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.
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.
Check back for details about our next webinar...coming soon!