Ocean Literacy Research

Ocean literacy is an international issue necessary to sustain environmental, economic and human health. Ocean issues with conceptual ties to science and society have captured the attention, imagination and concern of international audiences: Global climate change, over fishing, pollution, freshwater shortages, energy and commerce. We look increasingly to the ocean for our everyday needs and sustainability.

However, a broad disconnect exists between what scientists know and the public understands about the ocean. Thus, there is a critical global need to advance ocean literacy. This book provides new metrics for ocean literacy and introduces ocean socioscientific issues (OSSI) and stewardship as essential components.

Three questions are analyzed: What teens understand about the ocean, how they feel about ocean stewardship, and how understanding and feelings are organized when reasoning about ocean socioscientific issues. The analysis should help shed light on current US ocean literacy constructs to go beyond cognitive understanding and include engaging learners in how to apply what they know through actions as citizens, stewards and consumers.


Greely, Teresa, “Ocean literacy and reasoning about ocean issues: The influence of content, experience and morality” (2008). Theses and Dissertations. Paper 271.

Greely, T. M. and Lodge, A. “Measuring Ocean Literacy: What teens understand about the ocean using the Survey of Ocean Literacy and Egament (SOLE)” American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2009, abstract #ED32A-08.

Greely, Teresa (2010) “Ocean Literacy and Reasoning about Ocean Issues” Lambert Academic Publishing ISBN 978-3-8383-4638-0, paperback, 240 Pages

Greely T., Lodge A., Betzer P., Pyrtle A., and Ivey S. “Broadening the Impacts of Graduate Education and Training: Contributions to Ocean Literacy & Communications Across Disciplines

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