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FY12-13 Impacts and Accomplishments – OUTREACH
 
Impacts and Accomplishments – OUTREACH

RESEARCH   MANAGEMENT   OUTREACH   EXTENSION

FOCUS AREA: Scientific Literacy and Workforce Development

Goal(s):
Coastal and ocean education programs foster scientific literacy, stewardship, and a scientifically trained workforce
Title: 2012 Beach Sweep/River Sweep litter cleanup results
PI: Ferris Hill, P/M-3
Partners: see PIER

RELEVANCE:  South Carolina’s natural resources are abundant. The state has 2,876 miles of tidal shoreline, 504,450 acres of salt marsh, 165 linear miles of beaches, and more than 40 barrier islands. Natural resources account for approximately $30 billion dollars in annual economic output for the state (30 Billion Reasons Why Life’s Better Outdoors, S.C. Dept. of Natural Resources’ Economic Impact Report, 2009). Clean beaches, marshes, and waterways are critical to support commercial and recreational boating and fishing, wildlife viewing, tourism, and other industries.  A litter-free environment contributes positively to this quality of life.

RESPONSE:  The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium initiated the annual Beach Sweep litter cleanup program in 1988. In 1989, Hurricane Hugo devastated the coast and some inland areas. In order to have a more effective cleanup, the Consortium partnered with the S.C. Dept. of Natural Resources in 1990 to extend the program statewide; the cleanup was then named Beach Sweep/River Sweep. Through the use of volunteers and funding and donations provided by the private sector, the annual Beach Sweep/River Sweep litter cleanup contributes to the economic, environmental, and societal well-being of the state. By participating in Beach Sweep/River Sweep, the public is more informed about natural resource issues, such as litter’s detrimental effects on the landscape and wildlife, and people are empowered to take action and become environmental stewards.

RESULTS:  In 2012, 3,410 coastal volunteers collected nearly 13.5 tons of litter from South Carolina’s beaches, marshes, and waterways, recycling as much debris as possible. There were 115 coastal site captains covering 130 cleanup locations in seven of the eight coastal counties, from Waties Island to Fripp Island. The estimated dollar value of Beach Sweep/River Sweep volunteers’ time is $117,304 (Independent Sector, 2011). Volunteers gained an increased awareness of the fragility of natural resources, the importance of keeping them litter-free, and contributed time to improve their communities and natural areas.

RECAP:  Beach Sweep/River Sweep has economic, environmental, and societal benefits. In 2012, 3,410 coastal volunteers collected nearly 13.5 tons of litter from South Carolina’s beaches, marshes, and rivers. The value of volunteer time equals $117,304. The state’s natural resources are cleaner, safer, and more beautiful for all to enjoy.

FOCUS AREA: Scientific Literacy and Workforce Development
Goal:
Ensure that Consortium programs are effective in providing the necessary science-based information and that this information is delivered to target audiences in a timely fashion and appropriate formats.
Performance Measure: Number of website hits, unique visits, and downloads.
Title: S.C. Sea Grant Consortium website continues to be a primary source of coastal information in the state and region
PI: Ferris Hill, Snow, P/M-3

RELEVANCE:  Decision-makers and the public should have easy access to science-based information about coastal resource issues, and the SCSGC website (www.scseagrant.org) continues to be a significant source of such information. The website also gives the users a better understanding of Consortium organization, as well as funded research, education, and outreach programs.

RESPONSE:  CIS staff maintains the Consortium’s website, holds monthly web meetings with staff, and ensures the content is updated regularly with new information. CIS monitors website usage on a monthly basis with the web statistics software Sawmill version 8. 

RESULTS:  The website received 1,259,347 hits, 223,315 unique visits, and 809,192 downloads during the reporting period. The top ten downloads and the number of times each was downloaded are:
  • South Carolina Coastal Wetland Impoundments – 18,969
  • Chemical and Biological Contamination of Stormwater Detention Pond Sediments in Coastal South Carolina – 13,342
  • Sustainable Land-Use Planning for the Ashepoo-Combahee-Edisto (ACE) Basin Region: Synthesizing Local Knowledge, Preferences, and Socioeconomics – 7,633
  • Coastal Heritage, Spring 2001, “The Bird Chase” issue – 5,482
  • Community Associations and Stormwater Management: A Coastal South Carolina Perspective – 5,182
  • Coastal Heritage, Summer-Fall 2010, “Celebrating 30 Years” issue – 4,070
  • Assessment of Stormwater Management in Coastal South Carolina Report – 3,800
  • Citizens’ Guide to Community Planning: Greater Myrtle Beach Region – 3,617
  • Tidal Creek Habitats: Sentinels of Coastal Health – 3,104
  • Coastal Heritage, Fall 2007, “Our Changing Waterfronts” issue – 2,716
RECAP:  The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium website (www.scseagrant.org) is a source of science-based information for decision-makers and the public to help them make wise choices regarding natural resource conservation and sustainability.  The website also provides users with information about Consortium organization and processes.

FOCUS AREA: Scientific Literacy and Workforce Development
Goal:
Coastal and ocean education programs foster scientific literacy, stewardship, and a scientifically trained workforce.
Performance Measure: Number of publication awards
PI: Ferris Hill, Tibbetts
Project Number: P/M-3
Title: Coastal Heritage magazine again receives publication awards

RELEVANCE:  Over the last few decades, the South Carolina coast has experienced its most sweeping changes since the end of the Civil War. Population growth and rapid economic development have transformed the state’s coastal resources, historic cities, and lowcountry culture. Globalization, moreover, continues to drive major changes in the state’s commercial fisheries, ports, and economy. And, of course, South Carolina’s dynamic coastal environment is in a constant state of flux.

RESPONSE:  Coastal Heritage, a free quarterly publication produced by the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium, offers readers an in-depth look into environmental, technological, historical, and cultural patterns of change along the South Carolina coast and how they affect residents and visitors. The magazine describes how people in the region – from the colonial era to modern times – have depended upon and used South Carolina’s coastal and marine resources, and how those resources have shaped the state’s history, culture, and quality-of-life. The magazine is published four times per year; hard copies are distributed nationally and internationally to 5,500 subscribers, and many more have access to it on-line via the Consortium’s web site.

RESULTS:  The Coastal Heritage team was recognized by its peers by winning two prestigious awards during FY12-13. Coastal Heritage received a 2012-13 Distinguished Award from the Society for Technical Communication – Carolina Chapter in the Technical Publications Competition. The rigorous judging process was based on content and organization, copyediting, visual design, and creativity. One judge noted that each issue of Coastal Heritage “is beautiful in design and content. The articles, photographs, and layout all work well together to deliver a publication that is interesting, informative, and easy to read.” Another judge agreed: “An excellent publication with a clear editorial point of view, high editorial standards, and high production values.” There were 33 entries in this competition from North Carolina and South Carolina government agencies, higher education institutions, and industries. The Coastal Heritage entry moved on to be judged at the Society for Technical Communication – International Competition in May 2013.

Coastal Heritage also won a 2012 Award of Excellence from APEX in the Magazines and Journals category. APEX is an international competition that recognizes outstanding publications and websites in the areas of editorial content, graphic design, and success in achieving overall communications effectiveness and excellence. The editors of Writing That Works, a publication of Communications Concepts, Inc., sponsor the annual awards, which received 3,382 entries for 2012.

RECAP:  Coastal Heritage, a quarterly magazine of the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium which provides information about important drivers of change along the South Carolina coast, won two significant awards during FY12-13.

FOCUS AREA: Scientific Literacy and Workforce Development
Goal:
Ensure that Consortium programs are effective in providing the necessary science-based information and that this information is delivered to target audiences in a timely fashion and appropriate formats.
Performance Measure: Number of issues produced and the open rate for each issue.
Title: Consortium initiates CoastalScience@Work: Update from S.C. Sea Grant Consortium e-newsletter
PI: Ferris Hill
Project Number: P/M-3

RELEVANCE:  Decision-makers and other key stakeholders whom support and receive services from the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium should be able to receive information about Consortium programs, activities, and impacts in a timely fashion and user-friendly format. The CoastalScience@Work: Update from S.C. Sea Grant Consortium e-newsletter gives readers a concise understanding of Consortium programs, activities, and accomplishments.  Each issue features three or four short statements about Consortium research, education, and outreach efforts and staff accomplishments and recognitions. CoastalScience@Work also features a workshop or conference organized by Consortium staff, as well as a “Did You Know” section that describes a particular Consortium impact. It includes direct links to the research, education, extension, and products sections of the Consortium’s website, and embedded links in each story to take the reader to the Consortium website or other applicable website for further information.

RESPONSE:  The Consortium director of communications designs, writes, and schedules for release each issue of CoastalScience@Work. The issue appears to be sent by the executive director when received in the contact’s e-mail in-box in order to maximize the open rate; replies go to the director of communications. The director of communications also performs list maintenance and seeks new subscribers. The e-mail lists are segmented into different target groups, including the Consortium’s Board of Directors and Alternates; Program Advisory Board; a “VIP” list; Extension Advisory Committees; Researchers; Consortium Member Institutions’ Research, Financial, and Communications liaisons; National Sea Grant Office staff; State and Federal Agency personnel; S.C. House and Senate staff; House and Senate staff in D.C.; Consortium staff; and the general public. List segmentation allows for targeted messages to different audiences depending on the subject matter.  The current issue of CoastalScience@Work is also posted on the Consortium’s website at http://www.scseagrant.org/content/?cid=550 and archived issues are posted at http://www.scseagrant.org/content/?cid=534.

RESULTS:  Constant Contact is the service provider, and there are 580 active contacts who receive the e-newsletter via e-mail. Five issues were produced during the reporting period. The most recent issue sent January 10, 2013 had a 31% open rate, which is seven percentage points higher than the government industry average of 24%. Decision-makers, stakeholders, and the public are informed about Consortium programs, activities, and impacts in a timely fashion and user-friendly format.

RECAP:  The CoastalScience@Work: Update from S.C. Sea Grant Consortium e-newsletter contains information about Consortium programs, activities, and impacts to increase awareness among various stakeholder groups. Five issues were produced during the reporting period. The most recent issue sent January 10, 2013 had a 31% open rate, which is seven percentage points higher than the government industry average of 24%. The current issue is also posted on the Consortium’s website at http://www.scseagrant.org/content/?cid=550 and archived issues are posted at http://www.scseagrant.org/content/?cid=534.

FOCUS AREA: Scientific Literacy and Workforce Development
Goal:
Coastal and ocean education programs foster scientific literacy, stewardship, and a scientifically trained workforce
Performance Measure: Number of formal and informal education communities (i.e. schools, museums, aquariums) engaged in stewardship projects.
Title: From Seeds to Shoreline: Engaging Students in Salt Marsh Restoration
PI: Bell, P/M-2

RELEVANCE:  Between 1996 and 2006, more than 46% of South Carolina’s wetlands statewide have been lost, attributed to both human and natural causes. Because of the critical importance of the salt marsh ecosystem, quality educational and outreach programs are imperative for establishing a stewardship ethic among the general public and youth. Several environmental organizations within South Carolina provide salt marsh education programs for K-12 students and teachers, but until 2010, no long-term, student-action, salt marsh focused program existed for K-12 students and teachers. To address this gap in educational offerings, the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium launched the From Seeds to Shoreline: Engaging Students in Salt Marsh Restoration (S2S) program in 2010 (www.scseagrant.org/content/?cid=497). The S2S program engages students in the cultivation and transplanting of Spartina alterniflora, the dominant plant of the salt marsh, to areas along the coastline. Students and teachers collect S. alterniflora seeds in the fall, store the seeds during the winter, and germinate and transplant their seedlings along the coastline during the spring. During each step of the restoration process, the program is supplemented by classroom lessons, field trips, and presentations designed to emphasize the importance and threats to the salt marsh ecosystem. The S2S continues to be the only salt marsh restoration program in South Carolina specifically for K-12 students and teachers.  Since 2010, the demand for the program has expanded from eight schools to more than 25 – exceeding the capacity of the partners (SCSGC, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), and Clemson Extension), to meet the individualized needs of each school. To enable to keep the program moving forward, the first S2S teacher training was launched in 2012 to address this challenge.

RESPONSE:  In the summer of 2012, two multi-day teacher trainings were held at the Ashepoo-Combahee-Edisto (ACE) Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve’s McKenzie Field Station. These trainings were designed to provide participating teachers with the foundation for a more autonomous, self-directed and tailored approach to implementing the S2S program in each school during the 2012-2013 school year. The SCSGC, Clemson Extension, and SCDNR participated in the trainings and provided field experiences to the salt marsh, project background information, restoration training, implementation mapping/planning, and educational resources. Fifteen (15) coastal and inland elementary, middle and high school teachers participated in these trainings.   

RESULTS:  The results of these trainings allowed the continued growth of the program throughout South Carolina, both programmatically and geographically:
  1. Geographic expansion to three inland schools (Aiken High School, South Aiken High School, Forest Heights Elementary School) and seven new coastal schools including (Beaufort High School, McCracken Middle School, Ashley Hall, Moultrie Middle School, Ocean Bay Middle School, Cottageville Elementary School, Colleton Middle School)
  2. Participating teachers surveyed indicated that their knowledge had increased and indicated their confidence to implementing the program in their classrooms.
  3. Two manuals were developed: “Restoration Tip Sheets and Background Information” and “Suggested Lessons and Activities”.
  4. A mapping tool was developed to aid each teacher in identifying ways to implement the program in their specific school. 
  5. Two schools (Forest Heights Elementary School and Ocean Bay Middle School) secured external funding for field trips and two schools forged partnerships with Master Gardeners and community groups for greenhouse construction and repair assistance (McCracken Middle School and Murray LaSaine Elementary School).
  6. Colleton Middle School, a South Carolina Department of Natural Resources School, adopted the From Seeds to Shoreline program as their 7th grade focus project as part of their long-term curriculum.
  7. SCSGC empowered schools through these trainings to implement the S2S at their school that addressed their students’ individual needs and school resources.
RECAP:  The From Seeds to Shoreline Program expanded to include additional coastal and inland counties and also has evolved to meet the needs of interested teachers through a summer teacher training.

FOCUS AREA: Scientific Literacy and Workforce Development
Goal:
Coastal and ocean K-12 education programs foster scientific literacy, stewardship, and exposure to STEM-based careers in both formal and informal settings.
Performance Measure: Number of K-12 and informal education facilities using Consortium-based scientific information and educational products.
Title: The Elementary Basic Observation Buoy Project (eBOB): Enhancing STEM Achievement
PI: Bell

RELEVANCE:  South Carolina schools have shown some gains on the Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (PASS) in recent years, but still have room for improvement. Specifically, science scores continue to remain low. In a 2012 report from the South Carolina State Department of Education, 40% of 3rd graders failed the science section of PASS. The educational pipeline for science begins at the elementary level; however, resources are lacking for those teachers and students in upper elementary grade levels (3-5). In addition, as South Carolina continues to recruit industrial giants (e.g. Boeing) and serve as a leader in marine science research, students are presented with the potential to enter STEM (science-technology-engineering-math) careers. However, because of low achievement in STEM disciplines, students may lack the skills with which to compete for these types of careers. In response to the need for quality science and STEM programs, the Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence – SouthEast (COSEE SE), based at the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium, in partnership with the South East Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA), piloted an elementary grade-level buoy project (eBOB) in which students designed and built weather buoys.

RESPONSE:  COSEE SE, with the support of SECOORA, piloted the eBOB project to 75 4th graders in two elementary schools over a two-week period (Murray LaSaine and Mitchell) during the 2011-2012 school year. The eBOB project used pre-activities to demonstrate elements of mass, density, and payload; presented background information on buoys, weather and weather instruments and; challenged students to construct their own weather buoys with the following criteria: each buoy must (1) float, (2) include a platform to hold weather instruments, and (3) float with a payload (weight). Once all buoys were successfully constructed, weather instrumentation (water gauges, anemometers, thermometers, and weather vanes) were added to the buoy. The buoys were then used to collect weather data on school grounds or at local parks.

RESULTS:  The eBOB project had the following results:
  • Adoption of the eBOB project in both schools for the 2012-2013 school year
  • Publication of the eBOB Educators Guide http://secoora.org/sites/default/files/webfm/classroom/documents/eBOBGuide_Final.pdf.
  • Upcoming article to be published in the National Science Teacher Association (NSTA) journal Science and Children
  • Inclusion in the COSEE SE South Carolina’s Amazing Coast Elementary Program as a long-term project for 4th grade.
  • Highlighted program during the Girls in Science day at the South Carolina State Museum
RECAP:  COSEE SE piloted the Elementary Basic Observation Buoy (eBOB) Project  to 75 4th graders in two elementary schools over a two-week period (Murray LaSaine and Mitchell) during the 2011-2012 school year; eBOB has been adopted by both schools for the FY12-13 school year. 

FOCUS AREA: Scientific Literacy and Workforce Development
Goal:
Coastal and ocean K-12 education programs foster scientific literacy, stewardship, and exposure to STEM-based careers in both formal and informal settings.
Performance Measure: Number of K-12 and informal education facilities using Consortium-based scientific information and educational products.
Title: South Carolina’s Amazing Coast Elementary Program
PI: Bell

RELEVANCE:  South Carolina schools have shown some gains on the Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (PASS) in recent years, but still have room for improvement. Specifically, science scores continue to remain low. In a 2012 report from the South Carolina State Department of Education, 40% of 3rd graders failed the science section of PASS. The educational pipeline for science begins at the elementary level; however, resources are lacking for those teachers and students in upper elementary grade levels (3-5). In addition, as South Carolina continues to recruit industrial giants (e.g. Boeing) and serve as a leader in marine science research, students are presented with the potential to enter STEM (science-technology-engineering-math) careers. However, because of low achievement in STEM disciplines, students may lack the skills with which to compete for these types of careers. In response to the need for quality science and STEM programs, the Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence – SouthEast (COSEE SE) is implementing the South Carolina’s Amazing Coast Elementary Program (SCAC). The SCAC is a 3-year program that uses ocean science concepts and experiences to address STEM disciplines, inquiry skills, and state science standards on the elementary level. Few long-term, ocean-based, elementary grade level programs are offered in South Carolina and the SCAC program addresses this need.

RESPONSE:  The SC Amazing Coast Elementary Program works with the principals, teachers and students in two Title 1 elementary schools in Charleston County (Murray LaSaine Elementary and Mitchell Elementary) to implement the Our Amazing Coast Elementary curriculum, field-based excursions to coastal habitats, and long-term STEM projects throughout the year. The program uses a scaffolding approach with each year focused on one grade level (2010: 3rd, 2011: 4th, 2012: 5th) and builds on knowledge gained the previous year. Long-term STEM projects are as follows:  3rd grade participates in From Seeds to Shoreline; 4th grade constructs weather buoys; 5th grade builds remotely operate vehicles (ROVs). The SCAC uses the coach-mentor model of teacher training that allows working closely with each teacher to demonstrate and tailor the incorporation of the concepts into specific class settings. 

RESULTS:  This program is the first of its kind in South Carolina where ocean concepts are merged into the elementary science curriculum through a multi-year effort. Through surveys and interviews conducted in Year 2 (March 2012), the participating teachers expressed the value of the program to them, their students, and the school. The weather buoy project piloted in 4th grade contributed to the publication of the Elementary Basic Observation Buoy guide http://secoora.org/sites/default/files/webfm/classroom/documents/eBOBGuide_Final.pdf (SECOORA, 2012). Currently in Year 3, efforts are being made for the program to continue after the grant officially ends: 1) adoption of the three major grade level projects as “flagship” efforts including the identification of additional funding for support; 2) the 5th grade will be developing their 2013-2014 based on the construction of the ROVs and incorporating additional technologies such as sensors and iPads.  

RECAP:  The South Carolina Amazing Coast Elementary Program provides a multi-year approach for ocean science concepts and experiences to be incorporated into the elementary science curriculum that address state science standards, inquiry and STEM disciplines. 


Last updated: 6/24/2013 11:30:06 AM
FY12-13 Impacts and Accomplishments – OUTREACH

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