Spotlight on NEOSEC Ocean Literacy Summit Planners – Corrine Steever and the New England Aquarium

Corrine Steever is a NEOSEC representative from the New England Aquarium and is serving on this year’s Ocean Literacy Summit Planning Committee. Corrine describes her NEOSEC role, “Because of the New England Aquarium’s role as the NEOSEC host institution, we always take a role in Summit planning. I am excited to be more involved with NEOSEC. I am energized by other NEOSEC members at our meetings. They made me want to be part of having a great Summit in Boston. Bringing together science and education is my world. We showcase teachers as scientists.”

Corrine is the Teacher Services Supervisor at the New England Aquarium Teacher Resource Center (TRC.) TRC supports teachers for grades pre-K to 12 as well as out-of-school instructors and informal educators. TRC offers a meeting place, free consultation appointments, research assistance, and access to a large collection of loan materials. TRC provides theme-based kits on a variety of topics to make ocean education engaging, inspiring, and informative. Most visitors are from New England, but they also come from around the world. 

Growing up in Minnesota, Corrine did not originally dream of being a marine science educator. “Originally I was interested in the arts. But in my third year of college, I decided to major in biology with a minor in psychology. I was interested in animal behavior. I thought I would be a field researcher. Then I got a phone call from the Student Conservation Association and AmeriCorps. My friend had recommended me for a job in western Massachusetts teaching in a K-6 school along with doing trail work in the summer. Two things were new to me: teaching and eating vegetarian!”

Corrine discovered a love for education and wanted to balance that with her love for animals. “Next I took on an outdoor education role in Georgia. I also took care of their small animal collection, including a herp lab.” That gave her the hands-on animal experience for her next job at Zoo New England. She then moved into professional development programs at the zoo. “I helped educators enhance their lessons with an inquiry style of teaching. I felt impactful doing the professional development work. The ripple effect was much bigger than a single hour in a classroom.” Corrine was doing less direct animal care which had been her strong interest. She moved to the Denver Zoological Foundation where animal husbandry was a big part of her role, although she still worked in the education department alongside education staff. “I missed teaching and providing professional development. I was looking to get back to that when someone forwarded me the New England Aquarium position. I’m learning a lot on the job. I show teachers that it’s okay to not know everything. It’s more the style of teaching, not knowing every fact. Teachers can build context with students.”  

Corrine addresses the occasional negative connotations some people may have about zoos and aquariums. “People may think ‘They’re caging animals. They’re out of their natural environment.’ There’s so much more to it. We help engage a connection with visitors. The animals act as ambassadors so that people want to protect, appreciate, and understand diverse life. The staff have a dedication to the work.” 


Corrine is concerned that people are not having constructive communication. “It’s hard right now. There’s a divide that’s growing more. People share strong opinions on social media but don’t have a conversation. I think most of us aren’t at extreme ends. We can have productive dialogues. We need to understand why people feel the way they do. We need to work to help people understand the science of climate change. We need to address basic human needs: food, water, shelter, safe spaces.”  

Corrine is proud of her adventurous spirit. “I’ve had a lot of different experiences. My past has given me a lot of confidence. I left Minnesota and just went for it. I became willing to move, be adventurous, and have curiosity. It was okay to not know people. Instead, I thought ‘Who am I going to meet? Who will give me insight into the world?’”

Thank you Corrine for bringing your can-do spirit to the New England Aquarium and NEOSEC!

Educational Passages’ Global Ocean Literacy Program

Somewhere between Portugal and Wales, West sprung a leak in its hull.  Don’t worry. West is an unmanned 5′ sailboat originally launched from Maine, recovered in Portugal two years later, restored, relaunched and found, again, in Wales. Portuguese messages stored in the hull were dried, digitized and shared with the American students who launched the vessel four years prior.   West is one of 80 mini-boats finding their way around the global oceans.  These mini-boats are part of the Global Ocean Literacy Program developed through  Learn more by emailing us at

Hurricane Island Summer Programs

The Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership provides extraordinary opportunities to discover what it takes to make a difference in the world – as students, scientists, citizens, and leaders! Sitting 12 miles off the coast of Rockland, ME, this beautiful off-the-grid community is an ideal setting for middle and high school programs in science, sustainability, and leadership. Our hands-on 1-2 week summer programs invite students to immerse themselves in the natural world, challenging them to explore and ask questions like trained naturalists in marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Programs are small (with a maximum of 12 students) and are led by trained field scientists and educators, providing a level of instructor expertise and maturity you won’t find in other summer experiences. We have programs in Sustainability (HS), Marine Biology (HS and MS), and Island Ecology (HS and MS). Financial Aid is available! No day is complete without hiking, swimming, sailing, or rock climbing. Come participate in our field science and leadership programs and make memories and friendships that last a lifetime! Visit our website, email, or call 207 867 6050 for more information and to register! 
Are you interested in becoming a bird bander? This year Hurricane Island is happy to offer Beginner Bird Banding and Advanced Bird Banding workshops taught by world-class instructors from The Institute for Bird PopulationsBird banding data are useful in both research and management projects. By banding birds, we can identify individuals and track their dispersal and migration, behavior and social structure, life-span and survival rate, and reproductive success and population growth. Visit our website, email, or call 207 867 6050 for more information and to register!

Ocean Science & Technology Class Field Trip Opportunity in Woods Hole

Zephyr Education Foundation is once again hosting school class field trips in Woods Hole.
The program consists of a hands-on 1 1/2 hour scientific cruise on Vineyard Sound, time spent in WHOI’s specimen tank room, a tour of one of the scientific docks, and time with our Augmented Reality Coastal Processes Modeling System. Visits to WHOI’s Exhibit Center and NOAA’s Science Aquarium can also be arranged. Each year over 2000 students come to Woods Hole and participate in our program. See our website and/or email Rob at

NNOCCI Spring 2016 study circles now accepting applications



A Professional Development Opportunity: Application now open for Study Circles Spring 2016

For informal educators with an interest in climate change focused on ocean or coastal issues, a fully funded program for strategic climate change communication.

Visit  or for more information and to apply.  The application deadline is Sept. 28, 2015.

Please encourage colleagues to apply and share with your own networks.

Awe Promotes Altruistic Behavior

Sense of something greater than the self encourages cooperative behavior

Source Newsroom: University of California, Irvine

more news from this source

Newswise — Irvine, Calif., May 19, 2015 – Inducing a sense of awe in people can promote altruistic, helpful and positive social behavior, according to new research led by UC Irvine psychologist Paul Piff.

“Our investigation indicates that awe, although often fleeting and hard to describe, serves a vital social function. By diminishing the emphasis on the individual self, awe may encourage people to forgo strict self-interest to improve the welfare of others,” said Piff, assistant professor of psychology & social behavior. An article on the research appears online today in the Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, a publication of the American Psychological Association.

Awe is that sense of wonder felt in the presence of something vast that transcends one’s understanding of the world. People commonly experience it in nature but also in response to religion, art and music.

 In the article, Piff and his colleagues outline a series of five studies. In the first, the researchers asked a representative sample of more than 1,500 people from across the U.S. to complete a questionnaire that measured how predisposed they were to experiencing awe. The subjects then participated in a game in which they were given 10 raffle tickets and had to decide how many, if any, to share with someone who did not have any tickets. Researchers found a significant association between generosity and the tendency to experience awe.

In the other four experiments, groups of people (ranging in size from 75 to 254) were asked to watch a video or gaze at something in their environment designed to elicit awe, a neutral state or another reaction, such as pride or amusement. The subjects then engaged in an activity that measured what psychologists call pro-social behaviors or tendencies. (Pro-social actions are positive, helpful and intended to promote social acceptance and friendship.) In every experiment, awe was strongly correlated with pro-social behaviors.

The researchers said they believe that awe induces a feeling of being diminished in the presence of something greater than oneself. It is this reduced sense of self that sways focus away from an individual’s need and toward the greater good.

“When experiencing awe, you may not, egocentrically speaking, feel like you’re at the center of the world anymore,” Piff said. “By shifting attention toward larger entities and diminishing the emphasis on the individual self, we reasoned, awe would trigger tendencies to engage in pro-social behaviors that may be costly for you but that benefit and help others.”

While the findings support their initial hypothesis, the researchers were surprised at how consistently different types of awe and different elicitors of awe were able to promote cooperative behavior. In one experiment, they provoked awe by showing droplets of colored water falling into a bowl of milk in slow motion. In another, they created a negative form of awe using a montage of threatening natural phenomena, such as tornadoes and volcanoes. In a final experiment, the researchers induced awe by situating participants in a grove of towering eucalyptus trees.

“Across all these different elicitors of awe, we found the same sort of effects – people felt smaller and less self-important, and they behaved in a more pro-social fashion,” Piff said. “Might awe cause people to become more invested in the greater good, giving more to charity, volunteering to help others, or doing more to lessen their impact on the environment? Our research would suggest that the answer is yes.”

Co-authors on the article are Pia Dietze of New York University, Matthew Feinberg of the University of Toronto, and Daniel Stancato and Dacher Keltner of UC Berkeley.

NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer: Why Do We Explore? Professional Development for Educators of Grades 5-12

NOAA Office for Exploration invites educators of grades 5-12 to attend the introduction to Volume 1 of the Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection: Why Do We Explore?

Participants will learn how to use inquiry- and standards-based lessons and other online resources that guide classroom inquiries into several important reasons for ocean exploration including Climate Change, Energy, Ocean Health and Human Health. Participants will also have an opportunity to explore related JASON Project and Immersion Learning curriculum related to ocean exploration, experience the new Titanic exhibit and Ocean Exploration Center and participate in a Nautilus Live Theater show.

The workshop is a free event, and will be hosted in Mystic, Connecticut at Mystic Aquarium.

Registration is required and space is limited. Each participant will receive Volume 1 of the Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection, Why Do We Explore?, materials related to activities presented during the workshop, a NOAA Ocean Exploration Certificate of Participation, continental breakfast, and lunch.

Registration Deadline is April 27, 2012

To reserve your spot, contact Mystic Aquarium’s reservation department at 860-572-5955 x520 or

Job Opportunity: Program Educator, New England Aquarium

The Program Educator will join a team of up to 30 other Program Educators that work within the Education Department to present a variety of aquatic-themed educational programs in an outreach format, on-site in our Ocean Center, and in the Aquarium exhibits to children of various ages, the general public, and Aquarium members. Programming aims to increase an understanding of aquatic life and environments, strengthen scientific concepts and skills, and provide leadership for the preservation and sustainable use of aquatic resources. Programming formats generally vary between classroom style teaching (up to 30 participants), auditorium style (on a stage in front of up to 150 people), open house style (drop-in activities at 1 or 2 tables), and exhibit interpretation. Some programs will include live animals. For more information, or to apply for this position please visit Our Website.

Job Opportunity: Education Manager, Vermont

ECHO at the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain
Position Description
Summary: ECHO’s mission is to educate and delight people about the Ecology, Culture, History, and Opportunity for stewardship of the Lake Champlain Basin. ECHO is a dynamic learning and teaching community committed to engaging diverse public audiences in dialogue; providing experiential, relevant and lifelong educational experiences to guests; and inspiring environmental stewardship of the Lake Champlain Basin. ECHO employees are expected to contribute to a productive, respectful workplace by modeling good humor, communication, collaboration and accountability to our colleagues, creatures and guests.

The Public Education Manager has primary responsibility for ensuring that ECHO’s daily guests have positive and inspiring educational experiences. The position includes developing and performing science demonstrations for large audiences, training and supervising volunteer, intern and staff educational interpreters, and managing cross-departmental communication, systems and materials in support of the guest experience. The position is required to work regular weekend and holiday shifts as part of a 40-hour/week schedule.

Application Instructions: Send resume, cover letter, and salary requirements to ECHO Job Search, One College Street, Burlington, VT 05401 or email to Incomplete applications will not be accepted.