Apply for a Fall 2016 NNOCCI Study Circle

Please note that this will be our last Study Circle experience and hence preference will be given to institutions that would be new to NNOCCI, as well as those that routinely have public audiences. 

Applications to close May 31st 2016

Alternatively AZA will be offering a NNOCCI course beginning Spring 2017, and more exciting NNOCCI-related opportunities will be announced in the coming year. 

What is National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI)?

NNOCCI is a collaborative effort led by the New England Aquarium with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the FrameWorks Institute, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Monterey Bay Aquarium, the New Knowledge Organization in partnership with Pennsylvania State University and the Ohio's Center for Science and Industry. With support from the NSF Climate Change Education Partnership program, NNOCCI's goal is to establish a national network of professionals who are skilled in communicating climate science to the American public in ways that are engaging and stimulate productive dialog.

What is a Study Circle?

A NNOCCI Study Circle is a cross-disciplinary learning group made up of peers with expertise from fields of professional interpretation, climate and ocean sciences and communications and cultural sciences. Through a series of facilitated in-person meetings, webinars, conference calls and practical activities, participants build knowledge of ocean and climate science and communications and cultural sciences. They apply lessons learned to communications or educational opportunities in the context of their work environment through several cycles of development, practice, sharing and reflection.

The Study Circle has two major phases. During the first six months participants engage in a formal, facilitated learning process. Upon graduating participants join the larger network of colleagues and continue to experiment, evaluate and share successes from their work with each other. Through the Study Circle, participants will learn about the latest findings in climate science and oceanography and how to apply these to interpretive contexts in their home institutions. In addition participants build trust and lasting bonds among colleagues from multiple institutions who share an interest in developing effective ways to engage audiences in learning about climate and ocean change.

Who is the Study Circle for?

The Study Circle is intended for pairs of staff members from informal learning centers such as zoos, aquariums, science centers, National Parks, natural preserves, and other institutions that have an interest in coastal or ocean issues.

Costs and Compensation:

NNOCCI will pay for direct costs1 for participation in Study Circle activities that are not also part of participants' routine work. This includes travel, lodging and food for in-person meetings. NNOCCI will also provide a $3,000 stipend2 to up to 10 institutions which support two staff members to participate in the Study Circle.

Key Criteria:

Applicants should have institutional support before they apply. The institution should meet the following criteria:

  • Have an ocean or coastal ecology theme within their work.
  • Have regular interpretation programming led by staff and/or volunteers.
  • Have interest in addressing issues related to climate change.
  • Be willing to support two staff members to fully participate in both the learning and evaluation phases of the Study Circle. Each applicant must fill out their own separate application.

Criteria for individual participants:

  • Able to commit to 3 in-person meetings (see dates, below) and about 3 hours/week of Study Circle work from approximately September 2016 through December 2016.
  • Able to commit to coordinating one-page visitor impact surveys at your institution several months prior to the first Study Circle and in the six months following the last Study Circle meeting.
  • Have regular opportunities to apply information and learning from the Study Circle through professional responsibilities such as interpretation for visitors, written communications, educational programming or presenting training for colleagues or volunteer interpreters.
  • Have supervisor support for full participation in the Study Circle.
  • Have a colleague who meets all of the criteria above as a co-applicant.

In Person Meeting Dates:

*Please note that, per our NSF grant's stipulations, the Fall 2016 semester will be the last Study Circle offered. Alternatively, in concurrence with AZA, NNOCCI is developing a course that will begin in Spring 2017.

Study Circle Fall 2016

  • September 13-14, 2016 (New England Aquarium, Boston, MA)
  • October 26-27, 2016 (Woos Hole OCeanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA)
  • December 14-15, 2016 (location to be announced upon acceptance)

How to apply:

Both applicants from an institution should submit a separate application. Click here to fill out the online application. Application deadline is Tuesday, May 31, 2015.

Please email with any additional questions or comments, or check out Additional information about NNOCCI is also available on Climate Interpreter. Thank you!

Additional Considerations

  • 1) NNOCCI will reimburse direct expenses, with receipts. Costs of alcoholic beverages and certain other items are excluded and may not be reimbursed.
  • 2) Stipends will be paid to the home institution for each pair of participants. In the event that more than 10 institutions are selected, stipends may be recalculated and spread equitably among participating institutions.