2012 National Marine Educators Conference

North to Alaska’s Seas: A Confluence of Science and Culture

June 24-28 • Anchorage, Alaska • University of Alaska Anchorage

Join fellow NMEA-ers in Anchorage, or “Tikatnu,” the “big ocean river” place of the Dena’ina Athabascan Indians, on Cook Inlet.

Hosted by:
Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators (NAME)
Alaska Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE AK)

conference program

Download the Conference Program now>

Please take a moment to complete our conference evaluation to help the folks at SAME plan a great experience for NMEA 2013!

If you are a presenter and would like to share any materials, resources or websites from your session, please email them to and they will be linked to your session description.

If you have any questions, please see our FAQs. If you don’t find your answer there, please feel free to contact us:

Conference ThemesBack to Top

Science and Art

Presentations involving the use of the arts, including visual arts, music, dance, film, and literature to frame learning experiences, celebrate the world of water and to promote ocean and aquatic literacy.

Science and Culture

Presentations that address culturally-responsive approaches to marine and aquatic science education, making it more relevant and meaningful to the learner. This strand will emphasize ‘Traditional knowledge’; the totality of experiential knowledge of the natural environment of a people, acquired over time, and passed from generation to generation such that it has become part of a people’s cultural identity. The sharing of perspectives, programs and collaborative strategies that embrace and support traditional knowledge and integrate that knowledge with western-science-based marine education and outreach were selected. In addition, presentations that promote career development for cultural and racial groups typically underrepresented in marine and aquatic sciences were included.

Science and Technology

Presentations involving the use of educational technology to enhance learning and strategies to focus on marine technology in STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics) to enhance students’ understanding of marine and freshwater systems.

Large Marine Ecosystem Science and Education

Alaska’s shores and rivers are part of three major marine ecosystems; the Arctic Ocean, Bering/Aleutian, and Gulf of Alaska. Presentations that have a marine ecosystem perspective and scale, including the associated freshwater systems, particularly those relevant to the Large Marine Ecosystem classifications developed by the United Nations and adopted by NOAA to implement the 2004 US Ocean Action Plan. Maps are available of the marine ecosystems and associated watersheds at

Keynote Speakers & Special Events • Back to Top

June 24 Jack Dalton, Professional Storyteller
The Creation Legend Of The Yup’ik People
June 25 Mead Treadwell, Lt. Governor of Alaska
Ten Most Important Things To Know About The Arctic In 2012
June 25 Francis Wiese, Science Director, North Pacific Research Board
A-OK: Alaska Ocean Knowledge In A Nutshell
June 25 Reception at the Anchorage Museum with the music of Pamyua
June 26 Julia Parrish, Professor, Ocean Fishery Sciences in the College of the Environment at the
University of Washington
Global Change For Global Change: Citizen Science In The 21st Century
June 26 Reid Brewer, Agent, Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program, Unalaska
Under Aleutian Seas: 8 Years Of Wildlife Research And Outreach At The End Of The World
June 26 Stegner Lecture: Ray Troll, Alaskan Fin Artist
Fish Worship And The Art Of Ray Troll Or How I Became A Scientific Surrealist
June 28 Sonya Senkowsky, Owner/Manager, AlaskaWriter LLC
Day in our Bay—Views & Voices from Bristol Bay Alaska
June 28 Jana Harcharek, Director of Iñupiaq Education, North Slope Borough School District
The Iñupiaq Learning Framework: Blending Alaskan Native And Western Science Worldviews Into K-12 Education

Sea FaireBack to Top

Sea Faire is a long standing tradition at NMEA conferences.  It is intended to allow participants to share free resources and ideas without having to either do a formal presentation or buy a commercial display.  Simply request table space and bring your materials with you to Anchorage.  Sea Faire participants will be able to visit other Sea Faire exhibits during the time allotted.  The only requirement for Sea Faire is that you may not sell materials.  In the past we have had sand exchanges, fossil exchanges, laboratory ideas for the classroom, supplemental materials of interest to marine educators, as well as poster presentations.  You do not have to have something to share in order to attend Sea Faire.  Everyone is welcome, and having a lot of people there facilitates the exchange of ideas.  Clearly the more people who bring materials and ideas to share, the better the event will be.  Please consider bringing something and being an active participant. Please contact Gene Williamson ( to reserve a table.

Auction Items • Back to Top

If you are providing an item (or items) for this year's live and/or silent auction and you do not want to carry them on a plane, check them in a suitcase, or bring them through TSA check points, we have an address in Alaska that you can use to ship your auction items ahead of time. Items shipped to this address will be delivered to the auction location. Download the Auction Donation Form to include with your donated items.

NMEA Conference Auction
c/o Marilyn Sigman
1007 W. 3rd Avenue - Suite 100
Anchorage, AK 99501

Registration Fee: $385

Exhibitors: Registration for exhibits will open at the same time that early registration begins. One paid registration will be required plus an exhibitor fee of $200 for commercial exhibitors, $50 for non-profit exhibitors. Please register and pay through the conference registration process, and fill out the exhibitor information form


For information on the different scholarships that are available, please visit the NMEA conference scholarships and stipends page.

Applications & Deadlines:

  • NMEA Annual Conference Scholarships: Closed March 15
  • NMEA Expanding Audiences Stipend: Closed March 15
  • NMEA Traditional Knowledge Scholarship: Closed April 1

Travel assistance may also be available through your local chapter. Contact your chapter for travel assistance. See for a map and web links to chapters.

NAME Chapter Travel Assistance:
Alaska: Applications are currently closed.
Washington: Contact and for information
Oregon: Applications are currently closed.
British Columbia: Apply for the NAME-BC travel grant by May 18th for travel assistance! Download the application and submit to by May 18, 2012.

HousingBack to Top

Dorms: 300 single dorm rooms with shared bath (2 people) in doubles or quads. Nightly rate of $45/night. NMEA conference registrants may reserve one additional room for an accompanying spouse or family member. Everyone will be housed in East Hall, and the address for people who are taking cabs is 3701 Residential Drive. 

Blocks of rooms have been reserved at two conference hotels:
Marriott Springfield Suites – University Lake: $180/room, double (queens) or single (king). Located within easy walking distance of the university cafeteria and dorms. Airport shuttle available on request. Continental breakfast buffet and high-speed wireless in rooms. Rooms at the conference rate from June 24-28, with a smaller number of rooms available from June 14-23 and June 28 - July 5. Reservations: Call the 24-hour reservations center (888-284-1887) and ask for the NMEA room block at the Anchorage University Lake Springhill Suites. Availability ends 30 days before the conference.

Ramada Inn Downtown: $139/room + tax. Located close to downtown Anchorage, 30 minutes from the UAA campus by car or taxi, 45 minutes by bus. 24-hour complimentary airport shuttle. Continental breakfast buffet and free high-speed wireless available in rooms. 25 rooms are available at the conference rate from June 17-20, June 24-27, and June 30-July 5; 10 rooms are available on other dates during this period. Send reservation requests, with a reference to the NMEA Conference to Provide guest name(s), arrival date, departure date, room type (one bed or two bed), physical mailing address, telephone number, and credit card number along with its expiration date. Reservations will NOT be guaranteed without a valid credit card.

Other Housing Alternatives:
Anchorage has a variety of hotels, motels, and B & Bs, within proximity to bus service to the UAA campus. Summer rates are high. Be sure to read guest reviews of the lowest-priced options. Local hostels are not recommended.

For listings, go to the Anchorage Convention and Visitors Bureau website and
Anchorage Bed & Breakfast Association listings

Anchorage is the center for RV rentals in Alaska and rental prices are reasonable. Parking (without hook-ups) is available on campus and parking and hook-ups are available at nearby commercial RV parks. RVs are,or course, not the recommended alternative for travel around Alaska but using one as a base for NMEA would involve driving it only a few miles.


Meals are included for each registered participant. If you wish to purchase additional meals for non-registered guests, you may do so on-site. The costs are: $8.25 per breakfast, $11.25 per lunch, and $14.25 per dinner.

Getting to AnchorageBack to Top

Anchorage is served by several major airlines.

An Alaska Airlines discount is available for travel from June 17th through July 5th for conference participants.

  • Be sure to use the NMEA Discount Code: ECMG383.
  • Input the Discount Code on the Alaska Airlines website when searching for flights. The discount will be applied to any flights meeting the contract parameters. By clicking the “?” next to the discount code box after entering the code you may view a detailed description of the rules.
  • You and your guests may also use the Discount Code by calling Alaska Airlines Group Desk; however a $15.00 per person ticketing fee will apply.
  • Please check your contracts for validity dates, rules and restrictions.
  • If you use the discount code, please submit ticket numbers to after you have booked so that NAME can qualify for one free ticket for every 40 purchased. This will help provide travel scholarships for those who cannot afford the trip to attend (and volunteer).

Getting to Campus or other locations in Anchorage

The campus is a 30-minute taxi ride from Anchorage International Airport and from downtown Anchorage at a cost of $15-20. Bus service is available between downtown Anchorage and the campus. Many Anchorage hotels have airport shuttle service, however this is not available to downtown hotels.