Ocean Doctor’s “50 Years – 50 States – 50 Speeches Expedition”
The Expedition Begins in California on January 7th
A new expedition launches January 7, 2009 in California! The Ocean Doctor’s “50 Years – 50 States – 50 Speeches Expedition“ is a one-year journey of outreach, education, and discovery, announced by Dr. David E. Guggenheim on his 50th birthday (October 6, 2008) to bring, at no charge, speeches about the oceans to schools in all 50 U.S. states plus territories. By its culmination at the end of 2009, the “expedition” will have reached well over 100 schools — from Barrow, Alaska to Rapid City, South Dakota to the Florida Keys — to share firsthand accounts, stories, humor, passion, and important lessons about the oceans and their conservation. Through additional outreach in the visited communities, engagement of the media, and encouraging the visited schools to connect with each other and share their perspectives on the oceans through a new online social network, it is hoped that this project can help encourage an enduring wave of renewed interest in the oceans by its next generation of explorers, scientists and stewards.
The expedition is a joint project of The Ocean Foundation, the project’s fiscal sponsor, along with 1planet1ocean, and is supported by your tax-deductible donations to the “Ocean Doctor’s 50 Years – 50 States – 50 Speeches Expedition Fund” at The Ocean Foundation. Become a supporter!
Opening Panel at Blue Vision Summit Features Explorers
The upcoming Blue Vision Summit, a project of the Blue Frontier Campaign, kicks off with a special panel and reception on Saturday March 7, 2009 at 7pm, moderated by Dr. David E. Guggenheim entitled, Lessons From the Explorers: Why Conservation Needs Exploration. Panelists represent a diverse group of ocean explorers, including National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, Dr. Sylvia A. Earle, underwater cinematographer Adam Ravetch (“Arctic Tale”), Roz Savage, the first woman to row solo across the Atlantic, Philippe Cousteau (Earth Echo), and CAPT Philip Renaud (Khaled Bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation).? The panel examines the role of ocean exploration and why it’s key to conservation. Panelists will share share firsthand accounts, experiences, examples and, of course, imagery and video, discussing a vision for the future of ocean exploration and priorities for the 21st century along with new ways to engage the public in ocean exploration. Preparations are underway to livecast this panel over the Internet.
Follow-Up to Cancun Meeting Scheduled for Veracruz, Mexico in Mid-March
On March 18th and 19th, 2009, marine science and policy leaders from Cuba, the U.S. and Mexico will convene in Veracruz, Mexico to resume the historic dialogue undertaken in Cancun in November 2007 to take joint marine research and conservation activities to a new level. (The first meeting was covered by the New York Times and on the 1planet1ocean web site.) 1planet1ocean president Dr. David E. Guggenheim, Jorge L. Fern?ndez Chamero (Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnologia y Medio, Cuba), Almirante Alberto Mariano V?zquez la Cerda (Armada de Mexico), Dr. Wayne Smith (Center for International Policy) and Dr. Wes Tunnell (Harte Research Institute) will reprise their roles in organizing and leading the conference. Now a project under fiscal sponsorship of The Ocean Foundation , the second meeting will use the six priority areas established at the first meeting (research and conservation of coral reefs, sharks, sea turtles and dolphins, improved management and conservation of fish resources, and strengthening of marine protected area) to construct a comprehensive Plan of Action that provides a blueprint for years of collaboration in marine science and conservation. The Veracruz meeting will also include full participation of Mexico, making this a tri-national effort.This project was conceived of in recognition of the critical need for more scientific research in the Gulf of Mexico and Western Caribbean, the key role that Cuban waters play in the ecosystem, and the need for strong international collaboration.
Sometimes planning is overrated. Sometimes thinking is overrated. Sometimes the best things happen when you just act. That’s what happened on my 50th birthday. Though it’s a concept I had thought about before, what’s become the “50/50/50″ Expedition was an idea that literally popped into my head on the morning of my birthday. I knew if I thought about it too much — with all the challenges, logistics, and complications — I’d talk myself out of it. So I announced the ambitious project to give speeches at no charge to schools in all 50 U.S. states (plus territories), and in so doing, dove into the deep end of a new endeavor that is rapidly taking on a life of its own. And that’s the best part of it.
As I learn more and more about the diverse group of schools I’ll be visiting, I realize that I’ll be learning as much from them as they will from me. At first I had called this an “expedition” to be a bit playful, but in many ways, it really will be a voyage of discovery, in this case, to better understand what students around the country think and understand about our oceans. How many have never seen the oceans? How many are aware of the oceans’ problems? What are their career aspirations? The answers are bound to be different from Honolulu to Bellevue, Nebraska — or are they?
Years ago I taught marine biology at Seacamp/Newfound Harbor Marine Institute in the Florida Keys, and I suppose those roots are resurfacing now. I saw incredible transformations in the students we taught there. I remember teaching a Girl Scout program for five summers. On the first day of class I told the terrified girls that we’d be swimming with the (small) sharks in our holding pond on the last day of class a week later. And I remember well that last day of class when the girls were having so much fun swimming with the sharks that I couldn’t get them out!
I still believe in nature’s magic. Its beauty, wonders and mystery are potent and transformative, especially for a young student. I look forward to sharing? my stories and adventures of the ocean with the thousands of students I visit during this project, to bring them a bit closer to that magic. And I eagerly anticipate the inspiration and enlightenment that this incredibly diverse group of students — and their teachers — will bring to us.
Please accept my warmest wishes for an unscripted and very happy New Year!
The ExpeditionCasts podcast made its debut from the Bering Sea aboard the Esperanza last summer. Thanks to your positive feedback, the series resumes on February 2, 2009 with new features, interviews, and video, bringing you dispatches from expeditions, research and conservation projects around the world. And remember, you don’t need an iPod to subscribe to a podcast, and it’s always free.
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1planet1ocean is a nonprofit organization, founded
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