Regional Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) - Central Gulf of Mexico

End Date: 06/30/04


  1. To annually create professional development opportunities for 12, two-person teams (researchers and middle school teachers) per state working and learning “side by side” with a focus on enhanced science content for the teachers and an increased understanding of educational pedagogy at the middle school level for the scientists through enrollment in a fifteen-day COSEE Institute. The thematic focus for this revised, proposed effort will encompass coastal processes, habitats and organisms, and marine technology. 
  2. To disseminate existing oceans and coastal sciences research results and education materials and expand the linkages among informal educators, additional researchers, and interested public in FL and TX through one annual, Informal Workshop in each state (National Science Foundation (NSF) is providing support for the LA, MS, and AL Informal Workshops).
  3. To provide “Teachers-To-Sea/Sea Scholars’ opportunities for 42 middle school teachers annually aboard U.S. Navy Oceanographic Survey Ships (14 teachers on each of three different voyages) Note: the fiscal support for this component will be defrayed by the U.S. Navy-Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (NAVMETOCCOM) and the Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO) and will model the COAST and COAST:PILOT Sea Scholars’ component of the 1997-2002 NOPP-funded effort. 
  4. To enhance the numbers of underserved students in ocean and coastal sciences research and education by providing 17 Internships annually (note: 15 of these 17 Internships will be provided by the U.S. Navy and recruitment will be accomplished by Drs. Frank Hall at the University of New Orleans [UNO], and Lena Melton and Shelia Brown of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College [MGCCC]). 
  5. To create, coordinate, and maintain an appropriate website which will be linked to all of the collaborators (note: this expense will be provided by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)-Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR)-Sea Grant, the Office of Naval Research (ONR); and NSF. 
  6. To implement a program evaluation which could serve as a national model and provide assessment data and analyses to assess the effectiveness of this central Gulf of Mexico thematic effort (note: the fiscal support for this component will be provided through NOAA-OAR-Sea Grant). 


Engage scientists and educators (24 per state, i.e. 12 scientists and 12 teachers) by providing them the opportunity to work and learn side-by-side with mutual professional respect as teams of two (a scientist and an educator) in a 15-day Institute (five actual “person to Person” days in the field and 20 days virtually via distance learning. Provide increased ocean and coastal sciences contact through annual Informal Workshops Continue to place 42 teachers/year aboard the U.S…. Navy’s oceanographic survey ships (14 teachers per semester with each voyage encompassing approximately 10 days) to work with U.S. Navy scientists (modeling the 1997-2002 National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP)-funded COAST and COAST:PILOT nationally recognized programs). Recruit and providing research and education projects for 34 underserved, undergraduate students (17/year for two years). Assist school districts within the Gulf of Mexico region to align enhanced ocean sciences with district, state, and national standards. Create, coordinate and maintain an appropriate regional website, which will be linked to all of the collaborators, as well as the Central Coordinating COSEE. Implement a program evaluation model regionally, which could serve as the basis for a national model, and to provide assessment data and analyses to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed Regional COSEEGULF of Mexico to the Central COSEE Coordinating Office, the NSF, the NOPP/Office of Naval Research 
(ONR), and NOAA-OAR Sea Grant.


The primary goal of this proposed regional COSEE—Gulf of Mexico effort is to strengthen ocean and coastal sciences education through the interpretation of research and education results for the interested public, precollege teachers and their students, informal educators, and university and community college faculty and their students concerning the relevance of the oceans to our everyday lives. These research and education results will be leveraged through former awards from NOPP, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This COSEE will physically be located within The University of Southern Mississippi (USM)-College of Marine Sciences’ (COMS) J.L. Scott Marine Education Center and Aquarium (MEC&A) in Biloxi with satellite centers located within existing facilities in Florida and Texas specifically within the Florida Sea Grant College Program 
and the University of Florida’s Museum of Natural History in Gainesville and at the University of Texas’ Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas. This project links educators, researchers, and interested public both regionally and thematically (coastal processes, habitats and organisms, and marine technology) focusing on America’s Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, as the vehicle to teach ocean and coastal sciences. It should be noted that NSF is providing fiscal support for these same scenarios within existing facilities in Mississippi, in Alabama at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab on Dauphin Island, and in Louisiana at the Louisiana Universities Marine Science Consortium in Cocodrie.