Oceans For Life virtual teacher workshop April 16 - 28 2007

About Oceans for Life - Graduate Credit - Register for Credit and Syllabus

Registration information for credit will be posted here soon.


Syllabus for


“Empty Oceans ?:   A Virtual Teacher Workshop

to celebrate Earth Day”

A National Geographic Society Online Virtual Teacher Workshop


April 16 to May 4 , 2007



Course Title: “Empty Oceans?   A Virtual Teacher Workshop to celebrate Earth Day: Exploring the State and Future of the Ocean's Fisheries”


Course Description:

This year, in support of Earth Day, the National Geographic, the University of Southern California and its partners are launching a workshop for teachers to help bring environmental issues into the classroom.   Since 1969, these issues have grown in number, importance and complexity.  Perhaps, one of the most unexpected has been the recent prediction that we may be facing a complete collapse in marine species by 2050.  Is this possible?  What does this mean and what can we do to prevent this disaster? Educator participants will interact online with research scientists to explore the state and future of our ocean's fisheries.   Participants will explore biological and environmental aspects of fisheries and ideas of how to protect and sustain this vital resource. Classroom application of topics is emphasized.



In conjunction with Earth Day, National Geographic presents a 2-week virtual teacher workshop for teachers to bring a relevant environmental topic into the classroom. Recent predictions suggest we may be facing a complete collapse in marine species by 2050. Is this possible?   What does this mean and what can be done to prevent it? Educator participants will interact online with research scientists and authors to explore the future of the world's fisheries. This online teachers' workshop will examine fisheries from three perspectives: The blue fin tuna -- What is happening to a one of the most important commercial species in the ocean?   Newfoundland -- How has the change in fisheries affected a region historically dependent on the ocean?   New Zealand – What lessons can be learned by this pioneer in marine protected areas?   The workshop is open to all teachers and educators looking for a way to bring the wonder of the world's oceans to their students.   Teacher resources will include access to research findings, lesson plans, links to news stories, magazine articles, video clips, Internet links, and photographic archive that illustrate these issues. National Geographic will also provide online resources.



Lead instructors: Francesca Cava and Lynn Whitley


Contact information:

Francesca Cava                                                 Lynn Whitley

Ocean Literacy Program Manager                     Director of Education

National Geographic Society                              Sea Grant Program,

854 Jimeno Road                                              University of Southern California , AHF 209

Santa Barbara , CA   93103                                Los Angeles , CA 90089-0373

Phone:   805-963-3238                                      Phone: 213-740-1964

Fax:       805-963-2438                                      Fax: 213-740-5936

Cell:       805-218-8933                                     Email <lwhitley@usc.edu>

Email < fcava@ngs.org>



Week One: April 16 – 20, 2007

Keynote Presentation:

Carl Safina, a renowned scientist and author will present his findings and facilitate a better understand of what this issue of future fisheries means to you. He will explore the biology and ecology of the blue fin tuna as a specific example, along with other biological and ecological fisheries issues.

Dr. Mike Libbee, University of Michigan , will provide teachers with ideas, activities and teaching opportunities for the classroom.


Week Two April 23- April 27, 2007


Keynote Presentation:

Greg Marshall, National Geographic marine biologist, will discuss the vital importance of oceans for life on Earth.  He will explore the challenges of understanding and conserving such a vast and alien world through applied research and show how his Crittercam research in the North Atlantic, around New Zealand and in the Pacific helped shape our understanding of life in these waters.  Using historical fisheries issues in Newfoundland as a comparison, he will explain the science of marine protected areas and how marine protected areas may not only protect marine life, but may also help protect fisheries, with New Zealand as a successful example.

Dr. Mike Libbee, University of Michigan , will continue to work with teachers providing ideas, activities and teaching opportunities for the classroom.


(Please note: Week Three April 30 – May 4 is set aside for participants to complete assignments and have guided discussion on any post keynote topic questions, thus the workshop ends on 5/4.)


Breakout Discussion Sessions

In addition to interacting with keynote speakers, throughout the online course, participants will also be able to participate online in the discussion sessions, which will be lead by a team of experts. These discussion sections will focus on Teacher Resource and Activities with special breakout sessions for elementary, middle school and high school teachers on each topic



1. Read and Participate in all sessions.   Join and read each of the keynotes sessions.   Attendance will be verified using the monitoring feature of our Caucus software.

-“Listen” to Keynote speakers, ask questions: 2 hours per week

-Do a Keynote related activity: 2 hours per week


2. Participate in breakout session(s).

-Dialogue with other teachers/break out sessions: 2   hours per week

-Explore web links: 1.5 hour per week


3. Answer the question for the week in the graduate credit room, the question will relate to the Keynote topic.


4. Review the conference resources and provide feedback on their use in the classroom. Questions will be posted online asking teachers to test the resources in their classroom, if possible, and to provide feedback on student's ability to understand and use the information provided.


5.   Complete the Workshop Evaluation. The survey will be posted online and will include questions about the participants' individual learning as well as the workshop format, structure, and content.



Instructor to ascertain that all requirements have been met as stated above






“Empty Oceans?” is a collaborative project between the National Geographic Society, the University of Southern California Sea Grant Program and The College of Exploration





Welcome | Programs | Projects | Events | Services | Store | Community

About Us | Our Team | Mission | Contact | Search

© 2007 College of Exploration
All Rights Reserved

The College of Exploration is a 501c3 not-for-profit educational organization incorporated in Virginia, USA in 1991.