2016 Summit Lightning Talks


We are really looking forward to our lightning talk sessions 

Historically, the ocean literacy summits have used a series of break out sessions to explore the fundamental concepts of the theme ocean literacy principle. It was in these sessions that we paired scientists and educators to talk on the same concept. We were able to offer many fantastic talks, but each person saw just a fraction of the talks.

This year, we are moving to shorter 5 minute talks with no break out sessions. I’ll be an exciting way to hear an introduction to all of the concepts, from both educators and scientists. Each lightning talk session will be followed by time for discussion. We want to encourage participants to be active in learning more about what interests them the most. Our concluding cafes at the end of the day will offer time and space to discuss what you feel like discussing.

Lightning Talks: Part 1                                                                          11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
The first session of talks will address concepts A, C, D, and F (see picture above which describes these concepts).

Pat Harcourt, Maryland Delaware Climate Change Education, Assessment, and Research
Pat Harcourt got hooked on marine science through research on baleen whale ecology in the northwest Atlantic. She has worked with scientists, teachers, and informal science educators at Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and at COSEE -West in Los Angeles, California, to bring marine science, climate science, and environmental data into classrooms and informal education institutions. Pat is currently Program Manager for MADE CLEAR, an NSF-funded program integrating climate change into K-12 education, higher education, and informal education in the Mid-Atlantic.

Sylvia Scharf, New England Aquarium
Sylvia Scharf is Education Programs Coordinator at New England Aquarium, where her duties range across the education spectrum from student and family programs to teen mentorship and climate communication. She has a Masters in Environmental Education from Antioch University New England and a Bachelor’s in Biology from Smith College, and has been at New England Aquarium for 11 years.  Her presentation stems from the work of a consortium of informal science education institutions called Visualizing Change, which seeks to alter the conversation around climate change while using large-scale datasets.  She lives in Wakefield, MA with her wife, daughter, and parents.

John Cannon, National Weather Service
John Cannon is the marine program manager at the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine. He is interested in the coastal prediction, observation and evaluation of tropical and intense extratropical storms affecting mariners, shoreline residents, emergency responders and many other stakeholders within the user community. He focuses on both research and operational partnerships for improved customer service of our commerce, military and public sectors. Having lived in a residence along the vulnerable and changing shoreline in Southern Maine, John has a deep appreciation and understanding of storm processes occurring in the coastal waters, surf zone and along eroding beaches. He is a graduate from the University of New York at Oswego where marine services focused on “Lake Effect Storms” and other hazards in the Great Lakes Region.

Hannah Webber, Schoodic Institute
As Research and Education Projects Manager at Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park, Hannah works in the interstices between research, education, and science communication. All of her work contains elements of data literacy—specifically, creating tools to help people produce and think critically about data. When not busy with Schoodic Institute, she is hiking or looking for cool invertebrates in tidepools.

Isaac Ginis, University of Rhode Island
Dr. Isaac Ginis is a Professor of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island (URI) Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) in Narragansett, RI. Dr. Isaac Ginis has an international reputation as a leading expert in numerical modeling and forecasting of air-sea interaction during hurricanes. He has published over 80 papers in scientific journals and books on this topic and authored a chapter for the book “Global Perspectives on Tropical Cyclones” published by the World Meteorological Organization, Geneva, Switzerland. His ground-breaking work in developing coupled hurricane-ocean interaction models has led to significant improvement in hurricane forecasting. Dr. Ginis and his research group at URI have developed and implemented improvements to the operational hurricane forecast models used by NOAA’s National Hurricane Center and Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Dr. Ginis is one of the lead developers and science advisors of the educational, multi-disciplinary website Hurricanes: Science and Society, which has become a classroom tool for science educators nationwide. Dr. Ginis was named the 2002 Environmental Hero by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Holly Morin, University of Rhode Island
Holly Morin is a Marine Biologist and Education Specialist with the Inner Space Center (ISC) at the URI GSO in Narragansett, RI. Her job focuses on the development, coordination, and promotion of a variety of ocean science and exploration educational programs and websites. Since 2008, Holly has been the project manager for the Discovery of Sound in the Sea project, one of the most comprehensive Internet resources on underwater acoustics. Holly also coordinated efforts and developed content for the Hurricanes: Science and Society project, an interactive, multi-disciplinary website on the science, impacts, and history of hurricanes. In addition, Holly develops and/or coordinates a variety of outreach and education initiatives, including oceanography and underwater exploration camp programs, tours, and other educational programs offered through the ISC. Before coming to URI/GSO, Holly worked at the Northeast Regional Office of NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a Bachelor of Science (marine biology focus) in 2000 and then went on to receive her Master’s Degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from Texas A&M University in 2005.

Gayle Bowness, Gulf of Maine Research Institute
Gayle Bowness has been working at Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) since 2005. She currently serves as Science Education Program Manager. She works with GMRI staff and educators from across the state to create, test, and develop meaningful science and math learning experiences for Maine’s students. Gayle has a bachelor’s degree in Marine Science from Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, and a bachelor’s degree in Science Education from Unity College, Maine. She received a Master of Science degree from Lesley University, Massachusetts in Ecological Teaching and Learning. Prior to coming to GMRI, Gayle worked throughout North America, from Oahu, Hawaii to Brier Island, NS, leading educational and immersive marine science experiences.

Nick Record, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
Nick is a computational ocean ecologist. He uses math, computer science, and machine learning to study climate and to make ecosystem forecasts. His work spans many ecosystem components, from physics to viruses to whales, and makes use of satellite, field, and citizen science data. His recent work has focused on rapid changes in the Gulf of Maine, and making forecasts of jellyfish, parasites, fish, whales, and other species.


Lightning Talks: Part 2                                                                                    2:00 – 2:50 p.m.
The second session of talks will address concepts A, B, E, and G.

Jim Manning, NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center
After an undergraduate degree in mathematics (UMO) and master’s in physical oceanography (URI), Jim has been at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole for nearly 30 years. His career has evolved into building low-cost observing systems with the help of New England fishermen and, in recent years, dozens of high schools around the region. He has helped develop the eco-friendly drifter program which telemeters data via satellite. Other work includes temperature & current sensor packages on fixed and mobile fishing gear, and shipboard weather stations on fishing vessels. The primary motivation behind these observations is to feed local ocean circulation models with the data needed for assimilation and validation. Ultimately, the models help us better understand the transport of planktonic particles off our coast.

Carla Lauter, COSEE Ocean Systems
Carla Lauter is currently a Research Associate at the University of Maine, based at the University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center in Walpole, ME. Until the program concluded in 2016, she worked with COSEE-OS to use concept mapping and other pedagogical tools to help scientists to deconstruct complex science in order to bring the “big picture” of current research to new audiences. In addition to helping plan and facilitate scientist, educator, and graduate student collaborative workshops, Carla organized scientist-led webinars on ocean and climate science topics. Currently, she supports and provide education and outreach for several NASA Earth Science Missions, including Aquarius (Sea Surface Salinity), SWOT (Surface Water and Ocean Topography), and PACE (Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem).

Jenn Page, Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership
Dr. Jennifer Page graduated from the University of Maine with a B.S. in Marine Science and earned her Ph.D. in Biology at Georgia Tech. She then returned to UMaine as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the School of Marine Sciences before joining the faculty of Bangor High School, her alma mater. Jenn helped develop the school’s STEM Academy and became even more passionate about bringing authentic research experiences and inquiry curriculum to students. While at Bangor High, Jenn coached the Speech Team and spent summers at MDI Biological Lab as a student mentor and a Visiting Scientist. She enjoys helping other educators by leading professional development workshops and spends her spare time knitting, playing games, and snagging quality time with her husband and two cats.

Lili Pugh, University of Maine Darling Marine Center
Lili Pugh is the K-12 Education Coordinator for the University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center (DMC).  The DMC K-12 Education program strives to provide a connection between local school children, the University of Maine’s Marine laboratory, and the Damariscotta River Estuary. The program fosters marine science literacy so students of all backgrounds may be better informed citizens and able to engage in scientific discussions no matter their future occupation. The DMC hosts school groups from the Midcoast and beyond for field trip experiences, utilizing the surrounding shore habitats, classrooms, and labs.

Karen Stamiezkin, University of Maine
Karen Stamieszkin studies marine ecology with a focus on the role of plankton in the ocean’s carbon cycle. She received her Master’s in Environmental Science from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and her Doctorate in Oceanography from the University of Maine. She is currently involved in a project about changing phenology in the Gulf of Maine ecosystem, and a study focusing on the size structure of marine communities in the Gulf of Maine. Karen enjoys using large datasets and computer models to understand and make predictions about how the oceans are changing. She also teaches Oceanography at Unity College.

Kerry Whitaker
Kerry Whittaker Ph.D. is a faculty of marine science at Coastal Studies for Girls (CSG). CSG is a
place-based semester school in Maine focusing on science and leadership education for 10th grade girls. Kerry also teaches courses in marine science at Bates College. She is a recent Sea Grant marine policy alumna where she worked on NOAA’s endangered species listing team. Kerry received her doctorate in oceanography in 2014 from the University of Rhode Island where she studied the molecular ecology and evolution of phytoplankton. Her research has taken her to sea throughout the globe, and she looks forward to sharing her research with students during an upcoming research trip to Antarctica this January. Kerry enjoys connecting her passion for ocean science through research, policy, education, and communication.

Alyson Eberhardt, NH Sea Grant and Cooperative Extension
Alyson Eberhardt is the Coastal Ecosystems Specialist for NH Sea Grant and UNH Cooperative Extension where she works with community members, researchers, and state and municipal agencies to make informed decisions about how we manage our coastal ecosystems. Alyson also coordinates the Coastal Research Volunteers, a citizen science program that trains community volunteers to work on coastal research projects relevant to the NH coast.


Here is an example of some lightning talks that were given at the 2015 NMEA meeting.