Our education philosophy: Science is cool, nature is amazing – pass it on!
The communities where we work have told us again and again that we must work with the kids above all to support a healthier ocean in the future. The adults tell us they wish they had known what we are teaching them much earlier.
In response to this, we have been offering workshops, presentations, and field trips to the community since 2014. We also share our research discoveries every day on a calendar and map in the village where we work and online.
Informal learning opportunities are often where the magic happens. Our entire research team is hosted by local families in the village where we work and live. The most important quality of our team members is that they be diplomatic ambassadors for nature and sensitive, passionate educators. Teachers and scientists are the ones who get to know their subject best and end up caring about it the most. As a result, we train our local village team members to give good presentations, to develop public speaking skills and to collect accurate, rigorous data and follow it through from collection to distribution so that they stay connected to the powerful impacts a scientific study can have. It is very powerful for a group of village kids to attend a marine biology presentation given by one of their neighborhood fishermen, who teaches them amazing information about the marine wildlife of Guerrero.
Ultimately, we hope to cultivate a community ethos of stewardship in the community through our participatory research. The messages are: Nature is amazing and worth protecting for many reasons and If you take care of nature, nature will take care of you!”