5 Practical Ways to Introduce People to Ocean Science
By Haley vogel
We all have those friends, you know, the ones that just don’t care about the ocean - no matter how much you preach. You’ve tried stern talks about straws, you’ve forced them to sit down and watch all 8 episode of Blue Planet II but nothing so-far has seemed to work. Well be at a loss for what to do no longer - we have come up with 5 practical ways for you to inspire some ocean love and get people interested in ocean science…
Social media is something we use every. single. day. Use your social media voice to introduce the people who may never have thought twice about the ocean to the wonders beneath the waves. This could be sharing your own photographs, stories or blog posts, re-posting other people’s amazing underwater photographs or telling friends about some of the inspirational ocean related people you follow. Getting little snippets of the ocean into their daily lives as they scroll is often the starting point for people to become more curious or get a new perspective on current ocean issues.
Know how to inspire someone to care about something? To get them to experience the magic with their own eyes. Going on a tour with friends not only provides you all with an epic fun day out, but is an amazing way to get people thinking and talking about the marine environment. While some options can be a little more expensive, there are lots of great deals on tours especially if you have a group booking, for a special event like a birthday party, you will have a great day out AND get to introduce your friends to the sea. Going on a whale watching tour, sailing charter, wild dolphin spotting and feeding tours or even a tour about a local marine eco-system is a lot of fun and enables people to see first hand how amazing marine life can be.
Remember having your nose pressed up against the glass watching that turtle glide by as a kid? (Sidenote: we don’t encourage this but we all know kids do it!) Visiting a public aquarium is another fun activity that is often super educational. Aquariums are usually really passionate about conservation and sometimes do private shows or behind the scenes tours: this can give you the opportunity to talk about some of the things you are passionate about whilst looking at an amazing variety of marine life. Just make sure you choose an aquarium that has good ethical standards and is well looked after!
4. Local Universities or Research Centres
If you want to introduce people to science, where better to take them than to the heart of learning! Often universities and research centres will have open days or guided tours that give a lot of interesting information on how they operate and some of the research that they are currently undertaking. If you have friends who are more interested in the science side of things, this could be a great way to learn about current research, make contacts and view facilities in your area.
5. Get in the water!
Of course, we saved the best until last - getting in the water is obviously the best way to get people excited about the ocean! Not too many people can experience being underwater with amazing marine life, coral reefs or even kelp forests and not be a little gob smacked by what they see. People are often disconnected from the ocean because they have never seen anything other than the surface, and there is a whole world down there to explore. Take some friends on a guided snorkel, or do your SCUBA certification as a group, not only is this incredibly fun but it will open doors for all of you to continue exploring the ocean together in the future.
Introducing people to the ocean is not as hard as it may seem, take advantage of the opportunities, contacts and resources available to you. Small things can make a big difference in the long run and the more people we have who love the ocean, the better off it will be!