NEOSEC Funding Announcement

We very pleased to report that we have secured over $600K in grant funding over the next 3 years for NEOSEC, including support for our core operations and new programs:

* New England Aquarium (NEAq) received a $342K grant from NOAA on behalf of NEOSEC to fund “Summer Science in New England,” which brings a coordinated coastal citizen science project to summer camps around the region. Working with a lead scientist from the Census of Marine Life (CoML) and Project Manager at NEAq, the Marine Environmental Research Institute, Seacoast Science Center, BOAT CAMP, NEAq Harbor Discoveries Camp, Boston’s Camp Harbor View, Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Alton Jones Camp, and Project Oceanology will work in Year 1 to refine intertidal monitoring curricula for youth age 14 and up. Over the course of the summer, campers will learn field protocols, identify intertidal inhabitants, and upload their data for inclusion in CoML’s international NaGISA database, led by trained camp counselors and accompanied by working scientists. In the fall, campers will come together for a Teen Ocean Summit to share their experiences and consider policy aspects of intertidal census data.  In Years 2 and 3, additional camp programs will join the project.

* The Northeast Regional Association for Coastal Observing Systems (NERACOOS) and NEOSEC have entered a Memorandum of Understanding through which NEOSEC will provde education and outreach support to NERACOOS. A resulting Letter of Agreement has made $15K available to NEOSEC to support the Governing Council’s May 2010 meeting, production of NEwswave, and the 2010 Ocean Literacy Summit.

* With the NEAq as the lead, the NOAA BWET program has provided $284K for “Get WET in New England.” In this project, NEOSEC partners will provide professional development to teachers that will allow them to lead watershed field education experiences and follow-up activities for students. Each partner institution (Mystic Aquarium, NEAq, BOAT CAMP, and Gundalow Company) has identified a local school system to take part in the 3-year effort, and is matched with a NOAA Advisor (CT Sea Grant, MIT Sea Grant, Waquoit Bay NERR, and NH Sea Grant, respectively).  Other NEOSEC institutions with existing BWET programs (Gulf of Maine Research Institute and Project Oceanology) also provide connections across the region.

Additionally, we over $900K in pending proposals submitted on behalf of NEOSEC, including:

* A proposal submitted by Mystic Aquarium to the Institute of Museum and Library Services for “Building Ocean Literacy Capacity and Partnerships in New England.” This project would provide collaborative professional development through workshops, staff exchanges, and implementation support among NEOSEC institutions.

* A partnership with COSEE Ocean Systems, as part of their renewal proposal to NSF, to support increased involvement of ocean scientists in NEOSEC programs; assistance to individual scientists in achieving broader impact; use of COSEE-OS content resources and concept mapping tools; and documentation and dissemination of NEOSEC’s model for collaboration.

* A request from the Census of Marine Life to the Davis Foundation to fund scientists’ participation at the November 2010 Ocean Literacy Summit.

* A proposal submitted by the Seacoast Science Center to NOAA’s Informal Education Grant Program for “Families by the Seaside.” This project would support partnerships between NEOSEC members and community-based organizations (CBOs) to develop and implement shoreline education programs for families, using Web 2.0 technologies to document, share, and continue their learning experiences.

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Finding Funds for Field Trips – Teacher Workshop

Finding funds for a field trip to an aquarium or other informal learning institution may seem more challenging than ever, making now an ideal time to start considering grant funding. Join members of Mystic Aquarium’s development and education teams to discover how you can find funding to support your classes’ participation in informal learning programs. You will learn how to locate potential funding sources and will receive helpful hints to make your next proposal standout from the rest.

Teacher Workshop: Finding Funds for an Aquarium Visit, Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration, 55 Coogan Blvd., Mystic, Connecticut, Thursday, November 5, 2009, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm, Cost: $20

Pre-registration is required for all programs at Mystic Aquarium. To inquire about a program, complete the online Program Registration Form. Upon receipt of the form, a reservations staff member will contact you to answer your questions and finalize your reservation. To speak directly to a member of the reservations team, call 860.572.5955 ext. 520.

NASA Funding Opportunity for Informal Education Institutions

NASA has announced a competitive funding opportunity for informal education that could result in the award of grants or cooperative agreements to several of the nation’s science centers, museums and planetariums. Approximately $6 million is available for new awards.  Proposals for the Competitive Program for Science Museums and Planetariums are expected to use NASA resources to enhance informal education programs related to space exploration, aeronautics, space science, Earth science or microgravity. Full proposals are due Sept. 10.  Proposals for the program are expected to encourage life-long engagement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and focus on NASA’s contributions to these disciplines.  NASA will accept proposals from institutions of informal education that are science museums or planetariums in the United States or its territories. NASA centers, federal agencies, federally funded research and development centers, education-related companies, and other institutions and individuals may apply through partnership with a qualifying lead organization.  For detailed information about the opportunity, click on “Open Solicitations” and look for Competitive Program for Science Museums and Planetariums (CP4SMP) or solicitation number NNH09ZNE005N at: http://nspires.nasaprs.com

NSF Funding Website

The National Science Foundation offers a funding website which allows you to search for grants and funding.  Visitors can search by keyword, program area, current offerings, and through an advanced search.  There are categories for undergraduates and graduates, K-12 educators, and more.  The website also offers a Grant Proposal Guide and a helpful Grants.gov Application Guide.  Upcoming grants include ITEST (see below), teacher scholarship, Antarctic research, and many more.  Be sure to check this out if you haven’t visited before.  Visit the NSF funding website