NOAA Ocean Acidification Program Education Mini-Grants Program
The principal objective of the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program (OAP) education mini-grant competition is to provide federal financial assistance to develop ocean and coastal acidification education tools and programs in non-coastal communities. Ocean and coastal acidification are emerging issues that will have far reaching impacts on ocean health and long-term sustainability of ecosystems that support human populations. It is critical that educators have access to the latest science information and communication tools on these topics and are able to effectively share the science of ocean and coastal acidification, potential impacts, and positive actions to diverse audiences in an accessible format. The education mini-grant program provides funding opportunities that respond to the four goals laid out in the NOAA Ocean Acidification Education Implementation Plan.
In response to Goal 1, a comprehensive needs assessment has been conducted to determine strengths, weaknesses and gaps within the landscape of ocean acidification education and outreach programs. Competitive proposals will respond to the gaps identified by this needs assessment and/or respond to the other goals laid out in the NOAA Ocean Acidification Education Implementation Plan. These goals include (Goal 2) prioritize and engage target audiences for ocean acidification education and outreach, (Goal 3) match ocean acidification communication needs with existing research, education and outreach activities, and (Goal 4) develop innovative approaches for community involvement. As outlined in the NOAA Education Strategic Plan these activities will engage students, particularly from underrepresented groups and inland communities, to increase awareness and interest in education and career pathways in NOAA mission disciplines.Projects in one or more of the areas below will fill those needs that were identified as highest priority in the NOAA OA Education Needs Assessment: (1) Education and outreach products that incorporate data interpretation and/or visualization; (2) Multimedia educational tools (such as video, infographics and apps); (3) Discrete hands-on lab modules that incorporate inquiry-based learning and align with Next Generation Science and/or Common Core Standards to be used in a formal education setting; (4) Protocol or tools for ocean acidification citizen science program.