Strange Days On Planet Earth Initiative Phase Two

September 1st, 2007 - February 28th, 2013 | PROJECT

Sea Studios Foundation will extend the Strange Days on Planet Earth multimedia initiative to raise public science literacy on pressing environmental issues. Based on pioneering Earth System Science research, Phase Two will be a media and outreach project focused on the ocean and water issues. The goal of the project is to increase public awareness and understanding of the scope and scale of key issues affecting the ocean. At the core of the project is a four part television documentary series for PBS primetime entitled Strange Days, Ocean. The programs will concentrate on four content areas: overexploitation of ocean resources, pollution, coastal development, climate change and the role of the ocean in Earth's system. Each episode is structured around a compelling scientific questions designed to engage the audience in a search for answers based on the most current research from the varied Earth System Science disciplines. The series focuses on explaining how scientists come to know what they know. The series will be complemented by activity-based learning supported by a national consortium of informal learning institutions, a citizen science program, training sessions for informal educators, and a project website. Collaborators include the National Geographic and three new major partners: Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Program to expand citizen science programs around invasive species; Americans for Informed Democracy (AID), dedicated to organizing college campus educational events; The Ocean Project (TOP), a network of 600 organizations; plus the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum and eight other informal science institutions. Knight Williams Research Communications, and Public Knowledge and Cultural Logic will assess the impact of the series. The project will contribute to the field of informal science education by providing widely applicable communication lessons on ocean and water issues and a model methodology for creating science education media that is credible, informative, and relevant. The results of two unique adult learning case studies will be shared with the field through presentations at national meetings and workshops, and posted online.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Project Products

Strange Days and Hidden Connections
Summative Evaluation of Otter 501 Facebook Page

Team Members

Mark Shelley, Principal Investigator, Sea Studios Foundation
David Elisco, Co-Principal Investigator, National Geographic Television
Tierney Thys, Co-Principal Investigator, National Geographic Television


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 0714704
Funding Amount: 1580741


Audience: General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Climate | Ecology | forestry | agriculture | Geoscience and geography
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Broadcast Media | Community Outreach Programs | Media and Technology | Public Programs