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Special Collections: Coasts, Oceans, and Stewardship (COAST)

Formerly known as NOEPS

The Protected Species Branch at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, MA developed a program to create core educational materials relating to key marine mammals and protected species topics and our research done at NEFSC. Visit the NOEPS website to learn more, and look below for recent outings and photos.

Hover over the large image to see the caption and controls. Use the magnifying glass icon in the lower right corner to open the slides in a lightbox.

COAST at Barnstable Intermediate 6th Grades, May 2019

Barnstable Intermediate 6th grades, COAST's Grace Simpkins saw about 450 students over the course of the week and taught them bioacoustics. They talked about how sound is used to identify marine mammal species, the impacts of man-made sounds on marine mammals, checked to see if North Atlantic right whales are around using the whale alert app, and more.

NOEPS at East Falmouth Elementary, February 2019

NOEPS visited the East Falmouth Elementary School first grade classes today with the COAST lesson, "Marine Mammal Adaptations and Climate Change". The students learned all about various adaptations like a fur coat, baleen, and more that make marine mammals ideally suited to living in the oceanic habitat. We also discussed climate change and ways we can make a difference.

NOEPS at Blue Economy Career Fair, January 2019

NOEPS attended the Blue Economy Career Fair on January 8th representing both Woods Hole Sea Grant and NEFSC.

NOAA New England Teacher at Sea Alumni Workshop

Woods Hole Sea Grant, NOAA Fisheries New England/Mid-Atlantic, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) hosted the NOAA New England Teacher at Sea Alumni Workshop at the WHOI Discovery Center on November 3rd! WHSG Educator, Grace Simpkins, and Zephyr Education Foundation Educator, Rob Reynolds, provided fun and informative activities and alumni brought amazing lessons to share.

WBNERR Watershed Block Party: August 7, 2018

NOEPS hosted an outreach table at the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (WBNERR) Watershed Block Party. As part of our outreach on local shellfish, we used sea scallop shells from some of the NEFSC surveys. Adults and kids alike had fun decorating their shells and making either a necklace or ornament.

Mullen Hall and North Falmouth Elementary: April 2018

Woods Hole Sea Grant Educator Grace Simpkins, in collaboration with the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center, visited kindergarten classes at Mullen Hall and North Falmouth Elementary School. Students were excited to see "how many kindergartners long" local marine mammals are by comparing themselves to ropes representing the various animals. Students also learned about endangered North Atlantic right whales and practiced photo id techniques to identify individuals. These "junior scientists" have great ideas on how to keep the shoreline and ocean clean.

Morse Pond School: April 2018

NOEPS visited the 6th grades at Morse Pond School this week. Students learned about endangered Atlantic salmon, one of NOAA's species in the spotlight, and used real telemetry data from the Northeast Salmon Team to track the journey of their fish as they headed from their spawning grounds to the ocean. Similar to the wild, the class had a 40% survival rate after the perilous journey downstream. The students were excited to learn that the Coonamessett River Trust is giving each class 6 local river herring to name so that the classes can follow the path of their fish online as they journey up the Coonamessett River in Falmouth.

NOAA Ocean Day at Truro Central School: March 2018

NOEP's visit to Truro Central School was awesome! Great questions, lots of interest. We were even invited back by the students! Thanks to NOAA Teacher-at-Sea alums Stacey Klimkosky and Megan O'Leary for their continued support, and to all the staff and students at the school for a fun day of learning.

Mullen Hall Elementary School: March 2018

Fourth grade students at Mullen Hall Elementary School learned all about bioacoustics and marine mammals. During this collaborative program sponsored by Woods Hole Sea Grant and the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center, students differentiated between baleen whale, dolphin, and pinniped vocalizations and were able to locate their pod mates in the classroom "ocean". Students discovered how acoustics can be used in marine mammal conservation and how even 4th graders can make a difference.

Falmouth Science Fair: March 3, 2018

NOEPS was at the Falmouth (MA) Public Schools Science Fair on March 3. Click image to enlarge.

Forestdale Elementary School: February 2018

NEFSC employee delivers lessons to two classes: a first grade and kindergarten class at Forestdale Elementary School in Sandwich. He used ropes to measure how many students long different marine mammals were including the North Atlantic right whale. He played local marine mammal sounds and then had the kids try to identify mystery sounds.

Mullen-Hall Elementary School: February 15, 2018

Woods Hole Sea Grant educator Grace Simpkins, in collaboration with the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center, spent the afternoon with second graders from Mullen Hall Elementary School in Falmouth, MA. Students learned about marine food webs and got to "eat like an odontocete (toothed whale) and mysticete (baleen whale)". They enjoyed eating, recording how much they ate, and comparing their data with classmates. They finished the lesson by talking about marine debris and how it may enter the food web but provides no nutritional value for the animals! These junior scientists now know "you are what you eat!"

Teaticket and Mullen-Hall Schools: May 30 - June 1, 2017

NOEPS taught the 4 Teaticket kindergartens on Tuesday, May 30 (Marine Mammals in Our Backyard) and 5 third grades at Mullen Hall on Wednesday, May 31, and Thursday, June 1 (Marine Mammal Adaptations and Climate Change).

Falmouth MA Schools: May 15-23, 2017

NOEPS visited Mullen Hall Elementary School on May 15-16, bringing our bioacoustics lesson to the five 4th grade classes. The students asked GREAT questions ranging from whether we can tell gender from a whale's vocalizations to how fast and far a whale's call can travel. These students have now had 3 NOEPS visits/lessons over the course of their elementary school tenure.

May 17-18: NOEPS brought our bioacoustics lessons to Teaticket Elementary School's three 4th grade classes. The students were very excited to find their Orca pod mates and identify mystery marine mammal calls.

May 19: NOEPS visited the three Teaticket Elementary School 3rd grades with the marine mammal adaptations and climate change lesson. The students divided into 2 groups, with one assemblying a human skeleton and the other a harbor porpoise skeleton. They were interested in the similarities and differences.

May 22-23: NOEPS visited the four East Falmouth Elementary School 3rd grades with the marine mammal adaptations and climate change lesson. The students came up with some great ideas for how they can reduce their fossil fuel consumption, and enjoyed exploring the various adaptations marine mammals have to their ocean habitat. These students have now had 3 NOEPS visits/lessons over the course of their elementary school tenure.

Kenneth Coombs School STEM Night, Mashpee MA: May 5, 2017

NOEPS visited the Kenneth C. Coombs school in Mashpee for their STEM night. It was great! There were people there the whole time between 5-7 and we estimated there were at least 300 students with their families. The K-2nd grade students remembered getting a NOEPS lesson last year and identified the baleen right off the bat! They were excited to hold the sperm whale tooth and compare their vertebrae to a sperm whale's, and were fascinated by the zooplankton. They ate like a toothed whale and a baleen whale and several took home an endangered species coloring book.

Riverview School, Sandwich MA: April 27, 2017

On April 27, 2017 Leah Crowe and Heather Heenehan visited the Junior class at Riverview School for Bioacoustics Part 2, their fourth session with the students. In this photo, Heather is teaching the students about echolocation by asking them to cover their eyes while continually saying "fish" in a loud voice. Heather would raise the fish cutout in front of their faces. Because of how the sound changed when it bounced off the cutout, they could tell when the fish was in front of them. In the background is another part of the week's lesson, visualizing sound with a real-time spectrogram of the sound in the room from an app called Spectrumview.

North Falmouth MA: March 22, 2017

On March 22, Grace Simpkins visited North Falmouth Elementary School second grades with our NOEPS "food webs" lesson. Students had fun eating like a baleen whale using their baleen (hair pick) to strain all the zooplanton (seeds) out of their mini "ocean." They also delighted in being toothed whales and using the dolphin or orca grabbers to eat the fish and other animals out of their "ocean." As one student said, "It's important for us to know what the whales are eating to keep them healthy."

Students learn about food webs. Credit: NOAA Fisheries/Grace Simpkins
Students learn about food webs. Credit: NOAA Fisheries/Grace Simpkins
Students learn about food webs. Credit: NOAA Fisheries/Grace Simpkins