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

NMEA President's Award


At the National Marine Educators Association (NMEA) National Conference of 2009 at Asilomar, California, Catherine Halversen, co-director of MARE, was awarded the NMEA President’s Award. This award is given by the current president of NMEA, who selects recipients based on outstanding contributions to marine education. Then-President of NMEA Eric Simms selected Catherine for this award based on her many accomplishments. Below are excerpts from the award speech Simms delivered:

"Catherine’s most notable accomplishment is her leadership of Communicating Ocean Sciences (COS) and COSIA. She is responsible for transforming a very successful course at UC Berkeley into a thriving, growing, national program that impacts hundreds of undergraduates and graduate students, thousands of K-12 students and museum visitors each year, and importantly, dozens of scientists and informal education colleagues. The course, which Catherine just taught at UC Berkeley in 2009 for the 6th year, is now also being used in colleges and universities across the country.  The program regularly receives national attention at conferences, among university faculty and administrators, by NSF program officers, and notably has been regularly reported by the National Science Foundation and the National COSEE Council and National COSEE Network Evaluators as one of the top accomplishments of the entire National COSEE Program. It has become one of the signature efforts of COSEE California."

"On the ¡Youth and the Ocean! project, Catherine has provided particular leadership in the ongoing development and implementation of the summer school professional development 'Ocean Sciences and Reading Academy.' In Summer 2008, the ¡YO! Academy represented the seventh summer school professional development science and reading academy that Catherine has run since 2001. She has grappled with the intricacies of both the intellectual and logistical design elements of this elaborate, highly successful professional development model. She has worked with a variety of literacy experts, representing a variety of approaches, to develop a unique approach to the integration of science and literacy in a professional development setting."

"On the Ocean Sciences Curriculum Sequence Project, Grades 3-5, Catherine has served as the lead curriculum developer, and has just completed the pilot test of the first three units. She has managed to write and teach the materials while maintaining her continually expanding responsibilities managing and administering projects and supervising staff. In addition, Catherine is co-author and lead developer of a new Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading unit, Aquatic Ecosystems. She authored two student readers and co-wrote the National Trial Test version of the Teacher's Guide based on the results of her pilot test."

"Catherine has also played an instrumental role, as a developer in the COSEE-led Ocean Literacy Campaign.  Over the last two years, she has made significant intellectual contributions to the Ocean Literacy Scope & Sequence, a series of 28 conceptual flow diagrams that show graphically how student understanding of the seven essential principles of Ocean Literacy might grow as students progress through four grade bands (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12). The Scope & Sequence is finally complete, and promises to make an important impact as we attempt to raise the prominence of ocean sciences in the mainstream science curriculum."

"Catherine’s friend and long time colleague, Craig Strang, says, 'It has become apparent that Catherine can capably play any role that she is called upon to play. Her leadership and administrative efficacy have won the complete trust of her colleagues in her ability and good judgment. I know of no one who is more dedicated or works harder than Catherine Halversen. Catherine never fails to deliver, and her determination to finish things that matter to the world is formidable. Finishing things regardless of the personal sacrifice required is her signature quality—and she always brings others along with her to the finish line. Despite her prodigious work ethic, you couldn’t find a less grumpy person. Could anyone ask for a more delightful, good natured or more self-reflective colleague?'"