Education & Outreach

Education and outreach are vital to improving the public's awareness and understanding of ocean acidification. This includes not only increasing the general awareness that ocean acidification is happening now, but also understanding the current scientific knowledge and impacts of our ocean's changing chemistry.


The OAP provides educational and public outreach opportunities to improve understanding of ocean acidification to students, educators, and the broader public.

The goal of NOAA's OAP is to effectively communicate the changes our ocean faces along with the science behind and efforts to adapt to and mitigate these changes.  Partnering with other NOAA programs, we work to develop strategies and tools to effectively communicate the impacts of ocean acidification and potential solutions.  We host a variety of workshops and online webinars to share these strategies to those communicating about our changing ocean around the globe.




The OAP works to understand and fill the needs of the ocean acidification education and communication community.

The NOAA Ocean Acidification Implementation Plan identifies  actions to extend the reach of NOAA research findings to the broader community through education and outreach. The first step was to evaluate the needs in education and outreach programming to determine gaps and opportunities to strengthen OA education and communication.  The identified needs are now beginning to be addressed by small OAP supported grants and include developing  multimedia education tools and supporting citizen science in various US regions.

Communicating effectively

How can we most effectively talk about ocean acidification science to various audiences?

There is a growing body of knowledge on what resonates when introducing the concept of ocean acidification and what inspires those listening to take action. A toolkit has been developed to succinctly communicate about acidification and encourage community based solutions. Distilling the complexity of ocean acidification to develop curriculum has also been explored. One common misconception the community is working to clarify is the difference between climate change and ocean acidification, because although carbon dioxide is the source behind both of these changes, they are distinct. Climate change drives changes in our atmosphere that can then cause changes in our ocean such as warming temperatures while ocean acidification is directly caused by an increase in carbon dioxide in our atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels to power our homes and cars.





This webinar series provides ocean acidification communication tools to formal & informal educators, and stakeholders across the country. 

One of its primary goals, is to promote a more integrated and effective ocean acidification education community by sharing ocean acidification education and communication activities virtually. With awareness of and access to these resources, the ocean acidification education and communication community will be able to utilize and continue to create cutting edge communication tools that incorporate current scientific and communication research to reach a variety of audiences.

Upcoming Webinars

The  Spring SOARCE series begins on March 13th!

Why I put a pteropod in a CT scanner to study the impacts of ocean acidification

Tuesday, March 13th, 3pm EDT (12pm PDT)

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Why I put a pteropod in a CT scanner to study the impacts of ocean acidification
Presented by: Rosie Oakes, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

Tiny swimming snails, called pteropods, have delicate shells which make them vulnerable to changes in ocean chemistry. Their shells are made from aragonite, a more soluble form of calcium carbonate, which is predicted to be chemically unstable in some parts of the ocean by the middle of the century. Why have I spent the last 5 years studying them? Because these tiny organisms are key to understanding the big picture of ocean acidification – the more CO2 that we put into the air, the more CO2 is taken up by the ocean, and the harder it is for pteropods to build and maintain their shells. Pteropods also play a crucial role in the marine food chain, eating phytoplankton and small zooplankton, and being eaten by krill, sea birds, and fish. This means changes that impact pteropods have the potential to impact the whole ocean ecosystem.

The challenge of studying, and communicating information about pteropods is their size. They are about the size of grain of sugar. In this webinar, I’ll discuss how I used a micro CT scanner to image pteropods in 3D so I could measure their shell thickness and volume. I will then explain how I enlarge these 3D reconstructions to print them for educational purposes, and how you can do the same. Finally, I’ll introduce my new research direction, using museum collections of pteropods to decipher how they have been affected by ocean acidification since the industrial revolution.

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About our speaker:  A geologist by training, Rosie stumbled into the wonderful world of pteropods after finding some shells in a sediment core she was working on during her Ph.D. Since then, Rosie has spent over 200 hours CT scanning pteropods and has used a variety of other imaging techniques to learn more about how these organisms may be affected by ocean acidification.

Rosie believes that it’s important to communicate science on all levels, and so in addition to travelling to international science conferences and publishing papers, she makes time to attend school science fairs and participate in outreach events (like this one!) in a hope to inspire the next generation of scientists. Originally from the UK, Rosie is currently living in Philadelphia and working as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.

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Carbon Comes Home—Kelp Aquaculture to Benefit both Sea and Soil

Carbon Comes Home—Kelp Aquaculture to Benefit both Sea and Soil

December 4th, 2017, 6pm EST (3pm PST)

During this webinar, Meg Chadsey of Washington Sea Grant, will share the evolving story of phytoremediation and an experimental kelp farm in Washington’s Hood Canal. A serendipitous partnership with a local terrestrial farmer, review of relevant curricular materials published by Maine’s Island Institute and others, and an explanation of how phytoremediation can be used to teach essential concepts about the earth’s carbon cycle will all be discussed. 

Monday, November 27, 2017
Science ↔ Society: Equilibrating Our Understanding of Ocean Acidification

Science ↔ Society: Equilibrating Our Understanding of Ocean Acidification

Wednesday, September 20th, 12pm ET

During this webinar Carla Edworthy, a PhD candidate at the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, shared her experience with mobilising citizen and professional science in South Africa by means of a continentally co-ordinated event on World Ocean Day 2017. It will highlight the methods of engagement with both the science and non-science community as well as present the various challenges and lessons learnt from this experience.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Pteropods as Indicators of Global Change: From Research to Education

Pteropods as Indicators of Global Change: From Research to Education

SOARCE Webinar

Presented by: Kevin Johnson, PhD Candidate, University of California, Santa Barbara

Primary audience: Informal educators and communicators

Date/Time: Tuesday, April 18th, 2017, 6:00pm ET

Wednesday, May 10, 2017