Professional Development for Teachers

SBC LTER's > 20 years of research on kelp forests - including oceanographic and watershed influences - has provided enormous insights into the dynamics of this biome. This integration is essential to the modern STEM educational approach, where subjects and technology are integrated to connect and relate disciplines, and where collaboration, communication and critical thinking are emphasized.

Our programs for teachers' professional development equips educators with the tools they need to teach ocean and environmental science, foster science literacy, and cultivate the next generation of ocean stewards. We utilize their experience and expertise to create inclusive, two-way professional development which also gives our students and scientists a better understanding of the climate of today's classrooms.

This targeted approach connects the environmental science research and educational prowess of universities and LTER sites with teachers in primary and secondary schools. Our impact often extends across the nation, as we work with other LTER sites and their schools or districts. Historically, we have directly impacted more than 250 science and mathematics teachers and their 70,000 students of diverse backgrounds.

Teachers and SBC graduate students, overlooking the SBC LTER study site at Mohawk Reef

The SBC LTER provides two opportunites for teachers' professional development:

Typically held during Summer break, workshops are offered for various grade levels led by an education team composed of SBC's education/outreach coordinators, scientsists, grad students and undergrads to enhance teachers' science content knowledge, and develop SBC-based content with our latest research and data. We create strategic Professional Learning Communities that sustain support for teachers throughout their teaching careers. We are continuously developing workshop materials. Contact SBC's education/outreach coordinator for more information.
Research Experiences for Teachers (RET)
Funded by various granting agencies (e.g., NSF, NOAA), RETs provide teachers with an immersive opportunity to work side-by-side with SBC researchers in the lab and/or field to enhance their scientific knowledge by conducting authentic research and generating data that they can then bring into their classrooms. Recruitment is through Santa Barbara Schools, or contact SBC's education/outreach coordinator for more information.
Teachers in the field  with graduate students during an RET workshop