By Marianne Teoh
What do a marine scientist, a film producer, a conservation practitioner, an educator and two PhD students have in common?
They are ocean advocates from around the globe- representing a diverse range of disciplines – who answered a call for perspectives on the International Marine Conservation Congress, held this year in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.
Click on each contributor’s name to read more:
“There is something so inspiring about being surrounded by brilliant minds that stand in solidarity around solving ocean issues” – Megan Chen, Ocean Educator (United States)
“IMCC is the perfect platform for fruitful discussions about the future of our oceans” – Ben Thorne, Conservation Practitioner (Cambodia)
“I fully anticipate IMCC to be highly motivational in terms of my career” – Holly Niner, PhD Candidate (Australia)
“IMCC increased my understanding and awareness of our interconnected relationships with marine environments” – Mike Irvine, Film Producer and Marine Educator (Canada)
“IMCC in particular is a great place to start [networking], due to its diversity and range of topics covered” – Michael Sweet, Marine Scientist (United Kingdom)
Read on for more from each delegate:
“Last year I was fortunate enough to attend IMCC3 and found it absolutely exhilarating. There was a dizzying array of session topics – my only regret was that I was unable to clone myself so I could sit in on concurrent sessions. I was able to learn about citizen science projects, possible career paths that I would never dream existed, and best of all network with people from multiple disciplines.
There is something so inspiring about being surrounded by brilliant minds that stand in solidarity around solving ocean issues such as overfishing, climate change, sea level rise, ocean acidification and marine debris. If you care about the health and conservation of our ocean, join me and a diverse crowd of marine scientists, managers, students, economists, citizen scientists, social scientists, educators and science communicators at IMCC4!”
“IMCC4 is the perfect platform for academic researchers, environmental practitioners and social enterprises to join in fruitful discussions about the future of our world’s oceans. Historically, large conferences are dominated by outputs from research institutions without a strong focus on discussing necessary conservation strategies. IMCC4’s goal of inviting multi-sector attendees will ultimately allow for constructive conservation ideals to be shared between a wide audience”
“I am really excited to immerse myself in all things marine conservation at IMCC in St John’s this year. My interests lie at the interface of science and real-life management through application of that science and I can’t wait to get my brain buzzing listening to all the great work people are doing.
IMCC attracts people across an enormous range of organisations and roles and across the full spectrum of disciplines. The opportunity to bring all of these people together in one place is really exciting. Successful conservation requires support across society, so we need representation from people in many different roles to influence discussions! From my sneak peak of abstracts I think the diversity in terms of nationality and work area is going to be enormous and so I think there will be lots going on to suit all areas of specific interest.
I fully anticipate IMCC to be highly motivational in terms of my career, in relation to what I can take to my current role and also with a view to life post PhD. I love meeting new people with similar interests and am really looking forward to being inspired by all the wonderful things other delegates are up to.”
“IMCC is a great space for connecting with brilliant scientists, conservationists, and ocean enthusiasts. Personally, the diversity of people at the conference was the best part. I was engaged in many conversations that increased my understanding and awareness of our interconnected relationships with marine environments. As well as providing the ability to network with amazing people, IMCC also provides an opportunity to present and gain constructive feedback on my work.
I recommend IMCC to scientists, policy makers, students, resource users, and conservation practitioners and would like to see more filmmakers, educators and marine technology experts attend to demonstrate innovative ways to communicate marine science.”
“I attended IMCC3 because IMCC2 was the most amazing, inspiring, energetic event I had ever attended with countless inspiring minds all ignited by the same passion. There is no other broadly focused conference solely based on marine conservation; these conferences are unique because they look at solutions to various issues rather than just present a problem.
It is also very important for me to see what mentors and peers are working on and learn of which tools they are using to address some of the issues. I was also very fortunate to meet some new amazing young scientists whom are now good friends, and hope to continue to watch their futures blossom in upcoming years and conferences.”
“The IMCC is a very well run conference with a great range of talks and workshops available to cater for many different interests. The main difference I found about IMCC compared to other conferences I’ve attended was the attention to an online presence with live screens highlighting the tweets and other social media activities which were being undertaken throughout the conference. Indeed, it was this conference which inspired me to create a Twitter account myself, in order to further disseminate my research, and share interesting facts I come across.
I can’t recommend enough the importance of attending a conference like IMCC, especially if you are an early career researcher. Networking is one of the most important things you can do in your early career. Getting to meet new people interested in your work and vice versa is invaluable. IMCC in particular is a great place to start [networking], due to its diversity and range of topics covered, giving you a broad grasp of the work being undertaken in marine conservation and the research associated with it.”
Big thank you to Megan Chen, Ben Thorne, Holly Niner, Mike Irvine, Aylin Ulman and Michael Sweet for taking the time to share these perspectives.
Marianne Teoh is Co-Chair of Communications at the 4th International Marine Conservation Congress. Follow her on Twitter @marianne_teoh