Mary Jane Perry ~ Pioneering Collaborator

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Click images to learn more about the scientist-led webinars hosted by COSEE-OS
Dr. Mary Jane Perry collaborates regularly with a cadre of highly qualified scientists, each of whom contributes a distinct but complementary expertise for successful completion of a project. "I'm a professional at what I do," says Mary Jane. "It's more efficient when I'm outside my own expertise to work with professionals who know what they're doing."

As the North Atlantic Bloom (NAB) Experiment moved from intra-calibration of sensors and aligment of data streams to data interpretation, it became apparent that a series of webinars describing the spring phytoplankton bloom and its role in the ocean ecosystem could be an effective mechanism for outreach. "For a project of this size, it’s important to have a significant outreach component, explains Dr. Eric D'Asaro, one of the lead PIs for the NAB Experiment. So Mary Jane turned to COSEE-Ocean Systems (COSEE-OS), who has pioneered several webinar models designed to help scientists dessiminate ocean science content to broader audiences. The resulting five-part series told the story of the North Atlantic bloom through a succession of content-rich concept maps developed collaboratively with COSEE-OS and aligned to National Science Education Standards, an important component of the educational process for Mary Jane. "If what I present fits in a framework of a standard then it will be more helpful to meet [a teacher's] own performance metrics, Mary Jane says. "They are judged on how well they are meeting the standards...it makes it a more usable product."

"It’s great that COSEE understands the science at the level they do. [It allows them to] connect the science with the educators. Otherwise, where do you start?"-Amala Mahadevan
The NAB webinar series is archived on the COSEE-OS website and provides viewers with a rich body of classroom-ready resources, access to datasets, and meaningful linkages to most, if not all, of the cross-cutting scientific concepts outlined in the New Framework of the National Science Education Standards. These concepts include scale, proportion, and quantity; systems and system models; energy and matter (flows, cycles, and conservation); and stability and change. "Working with spatial scales is included in the standards [as is] technology, mixing and density, phytoplankton and photosynthesis," says Mary Jane. "You don't get a bloom without photosynthesis. I thought about some of those things in preparing the concept map and thinking explicitly about whether or not those concepts related to educational standards."

Mary Jane Perry
Mary Jane Perry, Ph.D, Professor, University of Maine
Leveraging COSEE-OS expertise to promote NAB outreach
Eric D’Asaro