Long Island Sound: Sea Grant Interns Bring Long Island Sound Habitats to Virtual Classroom
Publications: Success Stories - Extension (2022)

The Long Island Sound Habitat Story Map included photos of wildlife and plants commonly found in each of the map’s featured habitats. Credit: Nicole Govert


Jimena Perez-Viscasillas, NYSG Long Island Sound Study Outreach Coordinator, E: jbp255@cornell.edu, P: (631) 632-8730

A New York Sea Grant-developed educational tool virtually connects teachers and students from classrooms to New York’s coastal habitats.

Stony Brook, NY, August 10, 2022 - As New York adapted to the pandemic, some schools switched to hybrid models of teaching. Educator exhaustion, limited professional development opportunities directly related to adapting to new learning models, and limited opportunities to take students into the field for contact with local environmental resources created a need for innovative resources.

In 2021, with support from the Long Island Sound Study (LISS) National Estuary Program, New York Sea Grant’s LISS Outreach Coordinator and Connecticut Sea Grant’s Education Coordinator each hired a student intern to help produce an educational opportunity for teachers. The interns, Charlotte Burger of Barnard College and Nicole Govert of the University of New Haven, developed a Next Generation Science Standards-aligned Story Map focused on Long Island Sound habitats. The map highlighted seven habitats, videos from local experts, an exploration of habitat threats, and much more.

In August, the team held a webinar presenting this new educational tool, with breakout groups providing 24 participants (K-12, college, environmental organizations) the opportunity to offer input and exchange ideas on how to incorporate the Long Island Sound Habitats Story Map into their classes. A facilitated Q&A panel session facilitated teacher access to some of the experts featured in the Story Map. The participants reach an estimated 1,300 students.

The Long Island Sound Habitats Story Map is being shared through the New York Master Teacher program cohort, and among agency staff at the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), with one staff member calling it “a great training tool especially for new DEEP coastal-type staff.”

Project Partners: 

• Long Island Sound Study 
• Connecticut Sea Grant

Teacher Comments on the LIS StoryMap Tool Webinar

“I look forward to learning more about StoryMaps and incorporating them into my curriculum.”

“The webinar was one of the most professional and well organized I have attended.”

“I think this would work really well for us and our human impact standards. I LOVE that the kids can see LI examples of positive and negative human impact.”

Learn more at longislandsoundstudy.net/long-island-sound-habitat-edu-storymap.

More Info: New York Sea Grant

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York (SUNY), is one of 34 university-based programs under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program.

Since 1971, NYSG has represented a statewide network of integrated research, education and extension services promoting coastal community economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness and understanding about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

Through NYSG’s efforts, the combined talents of university scientists and extension specialists help develop and transfer science-based information to many coastal user groups—businesses and industries, federal, state and local government decision-makers and agency managers, educators, the media and the interested public.

The program maintains Great Lakes offices at Cornell University, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Oswego and the Wayne County Cooperative Extension office in Newark. In the State's marine waters, NYSG has offices at Stony Brook University in Long Island, Brooklyn College and Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC and Kingston in the Hudson Valley.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via www.nyseagrant.org/nycoastlines for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly.

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