National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce
12/20/17 11:59 PM ET
Grants ranging from $30,000 to $60,000 to California K-12 schools, IHEs, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and tribal governments for environmental education in the Monterey Bay, San Francisco Bay, and Santa Barbara Channel watersheds. Programs should provide meaningful environmental education for students or related professional development for teachers.
The California B-WET Program is a competitive grant program that supports existing, high quality environmental education programs, fosters the growth of new, innovative programs, and encourages capacity building and partnership development for environmental education programs throughout eligible watersheds.
Successful projects provide Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs) for students and related professional development for teachers. These MWEEs integrate field experiences with classroom activities and instruction in NOAA-related science content.
Funding Opportunity Description A. Program Objective:
NOAA recognizes that knowledge and commitment built from firsthand experience, especially in the context of one’s community and culture, is essential for achieving environmental stewardship. Carefully selected experiences driven by rigorous academic learning standards and nurturing a sense of community, will further connect students with their watershed, help reinforce an ethic of responsible citizenship, and promote academic achievement. Experiential learning techniques, such as those supported by the NOAA B-WET Program, have been shown to increase interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), thus contributing to NOAA’s obligations under the America COMPETES Act (33 USC 893a(a)).
The California B-WET Program is a competitive grant program that supports existing, high quality environmental education programs, fosters the growth of new, innovative programs, and encourages capacity building and partnership development for environmental education programs throughout the entire the San Francisco Bay, Monterey Bay, and Santa Barbara Channel watersheds.
Proposals must address one the following areas of interest: (1) Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs) for Students in the Monterey Bay, San Francisco or Santa Barbara Channel watersheds; (2) Teacher Professional Development for Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs) in the Monterey Bay, San Francisco or Santa Barbara Channel watersheds; (3) Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs) for Students or Professional Development for Teachers focused on Climate Change Education in the Monterey Bay, San Francisco or Santa Barbara Channel watersheds.
Proposals must address either Priority Areas (1), (2) or (3). If proposals do not address one of the areas of interest, they will be returned without further review.
1. Priority 1—Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs) for Students in the Monterey Bay, San Francisco or Santa Barbara Channel watersheds
MWEEs for students should be learner centered and focused on questions, problems, and issues to be investigated through collecting, analyzing and sharing data; learning protocols; exploring models; and examining natural phenomena. These activities, grounded in best practices and the context of the local community and culture, help increase student interest, motivation, and attitudes toward learning, and achieve environmental stewardship. As a result of the MWEE activities, students should have an understanding of basic watershed concepts, as well as the interaction between natural systems (e.g. wildlife, plants, and water cycle) and social systems (e.g. communities, transportation systems, and schools), highlighting the connection between human activity and environmental conditions. MWEEs consist of multiple components as defined below.
1.1 Issue definition and background research:
Students focus on an environmental question, problem, or issue requiring background research and investigation. They learn more about the issue through classroom instruction, the collection of data, conducting experiments, talking to experts and reviewing credible publications. This process should be age appropriate with practices growing in complexity and sophistication across the grades, starting with educator guided investigation and progressing to student-led inquiry.
1.2 Outdoor field activities:
Students participate in multiple outdoor field activities (a minimum of at least three outdoor experiences) sufficient to collect the data or make observations required for answering the research questions and informing student actions, or as part of the issue definition and background research. Students should be actively involved in planning the investigation, taking measurements, or constructing the project within appropriate safety guidelines, with teachers providing instruction on methods and procedures, data collection protocols, and proper use of equipment as needed. These activities can take place off-site and/or on the school grounds.
1.3 Stewardship action projects:
Students participate in an age appropriate project during which they take action to address environmental issues at the personal or societal level. Participants in B-WET MWEE activities should understand they have control over the outcome of environmental issues, be encouraged to identify actions to address these issues and understand the value of those actions. Examples of stewardship activities include:
-Watershed Restoration or Protection (e.g., create schoolyard habitat, planting trees or grasses, invasive species removal, community cleanup, riparian restoration or daylighting)
-Everyday Choices (e.g., reduce/reuse/recycle/upcycle, composting, energy conservation, water conservation)
-Community Engagement (e.g., presentations, social media, event-organizing, messaging at community events/fairs/festivals, mentoring, PSAs)
-Civic Action (e.g., town meetings, voting, writing elected officials/decision makers, encouraging policy change)
1.4 Synthesis and conclusions:
Students analyze and evaluate the results of projects and investigations. Students synthesize and communicate results and conclusions to an external audience such as other classrooms, schools, parents, or the community.
1.5 Support for MWEE activities with students:
In addition to the components identified above, NOAA recommends that the following elements are in place to fully support successful MWEE implementation with students:
a. Teacher participation for the duration of the MWEE—While external partners are entirely appropriate to support MWEEs, teachers should support the experience in the classroom and in the field. Teachers are in the best position to help students make connections and draw on past lessons, serve as environmental role models, and enhance students overall outdoor education experience and should be involved in all components of the experiences detailed above. To support them in this role, teachers should have appropriate knowledge of environmental issues and watershed concepts, skill in connecting these issues to their curriculum, and competency in environmental education pedagogy, including the ability and confidence to teach outdoor lessons and to lead students in critical thinking about environmental issues.
b. Integration with classroom curriculum—Experiences should be integrated into what is occurring in the classroom, and can provide authentic, age appropriate, engaging multi- disciplinary content to address academic standards. Specifically, elements of science and social studies standards related to questioning and investigation, evidence-based analysis and interpretation, model and theory building, knowledge of environmental processes and systems, skill for understanding and addressing environmental issues, and personal and civic responsibility align well with MWEE activities. Non-school activities may enrich traditional classroom curriculum when needed, though this need should be documented and supported by local education agencies.
c. Use of the local context for learning—The local community and environment should be viewed as a primary resource for student MWEE activities. Place-based education promotes learning that is rooted in the unique history, environment, culture, economy, literature, and art of a students’ schoolyard, neighborhood, town or community, and thus offering students and teachers the opportunity to explore how individual and collective decisions impact their immediate surroundings. Once a firm connection to their local environment is made, students are better positioned to expand their thinking to recognize the far-reaching implications of the decisions they make to the larger national and global environment.
d. Experiences are a set of activities over time—The MWEE includes the full duration leading up to and following the outdoor field experiences. Each component should involve a significant investment of instructional time, incorporate time for reflection, and include all students. Experiences such as tours, simulations, demonstrations, or nature walks may be instructionally useful, but alone do not constitute an entire meaningful watershed educational experience as defined here.
e. Includes NOAA assets, including personnel and resources—NOAA has a wealth of applicable products and services as well as a cadre of scientific and professional experts that can heighten the impact of environmental instruction both in the classroom and in the field. Additionally, environmental professionals can serve as important role models for career choices and stewardship.
The California B-WET Program is strongly committed to expanding the knowledge and participation of a low income and underserved student population in marine and environmental education. The program anticipates that a substantial portion of the target audience served by this project will be from a low income or underserved student population. Please include the ethnic, social and gender demographics of the classroom participants and the webpage(s) that was used to gather the demographic information.
1.7 Projects make a connection to the sanctuary and the ocean environment
Projects must include information about the National Marine Sanctuary System and the ocean environment throughout the duration of the project—before, during and after the MWEE activities. Information provided may highlight one or more of the national marine sanctuaries located on the West Coast and must demonstrate a connection to the ocean environment through the watershed system. The idea is that students understand how their actions can affect the coastal/ocean environment through the watershed system. They also need to understand what a national marine sanctuary is, why it is important, the resources found within the sanctuary, and where it is located.
2. Priority 2—Teacher Professional Development for Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs) in the Monterey Bay, San Francisco or Santa Barbara Channel watersheds
Teachers should be skilled in using environmental education and MWEEs to address multiple subjects’ curriculum standards and local education agency initiatives. In order to gain and maintain environmental education competencies, teachers need access to sustained, high-quality professional development that includes ongoing support and feedback. Teachers should gain confidence in the value of implementing MWEEs and strategies for conducting them so that they will conduct MWEES after the B-WET supported program has ended.
Specifically, the following elements are recommended for professional development to support teachers implementing MWEEs:
2.1 Increases teachers’ knowledge and awareness of environmental issues
Teachers must have an adequate level of content knowledge for their MWEE topic area specific to their grade level and discipline, including an understanding of basic watershed concepts and the human connection to the watershed. Recognizing that environmental issues often include different perspectives and opinions, teachers must also have a deep understanding of the facts related to environmental issues along with an understanding of the various stakeholder values. In addition, teachers who demonstrate environmentally responsible attitudes and behaviors may be role models for their students and increase their ability to guide students in actions to address complex environmental issues.
2.2 Models environmental education pedagogy:
Facilitators/trainers should utilize the same techniques and experiences in trainings that teachers are expected to use with their students, such as hands-on, place-based, outdoor field experiences and environmental issue investigation and action.
2.3 Allows for adequate instructional time:
Professional development trainings should be multi-day, occurring consecutively or over the course of several months. Trainings should include ample opportunity for teachers to reflect on their own teaching practices and planning for how to use knowledge and skills gained from professional development in the classroom.
2.4 Provides ongoing teacher support and appropriate incentives:
Even in cases where teachers participate in robust multi-day trainings, such as a summer or weekend courses, it is still essential that professional development providers have a structure in place for on-going teacher support and enrichment. This can take the form of follow-up meetings, creating web-based forums for communication and feedback, establishing mentor teachers who can serve as points of contact, or including teams of teachers from one particular school. Continuing education credits and stipends can be used to encourage participation in on-going professional development opportunities. Outreach and training opportunities for school administrators may help increase high level support for both environmental education and continuing teacher professional development for teachers.
2.5 Meets jurisdictional guidelines for effective teacher professional development:
Each jurisdiction has established guidance and recommendations germane to all forms of teacher professional development. When possible, professional development opportunities in environmental education should adhere to these general guidelines set forth by local education agencies.
2.6 Experiences are for all teachers:
The California B-WET Program is strongly committed to expanding the knowledge and participation of teachers who serve a low income and underserved student population. The program anticipates that a substantial portion of the target audience served by this project will be from a low income or underserved student population. Please include the ethnic, social and gender demographics of the classroom participants and the webpage(s) that was used to gather the demographic information.
2.7 Projects make a connection to the sanctuary and the ocean environment:
Projects must include information about the National Marine Sanctuary System and the ocean environment throughout the duration of the project—before, during and after the MWEEs. Information provided may highlight one or more of the national marine sanctuaries located on the West Coast and must demonstrate a connection to the ocean environment through the watershed system. The idea is that teachers and then ultimately students understand how their actions can affect the coastal/ocean environment through the watershed system. They need to also understand what a national marine sanctuary is, why it is important, the resources found within the sanctuary, and where it is located.
3. Priority 3—Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences for Students or Professional Development for Teachers focused on Climate Change Education in the Monterey Bay, San Francisco or Santa Barbara Channel watersheds
Earth's climate is changing. When humans burn fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas for energy, we put rampant amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This carbon dioxide acts like a heat trapping blanket and warms the planet. The carbon dioxide also enters the ocean, causing the pH to drop and leading to ocean acidification, which makes it difficult for animals to build and maintain their shells and skeletons and has enormous health implications for life in the ocean. The overwhelming majority of climate scientists agree that humans have had a profound influence on our changing climate. Climate change will bring economic and environmental challenges as well as opportunities, and citizens who have an understanding of climate science will be better prepared to respond to both. Our quality of life and, ultimately, our survival are dependent on our “climate literacy”—our ability to understand, predict, and adapt to the reality of a warming planet.
Proposals focused on this priority area must meet the criteria as set forth in Priorities 1 OR 2 by delivering MWEEs for students or teachers and should be aligned with the Climate Literacy Principles.
3.1 Proposals addressing this priority area should focus on one or more of the following areas of climate change:
3.2 And should integrate the following key themes and messages:
a. Changes in climate will impact national marine sanctuaries and the overall health of the ocean that is vital to our quality of life and, ultimately, our survival.
b. One or more of the following key messages:
1) Human activities are changing the Earth’s climate.
2) Climate change affects national marine sanctuaries and the underwater treasures they protect.
3) The choices you make today do make a difference.
4) Collectively we need to adapt our carbon footprint and lower our carbon emissions.
5) Collective actions are needed to preserve as much biodiversity in the ocean as possible.
GrantWatch ID#: 163631
The NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries anticipates that approximately 15-20 grants will be awarded with these funds.
The NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries anticipates that typical project awards for the identified priority areas will range from $30,000 to $60,000.
The project start date should not begin before August 1, 2018. CA B-WET program recipients may apply for funding in 12-month increments for a maximum of three consecutive years. Each funding request should not exceed more than 12 months and a new competitive application must be submitted each year in response to the program’s annual funding announcement.
If you are applying for up to three consecutive years of funding, which are competitively selected in separate 12 month funding award periods, proposal projects do not need to change significantly in scope from year to year, but should demonstrate growth in subsequent project years (i.e. in Project Years 2 and 3) and how projects remain within program priorities but are being evaluated and changing as a result of the assessment. These proposals are considered renewal projects. If a recipient would like to apply for additional years of funding, beyond the three consecutive years, they will be determined to be new awards.
Funds for both renewal projects and new proposals beyond the initial three consecutive years will be made available for only a 12-month award period and any continuance of the award period via a competitive renewal application will depend on submission of a successful proposal subject to panel reviews, adequate progress on previous award(s), and available funding to continue the award. No assurance for a funding renewal proposals or funding for project beyond the initial three consecutive years exists; funding will be at the complete discretion of NOAA.
Eligible applicants are K-12 public and independent schools and school systems, institutions of higher education, community-based and nonprofit organizations, state or local government agencies, interstate agencies, and Indian tribal governments.
Existing recipients selected during the FY2016 (NOAA-NOS-ONMS-2016-2004702) and FY2017 (NOAA- NOS-ONMS-2017-2005059) California BWET competitions are eligible to apply as competitive renewal projects and are required to re-apply to receive consideration for further funding.
For profit organizations, foreign organizations, and foreign public entities are not eligible to apply. However, for-profit and foreign organizations and foreign public entities may participate with an eligible applicant as a project partner. Likewise, Federal agencies are not eligible to receive Federal assistance under this announcement, but may be project partners.
Applicants must be located within the U.S. and can be physically located in any state, but must work within the geographic boundaries of the Monterey Bay, San Francisco Bay or Santa Barbara Channel watersheds. Projects whose sole audience is outside the watersheds outlined above are not eligible.
Eligible areas are defined as follows:
a. Monterey Bay watershed—the Counties of San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, Monterey, San Benito, and San Luis Obispo;
b. San Francisco Bay watershed—the Counties of Marin, San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Humboldt, Del Norte, Trinity, and Santa Rosa;
c. Santa Barbara Channel watershed—the Counties of Santa Barbara and Ventura.
This solicitation announces that approximately $850,000 may be available in FY 2018 in award amounts to be determined by the proposals and available funds. About $400,000 will be made available to the San Francisco Bay area, about $300,000 will be made available to the Monterey Bay area, and about $150,000 will be made available to the Santa Barbara and Ventura areas.
The deadline for applications is 11:59 PM Eastern Time on December 20, 2017 when submitting through www.grants.gov (Grants.gov).
PLEASE NOTE: for applicants that submit through Grants.gov, it may take Grants.gov up to two business days to validate or reject the application. Please keep this in mind in developing your submission timeline.
If use of Grants.gov is impractical for technical or other reasons, paper copy applications will be accepted.
View this opportunity on Grants.gov:
Visit the California B-WET webpage for more information:
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
Seaberry Nachbar, CA B-WET Program Manager
NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries
99 Pacific Street,
Monterey, CA 93940
USA: California: Monterey Bay Watershed, San Francisco Bay Watershed, and Santa Barbara Channel Watershed