Dec. 2013 update - National Marine Educators Association

An update from the Pilot House...

Dear NMEA Members,
For some time now you have been hearing that we are in a phase of unprecedented change for our organization. For those of you who were unable to make it to the annual conference in Mobile this year, one of our NMEA history buffs, Mike Spranger, provided a wonderful synopsis of all that has happened in our great and colorful past. From 1976 to 2013…there are soooo many similarities between the years gone by and now. I think we are all in agreement that we must understand and embrace our history, learn from it, and at the same time blaze new trails.

We have been doing exactly that! Since the July conference:
  • We’ve hired Lisa Tossey as our new Social Media Community Manager and Editor. Welcome Lisa! Lisa dove in quickly this fall and has been working to give all our social media accounts a consistent look and voice – creating a NMEA presence on some new platforms like YouTube and Vimeo, while focusing on increasing engagement on other accounts where we have been more established, such as Facebook and Twitter.
  • We’ve begun the process of moving the NMEA website from its longtime home on the server at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science 
    Website screenshot
    to YourMembership, a website hosting provider with an integrated membership management system. We anticipate a December launch date for the new website, though we are moving content in phases. You will see the essentials there for our launch and new things added over the next few months. As this rolls out, we ask for your patience and, of course, your comments on suggested improvements. A HUGE thank you to Justine Glynn for her continued hard work in this realm.
  • We’ve moved our membership list into a database on YourMembership. Soon this will enable you to update your contact information online, check the status of and renew your membership, share your professional profile with other members, connect to other members in an online community, view special content only available to current NMEA members, and lots more! We expect to soon be offering webinar sessions on how to manage your profile online too! Look for more information soon.
  • And our Communications and Marketing consultant, Julie Henry from The Pulse Team, is working with several committee members to take a close look at our membership structure and benefits, and developing a plan for a membership drive this spring.
All of these efforts are taking place to expand our community and strengthen connections both internally and externally.
Additionally, over the past few months:
  • The European Marine Science Educators Association's (EMSEA) hosted their 2nd Conference on Ocean Literacy in Europe, organized by the Marine Biological Association (MBA) and held at Plymouth University. Several members of NMEA were in attendance. We are so impressed with the work of our European colleagues and look forward to watching them grow and to future collaborations.
  • We hosted our first NMEA Annual Giving Campaign. Our goal is to reach $10,000 to support future operating fund. We hope all NMEA members will consider giving this year.
  • As we transition from many wonderful years with a NMEA National Office supported by the able hands of Dr. Sharon Walker and the late Ms. Johnette Bosarge, we’ve put the call out to our board and our Past President’s Chain to help us consider a new location for the NMEA National Office. The proposal deadline is December 15.
With all of the above, we are bringing NMEA to a new level in its development. Where we go from here is dependent on our strength together and our belief in what we each do professionally and what we do collectively to broaden understanding of our ocean planet and promote ocean literacy. We have an exciting year ahead! Keep up all of the wonderful work, NMEAers!
Wishing you all a joyous holiday season!

Susan Haynes
NMEA President, 2013-2014
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