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For the ten years it was funded by the National Science Foundation, the COSEE Central Gulf of Mexico (COSEE CGOM) was a unique collaborative hosted by the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) and its J.L. Scott Marine Education Center. Other partners included the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and its Estuarium, the University of Florida (UFL) and its Natural Museum of History and Florida Sea Grant College Program, and Mississippi State University and its Computer Technology Center. Other collaborators included the National Marine Educators Association (NMEA), the Marine Technology Society (MTS), the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and the respective State Science Teachers Associations within the Gulf of Mexico, and the State Departments of Education and Public Broadcasting Stations (PBS).

What COSEE CGOM Accomplished:

  • Summer Institute“Bridged the gap” between ocean and coastal sciences research and the relevance of those data to a broad range of audiences via informal centers (museums, aquariums, and science centers)
  • Engaged scientists in professional development programs through two-day workshops to three-week “face to face” and virtual institutes
  • Developed inquiry-based ocean science lesson plans for middle school teachers
  • Provided opportunities at sea for formal and informal educators aboard U.S. Navy oceanographic survey ships to work “side by side” with civilian surveyors
  • Enhanced workforce diversity through programmatic recruitment efforts
Launching a Weather Balloon How COSEE CGOM Operated:

  • Expanded and leveraged collaborations through regional partnerships with agencies and organizations with similar missions
  • Enhanced living and static exhibits within the four informal centers, thereby creating a more ocean literate citizenry within the Gulf of Mexico
  • Involved program participants in short- and long-term evaluations and assessments
  • Enhanced the COSEE CGOM website with resources and programmatic information

Teacher InstituteFormer COSEE CGOM Programmatic Efforts

Each year, COSEE CGOM hosted two two-day workshops, each involving forty formal and informal educators and the general public, and two summer institutes, involving five to seven teams of middle school teachers and scientists.

COSEE CGOM personnel also had many opportunities to demonstrate the relevance of ocean and coastal sciences research to visitors at four informal science centers within the region through interactive exhibits, resource materials, documentaries, complementary brochures and posters, guided and self-guided tours, and structured programs ranging from 45 minutes, three hours, overnight, and one to three weeks. COSEE CGOM also made presentations at local, regional, and national meetings of NMEA, NSTA, and other professional organizations.

For more information, contact COSEE CGOM Director Sharon H. Walker at


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Copyright © 2002-2011. The Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE). All rights reserved. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant #0528597. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed here are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.