About OCEP

Welcome to the Oregon Coast Education Program. Through online resources and in person workshops, we help teachers and students learn about the coastal and ocean in engaging and innovative ways.

Our partnership of Oregon institutions has developed this program to provide teachers with the tools they need to bring the coast into their classrooms and to get their classes out to the coast. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s – Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) program has funded OCEP since 2009, and we have received additional support throughout the years from the Oregon Community Foundation, the several regional Oregon STEM Hubs, and our partnering organizations.

At the core of the Oregon Coast Education Program is the concept of using best practices in teaching and outdoor education to support the use of exemplary coastal and marine curricula:

The best practices are described as Meaningful Watershed Education Experiences (MWEEs) by the B-WET program, and these MWEEs inform our teacher professional development trainings.

Exemplary coastal and marine curricula have been selected and arranged in to thematic coastal education modules aligned to standards. The online modules are now not only available to OCEP trained teachers, but to the general public through these webpages generously hosted by NAME.

MWEEs:  Meaningful Watershed Education Experiences*

1. Engage students in interdisciplinary, hands-on learning.
2. Provide each student with field experiences in the local watershed.
3. Assess students’ knowledge and attitudes about the field site and experiences prior to the field visits to determine misconceptions and misgivings or fears.
4. Orient your students to the field site before the field experience, that is, where they will go and what they will do, and what, if any, natural hazards they will or won’t encounter.
5. Allow students to practice skills (use new equipment, etc.,) at a familiar site, such as at school, before going on the field experience.
6. Allow exploration and reflection time during field visit.
7. Allow students to investigate a local environmental issue through their own or an ongoing project.
8. Have students learn and apply new knowledge.
9. Enable students to engage in environmental actions (e.g. habitat restoration or teaching of others.)

*Adapted from California BWET checklist for Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences

Teachers from all over Oregon have been using these online modules and developing their own Coastal Education Plans detailing how they contextualize and implement coastal and ocean learning activities. The result has been meaningful educational experiences for students in the classroom and on field trips nearby and farther away to the coast.

Each year, more teachers learn about and visit the coast as a part of this program. We look forward to helping you create a rich and dynamic coastal experience for your students!

Use the menu at right to explore the coastal education modules for yourself and learn about potential funding opportunities to help support your students’ field experiences.