Bob Chen ~ Urban Oceanographer

Ocean Literacy brochure

Speaking The Same Language
Increases Understanding

  Ocean Literacy brochure
The Ocean Literacy Campaign is, according to the Ocean Literacy Network, "a wide-ranging, collaborative and de-centralized effort by scientists and educators to create a more ocean literate society." Dr. Bob Chen and COSEE New England were key participants in the early development of the Ocean Literacy concept. One of the first questions that COSEE New England addressed was, how do you measure excellence? How do you know if efforts to raise the level of understanding about the ocean are working? By what standard do you measure? Finding the answer meant defining what might be meant by "ocean literacy".

"It's a model of defining the literacy of any field."
Bob had previously collaborated with a geologist, a policymaker and a biologist on developing key concepts for environmental science literacy, setting the stage for his subsequent focus on ocean literacy. And the nature of COSEE collaborations was an incubator for this focus - since the scientific content must be correct, it must fit into formal education frameworks, and it must be translatable to informal education settings.

In further rounds of collaboration, the COSEE Network, National Geographic and NOAA worked together on the refinement of the Ocean Literacy principles and key concepts.

Visit the Ocean Literacy Network for a complete history of the Ocean Literacy Campaign or download the Ocean Literacy brochure.