About Me

This blog is primarily geared toward staff at the zoos, aquariums, museums (ZAMs), and other conservation education organizations that are part of our growing global network. We aim to provide you with cutting edge, challenging, and creative information, ideas, and tools to become as effective as possible at communicating about and for conservation with your visitors and the public.

See our ongoing communications research, or join our growing network, at The Ocean Project's website.

August 27, 2010

New Web page on Reaching Kids

The Ocean Project has developed new Web pages on Reaching Kids for our Partners. The new pages provide tips and resources for educators working with young children. Please use it to learn the highlights from recent research in place-based education, a body of research which suggests that when children spend time engaged in nature and outdoor activities, they are more likely to be long-term stewards for our planet.

It is important that serious topics such as climate change and deforestation not be introduced too early, so as to not overwhelm kids before they have a chance to appreciate their natural surroundings.

Instead, children benefit from immersion in their local environment: learning about plants and animals in their backyard, exploring a nearby park, and visiting a zoo, aquarium, or museum can lead to positive associations with nature.

Empathy, followed by exploration, should be the main objectives in establishing a connection between children and their environment. For tips to involve children in age-appropriate outdoor activities and to learn about ZAMs with effective children programs, check out our new pages!

August 20, 2010

Contribute to Planning the Next Decade for the Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE)

The National Science Foundation's  COSEE will be holding a meeting in Washington, D.C. on November 3-4, 2010.  The meeting announcement (below) and link to the application can be found at (COSEE Community Meeting Announcement).

NSF encourages a broad range of participants, especially individuals who are not currently involved in the National COSEE Network. Meeting expenses (travel, lodging and meals) for participants not affiliated with the National COSEE Network will be covered.  Consider applying and help disseminate this information to others within your professional networks.

Community Meeting Overview: COSEE is an NSF-funded national network of Centers with the broad objective of connecting the ocean sciences research and education communities to develop innovative and catalytic activities in ocean sciences education and outreach.  In August/September 2011, the COSEE program will undergo a Decadal Review by NSF.  The review will assess past accomplishments of the Network, the role that COSEE fills in the overall landscape of ocean science education, and the emerging opportunities on which COSEE can capitalize if NSF funding is continued.  With an eye toward the future, COSEE is engaging in a range of activities aimed at eliciting community input into a strategic vision for the future of COSEE or a follow-on program.  Among these activities is hosting a COSEE Community Meeting in which members of the science and education communities come together to contribute their perspectives and ideas on how the Network might evolve over the next decade. A variety of disciplinary expertise is sought, including members of the learning science and ocean science research  communities, cyberlearning/cyberinfrastructure experts, ocean science educators, and education/outreach specialists at major NSF-funded facilities.  The outcome of the meeting will be a strategic vision document based on the recommendations formulated during the meeting.

The Community Meeting application deadline is September 10th, 2010.  Please feel free to contact Cheryl Peach, Chair, COSEE Community Meeting Steering Committee (cpeach@ucsd.edu) if you have any questions.

Water for Life!

Question: What's special about 70%?
Answer: 70% of Earth is covered with water and water comprises 70% of your body 

Without water neither we nor the planet’s vibrant ecosystems could survive. And yet approximately 1 billion people worldwide lack clean drinking water. This summer, an historic vote in the United Nations General Assembly brought attention to this striking global problem. The new declaration raises hopes for the future of water conservation on our “blue planet.”

Among the human rights declared by the UN in 1948 are food, health, and education. But until July 28, 2010 access to clean water and sanitation were not included in this list. The new declaration names access to safe and clean water and sanitation as a human right and lays out goals for righting this wrong for so many millions of our fellow world citizens who lack clean drinking water.

The Ocean Project invites you to celebrate this historic event with us and spread the word about the need to manage our water resources responsibly—from oceans and waterways on a global scale to the water cycle happening in your backyard! Learn more about freshwater issues on the ocean issues Web page.

With water demand expected to exceed supply by 40% in 20 years, the UN declaration lays out practical steps to reduce this wide gap. It is also a clear moral affirmation that water should be seen as a public trust rather than a commodity.

August is Water Conservation month on The Ocean Project’s personal action website. So next time you enjoy a steamy shower or turn on your lawn sprinkler this summer, be thankful for this necessary human right and think of the less fortunate on our planet. Together, by each doing our parts, we can help conserve valuable water resources and provide for a brighter future for all people and creatures on our planet.