NOAA 2005-R910
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Grants Will Support Broad Range Of Educational Programs

For the first time, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is soliciting applications that support its strategic cross-cutting priority of promoting environmental literacy. As a global leader in oceanic and atmospheric sciences, NOAA has a responsibility to improve public understanding of our planet’s dynamic air and water systems and the effect those systems have on all aspects of people’s lives. The NOAA Office of Education and Sustainable Development is soliciting one- to three-year proposals for environmental literacy projects. Applications are due May 12, 2005. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The NOAA Environmental Literacy Grants Program provides funding to encourage the development of partnerships and to support existing, or foster growth of new, environmental literacy projects. There is specific interest in projects that address Kindergarten-12th grade classroom science education in NOAA-related fields and in innovative methods of presenting NOAA science to the public.

The ultimate goal of this program is to create an informed society that uses a comprehensive understanding of the role of the oceans, coasts, and atmosphere in the global ecosystem to make the best social and economic decisions.

“This funding allows NOAA to support a range of programs that are as varied as the environment we are trying to understand,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “The projects funded by these grants will teach about nature and interconnected ecosystems, create an alliance of environmental stewards, and reinforce NOAA’s commitment to environmental literacy.”

This new program is part of a larger effort to enhance NOAA’s efforts in promoting lifelong ocean education as part of the U.S. Ocean Action Plan.

Included in the funding priorities of this program is support for the installation of up to four NOAA “Science on a Sphere” data systems at informal education venues. “Science on a Sphere” presents NOAA data visualizations of global-scale environmental processes in an exciting way through a 3D representation of our planet as if the viewer were looking at the Earth from outer space. This valuable educational tool provides a unique visual representation of data collected through earth observation systems. For additional information about SOS, visit

Applications for the Environmental Literacy Grant Program are due by May 12, 2005 and can be submitted electronically on the Web site To learn more about the program and the application process visit

Each year, NOAA awards approximately $900 million in grants to members of the academic, scientific, education, and business communities to assist the agency in fulfilling its mission to study the Earth’s natural systems in order to predict environmental change, manage ocean resources, protect life and property, and provide decision makers with reliable scientific information. NOAA goals and programs reflect a commitment to these basic responsibilities of science and service to the nation for the past 35 years.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources. To learn more about NOAA, please visit