Saturday, July 18, 2009

Reflections on NOAA and B-WET

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) first national B-WET Conference. B-WET (Bay Watershed Education and Training) is a grant program administered by NOAA which funds professional development for educators as well as Meaningful Watershed Education Experiences (MWEE) for students. The program, which began in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, is now offered in seven regions which include Hawaii, California, the Pacific Northwest, the Gulf Coast, the Great Lakes, and the Northeast. The conference provided grant recipients an opportunity to share and learn from each other, gain substantive and current scientific knowledge and data from NOAA scientists, help guide the future of the B-WET program, and understand more completely the people and programs that make up NOAA.

NOAA has a treasure trove of information that educators can use to supplement and enhance their curricula. Here is a sampling:

Data for your Classroom
Climate Change Reports
Lesson Plans
Activity Books
Monitoring Procedures
Teacher at Sea Books
Curriculums - Elementary and High School
Coastal Population Trends
Nutrient Data from your Watershed

Want something, but can't find it? The scientists and other professsionals at NOAA are accessible and responsive. The Administration just completed a 20-Year Education Strategic Plan. That is a testament of their commitment to getting data into the hands of the public. I encourage you to visit and take advantage of the wonderful resource.

Submitted by Bronwyn Mitchell

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