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NOAA OED - ELG FY2012 Ocean Education Awardees
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Environmental Literacy Grants Program

Ocean Education Partnership Grants: FY12

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Overview of Funding Announcement

In March 2012, NOAA's Office of Education (OEd) issued a request for applications to support a collaborative team of aquariums and other institutions to expand or develop professional development and other capacity-building activities for volunteers. The successful project utilized the resources of multiple institutions to enhance the capacity of informal science educators and volunteers to engage visitors and promote public understanding and stewardship of coastal, marine, and/or freshwater environments. Eligible applicants were collaborative teams that include at least three non-profit U.S. aquariums, of which at least one must be accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).


Three institutions received awards under this funding opportunity totaling nearly $1 million. The awards supported a single collaborative project, which is summarized below. For more information regarding specific awards, please contact theĀ Office of Education Grants Team.

Project Title


Total Project Funding*


Building Ocean Awareness Together (BOAT): Interpreting Challenging Ocean Issues Debbi Stone, Florida Aquarium $232,790.00

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Building Ocean Awareness Together (BOAT): Interpreting Challenging Ocean Issues Cynthia Vernon, Monterey Bay Aquarium $390,249.00

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Building Ocean Awareness Together (BOAT): Interpreting Challenging Ocean Issues Laurie Morrow, Alaska SeaLife Center $275,451.00

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*Excludes matching funds, but includes other support not provided through the award



Title: Building Ocean Awareness Together (BOAT): Interpreting Challenging Ocean Issues (Collaborative Project)
Institutions: Florida Aquarium, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Alaska SeaLife Center
PIs: Debbi Stone, Florida Aquarium; Cynthia Vernon, Monterey Bay Aquarium; Laurie Morrow, Alaska SeaLife Center
Summary: The project will increase the effectiveness of informal science educators to promote public understanding of five complex topics that impact the ocean (oil spills, ocean acidification, biodiversity loss, sea level rise, energy literacy) and encourage stewardship of ocean and coastal resources. This project will have a direct impact on 252 interpreters in and around Seward, Alaska; Monterey, California; and Tampa, Florida through 12 weeklong trainings. Groups of interpreters will develop, assemble and produce online training toolkits and host a webinar on each topic, all of which will be widely disseminated to the ISE community. Each toolkit will utilize NOAA multimedia content, data visualization products, literature, expertise and other relevant resources. Project participants--who interact with a diverse mix of local, regional, national and international visitors (including underserved local populations)--will provide enhanced training content for their colleagues through guide/interpreter training, a workshop, presentations at conferences, and online networks.

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