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Marine Education Center

Teacher Professional Development

tpdThe 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.

For additional information or questions contact MEC at 228-818-8095 or

Teaching Resources

A Classroom Course in Community Resilience

Community Resilience in the Classroom promotes K-12 student awareness of watersheds and their connections to the Gulf of Mexico through classroom and field instruction in climate change and rising sea level, especially high tide flooding and increased storm surge. Students work in teams to address an authentic challenge in community resilience. Selected teams from each school compete in a Stewardship Summit judged by community resilience professionals. Since 2016, over 1000 students from 12 schools in Mississippi and Alabama have completed the program in person or virtually. This program was developed through a grant from NOAA's Bay Watershed Education and Training Program (B-WET) and in partnership with Mississippi Alabama Sea Grant Consortium. Curriculum.


Sturgeon in the Watershed

epaThe purpose of this project is to develop and implement a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience in the Mississippi Sound watersheds. The Project uses previously developed classroom and field elements of map use and water sampling to teach students basic watershed concepts. New content introduces habitat use of the Pearl and Pascagoula Rivers by the endangered Gulf Sturgeon as a way of discussing natural and human changes occurring in watersheds where participating students live and learn. Curriculum.



Each workshop requires submission of a separate registration form. Space is limited so register early! For additional information or questions about upcoming programs contact MEC at 228-818-8095 or marine.educationFREEMississippi.

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.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs): You may receive CEUs for participating in this program. The CEUs are paid for by a grant. You must complete registration paperwork at each session and take a preand post test to receive CEUs.
Overnight Lodging: Participants who are traveling for the program may reserve a room in the dormitory if space is available. We can also recommend several local hotels. Please call for information.
Parking and Finding Your Classroom On-Campus: Most programs will be held in one of the classrooms on campus. Park near the dormitory or the boat dock. The classrooms and parking lots are highlighted in yellow boxes on the map below.
Directions to the Marine Education Center:
Google map
What to Bring
• Closed-Toe Shoes-shoes that you don’t mind getting wet and sandy!
• Sunscreen
• Sunglasses
• Hat
• Bug Repellent (DEET is a pesticide. Non-pesticide alternatives include Skin So Soft (Avon), and Amber  
  Romance (Victoria’s Secret).
• Water Bottle (We will provide a water cooler and cups. You can help reduce waste by bringing your own
• Field Clothes (Wear layers that are comfortable and breathable.)
• Motion Sickness Medication
• Camera
• Waterproof case for electronics you bring

Upcoming Programs


Bayous to Beaches


EPAThis project is sponsored by the EPA Gulf of Mexico Program.

June 2-3, 2022

This workshop for 7th-12th grade teachers explores coastal watershed habitats along an estuarine gradient during a cruise aboard the Miss Peetsy B and an immersive education experience at the Marine Education Center (MEC). Teachers focus on stewardship while considering the effects of pathogenic bacteria in the watershed. The NOAA Marine Debris Tracker will be used to collect data that can be integrated into the classroom. Participating teachers will receive support for student (40) groups to visit the MEC for an educational cruise plus stipend and CEU support. This project is sponsored by the EPA Gulf of Mexico Program.


Classroom Course in Community Resilience


brownThe Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation sponsors this project.

July 6-7, 2022

This workshop for 7th-12th grade teachers focuses on promoting community resilience to climate change, especially coastal flooding and rising sea level. Teams of students explore historic flooding in their neighborhoods and consider factors that increase community resilience. Teams address a local community resilience challenge and share it with local resilience professionals at the MEC Stewardship Summit. Teachers will receive stipend and CEU support for participation. Students are supported to visit the MEC for an outdoor learning experience and educational cruise on Davis Bayou in Ocean Springs. The educational experience was designed with funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Gulf of Mexico B-WET program.

Register now

Changing Coastlines

deer island



This workshop is sponsored by Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium.

July 19-22, 2022

This workshop for STEM teachers highlights how coastal ecosystems change in response to various processes, including storms and sea level rise. Teachers explore transitions among beach, marsh, upland, and subtidal habitats. The workshop will focus on the history and ecology of Deer Island with a field excursion to collect elevation profile data. Teachers will synthesize the data for comparison with past data collection efforts. Teachers will also work with USM researchers and learn about current ecology projects at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. Teachers will gain expereince in the outdoors and become equipped to teach advanced marine science subjects in the classroom with an emphasis on restoration and resilience of natural habitats. Teachers will receive stipend and CEU support. .

register now

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

Contact Us

Marine Education Center
101 Sweet Bay Drive
Ocean Springs, MS 39564

GCRL - Cedar Point

Campus Map