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NOAA Education Council - terms of Reference
NOAA Education Council NOAA Office of Education NOAA Homepage


Education Council - Terms of Reference

Updated August 2011



The Education Council is the primary forum for discussing ideas and proposals for NOAA's education activities and priorities. The Education Council is the coordination mechanism in NOAA responsible for facilitating integrated planning, budgeting, execution, and evaluation to advance the environmental literacy and workforce diversity components of NOAA’s Next Generation Strategic Plan Engagement Enterprise Objective: "An engaged and educated public with an improved capacity to make scientifically informed environmental decisions". This includes the development of any relevant documentation and reporting in support of these activities. In conjunction with NOAA's Office of Education (OEd), the Council develops and monitors the implementation of NOAA's Strategic Plan for Education and makes recommendations to NOAA management on all aspects of NOAA's educational activities.



Council members represent NOAA's Line Offices and Staff Offices, including special representation for Offices whose education activities are specifically authorized by statute.

  • Chair: Director of Education
  • Vice Chair: Deputy Director, Office of Education
  • Executive Secretariat: Office of Education


Principle Members Include:
  • Director, Educational Partnership Program with Minority-Serving Institutions, Office Of Education
  • National Education Coordinator, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, National Ocean Service
  • Education Program Director, National Sea Grant Program, NOAA Research
  • National Education Coordinator, National Estuarine Research Reserve System, National Ocean Service
  • National Education Coordinator, Ocean Exploration Program, NOAA Research
  • National Education Coordinator, Coral Reef Conservation Program, NOAA
  • Climate Education Coordinator, Climate Communications and Education Program, NOAA Research
  • Director, Teacher at Sea Program, National Marine Fisheries Service
  • Regional Program Manager, Bay Watershed Education and Training Program, NOAA
  • Regional Education Coordinator, Coastal Services Center, National Ocean Service
  • NOAA Research (At Large)
  • National Ocean Service (At Large)
  • National Marine Fisheries Service (At Large)
  • National Weather Service (At Large)
  • NOAA Satellites & Information (At Large)


Advisors Include:
  • NOAA Central Library
  • Office of Program Planning & Integration
  • Office of Legislative Affairs
  • Office of Communications and External Affairs
  • NOAA Budget Office


New Membership Criteria

New voting Council members must:
  • Represent sustained, significant education programs
  • Demonstrate a high level of education capacity (with steady, documented history and/or budget continuity)
  • Bring a capability that benefits the Education Council and broader NOAA community
  • Have support from appropriate NOAA leadership
  • Spend a significant portion of time dedicated to education
  • Represent programs that support the NOAA Education Strategic Plan
  • Agree to implement the NOAA Education Monitoring and Evaluation System


Roles and Responsibilities

NOAA's Office of Education serves as the Executive Secretariat for the NOAA Education Council by scheduling meetings, developing agendas based on input from Council members, and keeping records of proceedings. The Council meets monthly, or as needed. The Council may authorize the formation of task-specific working groups.

Council Members contribute to the development of recommendations through discussion at meetings, review of materials, and participation in working groups.

Decision Making Process

Decisions will be accomplished by voting. Each council member can vote in favor, against or request additional discussion. The Chair will strive for consensus on every issue. The Chair maintains 51% of the vote, therefore the final decision is made by the Chair when consensus is not achieved.