Thank you for your interest in the National Estuarine Research Reserves Teachers on the Estuary (TOTE) trainings. For more information, visit the TOTE workshops page or download the TOTE information sheet.

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June 13 - 16, 2023
  • Formal and Non-Formal Educators of all Grade Levels
  • Sapelo Island NERR
    Darien, Georgia

Coastal Ecology


Participants in the Coastal Ecology Teacher Workshop get an in-depth look at Georgia’s coastal systems and discover the abundance and variety of wildlife found along our shores and in our estuary. Emphasis is placed on estuarine and marine ecology, on-going research projects at the reserve, coastal species identification and adaptations, and activity sessions. Participants receive curriculum and resource materials. Record of attendance, formerly PLU credit, is available.

June 14 - 16, 2023
  • Formal and Informal Educators Grades K-12
  • Kachemak Bay NERR
    Homer, Alaska

Teachers on the Estuary Training: Incorporating Local Science into Your Classroom


Join our professional development workshop to gain hands-on experience in estuary science concepts that you can apply in your classroom. Participating in a Teachers on the Estuary (TOTE) workshop will give you the opportunity to:

  • Explore coastal habitats and conduct field investigations
  • Learn from local scientists and experienced coastal educators
  • Apply local and national data in your classroom
June 14 - 15, 2023
  • Educators Grades K-12
  • Apalachicola NERR
    Saint Teresa, Florida

Teaching Academic Content Through Nature Journaling


Sessions will emphasize the benefits of nature journaling as a method to support student-centered models of teaching including inquiry, learning cycles and phenomenon-based lessons. Applicants must be practicing k-12 teachers and may be from any grade level and any academic discipline. Activities will be conducted at the Florida State Coastal and Marine Laboratory (FSUML) with multiple sessions occurring outdoors in the marine environment. Free overnight accommodations at the lab are available and encouraged.

Participants will receive a $200 stipend upon completion of the workshop and will be eligible for 16 in-service credits.

Instructional materials will be included. Additional details provide after registration. Contact:

June 19 - 21, 2023
  • Formal and Non-Formal Educators of all Grade Levels
  • Sapelo Island NERR
    Darien, Georgia

Sea Turtle Conservation


Join the Sapelo NERR along with biologists and scientists from Georgia DNR, and Armstrong Atlantic State University to learn about the role of sea turtles in the vast estuarine and ocean habitats. Lectures and activities will address the Estuary Principals and Concepts and include life history, anatomy and morphology, threats and rehabilitation, and current projects relevant to marine turtle and estuarine research; followed by nightly walks to look for nesting mother turtles along Sapelo’s Nannygoat beach. Record of attendance, formerly PLU credit, is available and participants receive curriculum and resource materials.

June 20 - 21, 2023
  • Teachers Grades 6-12
  • Padilla Bay NERR
    Mount Vernon, Washington

Teaching Climate Change and Ocean Acidification


Participants in this workshop will:

  • Gain knowledge of climate change and ocean acidification in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Explore sources of local environmental data and work towards incorporating data into inquiry-based science learning experiences.
  • Receive materials and activities in the Ocean Sciences Sequence (OSS) curriculum on Climate Change developed by UC Berkeley Lawrence Hall of Science.

What you will receive:

  • 15 STEM Clock Hours (free)
  • Ocean Sciences Sequence curriculum ($200 value)
  • Lunch and light refreshments
  • $100 stipend upon implementation in your classroom

Questions? Call or email: Susan Wood, (360) 428-1066

June 20 - 22, 2023
  • Middle and High School Science Teachers
  • Chesapeake Bay - Virginia
    Gloucester Point, Virginia

Using the Coast to Teach Environmental Science


This workshop focuses on topics related to estuarine research and environmental science, and how you can incorporate those topics into the classroom. You will gain a better understanding of Chesapeake Bay habitats and the issues affecting them through hands-on exploration and sharing of lab and classroom activities. Teachers will spend three days at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) learning from the scientists and educators of Virginia's Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (CBNERR-VA). Teachers will participate in field, lab, and classroom activities, and will receive curriculum and materials to support implementation in the classroom. [Workshop is full and registration closed]

June 27 - 28, 2023
  • Middle and High School Teachers
  • Tijuana River NERR
    Imperial Beach, California

2023 Teachers on the Estuary


Tijuana Estuary's middle and high school teacher training, also known as TOTE, will take place in early summer on June 27th and 28th. It will be all in-person for the first time since 2019, with some asynchronous preparation.

Teachers on the Estuary explorers Authentic Data Literacy and bring coastal research into the classroom.

To learn more about the Tijuana Estuary Middle and High School materials visit on our website.

At this training you will:

  • See and experience science being done at Tijuana River NERR and learn how you can use it to enhance your teaching.
  • Interact with Reserve researchers, visit wetland restoration sites, and see the long-term monitoring that is used to manage these projects (living experiments).
  • Find out how to integrate your training experiences with online nationwide Reserve data and our virtual and in-person monitoring-based field trips.
June 27 - 29, 2023
  • Formal and Informal Educators Grades K-12
  • Old Woman Creek NERR
    Huron, Ohio

Wonders of Wetlands


The Advanced Wonders of Watersheds is a tried-and-true, yet newly-adapted three day program that investigates water quality, soil health, climate, land use issues, and our link to the Lake Erie Basin. This intensive experience includes scientific investigations, hands-on and inquiry-based activities, and Lake Erie data collection with researchers from Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Reserve. Join us and learn new ways to meet content standards through engaging lessons, outdoor experiences, and real-world applications of increasingly important water quality and land use issues.

Participants receive Healthy Water Healthy People, The Wonders of Wetlands, Project Aquatic WILD, and Teachers on the Estuary (TOTE) curriculum guides. One, two, or three graduate credits are available through Ashland University.

To register contact Jennifer Bucheit
New York
June 28 - 30, 2023
  • Educators Grades K-12
  • Hudson River NERR
    Staatsburg, New York

Digging Deeper: Delving into Landscapes with a Science-based Interdisciplinary Approach


Join us this summer to explore connections between humans and the landscape. Teachers will spend three days learning about local landscapes and how they have changed over time, with hands-on activities tied to state standards. Scientists and experts will share their knowledge of ecology, pedagogy, land-use planning and policy.

Nowhere else is can you interact with an interdisciplinary group of professionals focused on providing you with valuable information to take back to your classrooms on a topic all students can relate to: the land we live on right here in New York State. Get ideas, resources and inspiration! We look forward to seeing you.

Time: 9 AM - 4 PM, with lunch provided Thursday

Cost: $75.00 for materials, supplies, and refreshments

CTLE credits for NYS certified Teachers and Administrators: 22 hours

Questions? Email Chris Boswer at



July 5 - 7, 2023
  • Middle and High School Teachers and Informal Educators
  • Mission-Aransas NERR
    Port Aransas, Texas

Teachers on the Estuary (TOTE) 2023 Workshop


Explore marine science while learning about the estuarine ecosystem on the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR).

The Mission-Aransas NERR is hosting a TOTE workshop for middle and high school teachers. This year the workshop will look at estuarine ecology focusing on food-web dynamics, and estuarine resiliency. Food webs are a complex system dependent on the health of the environment and diversity of the community it supports. Teachers will engage in hands-on learning with reserve educators using real-world scientific data.

July 11 - 13, 2023
  • Educators Grades K-12 Erie County
  • Old Woman Creek NERR
    Huron, Ohio

Wade Into Coastal Wetlands


Erie County teachers, join us as we explore our coastal wetlands. These landscape features are natures kidneys. Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve uses a national water quality monitoring program to showcase how estuaries and wetlands help with water quality. These ecosystems also provide amazing habitat for our native wildlife. Throughout the three day workshop, participants will explore coastal Ohio wetlands, Old Woman Creek's estuary, and local farms to investigate the impact of conservation practices implemented on the landscape in the wetland.

To register contact Jennifer Bucheit
July 24 and July 26 - 27, 2023
  • Middle and High School Teachers
  • Waquoit Bay NERR
    Waquoit, Massachusetts

Investigating a Changing Environment Focus on Water Quality and Sea Level Rise


Middle and high school teachers, join our professional development workshop to gain hands-on experience in estuary science concepts that you can apply in your classroom. Participating in a Teachers on the Estuary, workshop will give you the opportunity to:

  • Earn 18 PDPs
  • Explore coastal habitats and conduct field investigations
  • Learn from local scientists and experienced coastal educators
  • Apply local and national data in your classroom

July 24 (6-8 pm- virtual) July 26-27- on site

South Carolina
July 25 - 27, 2023
  • Elementary, Middle, High School, Pre-service teachers and Non-formal Educators
  • ACE Basin NERR
    Green Pond, South Carolina

Exploring the ACE Basin


Every summer we offer a workshop for teachers using South Carolina estuaries as our classroom. Join us as we explore salt marsh dynamics with marine researchers to collect and analyze data. You’ll bring home standards-based, STEM classroom lessons to teach your students!

Each day we will explore a different aspect of the estuary. Part of the day will be spent in the marsh or on a boat with biologists and science educators learning how to monitor the estuary and analyze the data. The rest of the day will be spent using lesson plans and educational resources to plan how to translate that research to your students. We will investigate coastal environmental issues and ways to promote solutions in your classroom and school.

July 31 - August 1, 2023
  • Educators Grades K-12
  • Guana Tolomato Matanzas NERR
    Ponte Verda Beach, Florida

TOTE 2023: Growing Community Partnerships and Addressing Education Needs


This Teachers on the Estuary (TOTE) training will focus on connecting educators to community organizations that provide opportunities to further engage students. Although this training pertains to all K-12 teachers, it may specifically relate to educators and students who are limited by factors such as distance, transportation, and financial ability. This two-day workshop will offer opportunities to register with the GTM Research Reserve for estuarine science programs as well as network with representatives from local organizations that can also offer programs or assist with developing additional opportunities.

Day 1: Monday, July 31, 2023 (8:30am-3:30pm)

Day 2: Tuesday, August 1, 2023 (8:30am-3:30pm)

Rhode Island
July 31 - August 3, 2023
  • Middle and High School Science Teachers
  • Narragansett Bay NERR
    Prudence Island, Rhode Island

Teachers on the Estuary: Salt Marshes and Climate Change


Immerse yourself in the beautiful setting of the Narragansett Bay Research Reserve to learn and witness first-hand the impacts of climate change and rising sea levels on salt marshes. Hear about current research and monitoring projects directly from our scientists and return to your classroom with local data to share this story with your students. This workshop content is designed for middle and high school science teachers.

Participants will be given $500 to use towards outdoor learning and/or stewardship projects with their students. Workshop is FREE, including shared dorm-style lodging and meals on Prudence Island. To ensure everyone’s safety, all participants must be fully vaccinated to participate.

To register contact Maureen Dewire


August 1 - 3, 2023
  • Middle and High School Science Teachers
  • Wells NERR
    Wells, Maine

Teachers on the Estuary Workshop: Preparing Students to Be Water Stewards


We are putting teachers on the estuary again this summer by offering a free workshop that will provide educators with activities to bring back to their classes. The workshop will train up to twelve educators in water quality and weather monitoring, nature journaling, and solutionary teaching and learning. It is geared towards middle and high school science teachers, though other educators are welcome to apply.

The three-day Teachers on the Estuary workshop will get teachers outside on the estuary and marsh, learning by doing. It will also expose teachers to a Reserve scientist, who will present on current research and provide applicable ways of teaching scientific concepts back in the classroom. And new this year, the Institute for Humane Education will present on how to use their four-part Solutionary Framework to prepare students to be water stewards.

This TOTE workshop will equip teachers with activities they can replicate with their students. Time for reflection while nature journaling and processing with fellow teachers will be provided each day.

Each teacher will receive a $150 stipend, as well as $150 worth of equipment to use with students. Teachers traveling a distance will also receive free lodging in Wells. Breakfast snacks and lunch are provided each day of the workshop.

August 7 - 11, 2023
  • Grades preschool-12
  • Lake Superior NERR
    Superior, Wisconsin

Rivers2Lake Education Program: Summer Institute


For the past eleven years, the Rivers2Lake education program has built a community of educators dedicated to sharing the Great Lakes with their students. The program has trained and mentored 106 teachers, helping them integrate Lake Superior research, history, policy, and stewardship into their classrooms. Rivers2Lake teachers engage PK-12 students in outdoor and inquiry-based learning well beyond their year of participation. Working with partners including the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe, the Great Lakes Aquarium, the National Park Service, and the Superior Rivers Watershed Association, Rivers2Lake brings the Great Lakes Literacy Principles to life. Rivers2Lake is run by the education program at the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve in Superior, Wisconsin. Target Audience: Teachers within the St. Louis River watershed and/or Wisconsin's Lake Superior Basin. Grades preschool-12, and occasionally educators in nonformal settings. Accepting applications from April 6, 2023 through May 4, 2023.

Rivers2Lake Goal:

The Rivers2Lake Education Program (Rivers2Lake) uses the Lake Superior watershed and the St. Louis River, its largest US tributary, as a foundation for authentic, experiential teacher and PK-12 student learning and increased Great Lakes literacy.

Rivers2Lake Objectives:

1. Educators who participate in Rivers2Lake engage in a supported change process with professional mentors, resulting in career-long confidence in, and commitment to, using interdisciplinary, outdoor, and inquiry based learning focused on Lake Superior.

2. Rivers2Lake teachers integrate place-based information and data, educational materials, regional experts, and a personal understanding of the Lake Superior Watershed into curriculum, resulting in engaging educational content that improves Great Lakes Literacy.

3. Through learning and stewardship actions focused on the Lake Superior Watershed, students in Rivers2Lake classrooms demonstrate understanding of the Great Lakes, develop a stronger sense of place, and increase their commitment to stewardship.

4. By participating in outdoor and inquiry-based learning experiences with Rivers2Lake teachers and mentors, students in Rivers2Lake classrooms demonstrate improved academic learning and engagement.

5. Rivers2Lake fosters the development of a dynamic and expanding professional learning community of teachers, non-formal educators, natural resource professionals and others committed to Great Lakes-centered learning.

New Hampshire
August 10 - 11, 2023
  • Middle and High School Teachers
  • Great Bay NERR
    Greenland, New Hampshire

Extraordinary Eelgrass –Underwater Ecological Superhero


Teachers on the Estuary (TOTE) is a program of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) that offers field-based professional development for teachers on watershed and estuary topics at Research Reserves. This year's TOTE is FREE and focuses on EELGRASS, one of the most critical species and ecosystems on the planet.

Joining this two day workshop will be scientists and coastal leaders who are working together on a joint NERRS Science Collaborative study dedicated to eelgrass in the Great Bay Estuary. A $100 stipend to be used in the classroom will be awarded to each teacher who attends. The workshop will take place both indoors and in the field, as weather permits and will include snorkeling off the New Hampshire coast, kayaking and walking on uneven terrain. YOU WILL GET WET!

To register contact Kelle Loughlin
August 16 - 17, 2023
  • Formal and Informal Educators Grades 4-8
  • Padilla Bay NERR
    Mount Vernon, Washington

Teaching about Ocean Science and Climate Change, grades 4-8


This two-day workshop is field-based and on site at Padilla Bay. Explore ocean and climate science activities for your students.

  • Earn 15 STEM clock hour credits.
  • Receive Ocean Sciences Sequence curriculum ($200 value).
  • Lunch and low-cost housing provided.
  • Receive $200 stipend upon implementation with your students.

Enjoy learning with colleagues at beautiful Padilla Bay.



September 30 - October 2, 2022
  • Middle or High School Teachers
  • Elkhorn Slough NERR and South Slough NERR
    Watsonville, California and Charleston, Oregon

Preparing for Climate Change Impacts Through Stewardship


NOAA Planet Stewards, Elkhorn Slough, and South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserves (NERRS) are hosting a simultaneous three-day educator workshop about climate change impacts on estuaries and their adjacent communities along the Pacific Coast, and how to engage schools and communities to take action to address regional impacts of this global phenomenon.

Participants will spend three days at either Oregon’s South Slough or California’s Elkhorn Slough NERR learning about climate change and watersheds, taking part in field experiences, and learning how to incorporate these topics and stewardship actions into their classrooms and communities.

This workshop is planned for in-person learning. Depending on Covid-19 safety guidelines at the time of the workshop, an alternate, virtual experience may be required. All registrants will be kept apprised of programmatic changes.

Workshop topics include:

  • Climate change science and climate change activities that meet NGSS
  • Citizen science and hands-on stewardship to inspire youth to address regional environmental impacts, and mobilize action in their communities

Workshop features:

  • Opportunities to learn from and interact with subject matter experts
  • Hands-on field investigations with a NOAA researcher
  • In-depth information about estuaries and other coastal systems
  • Activities and lessons designed around climate change topics and issues
  • Light continental breakfast, lunch, and snacks are included each day of the workshop
  • Educators will receive resources for their class and field work
  • Stipends will be provided for all attendees upon full completion of the workshop


  • This event is scheduled for September 30 - October 2, 2022. Participants may enroll and attend at either location. There are a limited number of spaces available for this event. You must register at one of the site specific links below to reserve a seat at the workshop! Do it today!

Cost: $40 Includes educational resources, tools and materials for the classroom, light continental breakfast, lunch, and snacks each day. Contact Virginia Guhin Contact Jaime Belanger


South Carolina
October 7 and 14, 2023
  • Georgetown County K-12 Teachers, Pre-Service Teachers, Homeschool Educators, and Informal Educators
  • North Inlet-Winyah Bay NERR
    Georgetown, South Carolina

Waccamaw to Winyah Bay: Watershed Connections


North Inlet-Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) and the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge are partnering for a professional development training on October 7th and 14th, 2023. The workshop will feature local place-based estuary education resources and standards-based activities on coastal ecosystems, habitats and organisms at two locations in the Waccamaw watershed in Georgetown County.

Participants must commit to a two day workshop taking place on two consecutive Saturdays, plus completion of workshop exit and follow up surveys and must be able to tolerate physical activity outdoors. Meals, snacks, supplies, lesson plans, local workshop transportation and a certificate for fifteen hours of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are provided.