Blueprint: Future of Our Seas

February - September 2018

Various locations

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 brought together scientists, facilitators, artists and skilled media communicators to share expertise, training and innovation with the aim of sparking a vibrant, nationwide conversation about the Future of Our Seas.

Including Invisible Dust, Blueprint was created by a consortium of eight major leading marine research, engagement, advocacy and environmental arts organisations in the UK: the 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. The project was funded by NERC, the Natural Environment Research Council.

Following an intensive training and planning weekend, the consortium developed a two-strand training and public engagement programme for Early Career Researchers (ECRs) and early career scientists. The training and public events took 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.

Public events:
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

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