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The Maury Project:
Exploring the Physical Foundations of Oceanography

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The Maury Project is the American Meteorological Society's comprehensive national program of teacher enhancement based on studies of the physical foundations of oceanography. Major components of the program include: (a) the development of a cadre of master oceanographic education resource teachers who provide peer training opportunities for their colleagues throughout the country, and (b) the dissemination and implementation of scientifically accurate and pedagogically sound instructional resource materials directed towards teachers.

The American Meteorological Society has a long-term interest in precollege ocean education. It serves the atmospheric and related oceanic and hydrologic sciences, and publishes several journals including the Journal of Physical Oceanography, the Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, and the electronic journal Earth Interactions.

In recognition of the underrepresentation of certain groups in the Earth system sciences, the Maury Project incorporates a special AMS/NOAA initiative to promote minority participation in science through teacher enhancement. The goal is to train as many teachers as possible who are members of groups underrepresented in the sciences and/or teach (or will peer train teachers who teach) significant numbers of precollege students from underrepresented groups.

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The Maury Project is an initiative of the American Meteorological Society in cooperation with the United States Naval Academy, and has been supported by the Teacher Enhancement Program of the National Science Foundation (NSF Grant No. ESI-9353370).

NOAAOpinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the National Science Foundation. Additional support is provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and United States Naval Academy, the American Meteorological Society, the Office of Naval Research, the Naval Meteorological and Oceanographic Command, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service and National Ocean Services. The operation of the program is expected to be permanent.

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Master K-12 teachers and supervisors of science who teach or supervise the teaching of units with significant oceanography content.

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The Project is directed towards improving teacher effectiveness in generating interest and understandings in science, technology, and mathematics among precollege students. The Maury Project is intended to: (a) introduce master teachers to the physical foundations of selected oceanographic topics and issues, (b) explore and suggest ways in which these understandings and concepts can be employed in school studies, (c) prepare workshop attendees to conduct training sessions on selected oceanography topics and issues for teachers in their home areas, and (d) support training sessions held by these teachers, on a continuing basis, with instructional resource materials, scientific guidance, and opportunities to interact with professionals in the oceanography field.

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The program has two teacher enhancement components: (a) summer workshop training, and (b) peer-led training sessions. The workshop phase is held each summer at the United States Naval Academy (USNA) in Annapolis, Maryland, for 24 new participants. This two-week phase includes intensive training sessions including lectures, tutorials, seminars, research cruises, hands-on laboratory exercises, and field trips. Trainers include faculty members from USNA, scientists from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and other organizations, and professional science educators.
In component (b), the teachers trained in the USNA workshop conduct single-topic sessions on an on-going basis, for their peers within their home states, using single topic teaching materials developed by AMS specifically for this purpose. These training sessions, one to two hours in length, are offered by Maury Peer Trainers on a variety of topics treating the physical foundations of oceanography.

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Summer workshop instructional resources are primarily those located in the USNA Oceanography Department and include seven laboratories and a fully equipped 108-foot oceanographic research vessel. Participants are supplied with (and trained on) teacher's guides devoted to selected oceanographic topics, and hands-on exercises for enhancing understanding of those topics. Subsequently, participants are provided, as needed, with multiple copies of the teacher guides for conducting peer training sessions.

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Participants may earn three semester hours of graduate credit in ESC 672 Ocean Topics through the State University of New York College at Brockport, upon satisfactory completion of the summer workshop held at the United States Naval Academy, and the submission of a follow-up report of their oceanography education activities.

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Matthew Fontaine Maury portraitThe Maury Project is named after U.S. Navy Lt. Matthew Fontaine Maury (1806-1873), considered by many to have been the founder of the science of oceanography in general and physical oceanography in particular. His book Physical Geography of the Sea, published in 1855, was the first textbook in oceanography.

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American Meteorological SocietyThe American Meteorological Society, headquartered in Boston, MA, is a scientific and professional organization serving the atmospheric and related sciences. The AMS publishes seven well-respected scientific journals and an abstract journal, in addition to its Bulletin, and sponsors and organizes over a dozen scientific conferences each year. It has published almost 50 monographs in its continuing series, as well as many other books and educational materials of all types. The AMS Education Program, administered from Washington, DC, is the parent program of the Maury Project.

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Please contact either:
Dr. Ira W. Geer
Co-Director, Maury Project
American Meteorological Society
1120 G Street, NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20005-3826
Tel: 202-737-1043
Fax: 202-737-0445
Dr. David R. Smith
Co-Director, Maury Project
c/o Oceanography Dept.
United States Naval Academy
572 Holloway Road
Annapolis, MD 21402
Tel: 410-293-6550
Fax: 410-293-2137

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Last updated 08 November 2002
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