Isaac Ginis ~ Outreach Modeler


Providing Pivotal Moments

Dr. Isaac Ginis met National COSEE Office (NCO) Director Gail Scowcroft, and shortly after their initial meeting she invited him to participate in a COSEE workshop at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) conference in New Orleans. It was Isaac's first time attending an NSTA conference and he was amazed at the sight of 15,000 educators. "It was a pivotal moment for me because I saw such excitement expressed by the teachers," says Isaac. "All of a sudden I realized there are many more teachers than scientists!" He also realized that he had found a very effective way of communicating science.

COSEE provides Isaac with a framework to put around his outreach efforts, as well as providing more direct communication with science educators. Through collaborating with the NCO, Isaac is now in a position to work more directly with science teachers and informal educators and be more specific and practical in terms of developing material that can be used by them. "It's a two-way street," says Isaac. "The way I am helping teachers in developing content, they also teach me what can work and what cannot in terms of conveying scientific material."

One outgrowth of his work with COSEE is developing curriculum with individual science teachers, in particular with a teacher who has taught a high school "oceanology" class for 20 years. "Developing material teachers can use in the classroom is different from just giving lectures," says Isaac. "It's a more practical way of contributing to science education, at a different level from what I was doing."

"Without COSEE I would not be connected to science teachers."
Working with the NCO also gave Isaac the opportunity to give a lecture at Smithsonian Institution's Sant Ocean Hall as part of the Changing Tides lecture series. The next day Isaac participated in The Scientist is In, sitting in the Ocean Hall with his laptop and answering the questions of anyone who came by, from children to senior citizens.

Gail Scowcroft
Gail Scowcroft, COSEE National Network Director
COSEE has a focus on helping scientists achieve broader impacts
Photo of Typhoon Etau courtesy of SeaWiFS (Ocean Color Web / G. Feldman).