Environmental Literacy and Workforce Development Background
The scientific literacy program component of this focus area provides high-quality coastal and marine information and opportunities that are reflective of the Consortium’s current research priorities, aligned with the South Carolina College- and Career-Ready Science Standards, representative of environmental education best practices, and designed to be inclusive for the diverse ages, abilities, and communities of the state. Through professional development programs for formal and nonformal educators, community-action stewardship projects, and robust classroom lessons and resources, the Consortium provides training that facilitates the incorporation of marine, coastal, and natural resources information into science learning and also highlights pathways for pursuing ocean science and/or STEM (science-technology-engineering-math)-based careers. A crucial component of the Consortium’s statewide effort to foster scientific literacy across all ages, stages, and abilities is the exceptional network of partnerships with nonformal education organizations, such as aquariums, science centers, state and county parks, and museums.
A well-informed constituency is essential for balanced coastal and marine resource management and economic growth. Given the continuous influx of new residents and visitors to the South Carolina coast every day, it is imperative that the Consortium continue to serve as the purveyor of marine- and environmental-science information through programs, trainings, and resources for the state’s youth and educators.
The Consortium’s workforce development efforts are geared toward providing research and training opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students through Consortium-funded research projects, fellowships, internships, and scholars programs. Because of the lack of diversity in ocean- and coastal-related jobs, specific attention will be given to recruiting students from historically marginalized communities and populations.