NOAA Announces Environmental Literacy Grant Recipients for 2007

October 3, 2007

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced today the 2007 recipients of the NOAA Environmental Literacy Grants. These awards were created to support formal and informal education projects aimed at building environmental literacy among the American public.

Five institutions were chosen based on the organizations' proposed activity related to ongoing environmental NOAA education activities, as well as the NOAA Education Plan, and other criteria. Recipients, corresponding winning projects and grant amounts are:

  • Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California:
    "Ocean Sciences Curriculum sequence for Grades 3-5" - $709,992
  • National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium:
    "Ocean Interpretive Stations: A Pilot Program for Coastal America Coastal Ecosystem Learning Centers" - $379,955
  • Eastern Michigan University:
    "Sailing Teachers Towards Ocean Literacy Using Familiar Water Resources" - $461,534
  • Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance:
    "Earth as a System is Essential – Seasons and the Seas" - $566,467
  • The Ocean Project:
    "Building Environmental Literacy: How the Ocean Community can Connect More Effectively With the American Public" - $375,100

"These grant recipients are among the top institutions involved in the environmental literacy movement and their projects represent some of the most strategic investments for environmental education," said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. "Through the America COMPETES Act, NOAA has been given the task to serve both science and education communities nationally. These grants catalyze NOAA's efforts to raise the level of environmental literacy of the public, to help them understand our natural resources and their role in working with them."

From a pool of more than 180 pre-proposals, 60 applicants were authorized to submit full proposals. Eligible full proposals were reviewed by a panel of 22, composed of educators, former Environmental Literacy Grant recipients and professionals in the environmental science community. Eligible applicants include institutes of higher education, nonprofits, and state, local and tribal governments.

"We are excited about the potential of each of these projects, their effect on environmental literacy in the nation, and their ability to interpret scientific topics important to NOAA's mission," said Louisa Koch, NOAA director of education. "The projects funded through these grants will touch an amazing breadth of learners, from teachers in Michigan and students in Maine to museum visitors in Iowa and Chicago. We look forward to seeing the goals of each of these project fully realized."

Project selection was based on the importance, relevance and applicability of stated goals; technical and scientific merit; overall qualification of the proposing applicants; feasibility of the project to meet time and cost goals; and whether the project provides a focused and effective education and outreach strategy related to NOAA's mission to protect the nation's natural resources.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is celebrating 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Commission of Fish and Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 70 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.