Teaching Materials

A collection of various teaching and training guides, and curriculum based materials. These resources may be useful for professional teachers, interpretive staff, naturalists, and docents and volunteers to effectively communicate MPAs and ocean conservation messaging.

Marine Protected Area (MPA) Docent Training Handbooks

The Ocean Communicators Alliance has recently developed MPA Docent Training Handbooks for each coastal region of California. These handbooks are geared towards docents, naturalists, and interpretive staff.

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Volunteer Training Manual »

Produced by the MBNMS, this volunteer training manual includes basic information on marine protected areas: what they are, the science that supports them, and the different types, as well as maps of all central coast MPAs. This manual can easily be adapted to other regions of the state and included in existing volunteer handbooks.

MPA Jeopardy »

This interactive learning tool was developed by the PORTS program of California State Parks and teaches students about marine protected areas through a Jeopardy style question and answer game.

One fish, two fish, red fish… no more fish! Importance of Marine Protected Areas »

The COSIA (Communicating Ocean Sciences to Informal Audiences) program at CalPoly San Luis Obispo has created several curricula designed to convey ocean science concepts in informal learning settings such as aquariums, interpretive centers, and public outreach events. One of these curricula focuses on California’s network of MPAs and how MPAs can ameliorate problems such as overfishing. This lesson plan guides teachers and facilitators through a series of interactive activities, and includes resources on the science of MPAs.

Our Undersea Legacy- A Curriculum Resource for Marine Protected Areas in Southern California »

The Southern California Aquarium Collaborative, along with California Sea Grant and COSEE West, has generated a series of lesson plans for middle school students. The curriculum includes background information, detailed lesson plans and activities, and extension resources and addresses many of the California state standards.

MPA Messaging, What Works »

Resource Media—a nonprofit communications firm that works at the intersection of public, economic and environmental health—has been working to raise awareness about marine protected areas for over a decade. This document contains five key messages that can be referenced when communicating about MPAs to various audiences. Each of these values also includes suggested talking points. These can form the foundation of communication about MPAs in multiple settings; from supporting MPAs at a Fish and Game Commission hearing to meetings with local legislators or talking with people you meet at the shore.

Communicating for Success – a handbook for MPAs »

NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, the IUCN Commission on Education and Communication (CEC) and the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas-Marine (WCPA)

This guidebook outlines how to use communication as more than just a tool for outreach, but rather as a mechanism to catalyze change in a community’s attitude and behavior towards MPAs. It outlines different types of media strategies with step-by-step instructions so that you can determine what is the most appropriate strategy for different situations and how to effectively employ it.

O’neill Sea Odyssey Curriculum

A living classroom was created on board the 65-foot Team O’Neill catamaran sailing the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary where 4th – 6th grade students receive hands-on lessons about the marine habitat and the importance of the relationship between the living sea and the environment. The program is conducted on board the catamaran with follow-up lessons at the shore-side Education Center at the Santa Cruz Harbor. It is free of charge, but students earn their way into the program by performing a project to benefit their community. OSO also provides online resources for teachers and students that can be used to create a sustained oceanography program with components both inside and outside the classroom. The OSO curriculum includes three learning stations: Marine Biology, Marine Ecology and Navigation. At each station the students record data pertaining to the subject matter of the station.

Seafari Educational Tour »

Santa Barbara Channelkeeper
The Seafari Educational Tours program offers on-the-water marine environmental educational tours to groups of 4-6 passengers for a free, 1-2 hour cruise along the Santa Barbara coast. Students learn about MPAs, marine conservation and the incredible biodiversity of the Santa Barbara Channel, and get a unique “live” tour of the wonders below the surface though our use of an underwater drop camera connected to a monitor onboard.

The mission of the California’s Marine Protected Areas Education and Outreach Initiative is to enhance MPA education through enduring partnerships to empower Californians to protect what they know and love.