So, what is OceansOnline?

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By Matt Tietbohl

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It’s Wednesday evening after the 4th International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC4). You have just spent a whirlwind of five days attending talks, catching up with old friends, and meeting new ones. You may have found new opportunities for collaboration and have certainly learned a lot about marine conservation research around the globe. But now that you have all this information, how will you use it? How can you share what you’ve learned with others so they might share the same appreciation you have for marine conservation? Enter the OceansOnline meeting.

To be held on on August 4thm immediately following IMCC4, OceansOnline is a whole day filled with facilitated discussions, workshops, and talks focused around using the internet as a valuable tool for science communication and research. Nearly every day, new platforms and technologies pop up that allow for improved communication and connection with people around the world. In this ever changing “online ecosystem”, it can be difficult to find the most effective ways to communicate your message. OceansOnline has been designed to bring together experienced people familiar with a variety of tools to engage in open discussions on how best to harness this power for marine conservation.

So, what better way to wrap up your trip to St. John’s than staying for an extra day to improve upon your science communication skills? Register now.

OceansOnline promises to be quite a different experience to IMCC. The day is full of hour-long facilitated discussions, plenary talks, and networking events. You are going to be part of something new and exciting. Schedule highlights are listed below.

Plenaries: Easkey Britton and Andrew David Thaler, will kick off the meeting. Easkey is an international champion surfer and marine social scientist. Co-founder of the non-profit Waves of Freedom, she works to use the transformative impact of surfing as a creative medium for social good and forging connections across cultures; in her speech, she will talk about surfing for social change and how to use the online world to turn moments to movements. Andrew is a science educator and deep sea ecologist who hosts underwater robotics workshops and is currently studying population bottlenecks in several shark species at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. He may be most famous for managing Southern Fried Science, one of the most popular marine science blogs on the web!

Facilitated Discussions: How can I use online “edutainment”? How do I engage fishermen in conservation via international link-ups? What’s a HappyWhale?  These are just some of the questions you can help to answer. Discussions will be facilitated by scientists, journalists, teachers, and conservation enthusiasts.

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(Photo: Karyn Traphagen) A facilitated discussion at ScienceOnline Oceans; the conference from which OceansOnline was born.

Workshops: Ever thought your work would make a great nature documentary? Always thought you’d be a podcaster the public would dig? Want to learn how to share your conservation success stories? There’s plenty of workshops for you.

Online Tools: The theme of IMCCs is “Making Marine Science Matter”. At OceansOnline you will receive instruction in how to use new technological tools to make your marine science matter.

The full conference program is now available. You can register for OceansOnline on the IMCC4 website. Prices start at just $75.

 


Matt Tietbohl (@MattTietbs47) is a masters student at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia where he is studying coral reef food webs. He is a member of the Communications Committee for SCBMarine and for IMCC4. He is the Oceans Online Communications Chair.

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