Monday, 10 January 2005: 9:45 AM
The centers for ocean sciences education excellence (COSEE): a growing national network
The Centers for Ocean Science Education Excellence (COSEE) network was established by the NSF in recognition of the vital role that ocean science researchers can and should play in education and public outreach. Funded through NSF's Ocean Sciences Division, NOAA and the Office of Naval Research, seven regional Centers and one central coordinating office were created in the fall of 2002. Although the Centers are remarkably diverse, all projects in the COSEE initiative are based on a set of guiding principles: the charismatic appeal and interdisciplinary nature of ocean science, the value that ocean scientists can add to education and outreach and the capacity of diverse, 'grass-roots'-based partnerships and networks to leverage resources and create a larger COSEE community that can play a key role in ocean science education nationwide.
The COSEE model is a major step forward. Prior to COSEE, the fabric of ocean education consisted of a scattered array of outstanding but isolated and uncoordinated programs with limited transferability and effectiveness on a national scale (McManus and Walker, 2000). Within the first 18 months of COSEE operations, this picture has changed. The seven COSEE Centers are creating a tapestry of nationally coordinated model programs as well as the catalytic infrastructure needed to effectively link scientists and educators in their regions.
We will provide an overview of the COSEE network, discuss strategies for making the network greater than the sum of its parts, and highlight innovative efforts underway at some of the regional Centers.