For the ten years our project was fuded, all four primary Gulf states served by the CGOM (Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida) featured the annual Summer Institute
These Summer Institutes were intense, placed-based, and field-oriented; they included the development of five to seven professional development activities, which the teachers shared with their peers upon returning to their respective schools in the fall. The Institute's focus each summer was based on enhanced oceanography and coastal processes content, strengthening instructional skills, and developing lesson plans/activities that were aligned with the National Science Education Standards (NSES) and the Ocean Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts.
During the programs operation, teachers were engaged over a three-week timeframe in the Online Institute component. This component encompassed presentations, reading assignments and videos made by six additional research scientists, social scientists, and/or educators. (See statistics and reviews from the 2008 online component.) The online component also featured topics such as an overview of the Gulf of Mexico and the importance of stewardship. Teacher-participants also developed an activity on each of these topics.
The Sea Scholars program was implemented aboard one of the U.S. Navy's 329-foot oceanographic survey ships as they become available. The COSEE-CGOM award, funded by NSF, leveraged funding by NOAA and the U.S. Navy into a model collaboration since its inception in 2003.