A Stewart in bamfield

This site celebrates the west coast marine environment and promotes ocean literacy in Canada.


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CaNOE to Brussels

A blog about the Tripartite, Galway Implementation Meeting, in Brussels, February 23, 2015

It is really one big ocean, all connected.

Japanese glass ball on beach near Bamfield, BC, Canada.

Far from Brussels, waves roll in from the open Pacific, pounding the shore and filling the warm air with fresh scents that mingle with the green smell of cedar. The winter tide strands flotsam including timbers from a Japanese temple, on the beach and eagles soar aloft, as I sit at the base of a sea stack, reflecting on a recent trip to Brussels. I finish a Belgian chocolate, fortified for writing and begin my blog about the February Galway Implementation meeting and what it could mean for ocean literacy in Canada. I start by making sure that readers know what ocean literacy means and give a little background information for context.

In broad strokes, ocean literacy refers to understanding the ocean’s influence on you and your influence on the ocean.

Expanding on that, the seven essential principles of ocean science are spelled out below.

The dedicated group of Americans, who coined the phrase, and defined the principles, had thirty marine scientists onboard for the process. Then they went on to collaborate with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) educators, to build a K – 12 conceptual frame-work linked to US, Next Generation, National Science Standards and STEM curriculum everywhere.

Portugal embraced the principles of ocean literacy almost a decade ago through its own process with Ciência Viva. Now Portugal is ahead of everyone, in adopting and adapting the conceptual science framework, embedding ocean literacy into the school system, moving beyond science and into history, geography, arts and culture and the national consciousness. Canada, the US and the EU are following suit in their own ways, as signatories to the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation.

Ocean Literacy is more than just a bullet point in the Galway Statement, which starts with this acknowledgement:

“Recognizing the importance of the Atlantic Ocean to our citizens, human health, prosperity and well being, adaptation to climate, other environmental change and security, …”

An additional quote from the Galway Statement, sums up the resolve to include societal understanding and valuation of the ocean.We further intend to promote our citizens understanding of the value of the Atlantic by promoting ocean literacy. We intend to show how results of ocean science and observation address pressing issues facing our citizens, the environment and the world and to foster public understanding of the value of the Atlantic Ocean.”

The impetus from the EU to reach this agreement can be found in their Action Plan for a Maritime Strategy in the Atlantic area and a similar commitment from high levels, including heads of state, is clear.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is leading the Galway Canadian Marine Working Group which is focused on five areas of tripartite cooperation:

  1. Ocean Health and Stressors
  2. Ocean Observation and Prediction
  3. Information Management and Dissemination
  4. Characterization of the Seafloor and the Sub-surface
  5. Aquaculture

Within the Canadian working group, ocean literacy is included within bullet point number three and the two co-leads for ocean literacy were identified and started to participate in the working group in early winter, 2015. Tom Sephton, Bedford Institute of Oceanography and Anne Stewart, Canadian Network for Ocean Education (CaNOE) are working together as co-leads for ocean literacy. It was as co-lead on ocean literacy, that I was able to attend the Galway Tripartite Implementation meeting in Brussels. It is important to understand that this is a long-term agreement. It is still very early days for the working group and particularly for the ocean literacy leads. Input, information, comments, suggestions and support are fully encouraged.

Significant transatlantic ocean literacy activity has gone on since the signing at Galway. Transatlantic ocean literacy (TOL) has been the focus of several international, workshops where ocean literacy was recognized to be important for informed citizenry and leadership beyond curriculum, as well as within the classroom, K – 16. TOL workshops were conducted in Plymouth (2013) and Goteborg (2014), in collaboration with the European Marine Science Educators Association (EMSEA). As a participant in these activities, I can attest that the spirit of intent at these TOL workshops was to foster ocean literacy throughout the transatlantic countries involved, not just those parts or provinces that border the north Atlantic basin. Also emphasized and reiterated were the links with other parts of the global ocean, specifically including Arctic – Atlantic connections which are included in the Statement. The Plymouth TOL workshop produced a report and published a Vision Statement on TOL. Both a TOL workshop report and a TOL implementation plan followed from the Goteborg workshop (I can send these to you if you are interested.). The European Commission was represented and involved throughout this TOL activity.

The European Commission continues to support advances in transatlantic ocean literacy through Blue Growth, which is the EU’s long-term strategy for sustainable growth in the marine sector. Blue Growth is recognized, as an economic driver with great potential for innovation and ocean literacy is part and parcel. Investing in Blue Growth, the European Commission, put out several Horizon 2020 calls, for EU-specific proposals to advance ocean literacy. This European investment runs parallel to implementation of the Galway Statement and in my opinion, ups the ante, for multilateral support.

We are  progressing quickly, taking into consideration the size of the players (EU, US and Canada). The first two Galway implementation, meetings followed the signing; Washington DC in 2013 and Ottawa, late in 2014. The third tripartite meeting, was the February 23, 2015 meeting that I attended. Held in Brussels at the Marine Resources Unit of the Bio-economy Directorate, part of the European Commission (EC) Directorate-General for Research & Innovation, I believe it was the first tripartite meeting to truly embrace the topic of ocean literacy.

The morning session was a plenary; hosted by Sigi Gruber, Head of the Marine Resources Unit, our delightful taskmaster for the day. Opening remarks by John Bell (EC, Research and Innovation), Terry Schaefer (USA, NOAA) and Trevor Swerdfager, (Canada, Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Oceans – Science) set a very comfortable tone for the day, while reviewing accomplishments. Ocean literacy bubbled through comments, adding zest to remarks on jobs, economy, innovation, environment, exploration and research. These gentlemen clarified that we were all there to advance the realization of the Galway Statement. A tour of the table and introductions followed with many participants engaged in the other two topics; Seabed Mapping and Aquaculture. Updates on follow-up activities to the Galway Statement came next and I concentrated on the ocean literacy presentation by Gaelle LeBouler (EC), filling in for Paula Keener, (NOAA) who was grounded by a blizzard in the US.

Gaelle spoke of the relative “newness” of ocean literacy and need to better structure transatlantic ocean literacy. Gaelle noted the need to develop strategies to boost ocean literacy on both sides of the Atlantic and briefed the group on the 2014 TOL workshop and its consensus to adopt the seven principles of ocean literacy while adapting/adopting the conceptual framework. Gaelle brought us up to date on the Blue Growth calls; BG-13, BG-14, the proposal responses and current status. Nine of the 12 BG-13 proposals submitted had Canadian and US participation and two of these are to be funded for several million Euros to start in spring 2015. It should be noted that Canadians and Americans are not eligible for this funding. The proposal under discussion for BG14 – Coordination and Support Action (CSA) to Support the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance, also included a work package dedicated to ocean literacy. These three ‘winning’ proposals are in the process of working out agreements, in transition from the proposal stage to projects to be launched mid-April.

  • Sea Change through the Marine Biological Association (MBA) (UK)
  • ResponseABLE through the University of Brest (FR)
  • Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance Coordination and Support Action (AORAC-SA) through the Marine Institute (Foras na Mara), Galway, (IE)

 

Representatives of the three proposals presented briefly to the whole group. Peter Hefferen of the Marine Institute presented on the BG-14, AORAC-SA proposal mentioning partners including ICES, PLOCAN, IFREMER, IMR, Spain and Ciência Viva. He explained that they would be working on governance, coordination and communication, including research priorities, expert workshops, knowledge sharing and shared access to infrastructure. Peter noted that they would be supporting and coordinating with the efforts of the two BG-13 groups and that they would be uniting around the common theme of working hard to meet the Galway agreement.

 

Fiona Crouch of the MBA presented on the Sea Change proposal, remarking that this consortium of 17 applicants encompasses multiple European/International organizations and multi-disciplinary partners, including diverse expertise in ocean literacy, marine science education, social innovation and behavioural change. Focus on the interdependence of human well-being and ocean health would be addressed through education, engagement and governance. The over-arching goal would be to bring about fundamental change in the way European citizens see themselves in relation to the ocean and to empower them to act sustainably towards healthy seas. A baseline review of good ocean literacy practices and current marine education programs, will lead into communication and education campaigns, possibly incorporating citizen science. There are plans for a legacy component. Fiona reported that Sea Change would work closely with both ResponSEAble and AORAC-SA and looks forward to needed, coordination of efforts.

Denis Bailey of the University of Brest, presented on the ResponSEAble proposal, which has 15 partners, a mix of large research groups, NGOs and enterprise. This group would map links between society and benefits of the sea as well as society’s influence on the sea. They would use social science to see what works in a cost-efficient way and broaden the scope for identified topics to produce ocean literacy products and good communication that is tested in a live-laboratory.

Time for discussion was made after the seabed mapping and aquaculture presentations and before the breakout sessions. Several remarks touched on the broad importance of ocean literacy. Joao Ribeiro, Portugal, commented on specifically on the importance of engaging youngsters, the career and employment links and the need for the Atlantic Action Plan to be in day to day thinking. The following point-form notes touch on some of the discussion points and I apologize for not being able to attribute individual speakers, difficult to identify from where I sat.

  • IODP ocean drilling program as model for international research cooperation, capacity building and direct connections to seabed mapping, deep oceans and science-policy interfaces
  • Joint Program Initiative (JPI) on Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans JPI Oceans conference May 7, with ecological impacts of deep-sea mining and micro-plastics on agenda.
  • Partnership for Global Observation (POGO) European Optical Society (EOS) meeting on optics in the sea, May 12/13. European Marine Board is planning a brainstorming workshop, to bring together science communicators and oceanographers to make recommendations.
  • Atlantic Integrated Observing Systems and issues with broader inter-disciplinary training for post-graduates
  • Arctic/Atlantic linkages and opportunities to further develop cooperation, modeling after ICES. Fish stocks moving northward with climate change, Arctic Council involved
  • Pilot, climate change, citizen (EU, US, Canada) science program launching soon
  • Germany holds the G7 leadership this year and topic of marine litter is on agenda. JPI Oceans already engaged in ocean plastics, a lot going on.
  • Ocean plastics could easily be taken up at the political level, as a low-hanging fruit

At this juncture and mention of food, it was time to move.

The ocean literacy break-out group moved by foot and metro to a different location. It was all very efficient. We ate lunch en route at an EC cafeteria and were soon seated around a smaller table, joined via videoconference by Paula Keener, NOAA, Peter Tuddenham, College of Co-exploration and my co-lead on ocean literacy Tom Sephton, Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The topic-specific, break-out group gave the opportunity to learn more about the specific proposals’ work plans, the nitty-gritty of their rationales and some of the other activities going on. I include point-form notes.

Sea Change

  • 17 partners
  • US & Canadian advisers
  • Designed to bring positive change to how European citizens relate to the sea
  • Empowering ocean literate citizens who take steps towards healthy seas & oceans, healthy communities & a healthy planet
  • Deeper understanding of how health of citizens depends on ocean health
  • Review knowledge outputs on links between ocean & human health
  • Use social change methodologies, change agents, embed across networks & established strategic initiatives
  • Build on what has been done, evaluate on sustainability, effectiveness, efficiency
  • Leave a legacy to continue beyond project life & ensure more active role of citizens
  • Baseline Review in collaboration with ResponSEAble
  • Dissemination & Communication in coordination with ResponSEAble. This public awareness campaign will include these aspects.
  • Two way process, dialogue, exchange, including mutual gain of knowledge from EU, US & Canadians (both ways)
  • Strong evaluation & impact processes throughout to identify what works & what doesn’t work

ResponSEAble (BG13)

  • Digging into the complexity of how society & ocean relates, translated broadly into various forms of communication
  • Publicly accessible and structured knowledge base
  • Guidance developing OL activities with:
  1. Sound practices
  2. Real life applications
  3. Communication activities developed in Europe
  • Diverse North American partners,

AORAC-SA (BG14)

  • Will work very closely with other OL projects
  • Want to enable society to be able to ‘see into the water’
  • Specific work package on OL led by Ana Noronha from Portugal
  • Human & institutional dimensions are important
  • It will be an outgrowth of Galway agreement
  • Event planned in Lisbon, June 5th, in concert with Blue Economy and a special edition of the Economist is planned
  • Significance is high profile, the people & projects are very encouraging should be able to change perspectives
  • Many complementarities with other projects

Next was a presentation on the EU Atlas of the Seas, and again I include my point-form notes.

  • Accessible to public with easy mode
  • Advanced mode for professional user, a lot of data, energy, transport, marine protected areas, etc.
  • The closer you get to shore, the more information there is
  • Visualization tool with data from different sources
  • Simple mode, complex modes–make connections between aspects, meta information, data sources, add maps & layers
  • Includes information on the Arctic
  • How can this tool contribute to OL efforts?

Ward Appletons of UNESCO and the International Oceanographic Council (IOC) presented next on some of their many OL activities.

  • 147 member states‐ocean research programs
  • Global capacity for marine science observations
  • Healthy ocean ecosystems, early warning for hazards, building resilience, emerging knowledge issues, traditional ecological knowledge issues
  • Science knowledge to societal benefit, capacity development
  • Education for sustainable development,
  • UNESCO roadmap, international involvement in OL, TEK,
  • Academic, professional development, sharing, OL community of practice, guidelines for public information.
  • Ocean Teacher (Be) 1400 people (Flanders Govt.), now going global, training the trainers, 1st w/ data management then will expand
  • Art competition, Day of Seas & Ocean, Ocean challenge badge
  • Open access data information, data publication, Sea Change plug‐in
  • Ocean climate platform, UNESCO on campus, Surfrider etc.

Some of the discussion that followed is encapsulated here.

  • There is lots going on in ocean literacy internationally.
  • There is a need to operationalize and come up with tangibles.
  • Concrete suggestions – for OL brochures to be put in seat pockets of flights, OL articles in inflight magazines, additions to digital flight maps on international airlines with information on ocean below
  • Identified that goodwill is needed, for everyone, to reach out to their contacts and be willing to share. It was also reiterated that defined, specific, and common goals would be part of major projects. Fiona noted that they are still open to ideas, for the public campaign that you want to see.

There was a brief discussion about the extent of Ocean Literacy: whether it should be global, since it is really one ocean, or transatlantic only? Then, if transatlantic only, should it be north basin only or should it include southern Atlantic? It was noted that there is serious and tangible Brazilian and South African interest in cooperation. There seemed to be consensus to start with a basin approach (the north-Atlantic with Arctic connections) as a good way to move forward toward global OL and to best reflect the Galway Statement.

One topic that had a short and very positive discussion was the Endorsement and/or Adoption of Ocean Literacy Principles in Europe. Sigi suggested using the seven principles as a way to move together successfully. There was total agreement. Under the topic of Seabed Mapping & Ocean Literacy, Paula (NOAA) suggested using concept mapping to help map out the diverse contributions to transatlantic ocean literacy that participants bring to the table. She suggested this as a way to help understand and fit the complex pieces together. This was well received, especially by those familiar with the Concept Linked Integrated Media Builder (CLIMB) used by Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence (COSEE) at the University of Maine. This concept-mapping tool is effectively used to make sense of complex ocean systems and ocean learning complexity.

The group ran out of time for comment on the last topic entitled Contribution of Stakeholder’s Roadmap and we made our way back to the larger, group wrap-up session, to report back.

The whirlwind of a meeting was over and I headed out into nighttime Brussels in search of chocolate. As I walked the cobblestone streets, between the neoclassical facades, and gothic gargoyles, antique architecture dominated the scene. I reflected on the day, the people, and their mix of interests, yet common will, to implement the Galway agreement. This international movement bodes well for ocean literacy in Canada. We are committed from the highest level nationally, the Canadian Galway Marine Working Group has ocean literacy on its agenda and the two co-chairs are working together to further ocean literacy in Canada. CaNOE has been well launched and with over 200 members is gaining momentum. It actually feels a bit like we are shooting the rapids and heading for the sea.

Unabashed, promotional addendum to meeting notes.

Canadian Network for Ocean Education Society (CaNOE)

Canadian Network for Ocean Education Society (CaNOE)

The table is set for Canada to collaborate internationally on ocean literacy. To get our own house in order, an increase in coordination and communication would further good practices and allow celebration of on-going efforts, while we advance to the next stage. The Canadian Network for Ocean Education CaNOE provides a pan-Canadian platform with momentum. CaNOE hosts the first conference on Ocean Literacy in Canada, June 17 & 18 in Vancouver, BC and you are all invited.

The results of an initial survey of Canadian scientists on the seven principles of ocean science literacy will be presented then. The anticipated adoption of the principles by Canadian scientists will provide a Canadian foundation for common OL messaging. The simple survey takes < five minutes, total. If you belong to a Canadian marine or aquatic science association that would be willing to be surveyed, please let me know.

More francophone participation in CaNOE, en français, is  also needed. CaNOE is having an election of a new board at the June 17 AGM and we are recruiting now for the new board now to pull together for ocean literacy in Canada. Suggestions welcomed.

These notes are not official transcripts or minutes, they are just my notes, translated into a blog that I write about ocean literacy. I would like to correct any errors, omissions or misunderstandings, so please contact me with comments. Anne Stewart <astewart.bamfieldATgmail.com>

Post Script – The Launch of Horizon 2020 BG13 and BG 14 happened in Brussels, April 16, 2015. Link here to more information

http://europa.eu/newsroom/calendar/events/2015/04/16_atlantic_shared_resource_en.htm


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February 20th, Ocean Literacy Workshop Follow-up

Hello participants of the Ocean Literacy Workshop held February 20, 2015 at the Royal BC Museum. What a wonderful day that was, getting to know each other through the ocean literacy conceptual framework puzzle, going to the different galleries and learning so much from each other. I really appreciated what Michelle Washington brought to the day through her perspective, the First Peoples’ gallery and the voices of the land and the sea.

I had a lot of fun doing hands-on activities with you on the Climate Change and Ocean portion of the workshop. It always amazes me how much you can learn by simply messing about in boats, or in this case by simply messing about with water.

As promised, here are some resources for you. Below is a bit of a list and the outlines of activities that we did follow the list. I also added a few that I talked about but didn’t demonstrate, at the very end. Stay in touch and please join us in Vancouver for the First Canadian Conference on Ocean Literacy. Please tell your friends and colleagues about the conference.

Thanks for being part of that special day.

Ocean literacy

Ocean literacy campaign http://vimeo.com/45536990

Canadian Network for Ocean Education http://www.oceanliteracy.ca

Climate change and oceans

Digital explorer video – Melting ice-cubes in salt water & fresh water (cans of peas, Jamie in Antarctica)

http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/oceanography/activities/73296.htmlD

Digital explorer web-site, you need to register: http://oceans.digitalexplorer.com/

Ocean Acidification

I have included quite a few Ocean Acidification resources because for the most part we only really got around to lowering the pH of the water (and measuring it colour-metrically) by making bubbles. That is by adding carbon dioxide through the straw and through the yeasty-sugar bubblers. I would love to do a workshop that is just on ocean acidification next time. It is such an important topic. You will notice below a lot of the resources are from just to our south. They have been motivated by ocean acidification threatening their shellfish industry, what are we doing?

Pacific Northwest/ Washington State Ocean Acidification https://vimeo.com/54408927

or as below

http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/co2/story/Acidifying+Water+Takes+Toll+On+Northwest+Shellfish

http://oceanacidification.noaa.gov/AreasofFocus/EducationOutreach/AdditionalResources.aspx has excellent links to further resources

20 Facts about Ocean Acidification: http://www.whoi.edu/fileserver.do?id=165564&pt=2&p=150429

Ocean Acidification in the Pacific North West: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/water/marine/oa/201405­

Fairly technical but written for the lay person- six things we know about ocean acidification in Pacific Northwest coastal waters: http://coenv.washington.edu/research/major­initiatives/ocean­acidification/ocean­acidification­in-the­pacific­northwest/

To learn more about the science behind ocean acidification, visit NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory: http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/co2/story/Ocean+Acidification

For more information on the impacts of ocean acidification on humans and marine life, visit the NRDC’s website:http://www.nrdc.org/oceans/acidification/

NRDC has produced a film diving into the causes and consequences of ocean acidification: http://www.nrdc.org/oceans/acidification/aboutthefilm.asp

For more on what you can do to help, reduce C02 emissions & visit the Deeper Dive at Ocean Conservancy: http://www.oceanconservancy.org/our-work/ocean-acidification/deeper-dive…

Read about the $2 million Xprize for ocean health an award from Wendy Schmidt to develop a new better, tougher, easier to use pH sensor for measuring ocean acidification. http://oceanhealth.xprize.org/ (Inspiring.)

Health & Safety Note 

Alway go over potential hazards and how to mitigate and increase safety for any experiment. There is a reason that salt in is listed in the Material Safety Data Sheets. Be especially careful with hot water, fire hazards, water/salt water and electrical hazards etc. Use common sense and preventative measures to protect children (and carpets). Some of these experiments are more fun run outside. For example, pour water down the string works well on an outdoors stairway but remember the falling hazard. (yikes)

Enquiry and peer learning on basic properties of water: Small groups of 2 – 3 students to run simple experiments, make predications, collect data, graph & present findings to peers (quickly and informally).

Cohesive properties of waterHow many drops can you fit on a penny? … Extension ideas -with versus without soap, hot versus cold, heads vs tails etc. tally it, control for extraneous variables, graph it, talk it up.

As a follow-up check out some of these amazing wave images under seascapes and relate back to cohesion properties. http://raycollinsphoto.com/

Adhesive properties of water – This one is more of an engineering challenge. Move water on a string. (2 cups, cotton string, water) – transport a cup of water using cotton string and gravity from one side of room to the other side). Extension ideas – time of travel or volume transported as a function of wetted versus dry string. Have students work together to mop the floor, get up on a chair and pour the water down the string, catch the water in a cup at the other end without getting their fingers in the way, too much.

What is the difference between what happens to sea level, when sea-ice melts in the Arctic and glacial ice melts in the Antarctic?

Materials

Two containers

Measuring device

Ice

Water

Cans of peas

Timer

Marker

Towels

Design an experiment that would model a comparison of sea level rise from melting sea ice (In the Arctic, sea ice is already in the ocean so make sure that your model has the melting ice already in the water.) and melting glaciers (In the Antarctic up to 90% of the world’ freshwater is bound up in glaciers on land, so make sure that your melting ice is “on land”.)

Get approval for set-up, run experiment. Measure, record data and graph for sharing (aka big). Remember to give the graph a title, note the units & label axes.

Adapted from Digital Explorer. See video as listed at top of page.

Melting Ice-Cube Experiments http://mirjamglessmer.com/?s=melting+ice+cubes&submit=Search

We did a fairly simple version of this endlessly interesting example of how much you can learn about the physics of water with a couple of cups of water, some salt, ice and the ever cool, food colouring. I refer you here, to the queen of the melting ice cube and wonderful teacher Mirjam Glessmer of Germany. Mirjam has multiple variations on the theme of the melting ice-cube. Her amazing web-site is all about oceanography and teaching, brilliant, in my opinion. http://mirjamglessmer.com/

Colourful Density-Driven Currents Experiment

How do changes in salinity and temperature form density-driven currents? (Also know as thermohaline currents)

Materials:

2.5 L, or larger tank or tub (must be able to look through the sides to see what happens, doesn’t have to be totally clear, just clear enough to see how the coloured water moves and mixes). Glass give best visibility but is a safety risk as it can break.

Aluminum foil

Food colouring blue and red preferably

Duct tape

Several containers

Graduated cylinders or small buckets

Large plastic syringes without needles, or turkey basters ; – )

Procedure:

  1. Engineer a wall to divide a tank in two using aluminum foil and tape. Test your wall to insure it is watertight.
  2. In a container mix at least 1 L of water with 150 g of salt and some red food colouring. Fill a second container with 1 L fresh water with blue food colouring..
  3. Carefully pour the coloured waters into each side of the tank at the same time. Keep adding hot, fresh red water to one side and cold, salty blue water to the other side.
  4. Puncture two holes (pencil sized) in the barrier, one just below the surface of the water and the second hole near the bottom of the aquarium. Observe what happens.
  5. Investigate further. Can you create a tank with three or four layers of different coloured water? Can you create a current between two layers of water?

Discussion:

  1. What did you observe when you put holes in the dividing wall? Which water was denser?
  2. How do temperature and salinity affect the density of water?
  3. How to temperature and salinity form currents in the oceans?
  4. The big ocean conveyer belt that carries water masses on very long (100s of years) travels around the world, is a density driven current. It starts where the north Atlantic interacts with the Arctic. There very cold, very salty water is super dense and sinks through lighter water pushing the current.
  5. How might climate change affect density driven ocean currents?
  6. What can we do as individuals, schools, communities, provinces and nations to reduce the effects of climate change on oceans?

Adapted from Count Marsili and the Mediterranean Current by SEA semester, available at http://www.sea.edu/academics/k-12_detail/count_marsili_the_mediterranean_current

 Thermal Properties of Water – Specific Heat Capacity

Materials;

balloons, tea candle, lighter or matches, water, air, safety goggles, lab coats (optional)

Vocabulary:

Specific Heat Capacity The amount of heat that must be absorbed or lost for one gram of a substance to change its temperature by 1o C. Water has the highest specific heat of any known substance.

Theory: High specific heat capacity allows organisms, which are mostly water to absorb heat energy without changing temperature. Even the heat generated by reactions in cells would damage or destroy cells if not for the high specific heat of water. Think about the colour of our planet and how important the ocean is in regulating temperature. It is both our air conditioner and heater because of its specific heat capacity.

Safety – Use safety glasses for this activity. Fire burns so wear your lab coat and tuck in loose clothing and hair. Avoid the flame ; – ) Do it outside or somewhere that can get wet! For younger students this is a demo.

Method – Fill two balloons, one with water, one with air. Predict which balloon will blow up first and why. Light the candle. Control variables like how the high above the flame you hold the balloon. Record the time to explosion for both substances in a table. (Maximum 2 minutes.) Repeat a few times. Graph. Reflect, conclude, discuss in relation to water molecules hydrogen bonds. What were the weaknesses of this experiment? How would you improve it?

Thermal Properties of Water – Latent Heat

Vocabulary:

Latent Heat: Heat absorbed or released as the result of a phase change (solid – liquid or liquid – gas) is called latent heat.

Latent heat of fusion: Is the amount of heat absorbed during melting or released during freezing.

Latent heat of vaporization: Is the amount of energy absorbed during evaporation or released during condensation.

SafetyDo not use mercury thermometers with students. A broken thermometer is a sharp hazard. Discuss what to do if a thermometer breaks.

Take six equally sized pieces of paper towel. Wet three towels and leave the other three dry. Check & record room temperature with four numbered thermometers. Wrap four thermometers with the paper towels as similarly as possible. Measure the temperature after five minutes for each numbered thermometer. Take an average for wet and dry. Graph your results. Label graph, axes & show units.

Have fun, be safe, make discoveries.


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Move elevator pitch into dialogue.

I started this blog when asked to give my elevator speech[1] about the Canadian Network for Ocean Education (CaNOE Society). Thanks Aliza, it really made me think.

Elevator speeches depend on to who listens and how long the ride. This one is for CaNOE members and I hope it starts a discussion about CaNOE, where it is heading and how. This is my view. What is yours?Henricia_relaxed

CaNOE’s core message is about bringing a balance between the pull of how important the ocean is; blue planet, every 2nd breath, 90% of trade, last frontier, 97% of water etc. and the general lack of ocean inclusion in education and learning. As anyone who has been in a canoe knows, stability is paramount.

CaNOE is pulling people together across Canada and from all the coasts, to celebrate and connect ocean learning for all ages. The primary goal is to advance ocean literacy in Canada starting with ocean sciences (including traditional science knowledge) and ocean education outreach. CaNOE helps share and accelerate best practices nationally and internationally, through organizations like the European Marine Science Educators Association and the National Marine Educators Association. CaNOE helps Canada keep up its part of the Galway Statement which includes a bullet-point on ocean literacy(also signed by the EU and US).

yellow hat

The CaNOE Society has a membership of over 160 and is growing rapidly. The interim board is organizing the first conference and AGM for June 17-18, 2015 in Vancouver. Other short term goals include:

  • adopting the seven principles of ocean science by Canadian ocean scientists
  • accelerating for common messaging within regional differences
  • assessing levels of ocean literacy amongst specific populations (such as new teachers and graduating students)
  • connecting scientists with professional educators and communicators

eelgrass_fish

Acceleration of collaboration between experts doing experiential ocean learning and in-nature learning is already expanding to provide ocean learning inspiration and will gain more momentum as more people come onboard.

Shahowis_eelgrasscopy

Long-term goals include regionally adapting and adopting the ocean literacy framework concepts, expanding the incorporation of ocean learning into the arts, geography and history.

Making room in CaNOE for diverse strengths and voices, such as the blue economy, and indigenous people will help stabilize and propel this CaNOE of hope for the blue planet.

What your thoughts? Please comment and transform this pitch into a dialogue.

Anne Stewart

ohiat it copy

[1] I assumed this elevator ride was going up to the 75th floor of the Haeundae building in Seoul, on a slow day, with a full load of heavy people. Yes, I am working toward being more succinct. Editorial comments also welcomed ; – )


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European Marine Science Educator’s Association Conference (EMSEA), October 1 – 3, 2014

#EMSEA14 was held at Gothenburg University, a centre of marine science, in the medieval heart of the old city of Gothenburg. Gothenburg is a lovely city on the west coast of Sweden. The Swedes there are friendly, with a relaxed graciousness and their attitude, along with the city’s many parks, canals, walking, biking and well-organized public transport system, make it an easy and enjoyable place to navigate.

Gothenburg boasts Sweden’s biggest science centre as well as a wonderful aquarium and maritime museum. Lobster season was open as the conference began and so were the hearts and minds of attendees from around the world, ready to be inspired about ocean literacy and best practices in marine science education.

This blog is just a sketch of the conference, it only includes a few of the presentations and the view is my own. I also tweeted at the conference, (@AnneinBamfield) and you can find everyone’s tweets by looking at #emsea14 on Twitter. I also invite you to comment, tweet, retweet and mention. If you are interested in more detail and want to learn more, go to the EMSEA web-site and link to the conference site where all the presentations will be posted.
A big shout out goes to the organizers of this conference including the EMSEA team, the University of Gothenburg and their friends at the Maritime Museum & Aquarium, Universeum, Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Science at Kristineberg and the upper secondary sailing school, Öckerö Gymnasieskola. I thank the organizers for allowing me to do a five-minute, dance-along presentation on ‘Canadian progress in Ocean Literacy with the Voices of Youth’ in the closing ceremonies. I am personally grateful to the American organization, National Marine Educators Association (NMEA) for a scholarship that helped me to attend. I hope that my tweeting and blogging goes a little ways towards showing my deep gratitude for that assistance to participate in the great conference that was EMSEA14. Thanks to Peter Tuddenham for the Creative Commons attribution on his  photos.

Gaelle Le Bouler opened the conference, addressing the audience from the perspective of the European Commission, where she is the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation. Gaelle put the importance of the conference into the context of current affairs in the European Union (EU) and emphasized the high-level, political will to advance ocean literacy in Europe. She spoke about the Galway Statement signed by EU, Canada and US and explained the structure and progress of working research groups. She shared her surprise with us at receiving thirteen proposals from consortiums responding to the EU Horizon 2020 call “BG-13-Ocean Literacy”. The results of that competition will be announced November 21st.

Lisa Emelia Svensson, was the keynote speaker and as Sweden’s Ambassador for Oceans, Seas and Fresh Water, provides advice and expert guidance to the Swedish Minister for the Environment on the action needed to move forward on Sweden’s international ocean and water agenda. She is part of the Foreign Service and spoke knowledgeably about ocean issues, the different sectors, sustainability, politics and ocean literacy. She inspired all of us to view potential challenges as opportunities, by thinking outside of the box for a blue economy that is integrated with the green.

Dr. Lisa Emelia Svensson, keynote speaker. Photo courtesy of EMSEA Conference Handbook.

Dr. Lisa Emelia Svensson, keynote speaker. Photo courtesy of EMSEA Conference Handbook.

Lisa Emelia reminded us that new approaches, such as ecosystem-based management, must be explained to people with language that they understand. Sweden has committed to an ecosystem approach by 2018 and people need to understand the benefits. Ocean governance is also a challenge as there are 576 bilateral and multi-lateral frameworks.
The Ambassador spoke about a broad range of topics from maritime spatial planning, to maritime transportation, to innovations for a healthy planet, new consumerism and social media. The Ambassador made the case for science and passion to work together and emphasized the importance of cross-sector work within government. She reminded us that Ocean literacy is also needed within the government and she reported that on a global level, there are a lot of events and activities that can raise awareness about the ocean.
The Ambassador brought the audience back to self and the importance of individuals at the end of her talk, reminding us that ideas and leadership come from individual people. She suggested facilitating dialogue between scientists and policy makers, by starting at a local level and then scaling up. It was a complete treat to experience the Swedish Ambassador’s presentation. In my view, the creation of ambassadorships for oceans and water in more countries would help further global ocean literacy faster than any action, especially if the ambassadors could measure up to Lisa Emelia Svensson.

John Parr (MBA) takes over from Geraldine Fauville.Photo by Peter Tuddenham Citation: VLIZ events / Tuddenham Peter This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

John Parr (MBA) takes over from Geraldine Fauville.Photo by Peter Tuddenham Citation: VLIZ events / Tuddenham Peter This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

The first session presenter was Joachim Dengg from GEOMAR in Germany. He questioned whether school outreach in marine research was a welcome addition or an extra effort and concluded that scientists needed to be able to choose. He demonstrated the positive difference to the efficacy of outreach efforts that a judicious coordinator could make and how he plays this role himself. He also acts to protect scientists so that they can do their jobs. There are about 500 scientists at GEOMAR working on topics such as ocean circulation and climate dynamics, marine bio-geology, deep sea, natural hazards, resources from the sea and plate tectonics.
There is a need and desire for outreach – training teachers etc. but scientists lack time and often lack experience: how do you talk to non-specialists? GEOMAR’s school programmes focus on projects ranging from a couple of days to couple of months in schools and at the institute, fostering an interest in natural sciences. Joachim and his team create nice symbioses between schools and the institute by:
• Capacity building among teachers
• Direct contact between scientists and teachers
• Public visibility – public outreach, challenge communication skills of students by having them produce videos etc.
• Website resources for teachers
• Writing outreach proposals that are linked into science proposals
• Training young scientists
• Working directly with the scientists (30 – 40 scientists a year)
In answer to questions, Joachim pointed out that the amount of time scientists put into outreach varies from zero to less than five percent and there is nothing prescribed, it depends on the principle investigator. He said that PhD students are favourite “victims” except in their last year when they are writing up and he stressed that this experience is invaluable in improving their communications skills with people who are not in their speciality.

NMEA has fun. Photo by Peter Tuddenham Citation: VLIZ events / Tuddenham Peter This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

NMEA has fun. Photo by Peter Tuddenham Citation: VLIZ events / Tuddenham Peter This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

Sam Dupont presented on a case study of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute’s Facebook page and ocean literacy. The question was: can Facebook be used to increase scientific literacy? Sam started with a quote from Tim Minchim, “the main problem is a failure to communicate” and made the point that FaceBook has over 1.3 million users. Geraldine Fauville, the PI, was at MBARI for ten weeks and had access to their amazing stories and materials (photos and video). She was looking at how to optimize the posting strategy to engage and interest and was evaluating this using quantitative (#fans, etc.) and qualitative (Interviews around – Does it increase OL?) techniques. Findings indicate that strategy doesn’t seem to change number of fans. The numbers reached were very variable 50 to zero per day whether there was a post or not. She found that there are more hits if there are photos and videos. The FaceBook model created by the genius, billionaire was cracked at 89% with the researcher team’s own algorithm and the conclusions were: use visuals, post as often as possible and when does not matter. They found that fan-fan interactions were superficial and that the fan-friend level was a little less superficial and more interesting because you discuss with people you know on your own page. They found that the type of fans were mostly from the US, connected to MBARI or had visited, with lots of marine scientists and students. The authors felt that there was a lot of investment of time and energy for a potentially limited rewards since it was a little like “singing to the choir”. A tweet by Jim Wharton, Seattle Aquarium was a good reminder that “singing to the choir” is not in vain as it supports them in communicating to their networks which adds to the ripple effect that can ultimately have the most impact.

Next we jumped to Malta where Alan Deidun is setting up an ocean literacy hub. The International Ocean Institute (IOI) was started in 1972, has special consultative status at the United Nations and although centred in Malta, is now also found in 25 countries around the world. The Malta centre is working towards:

Spot the Jellies map of Malta.

Spot the Jellies map of Malta

• Ocean literacy and advocacy
• Training and education
• Research and collaboration

Alain talked about several IOI citizen science projects such as Spot the Jellyfish, which involves a range of ages from school children, to mobile phone users at sea, who photograph jellies and send them in along with location data. The program has produced posters, waterproof jelly guides, GIS jelly apps for iPhone and android, and postcards. IOI has also produced three popular under-water documentaries on Marine Protected Areas as well as YouTube videos. They assist in video production and video screening for pupils in schools. IOI is interested in taking this maritime hub further and is seeking partners on possible projects. They will be hosting the PERSEUS conference in November 2015. A question about divers had Alain pointing out that Malta has about 100,000 SCUBA divers visit annually so the potential for “citizen” science is great and already happening with invasive species.

Portuguese youth with their teacher. Photo by Peter Tuddenham Citation: VLIZ events / Tuddenham Peter This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

Portuguese youth with their teacher. Photo by Peter Tuddenham Citation: VLIZ events / Tuddenham Peter This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

The flash (one minute) poster presentations were a really great way for everyone to hear from all of the poster presenters and helped inform later discussions at the posters. Portuguese high school students and their teacher presented my favourite EMSEA poster. It outlined their original research on beach micro-plastics from clothing and gave us all a reason for ocean optimism. The integrity, passion and excitement of youth, certainly gives me hope for the future.

Annie Russell and Susan Gebbels, spoke about two of the different types of programs to create young coastal guardians at the Dove Marine Laboratory, of Newcastle University and in the local communities. The first uses a pedagogy that is student-led and includes topics such as marine ecology, maritime heritage, shipping and renewable energy. The questions that the students ask, actually leads where the session will go and yes, for many educators that is a scary idea. The learning then follows a truly enquiry based approach, which is both interactive and provides access to things (objects, tools, artifacts) that promote learning not available to the students everyday. Susan and Annie have to be incredibly flexible, and aware that the children may learn things other than pre-set goals. Some examples follow:

Litter surveys – Learn about data crunching and discussion.

How are local animals are effected? Learn about basic biology.

The second type of program Annie and Susan presented was a five day program culminating in a multi-school event and it involved, raising awareness about ocean litter through art – music, poetry and posters. On the final day (day 5) all five schools got together on Oceans Day. There was a marine mammal talk (plastics effects), sand sculpturing, a poster competition, they created huge collage, made a giant plastiki boat, sang sea shanties, wrote a messages in a bottle with what they learned and a pledge of what they would do to help. Susan and Annie reported that the student buy-in is instant: they get to be creative, they gain confidence, and the legacy is that they become the teacher. Children and teachers were absolutely ‘hooked’ and all the resources are free on-line. Advice for the audience: Make it relevant, achievable and fun. Support for this program, was provided by external funding from a pharmaceutical company.

One of my favourite sessions at EMSEA was a hands-on lab led by Mirjam Glessemer. Mirjam took her learners, on adventures in oceanography and teaching right in the classroom. Her methodologies advance learning speed and depth through enquiry, peer-to peer learning, building on prior knowledge and understanding prior misconceptions. This was a busy, noisy, engaged workshop where everyone was talking, manipulating water, salt and ice and reasoning. It was a whole lot of fun. The foundation of the session’s lesson plan was based on a seemingly simple prediction question: which will melt faster, an ice-cube in fresh water or in saltwater?

Mirjam has her students make a prediction to force them to commit to one choice so they are more invested in the outcome of an experiment (or even explanation) later on. We were all invested and delighted to see the oceanographic connections made as well as the increased understanding of oceans and climate that can come from such a deceptively simple experiment. This is a great reminder about the power of doing science instead of just reading about it.
It took me quite a long time to get around to writing this blog, so this last comment is definitely dated. Check out Mirjam’s December 1, 2014 blog-post for teaching ideas and resources and respond to her challenge. Set me a challenge: What ocean/climate topic would you like to see a demonstration on?

Nia Half Jone presents. Photo by Peter Tuddenham Citation: VLIZ events / Tuddenham Peter This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

Nia Half Jone presents. Photo by Peter Tuddenham Citation: VLIZ events / Tuddenham Peter This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

Nia Haf Jones presented on the Nautilus Exploration Program, which uses tele-presence technology to inspire the next generation in real-time. Nia is a very passionate Science Communication Fellow with the Ocean Exploration Trust, when not working with north Wales Conservation Fund. The Science Communication Fellows are trained at NOAA’s Inner Space Station at the University of Rhode Island, the site of next year’s National Marine Educators’ conference. They also go to sea aboard the Nautilus for three week expedition and engage learners in events over the year. As a marine educator you can apply for this awesome experience. Everything done on NOAA Explorer is on-line including lesson plans created as part of graduate credit for teachers, and footage from NOAA. During the lunch break we had a brief but really great tele-presence connection with the Nautilus crew as they did a deep dive in the Caribbean. That was an unplanned but awesome addition to the program.

Portugal stands out as a maritime nation that takes ocean literacy really seriously and Canada is looking to the Portuguese experience as well as the Americans for inspiration. I was in awe of the work presented on the importance of maps to Portuguese national identity. Portugal – wanted to change the idea of Portugal just being a strip of land in southwest Europe, with their Atlantic islands as an inset. They designed a map for youth to help change their view of their country and extend their perspective out to sea. They didn’t wait for the UN to finalize the extension of the continental shelf and went ahead internally.

The new map of Portugal gives new view. Map from http://kitdomar.emepc.pt/outros-mares/mapa-portugal-e-mar/

The new map of Portugal gives new view. Map from http://kitdomar.emepc.pt/outros-mares/mapa-portugal-e-mar/

The beautiful new map, places the outer limit of the continental shelf and Portugal on the right side, with the map centered on the sea. It was validated pedagogically and maps went to all the schools. Politicians (even the President) and the media got involved and there was lots of coverage by the press. The educational team created teacher’s resources for geology, economy, ecology, pulled together lists of hands-on and minds-on activities, and the mapping team made maps of living and non-living resources, which all help in learning through discussion and debate. Workshops and teacher training was carried out to satisfy teacher’s needs for information, resources and access to the teams. Further links were made between the policy makers and educators/schools. I really like the way Portugal tackles Ocean Literacy and identifies itself as a maritime nation. Check out the map web site even if you don’t speak Portuguese: Kitdomar.emepc.pt it is pretty inspirational and you can always click on translate.

The last session I am going to cover is that of Luc Zwartjes: this amazing Belgian geography teacher led a great open source GIS workshop that demonstrated how creating and manipulating maps can increase ocean literacy. In brief, he had a group of GIS neophytes making and saving ocean maps of wind-farms and shipping routes in no time at all. We can all be thankful that Luc also trains teachers amongst his many other contributions and accomplishments.

Before signing off here I have to add just one more tantalizing link and that is Discovery of Sound in the Sea This is thanks to Gail Scowcroft’s thought provoking presentation on ‘The science of underwater sound: merging research, education, and policy.” Yes, keep the scientists involved for good outreach.

If you want more, check-out the EMSEA conference web-site links.


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What does the ocean mean to you?

What does the ocean mean to you?

http://www.wordle.net/show/wrdl/7987592/What_does_the_ocean_mean_to_you%3F

This wordle was created from the answers to the title question. The overwhelming answer was that the Ocean means life.

Eighty four people of all ages stopped to give their answer at the CaNOE booth at  World Oceans Day in Sidney, BC, Canada. CaNOE is the Canadian Network for Ocean Education.

Lost in the wordle creation were a few quotes that I would like to share here.

From an elderly woman: The Ocean gives you the rhythm of life.

From a  girl: The Ocean is something very special. We have more ocean than land. I like the sea creatures, they are my favourite animals and whales are my favorite sea creatures. If I could work at the Shaw Discovery Centre, I would be really pleased to be working with the sea creatures.

Ninety four year old woman: It is peaceful. If you are stressed out, come and look at it. Keep it clean.

Young man: The Ocean is like a natural air conditioner: in the winter it is warm and in the summer – cool.

Man quoting Charles Wesley: depth of wisdom, where I can get lost in wonder, love and awe.

Woman: A mysterious, wondrous kind of place.

Boy: The source of life.

Man: It is dark and unknown.

Young man: It is a big, vast expanse of water to explore.

Young woman: One of my favourite things.