Cordilleran Section - 97th Annual Meeting, and Pacific Section, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (April 9-11, 2001)

Paper No. 0
Presentation Time: 1:50 PM


MCMANUS, Dean A., School of Oceanography, Univ of Washington, Box 357940, Seattle, WA 98195-7940,

In 1999 the question was asked whether major opportunities had been missed to enhance ocean sciences education in the United States. Were new opportunities being missed, as well? If the answers to these questions were "yes," how could the problem be addressed? With funding by the National Science Foundation divisions of Ocean Sciences and Undergraduate Education, a workshop was planned to review the problem and recommend appropriate strategies by which NSF could develop a nationally coordinated program in response.

The co-chairs provided experience in all the sectors of ocean sciences education: one in graduate and undergraduate education, as well as ocean sciences research; the other in informal and K-12 education, as well as teacher preparation. The seven other members selected for the Steering Committee likewise brought experience from one or more of the education sectors and research. In March 2000, the Steering Committee met with staff from the NSF to receive background information, determine the audiences from which participants in the workshop would be invited, and formulate the guiding questions for the workshop.

At the workshop, in May, the participants were divided into seven panels of the ocean sciences education sectors. Members of the Steering Committee facilitated discussions of opportunities and priorities in Informal education, Grades K-8, Grades 9-12, Undergraduate, Teacher Preparation and Professional Development, Education of Traditionally Underrepresented Groups, and Ocean Sciences Research. Following panel reports, the Steering Committee identified "common threads" among the panels. The morning of the second day was spent in common thread groups, composed of representatives from each panel. Following the reports of these groups, the participants returned to their original panels to share common threads within the panels for final recommendations. The Steering Committee drafted panel and group reports that were organized into the workshop report by the co-chairs for review by the Steering Committee and then by the 70 participants. The workshop recommended establishment of a Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence.