Watson Chronicle

WATSON COLLEGE OF EDUCATION

Support for Educators in the Field

MarineQuest Hosts “Blue Economy” Workshop for Teachers

Monday, November 01, 2021

Oceans and rivers are critical to life on our planet. Not only do they provide drinking water, oxygen and food, they also support countless businesses and millions of jobs that make up the Blue Economy. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), ocean-based businesses such as commercial fishing, shipping, tourism, wind energy and biopharmaceuticals, among others, deliver $282 billion in goods and services to the U.S. economy annually.

MarineQuest invited educators to join them to explore the Blue Economy at a special workshop on November 4. The event featured ways sustainable use of the ocean is equitably benefiting all of society through biotechnology, robotics, blue energy, aquaculture and sustainable fisheries, coastal resilience and infrastructure, and other exciting sectors. The workshop, designed for middle and high school teachers of biology, chemistry, earth and environmental science, and economics, also explored new career pathways the Blue Economy is opening for young people interested in science, technology, engineering, data analysis, cybersecurity and business.

“The blue economy provides common ground for teaching across the curriculum,” said Youth Programs Director Sue Kezios. “Students who aren’t particularly interested in the ocean may find it has social relevance when they learn how it is connected to a particular sector like biopharmaceuticals and the development of new medicines.” 

The workshop coincided with the launch of the Alliance for the Blue Economy (All Blue), a new initiative of UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. All Blue will support Blue Economy entrepreneurs and innovators, promote the region as a Blue Economy innovation hub, assist in the creation of Blue Economy-ready infrastructure and attract Blue Economy investment capital. To fulfill this vision, the alliance will work to obtain federal, state and regional grants with government agencies, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations and private sector partners.

UNCW announced the news in a home page story on October 26: “All Blue Week” Launches UNCW’s Alliance for the Blue Economy, Nov. 2-6.

Special Blue Economy Edition of MarineQuest Explorer

The Blue Economy was also the focus of a special edition of the MarineQuest Explorer newsletter in October. Features in the newsletter include Building A Blue Economy, Teaching For A Blue Economy, and the launch of MarineQuest’s new Blue ECON Summer Camp in 2021.