Ocean Literacy Summit: The ocean and humans are inextricably interconnected

New England Ocean Science Education Collaborative

I had the privilege of attending the Ocean Literacy Summit at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Falmouth Massachusetts.  NEOSEC (New England Ocean Science Education Collaborative) sponsored and planned this annual conference.  NEOSEC is a diverse networked collaborative of more than fifty institutions from across New England, including aquariums, universities, government organizations, and science and research centers.  These organizations all work together to advance understanding of the vital connections between people and the ocean. The Summit showcased the latest research from many disciplines including medical research, aquaculture and ocean currents. 

Speakers and Sessions

Keynote speaker for the Summit was author Deborah Cramer.   Cramer’s first book was Great Waters, and her latest book, On The Edge, about the sharing of our increasingly fragile coastline by humans and wildlife, will be published in the spring of 2015. The sessions of the conference provided an opportunity for researchers and educators to jointly present demonstrating the importance of collaboration and communication among professional in many sectors of ocean literacy education. The concurrent session tracks included Understanding Ocean Impacts, Ocean Resources, Human Impacts on the Ocean, climate Change-Impacts on the Ocean, and Coastal Living. 

Dr. Amy Bower and Kate Fraser

Ocean Currents: Going with the Flow was the title the conference organizers chose for the session presentation by Amy and me.  Since 2006, There has been a beneficial collaboration among Amy Bower, a physical oceanographer who is blind, other staff at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and teachers at Perkins to increase ocean literacy for our students.  Amy and other staff from WHOI make frequent visits to Perkins, and students from both the on campus and community programs visit various laboratories and ships at Woods Hole.  During our presentation, Amy described the high tech and low tech tools she uses to learn more about the ocean currents and their impact on the Earth as well as the adaptive equipment she depends on as she does her research. We then presented the ways that we work together with students developing accessible curriculum, tactile graphics, 3-D models, and audio content, as well as our use of lab tools that talk.  

Ocean Literacy summit



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