Human well-being is directly affected by the health of our seas, yet public awareness of many of the challenges facing the marine environment remains low. For decades, researchers have investigated issues such as non-native species, climate change, pollution, overfishing, and ocean acidification, but these topics are only recently gathering interest from outside the academic community.
Alongside Invisible Dust, Blueprint brings together eight other major UK-leading marine research, engagement, advocacy and environmental arts organisations: Marine Biological Association; King’s College London; Joint Nature Conservation Committee; Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science; University of Plymouth Marine Institute; University of Edinburgh; Scottish Association for Marine Science and Incredible Oceans. This project is funded by NERC, the Natural Environment Research Council.
Blueprint will bring together scientists, facilitators, artists and skilled media communicators to share expertise, training, innovation and audiences to enable a step-change in the way we consider, and collaborate with, our environment – sparking a vibrant, nationwide conversation about the future of our seas
We will contribute our expertise in scientific collaboration and public dissemination to support the future work and projects of the consortium. By initiating and leading on a cross-institutional training programme Invisible Dust will support the delivery of a series of public engagement projects and capacity building workshops. This will result in the publishing of a ‘blueprint’ that will be supported by the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE). The blueprint will create a practical legacy offering invaluable evidence and process based methodology in how to build consortia, increase collaborative capacity, and create innovative outreach activities.
Activity to date:
An intensive residential training workshop for all Future of Our Seas consortium members took place in York from the 6th– 8th December 2017. This was led by Neuroscientist and Behaviour Change specialist Kris De Meyer of Kings College London. Alongside six hours of training on change models, Invisible Dust staff member and Blueprint Co-Investigator Lucy Wood led a series of presentations and workshops on effective public arts-science engagement, supported by the Incredible Oceans team. These three days enabled the consortium to consolidate and effectively map our shared skills, networks and audiences – a shared resource which we were then able to plan from in the delivery of this nationwide 8-month programme of training commencing in March 2018.
Following this event, the consortium developed a plan for a two-strand training and public engagement programme working with Early Career Researchers (ECRs), taking place in Plymouth on the 26th – 28th March (taking place at the Marine Biological Association) and Oban, Scotland on the week of the 11th – 15th June (based at SAMS).
These training events will involve a series of best practise training workshops and presentations led by Invisible Dust Staff members Lucy Wood and Olivia Gray.
More information about the projects can be found on the Future of our Seas dedicated website: here.