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Outreach Initiatives

Many faculty, staff and graduate students participate in providing outreach opportunities ranging from high school internships to summer undergraduate internships to work-study positions and to teacher workshops. Some of these efforts are short lived, whereas others last several years or recur over long periods. Their web or published products also vary in durability and in the location of repositories. Many are published on url-stable websites or in print through science and education journals and scientific and educational societies. Others, particularly those still in progress, remain at this website, but all are linked to individual faculty, staff and student web pages and are efficiently found by Google Scholar and other search engines. This alternate website route highlights primarily upcoming opportunities, current programs and products still under production and revision at UMaine.

Current Outreach Programs

Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence

Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence - Ocean Systems (COSEE-OS) is the flagship of our outreach fleet. Since the initiation of state and national science standards and application of high-stakes accountability testing, research has shown that educators have focused more on the factual parts of science, often neglecting the concepts of science and - in many cases - the context of science. As stated by Munby et. al. (2000): "when science is separated from its original contexts of investigations and questioning and becomes transplanted in secondary school culture, it becomes inauthentic." As a thematic center designed to complement existing COSEE Network efforts, COSEE-OS is moving forward in its development of effective tools and techniques to aid learners in better understanding the context of the oceans in both the earth and solar systems. Acting upon recent national efforts to "map" ocean topics into the educational standards, we are piloting effective ways to bring the relevance of the oceans to classrooms, particularly rural and inland audiences.

COSEE-OS has taken on one of the most important science and science policy issues of our time, i.e., the roles of the oceans in climate change and the responses of the oceans to climate change. What makes this set of issues so challenging in terms of understanding mechanisms and making accurate predictions is the richness and multiple scales of the feedbacks involved. But we must meet this challenge because of the need to recognize the potential for runaway, positive feedbacks before they become irreversible.

Munby, H. M., Lock, C. (2000). School Science Culture: A Case Study of Barriers to Developing Professional Knowledge. Science Education, 84(2), 193-211.


Current Outreach Products

Education & Public Outreach (EPO) for the NASA Aquarius Mission

The Aquarius instrument will measure Sea Surface Salinity (SSS) with unprecedented accuracy, resolving changes in SSS equivalent to a "pinch" of salt in a gallon of water. The School of Marine Sciences is home to the highly complementary EPO program through a contract from NASA. The Aquarius EPO goal is to demonstrate how better understanding of salinity-driven ocean circulation -- and its ties to climate and the water cycle -- can benefit student learning and society as a whole. Please visit the Aquarius EPO products online.

Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System (GoMOOS)

GoMOOS is the flagship of the envisaged Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and remains the only regional ocean observing system that is providing near-real-time data to mariners of all stripes 24/7. Lobsterpersons often check the temperature records before deciding at what depths and when to set traps at particular locations. Recreational boaters can know sea conditions without testing them. And scientists and classes use these data, too. Four of the five GoMOOS science team, including the chief scientist, are faculty members in the SMS.

Marine Science

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