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Marine biologist installing a flow meter to study the currents underwater.

Program Focus Area

Scientific Literacy and Workforce Development

With more than half of the marine-related federal workforce eligible for retirement within the next five years, the continuing emergence of new marine technologies, and the increasing pressures on coastal and ocean resources due to population growth, the need for highly qualified professionals in ocean sciences is essential.

There is also an increasingly high demand for a workforce skilled in STEM (science-technology-engineering-math) disciplines to accommodate the industrial growth of the state. Additionally, a well-informed constituency is essential for balanced coastal and marine resource management and economic growth.

How the Consortium Supports Scientific Literacy and Workforce Development

The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium supports research and outreach to generate and deliver science-based information and programs in response to the needs of local communities and decision-makers in the following areas:

  • Professional development programs for formal and non-formal educators.
  • Community action stewardship projects.
  • Robust K-12 classroom lessons aligned with South Carolina Academic Standards and Performance Indicators for Science, and the national Ocean Literacy Essential Principles.
  • Research and training opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Using science to inform decisions in everyday life.
  • Building public awareness, understanding, and scientific literacy about the complexities of living, working, and playing in coastal South Carolina.
  • Directing information to diverse audiences of different ages, cultural backgrounds, and socioeconomic standings.
  • Linking early education to workforce development, including participation in ocean science.
  • Public understanding of the value and vulnerability of coastal and marine resources.

Current Research Projects

Waves at sunrise.

Navigating Coastal Conservation Careers

Principal Investigator: Julie Binz, S.C. Department of Natural Resources
Co-Principal Investigators: Jessica Kinsella and Larry Bowman, Jr., S.C. Department of Natural Resources

The ACE Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve staff proposes to build effective relationships with local students and teachers to expand scientific literacy throughout Charleston, Beaufort, and Colleton counties and create a more inclusive and diverse conservation workforce. This project will strengthen the conservation pipeline by developing programs for Title I middle schools and high schools, empowering more teachers to bring scientific concepts into their classrooms, and creating guiding resources for students and early career individuals.

2020-2021 Impacts and Accomplishments

The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium’s report of our successes in advancing scientific literacy and workforce development in coastal South Carolina.

Resources by Topic

The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium’s published information and project results in areas related to scientific literacy and workforce development.