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Name of Collaboratory :


Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE)


URL :  

Collaboratory Status :

Operational   Start Date : 2002 End Date : Info Last Updated : Sat, Dec 3 2011 12:01am PST

Primary Collaboratory Function :

  Virtual Learning Community  

Secondary Collaboratory Functions :

  Virtual Community of Practice, Distributed Research Center  

Domain(s) :

  EARTH, ATMOSPHERIC, AND OCEAN SCIENCES >Oceanography >Oceanography, EARTH, ATMOSPHERIC, AND OCEAN SCIENCES >Oceanography >Marine Sciences  

Brief Description of the Collaboratory :


Since its establishment in 2002 as a set of 7 Regional Centers, the Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) has evolved into a coordinated Network comprised of 12 thematic and regional Centers located around the United States including over 270 institutional partners with close to two thousand Network members.

The mission of the COSEE Network is to spark and nurture collaborations among research scientists and educators to advance ocean discovery and make known the vital role of the ocean in our lives. The mission reflects the three-fold partnership, which composes each COSEE Center-partnerships between formal and informal education institutes and research institutes.

Through several Center-based initiatives and infrastructure created by the Network, COSEE is:

Infusing current ocean sciences research into a variety of educational applications
A trusted community resource for achieving broader impact goals
Actively engaging scientists in education and public outreach
Conveying the nature of science and scientific research to educators
Connecting informal and formal education partners and the public to the ocean sciences enterprise.
Testing strategies for broadening participation in ocean sciences
Developing and sharing innovative, technologically sophisticated education and communication tools and strategies
Assisting scientists in acquiring skills needed to effectively communicate ocean sciences concepts and research
Elevating the profile of ocean sciences in the education community
Promoting Ocean Literacy
Pioneering the use of Ocean Observing Systems data in educational settings
Establishing Communities of Practice

COSEE’s well-established partnerships with formal and informal education institutions will ensure that future advances and discoveries in ocean sciences research are efficiently integrated into K-16 education programs and instructional materials, as well as into public programming across the country. As the Network looks into its future, exciting opportunities are on the horizon.

Each COSEE Center is a consortium of ocean science research institutions, informal science education organizations, and formal education entities. There are various COSEE regional centers around the world that form the COSEE network, all of which are collaboratories in this database:

COSEE Alaska
COSEE California
COSEE Central Gulf of Mexico (legacy)
COSEE Coastal Trends (legacy)
COSEE Florida
COSEE Great Lakes (legacy)
COSEE New England (legacy)
COSEE Networked Ocean World
COSEE Ocean Learning Communities
COSEE Ocean Systems
COSEE Pacific Partnerships
COSEE Southeast


Access to Instruments :


Access to Information Resources :


Access to People as Resources :

  Twice-yearly COSEE Council meetings, annual all-hands meeting, and periodic working group and planning committee meetings.  

Funding Agency or Sponsor :

Department of Commerce (DOC)
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
National Science Foundation (NSF)

Notes on Funding Agencies/Sponsors:
The COSEE program is funded primarily by the National Science Foundation with support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Organizations with Un-Funded Participants:
Organization name:
Approx # of participants:
Description of organization's role(s):
American Meteorological Society (AMS)
The COSEE Network works with the American Meteorological Society to promote understanding of the importance of the ocean and atmosphere in the face of a changing climate, and to share that knowledge with general public and decision-makers.

Notes on Participants/Organizations:
The COSEE Network is comprised of 12 Centers plus a National COSEE Office.

Structure of COSEE Centers:
Each COSEE Center has a minimum of three partners, including at least one organization from each of the following sectors, 1) ocean science research institutions, 2) informal education organizations, and 3) formal educational organizations. Thus each individual Center must be organized to foster multi-faceted collaborative activities. A typical Center has the following structural elements:
Center Director.
COSEE Council Representative.
Center External Advisory Committee.
Center Evaluator.

The COSEE Network encompasses several working groups including the following:

Decadal Review Working Group (DRWG)
Diversity Working Group (DWG)
Evaluation Working Group (EWG)
Governance Working Group (GWG)
Messaging/Marketing Working Group (MMWG)
Partnerships and Collaborations Working Group
Professional Development Ad Hoc Committee
Scientist Engagement Working Group (SEWG)
Strategic Business Plan Working Group (SBWG)
Web Working Group (WWG)
Excellence in Networking Tools Sub-Group (ENTs, a subgroup of the WWG)

COSEE is made up of the regional COSEE networks, so please see each one for participants.


Communications Technology Used :

  Structure of COSEE Network:
The primary Network coordination elements are the COSEE Council and the National COSEE Office.

COSEE Council: This governing deliberative assembly consists of one primary and one alternate representative from each funded Center plus the Executive Director, lead of the NCO. Ex Officio members of the Council include NSF COSEE Program Managers, key representatives from NOAA, and the National Network Evaluators. The Council is informed by the collective work of the Centers to ensure that the Network learns, benefits from and spreads best practices representative of the sum of all efforts. The Council meets formally approximately three times per year and, between these meeting, communicates monthly via telecon.

Council Executive Committee. The Executive Committee includes the annually elected Chair, Past Chair and Chair-Elect of the Council. The Executive Committee works in close collaboration with the National Science Foundation COSEE Program Managers and with the Executive Director.

Working Committees. These Committees are formed by the Council to spread workload and widen discussion on Network support functions, short-term or long-term issues pertinent to the continuous growth and well-being of COSEE. A "Common Operating Agreement" has been formulated for all Committees that includes guidelines on participation, documentation, and communication to the Council. At present there are four active Working Committees: Diversity, Evaluation, Messaging/Marketing and Web.

National COSEE Office (NCO). The NCO organizes national oversight of the COSEE effort and enhances communication and collaboration among the Centers. The NCO facilitates meetings and workshops, oversees the Network web presence, and coordinates the National Advisory Council. In addition, it provides support and guidance to individual Centers.

Executive Director. Principal Investigator for the NCO, the Executive Director represents the unified mission, work, and aspirations of the COSEE Network within its entire membership, and externally to reach beyond the individual Centers' boundaries. The Executive Director actively supports networking and sustainability goals of the network established by the COSEE Council.

National Advisory Committee (NAC).The NAC is a source of advice for the Network and provides recommendations for the improvement of effectiveness of the overall COSEE program. It includes a balance of perspectives and varied expertise including, but not limited to: Research scientists, Officers of scientific societies and professional organizations, Formal and informal science educators, States’ Departments of Education staff, Professional program evaluators, Ocean-related Foundation staff, and Ocean-related Industry/Business/Technology leaders. The NAC meets twice per year: during the annual Network Meeting (first week of May) and once in conjunction with a COSEE Council meeting (first week of November).

National Network Evaluator. Evaluation information from all Centers is reported to the National Network Evaluator, who is responsible for the synthesis, analysis, and interpretation of these data. The National Network Evaluator formulates a strategic plan for evaluating the effectiveness and impact of the COSEE Network at a national scale.

Technical Capabilities :

  Key Articles :    

Project-reported performance data :

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