Project Ocean Details

Project Ocean Details

Pre-residence online work: July 5-16, 2022
On-site residence experience: July 17-23, 2022
Post-residence online work: July 24-August 4, 2022

Washington College
Chestertown, Maryland


PLEASE NOTE: We are closely monitoring the potential impacts of the COVID pandemic on the planned residence component of this course. A decision regarding the residence component also going virtual will be made BEFORE invitations to participate are sent.


Project Ocean is a hybrid (online & in-person) teacher professional development course offered by the American Meteorological Society's Education Program. About 25 selected teacher-participants will be required to engage online learning modules prior to the on-site (Washington College) portion of the course. At the conclusion of the on-site portion, teacher-participants will be asked to complete work in the course management system in collaboration with California University of Pennsylvania. This project is specifically designed for K-12 teachers who teach science courses with oceanography content.

The course is intended to:

  • Introduce teachers to the physical foundations of oceanography
  • Explore and suggest ways in which these concepts can be employed in school studies
  • Prepare course attendees to conduct training sessions on selected oceanographic topics and issues for teachers in their home regions during the next school year
  • Encourage participation in AMS DataStreme Ocean Mentor Teams

Cost and Resources:

Upon acceptance, each participant from the US is required to pay an academic fee of $150 payable to the AMS Education Program. This fee is non-refundable.

Each participant will be supplied with a variety of instructional resource materials, including those to be used in peer-led teacher training sessions.

After successful completion of course activities, participants will:

  • Demonstrate updated knowledge concerning the physical foundations of oceanographic topics and issues
  • Show evidence of being able to interpret and analyze oceanographic information acquired through direct and remote sensing of the ocean environment
  • Exhibit understanding of current science education research findings and their classroom applications
  • Indicate how they intend to promote oceanographic education in their home areas by peer training fellow teachers, especially those who teach students who are members of groups underrepresented in the sciences


To be eligible for Project Ocean, teachers and supervisors of science at the K-12 level should:

  • Have sufficient college-level training to benefit from the material presented
  • Teach or supervise the instruction of oceanography or an applicable course
  • Demonstrate leadership in teaching, curriculum development, and/or the in-service training of fellow teachers
  • Promote teaching of oceanography in their home regions, including a minimum of one training session for pre-college teachers upon completion of the course

Participants will be selected to provide a national geographic distribution and a cross-section of school environments (inner city, urban, suburban, and rural). Teachers interested in promoting minority participation in science are strongly encouraged to apply.


There are three main components to Project Ocean: the residence experience, online activities, and post course peer training.  Successful completion of all aspects of these components, is required to earn the graduate credits for the course.

Residence Experience: The Project Ocean on-site portion will be held at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland. The on-site, in-person portion of the course includes lectures, tutorials, seminars, hands-on laboratory exercises, research cruises, and field trips. Faculty members from the Navy and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as well as other scientists and science educators, will present course topics. Presentations will be articulated with science content and oceanographic education presentations led by course faculty. Participants will have an active role and may be asked to share "best practices" from their home institution.

Online Activities: Prior to arrival at Washington College, teacher-participants will be enrolled in the California University of Pennsylvania's Global Online program and course management system, D2L. Teacher-participants will be required to complete multiple online learning modules related to the oceanographic and related sciences. This preparatory work will enable teacher-participants to engage at a similar level of competency prior to arrival at Washington College. Participants will also have online modules/activities to complete after the conclusion of the in-person component of the course.

Post Course Peer Training: After the on-site and online components conclude, participants are required to lead a peer training for other K-12 teachers in their schools, districts, or communities that utilizes the concepts and materials learned during their Project Ocean experience.  More information about this component can be found on the page linked here (although in-depth details are shared with participants during the residence experience).

The course will include the following topics (online or on-site):

  • Waves and tides
  • Density and wind driven circulations
  • Sea-air interactions
  • Physical factors impacting ocean life
  • Changing climate, sea levels and coastlines
  • Ocean reservoir capacity
  • Sea level measurement
  • Direct and remote sensing
  • El Niño and La Niña
  • Winds, storms, hurricanes, and storm surges

On-site activities typically extend from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM EDT each day.

Equipment Requirements

You will need a computer and high-speed Internet connection. If you are reading this on-screen with your own equipment and you can print it out, you are essentially ready for the online portion of Project Ocean. Course registration with California University of Pennsylvania will provide you with your own Cal U student email address and other resources and benefits available to all students at the University. Technical requirements for course engagement can be found here:

Participant Support

  • Stipend of $100
  • Housing for six nights, arranged by AMS
  • Meals
  • Round-trip air or land travel from US home to Chestertown, Maryland
  • Instructional and laboratory supplies
  • Tuition
  • Set of instructional materials


Project Ocean will be held in Chestertown, MD with research activities being conducted in and around the Chesapeake Bay area. The in-residence portion of the course includes a research cruise on Chesapeake Bay and one or more field trips will be made to places of oceanographic significance in the Baltimore-Washington, DC area.


Participants will be expected to stay in housing accommodations arranged by the AMS, as the course will be intensive and involve several evening meetings. Informal interaction among participants during meals and evenings will be an integral component of the course.

Participants should attend without families as their presence is likely to detract from full participation. No support will be provided for dependents.

Academic Credit

Participants who complete all course requirements, including the submission of a follow-up report on their peer-training session, will earn three semester hours of graduate credit in EAS 515: Selected Topics in Ocean Science Studies through the California University of Pennsylvania.

Credit will be awarded upon successful course completion and may be applied to a post-baccalaureate certificate from California University's School of Graduate Studies and Research.

Project Ocean Staff

  • Wendy Abshire, M.S., Director, Education Program, American Meteorological Society, Washington, DC
  • Joseph P. Smith, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Oceanography Department, USNA, Annapolis, MD
  • Chad M. Kaufman, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Math & Physical Science, California University of Pennsylvania, Curriculum Development Coordinator & DataStreme Lead, AMS Education Program
  • Jemima Clark, M.Ed., Education Program Manager, Washington College, Chestertown, MD
  • Abigail Stimach, K-12 Program Administrator, Education Program, American Meteorological Society, Washington, DC

Special speakers will include oceanographers and senior scientists and administrators from NOAA, The U.S. Navy, and NASA.

Application Procedures

The 2022 application process is now open!

Click here to learn how to apply to Project Ocean.

All completed applications should be submitted by March 25, 2022.  Initial notification of course awards and alternates will be made via email.

In selecting individuals for participation and otherwise in the administration of this course, the AMS will not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, and status as a Vietnam Era or disabled veteran.


Questions regarding Project Ocean 2022 should be directed to