2010 Update

COSEE SE partnerships and friendships have opened doors of opportunity for engagement with regional science and education programs. As one of the seven original COSEE centers, we have built a strong network in our region, resulting in the sharing of programs of excellence, initiating innovative projects and addressing the needs of scientists and educators with actions.

New Regional Collaboration

The Governors’ South Atlantic Alliance formally initiated opportunities in October 2009 for new collaborations among North and South Carolina, Georgia and Florida in coastal regional planning. COSEE SE is proud to be listed and linked as one of the ongoing regional initiatives in this Alliance. As the Alliance gains in momentum, we hope to provide insight to ocean sciences education.


Lemuel Patterson takes Secchi disc information in a Georgia tidal creek during ’09 Coastal Legacy
Lemuel Patterson takes Secchi disc information in a Georgia tidal creek
during ’09 Coastal Legacy
Dr. Lemuel Patterson, COSEE SE partner and elementary science instructor in Columbia, SC, received the Mary McLeod Bethune Outstanding Teacher Award from the National Alliance of Black School Educators. He received the award because of his dedication and commitment to student achievement. "My first love is teaching about earth and space science," said Patterson, who added that he is humbled by the honor.

The Lander University graduate received a Master's degree from the University of South Carolina and his doctorate from South Carolina State University. His early education years were spent in segregated schools. Later he was one of 12 black students who attended Abbeville High School during the early years of integration. After receiving an associate's degree in early childhood education, he went to work for Head Start, a job that instilled in him the belief that all children can learn. Patterson served as a teacher specialist for the South Carolina Department of Education, sharing his expertise with science teachers. Today Patterson teaches science at Burton-Pack Elementary School.

Lemuel Patterson, in partnership with National Geographic, has made it possible for students to photograph the Earth from the space shuttle Endeavour and has had student payloads put in the shuttle. In partnership with COSEE SE, his students have learned about the ocean. Since 2003, Patterson has attended COSEE SE summer programs, both as a participant and in the role of instructor. Patterson has helped to make sure these workshops identify the contributions of African-Americans to ocean sciences. We are proud that Lemuel is in our COSEE SE family and is now nationally recognized.

Regional Research

Regional research projects are excellent opportunities to meet regional scientists and assist with outreach plans.

CI-FLOW COSEE SE has partnered with the Coastal and Inland Flooding Observation and Warning Project (CI-FLOW), a collaborative research and outreach project between North and South Carolina Sea Grants and NOAA National Severe Storms Center. CI-FLOW was developed in response to the devastation caused from flooding during the 1999 hurricanes Dennis and Floyd. "Tracking the raindrop from the sky to the summit to the sea" is CI-FLOW's tagline and the central theme guiding its science.

This revolutionary flood-modeling project strives to be more accurate in predicting the magnitude and extent of flooding in estuaries and coastal zones in North Carolina. CI-FLOW also incorporates storm surge and wind characteristics in watershed stream flow predictions. "There's a need for better water information in coastal watersheds that experience tides," says Suzanne Van Cooten, a hydrometeorologist and Sea Grant Extension Specialist at NOAA's National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) in Norman, Oklahoma. COSEE SE has partnered with the project and is prepared to work with the dissemination of CI-FLOW’s outreach products.

Building a BOB at SkIO
Joe Oliver, University of North Carolina-Wilmington, and Doug Levin, NOAA,
build a BOB at SkIO, 2009
BOB COSEE SE and the Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA) are extending the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office project Building the Basic Observational Buoy (BOB) as an educational project for universities and high schools to address STEM disciplines. In January 2009, the initial workshop (BOB I) was hosted at the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography (SkIO) in Savannah, Georgia. Research scientists from eight regional universities and formal and informal educators worked collaboratively to construct and test buoy platform designs. To build upon the successful designs from the BOB I workshop, an upcoming March 2010 workshop (BOB II) will focus on water quality sensors for different levels of monitoring, calibration and data interpretation. BOB II will also include members of COSEE Coastal Trends and universities in Virginia and Maryland.

The BOB community of researchers and educators has grown during the past year. Innovative applications are being tested on university and high school levels. UNC-Wilmington and Jacksonville University have included BOB in their undergraduate programs, and Kinsler Mack, chemistry teacher at Beaufort High School, South Carolina has started an after-school BOB club. His students have built five BOBs that gather coastal water data and they will present this project at the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium in Columbia, South Carolina. The BOB design and the abilities of its sensors to take continuous water data were introduced to eighteen regional teachers during the 2009 COSEE SE Coastal Legacy summer professional development workshop in Waverly, Georgia. Follow-up evaluation revealed that several educators returned to their classrooms and implemented lessons based on water quality monitoring and data.

HABs The NOAA Phytoplankton Monitoring Network, based in Charleston, trains volunteers in a citizen science project to identify potential harmful algal blooms in estuarine and coastal areas COSEE SE assisted Dr. Steve Morton, NOAA scientist, to extend this program to North Carolina and Georgia, and it has since gone national. Allison Sill, formerly with the NOAA PMN and now a middle school science teacher, narrated a podcast as part of the NOAA Diving Deeper series on Harmful Algal Blooms.

Broadening Participation

The report Survey on Diversity in Ocean Sciences Workforce in Federal and State Agencies and in Institutions of Higher Education in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia describes the results of a study to establish preliminary benchmarks on the diversity of the regional ocean science workforce. In addition, the results of the survey identified efforts to increase diversity in agencies and in universities. This survey reported information from 14 agencies and 24 institutions of higher education and marine laboratories, representing a 100% response rate from agencies, a 83% response rate from universities and other institutions of higher education, and an 91% overall response rate. In state and federal agencies over 92% of the workforce was reported to be white, and in universities and marine laboratories, over 87% of the workforce was reported to be white. Clearly the diversity in the ocean sciences workforce in the COSEE SE region does not reflect the demographics in the three states.


Cover of Educator’s Guide to Marine Debris
Cover of Educator’s Guide
to Marine Debris
The Educators Guide to Marine Debris: Southeast and Gulf of Mexico, a 44-page booklet of marine debris information and lessons, has gone international! COSEE SE coordinated the original collaborative effort of agencies in five southeastern states, including NOAA; COSEE Central Gulf of Mexico; J.L. Scott Marine Education Center; University of Georgia Marine Extension Service; Sea Grant offices in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina; Georgia Department of Natural Resources; South Carolina Department of Natural Resources; North Carolina Big Sweep; and South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. The Guide highlights regional issues concerning abandoned vessels, fishing gear, and litter, and contains lessons and resources. The guide was showcased at the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Clean Up annual spring meeting in Washington, DC. Kanyarat Kosavisutte, director of Green Fins Thailand, requested the use of the original manuscript for distribution during clean up in Thailand. The text was translated into Thai and the graphic artist, Jesse Peters, provided additional illustrations. The completed publication started being used in Thailand in September, thanks to a great team effort.

Professional Development

COSEE SE coordinated two summer professional development programs in 2009. The workshops engaged educators with scientists to extend research about two important southeastern themes: evidence of southeastern climate change, and estuarine water quality changes resulting from increasing population pressures. Based on evaluation and prioritization of COSEE SE funds, we are planning only one summer institute in 2010, but we are developing greater follow-through activities for our thematic efforts.

Angela Bliss and Jonathan Raul set up water quality sensors
Angela Bliss and Jonathan Raul
set up water quality sensors at ’09 Coastal Legacy
Coastal Legacy has been the COSEE SE science, technology and society (STS) professional development program. The 2009 workshop in Waverly, Georgia focused on the impacts of human development on coastal and estuarine habitats. This included topics such as water quality changes from storm water runoff and ecological stresses of invasive species. Participants included 18 educators, including a COSEE Great Lakes representative, and 13 scientists from NOAA Grays Reef National Marine Sanctuary, Savannah State University, University of Georgia Marine Extension Service, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, University of West Georgia, NOAA Hollings Marine Laboratory, and South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium.

The residential program began with an intense week of water quality and estuarine education comprised of content-rich presentations; hands-on, lab and field based activities; and networking opportunities with fellow educators and scientists. Post-workshop activities have included the development and implementation of lessons, teleconferences and presentations in conferences. Current efforts are underway to develop ongoing communication between Coastal Legacy educators and scientists using their common experiences in estuaries and water quality.

Teacher Wanda Hamilton and Carol Pride of Savannah State University use core samples to observe sediment climate changes at the 2009 Ocean Science Education Leadership Institute
Teacher Wanda Hamilton and Carol Pride of Savannah State University use core samples to observe sediment climate changes at the 2009 Ocean Science Education Leadership Institute
The Ocean Sciences Education Leadership Institute has been the COSEE SE STEM professional development program. Seas of Change: Evidence of Southeastern Climate Change is building a community of educators and researchers who participated during the 2009 Institute on climate change. In this program, researchers extended information on sea level rise, sea surface temperature and ocean acidification and associated impacts.

The 2010 summer Institute will host 30 formal and informal regional educators and 15 researchers in North Carolina from June 23 to July 1. Throughout the week-long resident event, scientists from North Carolina State University, Duke, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and other institutions will share their research on causes and impacts of changing sea levels, increasing sea surface temperatures and decreasing ocean acidity. Educators will receive experiences and resources for classroom or science center implementation. Demonstrations of STEM disciplines, alignment with state standards and Ocean and Climate Literacy Essential Principles, and discussions with scientists all benefit the educators. Scientists benefit from learning about education opportunities for outreach. We look forward to another teacher exchange with COSEE Great Lakes!

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