DreamWakers and NOAA unravel mysteries of the ocean (and discuss resources for students and teachers!) in a flashchat with student apprentices from the New Bedford Whaling Museum

Did you know that life began in the ocean over 3.5 billion years ago? Have you heard that about 95% of the ocean is unexplored? The ocean is a huge unknown waiting to be explored, and that is exactly what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) works to do. NOAA is a government agency that aims to enrich life through science by keeping the public informed of the changing environment around them.

Nury Molina on one of her research dives.

DreamSpeakers from NOAA spread their knowledge of the ocean in a recent flashchat with the young adults from the New Bedford Whaling Museum’s High School Apprenticeship Program. The apprentices chatted with DreamSpeaker Nury Molina and NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuary affiliates Hannah MacDonald and Nicholas Zachar. Ms. Molina is a Ph. D. student at UC Santa Barbara and a NOAA Dr. Nancy Foster Scholar. She shared her research on the role of herbivorous fish in promoting coral reef resilience, strategies to help coral reefs, and the joys of her underwater dives with NOAA.

NOAA’s Virtual Resources

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts and to share that information with others to encourage the conservation and management of coastal and marine ecosystems. Their dedication to sharing knowledge is illuminated through the robust educational resources they offer for learning more about the ocean.

One awesome resource recently debuted by NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries is Sanctuaries 360°, a collection of immersive underwater experiences bringing the underwater realm to life through the perspective of divers. With Sanctuaries 360°, NOAA is literally bringing the ocean into homes and classrooms across the world! Using a computer or smartphone and a virtual reality headset, viewers can take a deep dive into national marine sanctuaries without even getting wet. NOAA has even developed accompanying lesson plans (check them out, DreamEducators!). With Sanctuaries 360°, the possibilities are as limitless as the underwater realm.

Knowledge is Power

NOAA is all about bringing knowledge to the people, and Ms. Molina got to share that knowledge during her flashchat. When one student asked about what they can do to help save the coral reefs, Ms. Molina shared:

In honor of their mission to support the sharing of knowledge, NOAA also offers scholarships for students. For students interested in pursuing a degree in STEAM that supports NOAA’s mission, there are two great scholarships to check out: The NOAA Educational Partnership Program (EPP) is an undergraduate scholarship that provides funds for two years of undergraduate study to rising junior undergraduates attending Hispanic Serving Institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Alaskan-Native Serving Institutions, or Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions. Another scholarship, the Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship, provides undergraduate students with academic assistance of up to $9,500 per year, and a 10-week, full-time, paid internship with NOAA during the summer.

Looking for more information on NOAA’s work? Visit their home page, which is filled with fun facts, student opportunities, and more. If you learn anything new while browsing, share with the DreamWakers community on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

Written by La’Treil Allen, DreamWakers Education Intern

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