The Narrow Edge: A Tiny Bird, an Ancient Crab, and an Epic Journey

Deborah Cramer’s newest book is now available for pre-order. Many of you will remember Deborah who delivered the keynote address at last November’s Ocean Literacy Summit. So many at the NEOSEC conference asked about this book. She also wished to pass along a special thank you to NEOSEC and has done so on her blog,


The Narrow Edge: A Tiny Bird, an Ancient Crab, and an Epic Journey is
now at the printer’s, is available for pre-order now, and will be released
in March.

Carpool and Room share at the 2014 Ocean Literacy Summit


Attending the Ocean Literacy Summit?  

Help us have a green event: carpool or find a roommate!

This year’s Summit is at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, MA.  Rooms are available right at MBL for a great rate of $48 for double-occupancy. Correspond with other attendees by commenting on this post – and find a ride or share a room!

To comment, click on the headline above and a comment box will open below the post. See you at the Summit!

NEOSEC strategic plan approved

On April 30th, 25 NEOSEC members met for the annual spring meeting at Project Oceanology in Groton, CT. Among other business, the group enthusiastically approved the second NEOSEC strategic plan, wrapping up the six month planning process. The plan, which will guide the Collaborative’s work to advance ocean literacy for the next three years, includes goals pertaining to professional development and learning, collaborative project work, dissemination, and infrastructure. Thank you to the strategic planning committee and to NEOSEC members who provided input along the way. Interested in more information? Contact Sarah Bursky at


NEOSEC Featured in Gulf of Maine Times

NEOSEC was recently featured in the March edition of the Gulf of Maine Times online publication. NEOSEC is a sponsor of the Times, which provides News and information on the Gulf of Maine from the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment. If you missed the piece, you can find it online, here. You can also sign up to receive the Gulf of Maine Times.

Mini-Grants Funding Opportunity

COSEE Ocean Systems and NEOSEC Collaboration
Mini-grants Funding Opportunity
Request for Proposals

October 2011


NEOSEC is a collaboration of more than forty institutions from across New England, including aquariums, museums, universities, government entities and science and research centers, that share a commitment to making Ocean Literacy a goal for all of New England.

Member institutions work together under the joint mission of leveraging and strengthening the region’s extraordinary ocean science and educational assets to advance understanding of the vital connections between people and the ocean. Our combined expertise, resources, and networks in turn strengthen our member institutions and their programs and services in support of their own missions. Ocean Systems (COSEE-OS) is one of 14 Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The Center’s goal is to help the COSEE Network reach rural and inland audiences. COSEE-OS creates and evaluates tools and techniques that broaden understanding of oceans in the context of the earth and solar systems.

NEOSEC is collaborating with COSEE-OS to:

  1. Increase involvement of scientists in NEOSEC collaborative programs and within individual NEOSEC institutional programs
  2. Support NEOSEC institutions in working with individual ocean scientists on fulfilling their broader impact requirements
  3. Leverage COSEE-OS content resources and concept mapping tools in content areas such as climate change
  4. Help to document and disseminate NEOSEC’s model for collaboration

Mini-grants Program and Goals
A specific activity under this partnership is distribution of mini-grants to fund NEOSEC collaborations with scientists centered on developing museum or aquarium exhibits, formal classroom activities, and informal educational programming.

The goal of the mini-grant program is to support individual institutions in work directly with ocean scientists to advance ocean literacy, achieve broader impacts of ocean research, and expand partnerships between scientists and educators.

Funding and eligibility
A maximum of $15,000 is available, from which we expect to award several mini-grants of $3,000 to $5,000.

Grants will be awarded to an organization or group of organizations that meet the following criteria:

  • The project must be a partnership involving one or more educational institutions, and scientist(s) from one or more research institutions.
  • At least one partner organization must be an institutional member of NEOSEC that conducts education and outreach programs
  • At least one ocean scientist must be involved (anyone doing marine or aquatic research in a scientific discipline at a graduate or post-graduate level). Preference will be given to scientists or organizations that receive NSF research funding.
  • The program or activity proposed must focus on achieving broader impacts of ocean science research. See the NSF website ( for a definition of broader impacts.

    Funds may be used to partially defray staffing and other program development and implementation costs at the participating institutions.

    Funds are for direct costs only, i.e., no institutional overhead should be included.

    Funded projects will also receive support from NEOSEC staff in the form of:

    • a collaborative project design and planning workshop with other grantees
    • assistance with forming and facilitating partnerships
    • support for project evaluation

    To apply
    To be considered for funding, send a proposal in electronic form (preferably MS Word) by 5:00 ET on December 15, 2011 to Billy Spitzer at Proposals will be reviewed by a panel consisting of representatives from COSEE-OS and NEOSEC staff. Awards will be announced by January 5, 2012.

    Proposals must be no more than three pages in total (including budget) and include the following:

    • Description of the proposed program including:
      • Purpose—what is the specific goal of the proposed project?
      • Inputs—who will be involved in the project? What resources are required?
      • Outputs—what program or product will the project produce? How might they be useful to future collaborators?
      • Outcomes—what do you hope the project will achieve? Will the program be sustainable or have other longer term impacts?
      • Timeframe—when will the program occur?
    • Amount requested, with a simple budget
    • How you will evaluate the success of the project
    • How you will share the process and results of the project
    • Contact information (name, organizational affiliation, email address, phone number) of primary applicant

    For more information
    If you have questions, please contact Billy Spitzer at

Teen Ocean Summit Recap

October 1-2, 47 teens gathered in Boston at the New England Aquarium to participate in NEOSEC’s Teen Ocean Summit 2011. All were revisiting the data they collected over the summer as part of the NaGISA protocol with one of our 9 Summer Science partner camps. On Saturday the teens worked in pre-assigned, mixed study groups to develop research questions, working with partner scientists who guided them through the type of thinking they use in their own research. The teens’ questions focused on the distribution of various species among the Summer Science sampling sites pictured here.

Some of the questions the study groups developed include: Does water temperature affect the abundance of Littorina littorea? Does latitude affect the density of focus vesiculosus? Does the coverage of Ascophyllum nodosum affect the abundance of Littorina littorea? Investigating these questions, they used ArcMap geographic information systems (GIS) software, and drew on the expertise of the Aquarium’s GIS specialists to map species occurrence and physical oceanographic data. With dinner at Hard Rock Café; sleeping with the jellies, sharks, and rays in the Aquarium; and a morning scavenger hunt around the Giant Ocean Tank, the teens had plenty of right-brain activities to provide fun breaks from hard work. On Sunday, the research groups presented their findings in a public poster presentation session.

    “…it means so much to me to be able to be part of anything Ocean related!!! That was honestly the most fun time I’ve had in a while!” — Leah, 16, NEAq Harbor Discoveries
    “Just wanted to let you know how much fun I had at the ocean summit this weekend. I had a fun time getting to know other teens and sharing data with them. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to attend the teen summit.” — Hannah, 12, Northeastern University Coastal Ocean Science Academy

Ocean Literacy Summit – Post Here for Carpooling or Roommates

Attending the Ocean Literacy Summit?  Carpool to the event, or find a roommate!

This year’s Summit is at the University of New Hampshire, in Durham.  We have reserved a block of double-occupancy rooms at the Durham Holiday Inn Express (group name “NEOSEC Summit”). Correspond with other attendees by commenting on this post – and find a ride or share a room!

To comment, click on the headline above and a comment box will open below the post. See you at the Summit!

NEOSEC Funding Announcement

We very pleased to report that we have secured over $600K in grant funding over the next 3 years for NEOSEC, including support for our core operations and new programs:

* New England Aquarium (NEAq) received a $342K grant from NOAA on behalf of NEOSEC to fund “Summer Science in New England,” which brings a coordinated coastal citizen science project to summer camps around the region. Working with a lead scientist from the Census of Marine Life (CoML) and Project Manager at NEAq, the Marine Environmental Research Institute, Seacoast Science Center, BOAT CAMP, NEAq Harbor Discoveries Camp, Boston’s Camp Harbor View, Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Alton Jones Camp, and Project Oceanology will work in Year 1 to refine intertidal monitoring curricula for youth age 14 and up. Over the course of the summer, campers will learn field protocols, identify intertidal inhabitants, and upload their data for inclusion in CoML’s international NaGISA database, led by trained camp counselors and accompanied by working scientists. In the fall, campers will come together for a Teen Ocean Summit to share their experiences and consider policy aspects of intertidal census data.  In Years 2 and 3, additional camp programs will join the project.

* The Northeast Regional Association for Coastal Observing Systems (NERACOOS) and NEOSEC have entered a Memorandum of Understanding through which NEOSEC will provde education and outreach support to NERACOOS. A resulting Letter of Agreement has made $15K available to NEOSEC to support the Governing Council’s May 2010 meeting, production of NEwswave, and the 2010 Ocean Literacy Summit.

* With the NEAq as the lead, the NOAA BWET program has provided $284K for “Get WET in New England.” In this project, NEOSEC partners will provide professional development to teachers that will allow them to lead watershed field education experiences and follow-up activities for students. Each partner institution (Mystic Aquarium, NEAq, BOAT CAMP, and Gundalow Company) has identified a local school system to take part in the 3-year effort, and is matched with a NOAA Advisor (CT Sea Grant, MIT Sea Grant, Waquoit Bay NERR, and NH Sea Grant, respectively).  Other NEOSEC institutions with existing BWET programs (Gulf of Maine Research Institute and Project Oceanology) also provide connections across the region.

Additionally, we over $900K in pending proposals submitted on behalf of NEOSEC, including:

* A proposal submitted by Mystic Aquarium to the Institute of Museum and Library Services for “Building Ocean Literacy Capacity and Partnerships in New England.” This project would provide collaborative professional development through workshops, staff exchanges, and implementation support among NEOSEC institutions.

* A partnership with COSEE Ocean Systems, as part of their renewal proposal to NSF, to support increased involvement of ocean scientists in NEOSEC programs; assistance to individual scientists in achieving broader impact; use of COSEE-OS content resources and concept mapping tools; and documentation and dissemination of NEOSEC’s model for collaboration.

* A request from the Census of Marine Life to the Davis Foundation to fund scientists’ participation at the November 2010 Ocean Literacy Summit.

* A proposal submitted by the Seacoast Science Center to NOAA’s Informal Education Grant Program for “Families by the Seaside.” This project would support partnerships between NEOSEC members and community-based organizations (CBOs) to develop and implement shoreline education programs for families, using Web 2.0 technologies to document, share, and continue their learning experiences.

News Release: Human Impacts and Environmental Factors Are Changing the Northwest Atlantic Ecosystem

This news release provides an excellent overview that is relevant to NEOSEC members as we plan the next Ocean Summit on ecosystem principles:

Fish in U.S. waters from Cape Hatteras to the Canadian border have moved away from their traditional, long-time habitats over the past four decades because of fundamental changes in the regional ecosystem, according to a new report by NOAA researchers. The 2009 Ecosystem Status Report, prepared by the Northeast Fisheries Science Center headquartered in Woods Hole, Mass., also points out the need to manage the waters off the northeastern coast of the United States as a whole rather than as a series of separate and unrelated components.

To learn more, go to:

Welcome to NEwswave

NEwswave is the NEOSEC blog.

NEOSEC (New England Ocean Science Education Collaborative) is a collaboration among a range of institutions from across the region, including museums and aquaria, universities, and research institutions.  We recognize that understanding the ocean is integral to comprehending the Earth’s systems and our own life on this planet, and have identified ocean science literacy as a key goal for all of New England.  Visit NEOSEC online.

NEwswave is also available as  monthly e-newsletter. Sign-up online.