To Define Ocean Literacy. Map Ocean Content to K-12 Science Standards.
Other "Ocean Literacy" and Related Efforts Other "Literacy" Projects Involve Constituency Groups and Individuals to reach a consensus Workshop Planning Team 16 day Online Workshop October 2004 Working Group Results and Outputs D:\My Documents\College of Exploration\Ocean Literacy\Glossary.pdf Sponsors Endorsed by Ongoing Collaboration
index_img1.gif 1. Other "Ocean Literacy" and Related Efforts
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NMEA/COSEE NSES Ad Hoc Subcommittee Report
The NMEA/COSEE National Science Education Standards (NSES) Ad Hoc committee views its charter as making the recommendation to NMEA to establish a task force that includes educators, scientists, and technologists to better define the important marine and aquatic science literacy concepts and to establish linkages to existing state and national standards that will strengthen science education.  The teaching of marine/ocean and aquatic science topics to K-12 students in all schools depends on their eventual inclusion in state and national standards.  The effort to achieve this inclusion is an important step in bringing awareness and understanding of the ocean and aquatic areas to students and the general public. 

The NMEA/COSEE NSES Ad Hoc Committee therefore offers the following seven recommendations to the NMEA Board of Directors and the National COSEE Council for endorsement:

1) This ad hoc committee recognizes that currently, there are no immediate plans to revise the NSES.  However, if and when the NSES are revised, NMEA and COSEE should aggressively work together to ensure that Key Concepts in the marine/ocean and aquatic sciences are integrated or infused into any revision.

2) That a list of Key Concepts (potential, future standards) that every graduating high-school student should know about the ocean and aquatic areas be produced. Marine/ocean and aquatic science educators with the help of marine/ocean and aquatic research scientists will develop these Key Concepts.

3) That age-appropriate marine/ocean and aquatic content strands that lead to understanding the Key Concepts year by year be developed so students realize the relevance of the oceans and their watersheds by the time they graduate from high school.  That a document (combining the results of recommendations #2 and #3) be used to influence future state and national science standards.  It is not the intention of this Committee to suggest the development of a comprehensive set of “ocean sciences standards,” but rather to identify the essential marine/ocean and aquatic sciences Key Concepts that should be incorporated into any existing or future science standards. 

4) That high quality curricular materials that enhance teachers’ abilities to teach marine/ocean and aquatic sciences be identified, and where gaps exist, needs for new or revised materials -- based on sound science -- be determined. The focus should be on high- quality, nationally available materials that use rigorous content and effective, inquiry-based pedagogy.  These materials can be used to teach the marine/ocean and aquatic sciences Key Concepts, as well as the content currently specified in the NSES using examples from the marine/ocean and aquatic sciences. 

5) That all current state science standards that include marine/ocean and aquatic sciences content be compiled and compared with the Key Concepts developed in recommendations #2 and #3.  This information should be used to inform recommendation #6. 

6) That the NMEA Board of Directors and its members, along with the National COSEE Network aggressively work to influence the writing or the revision of state standards to include marine/ocean and coastal sciences concepts.  For example, Florida may be one of the early states to revise their state standards; a proactive effort should be made by NMEA and COSEE to gain inclusion of marine/ocean and aquatic sciences Key Concepts in any revisions. 

7) That the Key Concepts, content strands, and age appropriate material be incorporated into science textbooks where marine/ocean and aquatic content are covered to ensure that rigorous, accurate, and important marine/ocean and aquatic sciences are included and taught.  Specifically, textbooks for California, New York, Texas and Florida should be targeted because these states dominate the textbook market and strongly influence the resources offered to other states. 


Elizabeth A. Day
Education Program Leader, NOAA/Sea Grant

Craig Strang
Associate Director, Lawrence Hall of Science
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COSEE NE Initiative
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Bob Stewart "What every high School Science Student should know"
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Bob Stewart's summary presentation on Ocean Literacy
Ocean Commission Report -Education Chapter 8
California Environmental Education Law
Education and the Environment Act

AB 1548, the Education and the Environment Act, authored by Fran Pavley and sponsored by Heal the Bay, was signed into law in October 2003. AB 1548 calls upon the Secretary for Environmental Protection and the Calif. Integrated Waste Management Board, in cooperation with the Resources Agency, State Dept. of Education, State Board of Education, and Secretary for Education to:
    • Develop education principles for the environment for schools, grades K-12 by July 1, 2004;
    • Ensure education principles and concepts for the environment are aligned to academic content standards adopted by the State Board of Education;
    • If the content standards are revised, the education principles and concepts for the environment shall be appropriately considered for inclusion into part of the revised academic content standards;
    • The education principles shall be incorporated in criteria developed for textbook adoption in Science, Mathematics, English/Language Arts, and History/Social Sciences; and
    • Develop model environmental education curriculum for K- 12 schools by July 1, 2006..

The purpose of the Act is threefold: to fix the current disconnect between the regulatory mandate for education and the lack of state guidance; to better align and coordinate the state's various disparate environmental education programs and offices; and to fill critical gaps in current academic content standards.  Statewide content standards for grades K through 12 lack comprehensive environmental education content -- for example, now, students in the 6th grade learn about energy sources, but not energy conservation…science content standards for the 3rd grade specify the idea of extinction, but nothing about endangered species, etc.  Given that California has serious pollution, ecosystem degradation, and natural resource scarcity concerns, it is imperative that children learn about these issues and make informed decisions about their individual impact on the environment. 

The Act’s environmental education principles and concepts are being designed with a multidisciplinary approach to demonstrate how environmental education can help teach other academic content standards.  Cognizant of the many requirements already imposed on teachers, the goal is to have environmental education content interwoven in teaching core subject areas to mastery.

Technical working groups composed of educators, academicians, scientists, industry trade associations, and others convened to develop the principles and concepts, which cover a wide array of disciplines. The principles and the curriculum will also undergo standards alignment and curriculum review in fall of 2004.  The development process also incorporates a web outreach component, and interested parties will be able to register for on-line discussion forums through the AB 1548 website:

A broad-based educational partnership has also been convened and will strategize about funding for curriculum development and review, as well as outreach efforts to various stakeholders.

For additional information, please contact:
Andrea Lewis, CalEPA, (916) 322-7179; Bonnie Bruce, Cal. Integrated Waste Management Board, (916) 341-6027
Leslie Mintz, Heal the Bay, (310) 453-0395 ext 115.
National Geographic 2002
What should an Ocean Literate Person Know?
Participants from the January 2002 Ocean Literacy workshop agreed that to be “ocean literate” pre-college graduates should:
· Be aware of issues concerning the usage and sustainability of the oceans as a finite resource;
· Be cognizant of both global and local environmental issues and the interconnectedness of all species;
· Be knowledgeable of technological impacts on oceans.
· Be able to diagram ocean problems, policies, and issues.
· Be aware of the importance that oceans serve in our daily lives.
· Be knowledgeable of the enormity and complexity of oceans.
National Science Education Standards
index_img2.gif 2. Other "Literacy" Projects
Follow example of previous National Geographic Workshop "Oceans for Life" Ocean Literacy through Geography 2002
Definitions of Science Literacy
Science for All Americans
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Science Benchmarks
Encourage broadest possible multidisciplinary definition of ocean literacy
index_img3.gif 3. Involve Constituency Groups and Individuals to reach a consensus
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index_img4.gif 4. Workshop Planning Team
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Create Agenda
Invitee Recommendations
Outline Process
Facilitate online conference
Sarah Schoedinger, Francesca Cava, Craig Strang, Peter Tuddenham
Constituency/ Ocean Community relationships
index_img5.gif 5. 16 day Online Workshop October 2004
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100 Invitees - One hour per day 16 days asynchronously = equivalent of 2 full days face- to-face meeting 18 - 31 October 2004
Asynchronous Computer Conference - An Online Workshop on College of Exploration Computer Conference Center
Invitation, Registration, Preparation
Complete Survey
Registration for online access
Background Reading and preparation
Survey of Attendees
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Day by Day Agenda
Introductions and Video segments
Review Summary of Survey
Ocean Literacy Themes
Identify Ocean Content and Concepts to meet Science Standards
Review Science Standards and Benchmarks
Discuss and Consensus on Ocean Literacy
Applications to different educational settings
Tools, techniques for K-12 educators to work with
Suggest Assessments
Output Document
Summary of Discussions produced by Editor
Working community definition of "ocean literacy" at K-12 level
Map of Ocean Content to Science Standards and Benchmarks
Answer two questions
What do we mean by Ocean Literacy?
What subjects/concepts can be mapped to K-12 National Science Standards?
Examples from previous workshop for geography
Backwards Design Process by Wiggins
Focus on Overarching Enduring Themes
Description of the Understanding by Design
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Meeting Room
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Science Standards Input
Unifying Concepts and Processes
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Science as Inquiry
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Physical Science
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Life Science
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Earth and Space
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Science and Technology
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Personal and Social Perspectives
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History and Nature of Science
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index_img6.gif 6. Working Group
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Survey Summary
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Draft Matrix
Meeting at Berkeley CA Jan 31- Feb 1 2005
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index_img7.gif 7. Results and Outputs
Publication/chart/pamphlet that puts ocean content to science standards and benchmarks
Enduring Issues and Themes that constitute Ocean Literacy
Contribute to/influence K-12 text book industry
Follow Up to Participants and Community with Draft Document
Presentation at NMEA 2005
Public Website on this Process
index_img8.gif 8. Glossary
index_img9.gif 9. Sponsors
National Geographic Society
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index_img10.gif 10. Endorsed by
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The Ocean Project
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American Zoo and Aquarium Association
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11. Ongoing Collaboration
Ocean Literacy WIKI
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