National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) program funds locally relevant, authentic experiential learning for K-12 audiences through Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs). MWEEs are multi-stage activities that include learning both outdoors and in the classroom and aim to increase understanding and stewardship of watersheds and related ocean, coastal, riverine, estuarine, and Great Lakes ecosystems.
NOAA funding is provided to support student investigation of environmental topics both locally and globally that are of interest to them, leveraging local STEM assets and STEM professionals. Students identify actions to address these issues and understand the value of those actions, enabling them to help to understand, protect, and restore watersheds and related ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems.
Following is a list of this fall’s NOAA B-Wet grant events:
- California Islands Symposium, Ventura CA, October 4-6, 2016. Fourteen secondary science teachers attended to learn about current science research conducted in the Santa Barbara Channel and at the Channel Islands. New research was presented on local phenomena including: bald eagles, kelp forest monitoring, the Arlington Man, ocean acidification, Santa Rosa Island Torrey Pines, and much more.
- NOAA Shearwater Research Vessel trips to Santa Cruz Island, October 29, 2016, and Santa Rosa Island (December 3, 2016). Twenty-five Santa Barbara Unified science teachers and UC Santa Barbara student teachers participated in full day field trips learning about the Santa Barbara Channel and the Channel Islands. The trip included a unique opportunity for place-based education about local ecosystem protection and research in the Santa Barbara Channel and in the Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary. Teachers conducted plankton tows, measured ocean pH, and had fantastic opportunities for marine mammal viewing (whales, dolphins, and sea lions). Cliff Rodriguez from the Channel Islands Naturalist Corps led interpretive hikes on both islands helping teachers to learn about the interplay between human settlements and the island ecosystems.
Following is a list of Santa Barbara Unified’s Sponsored Professional Learning:
- October 31, 2016: All secondary science teachers gathered together at Santa Barbara High School to engage in Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) professional learning facilitated by Nellie Hill, Marilyn Garza, Mike Lynch, and Kim Tilton. Teachers participated in two sessions on the 5E Instructional Sequence from the statewide NGSS Rollout #2 Series, which is a collaboration of California Department of Education, CSTA, K-12 Alliance and CCESSA.
- November 14, 2016, Professional Learning Day for eighth-grade science teachers: Teachers had a unique opportunity for a behind the scenes tour of the new Museum of Exploration and Innovation (MOXI). Teachers were thrilled to learn about the physical science exhibits and opportunities for student visits to the museum.
- November 15, 2016, Professional Learning Day for seventh grade science teachers: Dr. Tanya Atwater, emeritus professor of geology and geophysics [and Santa Barbara High graduate], UCSB, worked with Santa Barbara Unified teachers for three hours, teaching them about plate tectonics and geology in our local area. Dr. Atwater shared education resources with teachers, including: maps, manipulatives, and animations.