NEOSEC Receives Funding

Founded in 2005 by COSEE New England, the New England Ocean Science Education Collaborative (NEOSEC) is a diverse network of more than 40 science- and education-based organizations from across the region focused on building ocean literacy, including museums and aquariums, camps and schools, universities, government entities, and research institutions. We very pleased to report that we have secured over $600K in grant funding over the next 3 years for NEOSEC, including support for our core operations and new programs:

  • New England Aquarium (NEAq) received a $342K grant from NOAA on behalf of NEOSEC to fund Summer Science in New England, which brings a coordinated coastal citizen science project to summer camps around the region. Working with a lead scientist from the Census of Marine Life (CoML) and Project Manager at NEAq, the Marine Environmental Research Institute, Seacoast Science Center, BOAT CAMP, NEAq Harbor Discoveries Camp, Boston’s Camp Harbor View, Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Alton Jones Camp, and Project Oceanology will work in Year 1 to refine intertidal monitoring curricula for youth age 14 and up. Over the course of the summer, campers will learn field protocols, identify intertidal inhabitants, and upload their data for inclusion in CoML’s international NaGISA database, led by trained camp counselors and accompanied by working scientists. In the fall, campers will come together for a Teen Ocean Summit to share their experiences and consider policy aspects of intertidal census data. In Years 2 and 3, additional camp programs will join the project.
  • The Northeast Regional Association for Coastal Observing Systems (NERACOOS) and NEOSEC have entered a Memorandum of Understanding through which NEOSEC will provide education and outreach support to NERACOOS. A resulting Letter of Agreement has made $15K available to NEOSEC to support the Governing Council's May 2010 meeting, production of NEwswave and the design and development of a new NEOSEC website, and the 2010 Ocean Literacy Summit.
  • With the NEAq as the lead, the NOAA BWET program has provided $284K for Get WET in New England. In this project, NEOSEC partners will provide professional development to teachers that will allow them to lead watershed field education experiences and follow-up activities for students. Each partner institution (Mystic Aquarium, NEAq, BOAT CAMP, and Gundalow Company) has identified a local school system to take part in the 3-year effort, and is matched with a NOAA Advisor (CT Sea Grant, MIT Sea Grant, Waquoit Bay NERR, and NH Sea Grant, respectively). Other NEOSEC institutions with existing BWET programs (Gulf of Maine Research Institute and Project Oceanology) also provide connections across the region.

Additionally, we have over $900K in pending proposals submitted on behalf of NEOSEC, including:

  • A proposal submitted by Mystic Aquarium to the Institute of Museum and Library Services for Building Ocean Literacy Capacity and Partnerships in New England. This project would provide collaborative professional development through workshops, staff exchanges, and implementation support among NEOSEC institutions.
  • A partnership with COSEE Ocean Systems, as part of their renewal proposal to NSF, to support increased involvement of ocean scientists in NEOSEC programs; assistance to individual scientists in achieving broader impacts; use of COSEE OS content resources and concept mapping tools; and documentation and dissemination of NEOSEC's model for collaboration.
  • A request from the Census of Marine Life to the Davis Foundation to fund scientists' participation at the November 2010 Ocean Literacy Summit.
  • A proposal submitted by the Seacoast Science Center to NOAA's Informal Education Grant Program for Families by the Seaside. This project would support partnerships between NEOSEC members and community-based organizations (CBOs) to develop and implement shoreline education programs for families, using Web 2.0 technologies to document, share, and continue their learning experiences.

Contributed by Billy Spitzer