Educators’ Toolbox


A student at George J. Ryan Middle School 216 in Fresh Meadows, NY participates in a carbon footprint pledge activity. Credit: Joanna Koenig

Educators’ Toolbox includes lesson plans, activities, and climate change spotlights that can be used to illustrate climate change concepts with a Long Island Sound focus in the classroom and beyond.

Listed in alphabetical order

Connecticut Sea Grant’s Marine and Aquatic Education and Literacy

This site provides ongoing information and resources pertaining to Ocean Literacy and resources specifically related to Long Island Sound.

Data in the Classroom

The NOAA Ocean Data Education (NODE) Project developed “Data in the Classroom” curriculum designed to help teachers and students use real scientific data to explore dynamic Earth processes and understand the impact of environmental events on a regional or global scale. Curriculum is available on El Nino, sea level, water quality, ocean acidification, and coral bleaching.

Estuaries 101 Curriculum

Designed to be used by teachers in grades 6-12, the Estuaries 101 Curriculum deepens students understanding about estuaries and how estuaries affect their daily lives. Estuaries offer an exciting context for learning about math, geography, chemistry, marine science, among other fields.

Global Climate Change Lesson Plans for Educators

US EPA has compiled a suite of hands-on, interactive lesson plans to complement and make use of the material on this website. The plans, aimed primarily at middle school students, work systematically and individually to reinforce students’ knowledge of climate change, as well as enhance skills across multiple disciplines. The lessons are correlated to national science standards.

New York Sea Grant’s Focus on Education

This site provides ongoing information and resources pertaining to Ocean and Great Lakes literacy with numerous resources for teachers and students.

New York Sea Grant’s Hudson River Estuary Climate Change Lesson Plans

The climate change lesson plans are designed to help middle school students understand climate and weather basics and explore climate change related issues in the Hudson River Valley.

Ocean Science Curriculum: The Ocean-Atmosphere Connection and Climate Change

The Lawrence Hall of Science at University of California Berkeley developed this curriculum sequence which consists of three units answering the questions “How Do the Ocean and Atmosphere Interact?,” “How Does Carbon Flow through the Ocean, Land, and Atmosphere?” and “What Are the Causes and Effects of Climate Change?”

Sea Level Rise

The learning module developed by NOAA’s National Ocean Service and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory informs about sea level rise, its causes, and impacts; and challenges students to think about what they can do in response.

Waquoit Bay Research Reserve’s “Bringing Wetlands to Market” Curriculum

This website contains a high school STEM curriculum related to the “Bringing Wetlands to Market” project. The “Bringing Wetlands to Market” research studies located in Falmouth and Mashpee on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, examine the relationship between salt marshes, climate change, nitrogen pollution, and the economic value of salt marshes as carbon sinks. This curriculum module, which is linked to the Next Generation Science Standards, introduces many different aspects of this exciting project and provides teaching ideas and activities for sharing it with teachers and students.

Listed in alphabetical order Teaching Climate Educational Resources

This NOAA website contains reviewed resources for teaching about climate and energy.

Climate Literacy & Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN)

This website has a database of educational labs/activities and other resources for all grade levels 6-College. The digital resources for teaching about climate science, climate change and energy awareness – resources are reviewed by educators and scientists, and annotated and aligned with standards and benchmarks. The web site gives you the option to refine your search topic, educational standards, and/or grade level. Resources are very in-depth and are appropriate for today’s climate and energy topics.

Climate Resources

This NOAA Ocean Service Education website provides fact sheets, lesson plans, case studies, links, and information on teaching climate in partnership with the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA).

Discover Your Changing World with NOAA

This NOAA activity book consists of a collection of ten hands-on activities that will introduce you and your students to the essential principles of climate science.

Global Climate Change Resources

This NASA website contains interactive graphics, videos, and quizzes to help you teach climate science concepts.

Nab the Aquatic Invader!

With a changing climate, invasive species are becoming even more of a threat. This Sea Grant website is a fun way to learn about aquatic invasive species and how they can create real problems along our coasts.

Nature’s Notebook

The USA National Phenology Network developed the Nature’s Notebook project to observe the seasonal changes in plants and animals from year to year, also known as phenology. Join more than 15,000 other naturalists across the nation in taking the pulse of our planet. You’ll use scientifically-vetted observation guidelines, developed for over 1000 species, to ensure data are useful to researchers and decision-makers.

Ocean Acidification

The NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary prepared a collection of hands-on activities to help demonstrate and explore the effects of increasing carbon dioxide on the acidity of the ocean and learn about impacts an acidic ocean has on marine organisms, the ocean food web, and humans.

Learn more about climate science, sentinel monitoring, and climate adaptation and resilience around Long Island Sound.

Living shoreline project at Stratford Point, led by Jennifer Mattei at Sacred Heart University

Saltmarsh sparrow study at Long Island Sound salt marshes, led by Chris Elphick at the University of Connecticut

Scientific modeling and forecasting, led by a team of researchers from Stevens Institute of Technology, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, and NOAA  analyzes impacts of climate change to the Long Island Sound ecosystem, including a shift in fish populations.

Listed in alphabetical order

Climate Change and Sentinel Monitoring in the Long Island Sound Ecosystem

The Climate Change and Sentinel Monitoring in the Long Island Sound Ecosystem Program (formerly the Sentinel Monitoring for Climate Change Program) is a multidisciplinary scientific approach to provide early warning of climate change impacts to Long Island Sound ecosystems, species and processes to facilitate appropriate and timely management decisions and adaptation responses. These warnings will be based on assessments of climate related changes to a set of indicators/sentinels recommended by technical advisory work groups.

Climate Change in the Northeast

This US EPA website describes the climate impacts and adaptation examples of climate change in the northeast region.

Climate Ready Estuaries

The US EPA Climate Ready Estuaries program works with the National Estuary Programs and the coastal management community to assess climate change vulnerabilities, develop and implement adaptation strategies, and engage and educate stakeholders. This website provides examples to help coastal managers and provides technical guidance and assistance about climate change adaptation.

Climate Stewards Education Project

The NOAA Climate Stewards Education Project (CSEP) is part of NOAA’s portfolio of activities designed to strengthen ocean, climate, and atmospheric science education. CSEP increases understanding of essential climate concepts, providing educators with ready access to reliable scientific information through an array of professional development  opportunities. Through direct interaction with scientists and education specialists, participants receive instruction in the use of data resources, digital tools, and other innovative technologies. Educators benefit from an active online learning community that offers collaborative space, web seminars, conference symposia, workshops, and virtual conferences. Armed with this knowledge, NOAA Climate Stewards design and implement environmentally friendly action plans to reduce the “carbon footprint” in their own communities. Educators may also be eligible for mini-grant funding ($500 to $2,500) to develop and implement a climate stewardship action plan and travel stipends to attend and present at key professional development conferences.

Coastal Hazards – Hurricane Sandy

The Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College prepared a list of resources and links for teaching about coastal hazards such as SuperStorm Sandy.

Conservationist for Kids Climate Change Issue

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s newsletter for youth that provides an introduction to climate change, how it affects New York State, and actions people can take to help limit climate change.

Data Resources for Educators

NOAA’s Data Resources for Educators collection is designed to help educators find NOAA and NOAA-related data resources that range from classroom ready, student-friendly interfaces to raw real-time and historical data. Data resources are available for Oceans and Freshwater, Climate, Weather and Atmosphere, Visualizations, Cryosphere, and Historical.

Environmental Indicators in Long Island Sound

Long Island Sound Study’s environmental indicators report tracks measures that indicate the status of the health of Long Island Sound and the efforts to restore and protect the Sound and its watershed.

Long Island Sound Study’s “Ask Dr. K” Blog

A series of ask the scientist blog posts that appeared on the Long Island Sound Study website from 2012 to 2015.

Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Viewer

NOAA’s Coastal Services Center’s Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Viewer features coastal flooding scenarios coupled with photos of well-known locations that illustrate potential inundation; uncertainty maps; flood frequency information; and social and economic vulnerability information.

US Global Change Research Program Northeast Region

This website provides key messages about the Northeast from the National Climate Assessment report.

Climate Change

The “Climate Change and the Long Island Sound Estuary” teacher professional development workshop was held on October 2, 2014 at Alley Pond Environmental Center in Douglaston, Queens, NY. At this workshop, the teachers learned about the teaching of climate change and how it can be incorporated into the classroom.

Visit the workshop page for resources that were shared at this workshop, and descriptions of the climate change activities that were conducted by the teachers with their middle school classes in Queens, NY.


  • Acidification

    In the context of climate change, acidification is a decrease in the pH of a solution, such as seawater, due specifically to the incorporation of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the water.  The pH of seawater is typically 7.5-8.4 (reference: a pH of 7.0 indicates a neutral solution and a pH of greater than 7.0 indicates a basic solution).

  • Resilience

    A capability to anticipate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from significant multi-hazard threats with minimum damage to social well-being, the economy, and the environment.
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