A program of the Lawrence Hall of Science that seeks to increase ocean literacy through informal and formal education initiatives
Marine Activities, Resources & Education

WHOI News

Panel to Discuss Deep-Sea Mining at AAAS Meeting

Home to an immense diversity of marine life, the deep ocean also contains valuable minerals with metals such as nickel, copper, cobalt, manganese, zinc, and gold, and rare-earth elements used in electronic technology like smart phones and medical imaging machines. As demand for these resources increases and supplies on land decrease, commercial mining operators are looking to the deep ocean as the next frontier for mining.

Study Provides First Measurement of Nitrogen Removal by Local Shellfish

A new study by Woods Hole Sea Grant, Cape Cod Cooperative Extension, and the Mashpee Department of Natural Resources provides the first comprehensive measurement of nitrogen removed by shellfish harvested from waters off Cape Cod.

Town of Falmouth and WHOI Win Seaport Economic Council Grant

At a meeting Thursday in Fall River, members of the Massachusetts Seaport Economic Council (SEC) green-lighted a $500,000 grant request from the Town of Falmouth and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). The award will go toward a feasibility study for the replacement of the WHOI dock on Water Street in Woods Hole.

Antarctic Bottom Waters Freshening at Unexpected Rate

In the cold depths along the sea floor, Antarctic Bottom Waters are part of a global circulatory system, supplying oxygen-, carbon- and nutrient-rich waters to the world’s oceans. Over the last decade, scientists have been monitoring changes in these waters. But a new study from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) suggests these changes are themselves shifting in unexpected ways, with potentially significant consequences for the ocean and climate.

Lawrence Hall of Science/UCB

2005 University of California, Berkeley Educational Initiatives Award

In 2005, the Communicating Science college course at the Lawrence Hall of Science was awarded the UC Berkeley Educational Initiatives Award. The Educational Initiatives Award is presented annually to a department or unit on the Berkeley campus in recognition of distinctive and innovative contributions to undergraduate education. Designed to complement the campus' Distinguished Teaching Award for individual faculty, the Educational Initiatives Award is presented to a department, unit or group of faculty that has created an outstanding program or initiative that has had a sustained impact upon undergraduate education and can serve as a workable model for others on campus.

The Communicating Science course started in 1997 as "Communicating Chemistry," a collaboration between Chemistry Professor Angelica Stacy and former Lawrence Hall of Science staff member Jennifer Claesgens. In subsequent years, the course was expanded to include other scientific disciplines and faculty, and additional Hall staff, including Lynn Barakos and Kevin Beals. The Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence California (COSEE CA) at the Hall created the sister courses Communicating Ocean Sciences (COS) and Communicating Ocean Sciences to Informal Audiences (COSIA) for undergraduate and graduate students in Integrative Biology, Earth & Planetary Sciences, and Geography. The COS and COSIA courses are now taught in more than 25 colleges and universities across the nation.

Communicating Science and its sister courses are consistent with the Hall's approach to instruction by modeling good teaching and focusing on important pedagogical issues such as questioning strategies, addressing misconceptions, and leading discussions. The courses use a series of effective, widely tested elementary school and informal science instructional materials developed at the Hall. The theoretical aspects of teaching are always interwoven with practical lesson applications, preparing students for the field work portion of the courses, which may involve presenting hands-on, inquiry-based science activities in classrooms or in science museums. These programs help teachers strengthen their science program and provides children with accessible role models. Bringing the resources of the University to the community is a creative and effective way to enhance elementary students' preparation for career paths through higher education. 

Having taken the Communicating Science course, one undergraduate says, "I have shifted my overall goal towards education...the practice of teaching informed my understanding of educational theory and my knowledge of theory benefited my teaching technique...What I had previously thought of as the activity of conveying information became an opportunity to combine theory and experience into a creative act."

 

(Adapted from the program from the 2005 University of California, Berkeley Teaching Awards Ceremony)