NOAA 2006-081
Contact: Kent Laborde
NOAA News Releases 2006
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced today the 2006 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 this year, 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:

  • Seattle Aquarium and Seattle Aquarium Society: “Ocean Science – Formal and Informal Education for Ocean Literacy” - $599,735
  • American Museum of Natural History: “Interpreting Global, Half-hourly Cloud Observations to Promote Weather and Climate Literacy” - $580,265
  • Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, Colorado State University: “The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network – Enhancing Environmental Literacy through Participation in Climate Monitoring and Research” - $585,005
  • Camp SEA Lab/Foundation of California State University Monterey Bay: “Building Ocean Literacy in our youth through unique learning experiences in our National Marine Sanctuaries” - $413,592
  • U.S. Satellite Laboratory: “Signals of Spring – ACES (Animals in Curriculum-based Ecosystem Studies)” - $599,862

“These projects and their sponsoring organizations represent the ‘best of the best’ of environmental education programs in our country,” said retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “It is important to conduct solid science, but it is equally important to educate the public on why we need science, and how protecting the environment we live in is such a vital undertaking. These grants support organizations who share this concern.”

More than 130 eligible proposals were reviewed by a panel of 30, composed of educators, former Environmental Literacy Grant recipients and professionals in the environmental science community. Eligible applicants include institutes of higher education, nonprofits, commercial organizations, and state, local and tribal governments.

“Our grant recipients span NOAA topics from deep-ocean studies to satellites tracking, and touch an amazing breadth of learners, from teachers in Seattle to museum visitors in New York,” said Louisa Koch, NOAA director of education. “We are excited about the potential of each of these projects, and the effects they will have on environmental literacy in the country, as well as on the learning community as a whole.”

The average grant size is $500,000. 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.

In 2007 NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, celebrates 200 years of science and service to the nation. Starting with the establishment of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA. The agency 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 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

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