About NOAA Education
NOAA's Education Mission
The America COMPETES Act (P.L. 110-69) gives NOAA broad authority for educational activities. Stemming from this statute and other program-specific education mandates, the NOAA education community works collaboratively to advance the priorities outlined in NOAA's Education Strategic Plan and meet NOAA's Education Mission: "To advance environmental literacy and promote a diverse workforce in ocean, coastal, Great Lakes, weather, and climate sciences, encouraging stewardship and increasing informed decision making for the nation." This strategic direction is leveraged by the many cross-cutting education programs and initiatives (highlighted below) across NOAA.
The NOAA Education Council consists of seniorstaff members from NOAA's line and staff offices. The Council's primary responsibility is to lead and coordinate NOAA-wide education and outreach activities and priorities, and make recommendations to NOAA leadership on all aspects of NOAA's education efforts. The Office of Education provides staff support for the Education Council.
In cooperation with the broad community of education programs across NOAA, the agency established the 2009-2029 Education Strategic Plan. This plan establishes a mission, 2 primary education goals and related strategies to move the agency's education activities forward in a coordinated fashion.
The Office of Education (OEd) is a staff office within the Office of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere (the NOAA Administrator) in downtown Washington, DC. OEd provides advice and counsel to the Under Secretary on matters pertaining to education.
OEd, in conjunction with the NOAA Education Council, coordinates education activities across NOAA and oversees the implementation of the NOAA's Education Plan and Policy. These efforts help to ensure that NOAA's education programs and activities are based on NOAA science and support the agency's cross-cutting priority of promoting environmental literacy.
The B-WET program offers competitive grants to promote locally relevant environmental education opportunities to students in grades K through 12, as well as related professional development for educators. All B-WET funded projects emphasize sustained, hands-on, experiential activities that are aligned with academic learning standards and respond to regional education and environmental priorities.
NOAA’s Climate Communications and Education Program seeks to improve public climate science literacy and to raise public awareness and understanding of, and engagement with, NOAA's climate science and services programs. Climate Education produces and distributes a range of products, conducts programs, and collaborates in partnerships designed to help NOAA fulfill its climate goal.
The Coral Reef Conservation Program works closely with states and U.S. territories to address climate change, adverse impacts of fishing, and land-based sources of pollution that damage reef ecosystems. The Program supports local education efforts, teacher training at national conferences, and the development of classroom-ready educational products.
EPP provides financial assistance, through competitive processes, to students and Minority Serving Institutions that support the training of students and research in NOAA mission sciences. The program's primary goal is to increase the number of students, particularly from underrepresented groups, who are educated and graduate in sciences directly related to NOAA's mission.
This program supports competitive national grants focused on creating an environmentally literate public that uses a comprehensive understanding of the role of the oceans, coasts, Great Lakes, weather and climate in the global ecosystem to make the best social and economic decisions. These grants fund educational organizations that reach diverse audiences and promote partnerships.
NOAA's Satellites and Information Service (NESDIS) partners and collaborates with science-based agencies and academia to provide K-12 teachers, students, educational professionals, and the public with satellite information and educational tools. NESDIS Education conducts teacher workshops, provides classroom-ready materials, and develops hands-on activities and data visualizations for teachers and students.
NERRS protects more than 1.3 million coastal and estuarine acres in 27 reserves located in 21 states and Puerto Rico for purposes of long-term research, education and stewardship. Reserves serve as "living classrooms" that provide, on an annual basis, meaningful experiences for 90,000 K-12 students; 2,000 K-12 programs; community-based programs; public events, and reach 3,500 teachers.
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) provides students and educators research experiences and materials that support the NMFS mission: stewardship of living marine resources through science-based conservation and management and the promotion of healthy ecosystems.
National Ocean Service Education team serves educators and students through websites and programs that promote environmental literacy using ocean, coastal, and climate science. Tools and professional development for teachers and environmental games, mysteries and resources for students are found on two comprehensive websites the National Ocean Services Games Website and the National Ocean Services Website
An established network of Sea Grant educators, located at universities across the Nation, is committed to NOAA's goal of advancing environmental literacy and educating future environmental professionals and leaders. Sea Grant educators tailor both informal and K-12 marine and aquatic education efforts to meet their regional needs.
The National Weather Service (NWS) staff conducts almost 2500 schools each year, providing weather, climate and water information to teachers and students, grades K-12. The NWS has an on-going partnership with the American Meteorological Society to train science teachers in weather forecasting, hydrology, climate and NWS operations. NWS also provides free NOAA WeatherRadios to every public school in the country. The NWS maintains three primary weather education sites: Weather Education, Jetstream, and NOAA Watch.
Since 1972, the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) has been federally mandated to promote environmental education through thirteen national marine sanctuaries and one marine national monument. Through hands on activities, workshops, classroom curricula, and innovative technology ONMS reaches over 33 million people a year with messages about the ocean and its resources.
The NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research strives to engage broad audiences to enhance America's environmental literacy through the excitement of ocean exploration and discovery. The program strives to enhance ocean science literacy through high-quality, effective collaborations between ocean explorers and America's teachers.
Teacher at Sea provides a unique environment for learning and teaching by sending kindergarten through college-level teachers to sea aboard NOAA research and survey ships to work under the tutelage of scientists and crew. The valuable skills and knowledge that teachers acquire are then brought to the classroom.
Teacher at Sea Website