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.
So how do we make our seas and oceans relevant to us all? Blueprint brings together scientists, facilitators, artists and skilled media communicators to share expertise, training and innovation to spark a vibrant, nationwide conversation about the future of our seas.
Including Invisible Dust, Blueprint is a consortium of 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.
Activity to date:
Following an intensive training and planning weekend, the consortium developed a two-strand training and public engagement programme working with Early Career Researchers (ECRs) and early career scientists, taking place in Plymouth (at the Marine Biological Association) and in Oban, Scotland (based at SAMS).
Each group first took part in a three-day training programme, led by Neuroscientist and Behaviour Change specialist Kris De Meyer of King’s College London, including a series of best practice workshops from Lucy Wood and Olivia Gray in the Invisible Dust team. The programme provided each individual with the necessary tools to produce a marine science themed public engagement activity, which, with ongoing mentoring, were tested out during two live events – the Plymouth Pirate Weekend and Oban Yacht Week.
12th – 13th May 2018 – Plymouth Pirate Week, a family fun packed weekend in The Barbican and Sutton Harbour.
30th – 31st July 2018 – as part of the West Highland Yachting week, Scotland’s largest yachting event, in Oban.
More information about the projects can be found on the Future of our Seas dedicated website: here.
Image: Oban Times https://www.obantimes.co.uk/2018/07/31/the-future-of-our-seas/