Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 20 Issue 01

View Issue TOC
Volume 20, No. 1
Pages 142 - 151


From the Trenches of Ocean Ridge Outreach: New Landscapes, New Opportunities

Kristen M. Kusek Liz GoehringVéronique Robigou
First Paragraph

The health of the earth’s ocean depends upon a well-informed citizenry. Since early discussions of the role of scientists in education reform (AAAS, 1989), the call for scientists to become involved has grown louder and more urgent; research directorates of funding agencies, such as the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and National Science Foundation (NSF), now encourage better integration of science and education (National Science Foundation, 1997). Today’s education and public outreach (EPO) landscape, which facilitates interaction between scientists and public audiences, has become much more complex. The complexity is due to several factors, including more than a decade of legislative and research-based developments in science education, rapidly changing audience needs combined with new ways of reaching these audiences, increasing science literacy efforts, collaborations of professionals that have not traditionally worked together (e.g., scientists, learning researchers, formal and free-choice educators, school districts, industrial partners and others), and more attention paid to evaluating the effectiveness of outreach programs. In the United States, EPO programs operate against a backdrop of shrinking science and education budgets, declining K–12 science test scores (Baker et al., 2005), and lagging competitiveness in science and technology (National Academies, 2006). The question today is not whether to do outreach, but rather what are the most effective ways to reach out to citizens and help them develop a better understanding of the world we all live in.


Kusek, K.M., L. Goehring, and V. Robigou. 2007. From the trenches of ocean ridge outreach: New landscapes, new opportunities. Oceanography 20(1):142–151, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2007.88.

Copyright & Usage

This is an open access article made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution, and reproduction in any medium or format as long as users cite the materials appropriately, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate the changes that were made to the original content. Images, animations, videos, or other third-party material used in articles are included in the Creative Commons license unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If the material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission directly from the license holder to reproduce the material.