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Marine Education Center

Teacher Professional Development

teaching opportunity

Sturgeon in the Watershed – Teaching Opportunity
mdeq logoThe 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

The 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.

teachers on beach

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

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 GCRL:
If you are traveling east on I-10, take the Ocean Springs Exit #50 and follow Highway 609 (Washington Avenue) about 3 miles to U.S. 90. Turn left on U.S. 90; right on Bechtel Boulevard (4th traffic light); cross the railroad tracks; left on Government Street (a 4-way stop); right on Halstead Road (a 3-way stop); go south to the beach; the GCRL entrance is on the left.
If you are traveling west on I-10, take the Ocean Springs Exit #57; turn left (south) and follow Hwy. 57 to U.S. 90. Turn right on U.S. 90. Go about 4.5 miles (6th traffic light) to Hanley Road. Turn left on Hanley; cross railroad tracks; right on Government (a 4-way stop); left on Halstead (a 3-way stop); go south to the beach; GCRL entrance is to the left.
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




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

June 9-11, 2021

This workshop adds pathogenic bacteria to the watershed concepts being taught at the MEC. Selected 7-12th grade teachers explore coastal watershed habitats and consider changes in water quality along an estuarine gradient during an educational cruise aboard the Miss Peetsy B. Teachers explore stewardship while considering the possible presence of pathogenic bacteria and using the NOAA Marine Debris Tracker. Participating teachers will receive support for student (40) groups to visit the MEC for an educational cruise. This workshop will be in person at the MEC and offer stipend and CEU support for participants. An online/virtual workshop will also be offered with stipend support only. This project is sponsored by the EPA Gulf of Mexico Program.

Register now


Service-Learning in Community Resilience



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

July 7 – 9, 2021

This workshop for 7-12th grade teachers focuses on promoting community resilience to coastal hazards, especially coastal flooding and rising sea level. Using problem-based learning, teams of students explore historic flooding in their neighborhoods and consider factors that increase community resilience to flooding. Teams create an educational video in which they propose a solution to an authentic community resilience challenge. The following semester, students participate in a resilience video competition. Winning teams compete at the annual MEC Stewardship Summit judged by local resilience professionals. Teachers will receive stipend and CEU support for participation. Students are supported to travel to the MEC for an educational cruise on Davis Bayou in Ocean Springs.

Register now


Changing Coastlines

deer island



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

July 21 – 23, 2021

Teachers learn about 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 bulk of 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 to provide a report for comparison with past and future data collection efforts. This year, teachers will also work with USM researchers to consider the possibility of marsh migration into forested habitats in Grand Bay, Miss. Teachers will gain experience 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. This workshop will be in person at the MEC and offer stipend and CEU support for participants.

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