CLN > Climate Change Education Projects > National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI)

National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI)

Principal Investigators: William Spitzer, New England Aquarium; Paul Boyle, AZA; Jim Yoder, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Project Website:
National Science Foundation Grant # DUE-1043405

Project Description

Project Goals:
The thematic focus is the impact of climate change on coastal zones and marine life.
Professional and volunteer interpreters and educators are the primary audience for this initiative, which will provide training, tools, and support to help aquarium and informal science education (ISE) professionals interpret climate change for their visitors, making connections with marine animals in their collections. The secondary audience for this initiative comprises the millions of visitors these institutions reach each year.

Project Activities:

  • Develop a well-grounded interpretive framework by synthesizing relevant cognitive science, social science, and visitor research
  • Deepen the content knowledge of interpreters by engaging with researchers who study the impacts of climate change on fisheries, coastal ecosystems, coral reefs and ice-dependent animals
  • Build a base of research about effective interpretive practices and documenting the impact on visitor learning
  • Build a sustainable, reflective "community of practice" of interpretive staff and ocean scientists to promote best practices and ongoing learning
  • Reach institutions nationwide via partnerships, workshops and ongoing support

Progress to date:

  • Our first Study Circle has been formed, with participation from: Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific, Monterey Bay Aquarium, John G. Shedd Aquarium, Alaska Sealife Center, North Carolina Aquarium, Oregon Coast Aquarium, Aquarium of the Bay, Florida Aquarium, New England Aquarium, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Study Circles involve scientists, learning researchers and practitioners in authentic joint activities related to communicating about oceans and climate change.
  • Our first Summit on Cognitive and Social Science is scheduled for March 23 at the AZA mid-year meeting in Chattanooga, TN. This presentation and synthesis of relevant research will be followed by the kick off meeting of the first Study Circle.
  • A second Summit on Climate Science is scheduled for June 15 at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. This summary of the current consensus on coastal climate impacts will be followed by the second face to face meeting of the Study Circle.

Contact Information:

Project Director, John Anderson
janderson AT

PI, William Spitzer
bspitzer AT