coexploration.org and is currently being updated.   This 25 year project started in the USA with the aim to encourage teachers to use the ocean to teach science in K-12 schools in the USA. “Ocean Literacy”. is now a global term and widespread “movement” to encourage and develop an ocean literate world.

Portugal adopted the idea and created its own version in 2012.  Also in 2012 the first Ocean Literacy Conference in Europe was organized in Bruges, Belgium. In 2014 the term “Ocean Literacy” was in the 2014 Galway Agreement. In 2015 the European Union Horizon 2020 Sea Change Project began promoting Ocean Literacy in Europe. We helped create the European Marine Science Educators Association

UNESCO IOC provide another vector of leadership on ocean literacy. See video below.

We helped form the Asia Marine Educators Association in 2015.

The US National Marine Educators Association has created an update to Ocean Literacy.


Our commitment to literacy did not stop at the ocean. In 2010, we played a pivotal role in facilitating the Earth Science Literacy initiative, creating a guide that outlines the big ideas and concepts every citizen should know about Earth sciences.

In 2009 we hosted over 150 scientists, educators, and policy makers on our Caucus Online Campus to establish the key big ideas and concepts. https://www.coexploration.org/earthscienceliteracy/index.html

See also  https://www.earthscienceliteracy.org

Systems Literacy: A Holistic Approach 2008 to present

Recognizing the interconnectedness of our world, we launched a systems literacy initiative in 2008. This initiative aims to integrate knowledge across various domains, including ocean, earth, atmosphere, energy, and climate, to promote a more holistic understanding of our planet’s systems.

2008 Webpage on Systems Literacy

Systems Literacy Website

Network Science and Network Literacy

In 2023 a group called “NetSciEd” consisting of The College of Exploration and partners from the Network Science Society, the Woods Hole Institute, the Network Science Institute at Northeastern University and the Mathmatics Department at Ramapo University created a short video completed in April 2024 to introduce Network Science and Network Literacy.

Facilitating Collaborative Success

At the College of Exploration, we excel in facilitating both online and in-person meetings that are not just gatherings, but incubators for innovation and collaboration. Our expertise lies in creating environments that encourage participation, exchange of ideas, and collective problem-solving, leading to the creation of meaningful group products in literacy.

Join Us in Our Literacy Endeavors

Whether you are an educator looking to enhance your curriculum, a scientist eager to share your research, or a curious learner passionate about understanding our planet, the College of Exploration welcomes you. Together, we can deepen our collective literacy and empower others to make informed decisions about our world.

Join us in our journey to illuminate minds and inspire stewardship of our planet through collaborative literacy initiatives.