Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date



ocean science literacy, science education, ocean science literacy providers, ocean science policy, global climate change, energy sources, engergy uses, natural resources


Climate | Education Policy | Energy Policy | Natural Resources and Conservation | Natural Resources Management and Policy | Oceanography | Public Policy | Science and Mathematics Education | Science and Technology Policy | Sustainability


This Inquiry Group Report for the Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence Ocean Communities in Education And Social Networks (COSEE OCEAN) provides a fresh look at how broader ocean science literacy can be developed, especially through less-recognized channels such as opportunistic learning, the private and “third” sectors, and the enormously varied activities under the heading of informal science education. The 10 authors of this report (see Contributors section) have been working together for two years to find and review a range of issues and resources for current and potential ocean science literacy providers, both professional and volunteer.

Several chapters provide a survey of useful materials and websites, while others offer ideas that will be new for many readers, including opportunities and unfamiliar venues for carrying out this enterprise. Included are chapters depicting a perhaps surprising plethora of channels for increasing ocean science literacy, both in school and especially, out of school. Other chapters discuss the societal contexts for using these channels, which include ideas for potential funding sources and cultural partners. Not every reader will find every chapter useful so each chapter is written to stand alone. This requires redundancy of some material from chapter to chapter. The primary authors for each chapter have their own writing styles and voice. Finally, given the varied topics of each chapter, some are dense with annotated lists of existing materials, while others were written to analyze fresh opportunities for the creation of new materials and projects.

This report was written with several audiences in mind: the professional educators in the Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) network; formal and informal educators who are looking for ways to incorporate ocean sciences in the work they do; and policymakers in both science and education who are concerned with using all available channels to improve the public understanding of such major concerns as global climate change, energy sources and uses, the health of local and global ecosystems, and natural resources such as seafood.


This work was supported by National Science Foundation sub-award OCE-1038853 to the New York Hall of Science, in collaboration with award OCE-1039130 to the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

ISBN 978-0-9910886-0-7


© 2014 New York Hall of Science, Queens, NY



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