New Report Highlights Urgent Need for Ocean Science Literacy

Threatened coastlines, resource depletion and environmental health are urgent concerns for us all. These ocean-related issues have direct impacts on the lives of humans, however, our understanding of the ocean, known as ocean literacy, remains elusive. NYSCI assembled a diverse consortium of scientists, educators and museum experts to develop a report that reviews the current state of ocean literacy and offers recommendations for improvement.

COSEE OCEAN Inquiry Group Report: Opportunities for Creating Lifelong Ocean Science Literacy reviews the state of ocean science education in formal and informal settings and offers suggestions for improving ocean science education. It provides references for hundreds of resources and tools that scientists, educators and organizations can use to help their audiences understand ocean science. Brainchild of Dr. Alan J. Friedman, renowned science communicator and former New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) director who sadly passed away this month, the 124-page report was supported by the National Science Foundation and UMass Boston Oceanographer Dr. Robert F. Chen.

The report can be downloaded at no cost:

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“The relationship between humans and the ocean is intimate and complex, yet, as terrestrial beings, for us it is an alien world,” said Dr. Stephen Uzzo, vice president of science and technology at NYSCI and one of the contributors to the report. “The Inquiry Group Report brings into sharp focus the urgent need to transform learning about the ocean and to provide opportunities for all citizens to be more aware of its influences and to think more deeply about its systems.”

The report includes contributions from Dr. Paul Boyle, senior vice president for conservation and education for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and founder of The Ocean Project; Vincent T. Breslin, professor of science education and environmental studies at Southern Connecticut State University; Lisa Craig Brisson, executive director for the Michigan Museums Association; Dr. John Fraser, a conservation psychologist, architect and educator; Dr. Alan J. Friedman, a physicist and consultant in museum development and science communication; Katie Gardner, an educator at Liberty Science Center; Sarah Schoedinger, senior program manager for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Education; Dr. Jerry Schubel, president and CEO of the Aquarium of the Pacific; Dr. Stephen Uzzo, vice president for science and technology for the New York Hall of Science; and Dr. Steven Yalowitz, a researcher and evaluator.

COSEE OCEAN: Opportunities for Creating Lifelong Ocean Science Literacy was supported by National Science Foundation sub-award OCE-1038853 to the New York Hall of Science, in collaboration with award OCE-1039130 to the University of Massachusetts, Boston.