Teacher Professional Development

Teachers - Earn continuing education credits at GCRL.

Mississippi Alabama Sea Grant ConsotriumThe Marine Education Center offers professional and volunteer training programs for adults, including K-12 classroom teachers.  These programs cover an assortment of marine and coastal processes and issues, and are sponsored through a variety of sources. The Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium (MASGC) supports our teacher development program, either through full sponsorship or partnership.

Click on the topics below to learn more about programs offered in 2014-2015. 1) who is eligible, 2) whether there are costs or stipends, 3) what type of continuing education credit is available, and 4) what you will learn and do.

For more information, refer to the information for participants document.  For questions and additional information, please contact Aaron Lamey at 228-818-8861 or aaron.lamey@usm.edu, or Jessie Kastler at jessica.kastler@usm.eduOnline registration is available for all programs.  

All field programs are subject to substitution of activities or postponement for poor weather.  We will inform registered participants of any changes via email.

Upcoming Programs for 2014 and 2015

Follow the links or scroll down for details.

Date Topic CEUs
April 10-12, 2015 Comparing the Barrier Islands of Mississippi and Louisiana 
July 13-17, 2015 AUV Jubilee TBD
July 28-30, 2015 Watershed Education Aboard the R/V McIlwain TBD

Program Details

Comparing the Barrier Islands of Mississippi and Louisiana 

April 10-12, 2015
Rain date: May 1 - 3, 2015

This workshop extends from Friday, 8:30 a.m. to Sunday, 4:30 p.m. It includes classroom work on Friday and field experiences on Grand Isle. La and Ship Island, MS on Saturday and Sunday. The schedule is long. Please consider this before you register. Participants are strongly encouraged to stay in the GCRL dormitory Friday and Saturday nights.
Agenda   Registration

Comparing the Barrier Islands of Mississippi and Louisiana, Teacher Professional Development at GCRL 

Why are Louisiana’s wetlands disappearing at such an alarming rate?  Is this also happening in Mississippi?  Explore these questions and some of the answers during field excursions to Grand Isle, LA and Ship Island, MS, with Dr. Jessie Kastler, a coastal ecologist with 20 years of experience in research and teaching related to wetland change.

This workshop is sponsored by the Mississippi Alabama Sea Grant Consortium (MASGC) for teachers from Mississippi and Alabama. Teachers from other states are encouraged to apply in case space is available and they will be notified of their acceptance into the program after March 12. Participants will earn 1.8 CEUs, dormitory accommodations Friday and Saturday, and a stipend/substitute reimbursement of $200.


AUV Jubilee collaborate with researchers to incorporate practical skills into your science class

July 13-17, 2015

Based at GCRL with field visits to Stennis Space Center, MS and Dauphin Island, AL. Final agenda available soon. Registration












Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), also known as gliders, are robots that travel underwater to collect data such as temperature, salinity and dissolved oxygen of the water through which they pass.

Join scientists of the CONCORDE project working to understand the effects of Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the coastal Gulf of Mexico. Gliders from USM and Rutgers will join others from around the Gulf for a collaborative effort to increase our understanding of physical and biological processes in the Gulf.  Remote sensing at Mission Control will assist researchers in adapting glider actions to collect data in key locations determined by conditions of the moment.

Introduction to AUVs and the AUV Jubilee, GCRL,
Ocean Springs, MS

Adaptive management and data interpretation with Mission
Control scientists, Stennis Space Center, MS

AUV support cruise, RV E. O. Wilson, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, AL

Adaptive management, data interpretation with Mission Control scientists, Stennis Space Center, MS.  Early return to GCRL to complete classroom material development.  
Each evening the group will return to GCRL for dinner, after which 1-2 hours will be devoted to team work with project educators to incorporate the day’s experiences into classroom materials
This workshop is sponsored by a grant to USM from the BP/Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative.

This opportunity is available for a small group of well-prepared science teachers (high school, community college, middle school) from the Gulf region to work with scientists and share their experiences through development of classroom materials that will be posted on the CONCORDE website. Participants will receive a stipend ($500), CEUs and lunch daily. It is strongly suggested that participants stay in dormitories (breakfast and supper provided) at GCRL because of evening assignments and full day travel.




Watershed Education Aboard the R/V McIlwain

July 28-30, 2015

Agenda available soon. Registration

Watershed Education Aboard the R/V McIlwain, Teacher Professional Development at GCRL


Watershed Education Aboard the R/V McIlwain, Teacher Professional Development at GCRL

Join us as we launch a new program to guide you in engaging your middle and high school aged students in a meaningful watershed educational experience (MWEE) that takes place during the 2015-2016 school year in your classroom and during a research cruise on the Pascagoula River aboard GCRL’s R/V Tom McIlwain

This program is not limited to classroom teachers.  Any adult with a goal of teaching environmental stewardship may lead a group of children of appropriate ages through this experience, sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency Gulf of Mexico Program.  The program targets teachers and group leaders working with underserved and under-represented students located in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

One chaperone from each participating group must attend the three-day training session at GCRL to learn how to deliver material that will prepare students for their research cruise.  That person will receive a stipend, CEUs if appropriate, and instructional materials for use in the classroom. Dormitory accommodations may be available at GCRL for out-of-town travelers. Please ask well in advance to check availability and make a reservation.

All participant's students must be at least 12 years old


Register with this convenient online system. 

Each workshop requires submission of a separate registration form. For more information, please contact Aaron Lamey at 228.818.8861 or aaron.lamey@usm.edu.  Space is limited so register early!

Continuing Education Credit

CEUs are available for teachers through the University of Southern Mississippi Office of Professional Development and Educational Outreach (PDEO).  The number of CEUs awarded in each program will be posted here upon approval of our request of PDEO to offer them. Because we update our offerings every time they are offered and they must be approved each time, the number of CEUs available for a workshop is not known until about one month before it is held.  We submit paperwork to the PDEO about one week following the end of each workshop, and later than two weeks.  You may request a copy of CEUs awarded in the past here.

Forms and Documents

Past Events

Look here for past teacher professional development events here.

Teachers learn about teaching marine sciences aboard the research vessel Hermes during a TPD workshop at GCRL