Ocean Educators Unite For Virtual Series

May 27, 2020

Ocean explorer and doctoral candidate Zoleka Filander will join a team of educators from the BZS, BIOS, and BUEI for the first episode of a new virtual education series called Ocean Diaries on Thursday [May 28] at 10.30am.

A spokesperson said, “Tomorrow morning [May 28th], ocean explorer and doctoral candidate Zoleka Filander will join a team of educators from the Bermuda Zoological Society [BZS], the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences [BIOS], and the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute [BUEI] for the first episode of a new virtual education series called Ocean Diaries. The series is a collaborative effort among the three organizations to bring the unique experiences of ocean explorers to Bermuda and beyond.”

Zoleka Filander Bermuda May 2020

“On April 22, 2020 many conservation-minded individuals and organizations came together for a very successful Earth Day Virtual Celebration, which was hosted by the BZS on the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo’s [BAMZ] Facebook page,” explains Dr Alex Amat, the BZS Youth Programme Coordinator.

“This collaboration made the message all the more powerful and it became apparent that there was a need for unity and a call for a virtual space to stay connected in this unusual situation. The seed for what would become Ocean Diaries was planted”.

“The series hosts will be joined by two young ocean ambassadors during the Facebook live event: budding roboticist Marseille Williams, a student at Clearwater Middle School, and BAMZ Junior Staff Tomasina Pearman, a student at Bermuda High School. We hope that our ocean ambassador co-hosts will continue to empower the next generation of explorers,” said Dr. Alex Amat.

“In times of crisis, it becomes clear just how important communication and collaboration are within our community,” said Kaitlin Noyes, director of education at BIOS. \

“When Bermuda’s young roboticists could not compete in our annual remotely operated vehicle [ROV] challenge this year, we wanted to find a way to connect students with researchers who could share information about their careers, as well as the challenges they face while studying our blue planet.”

Ocean Diaries Bermuda May 2020

“We are excited to be a part of this initiative and look forward to working on subsequent episodes with this team of educators,” said Julie Steele, head of education at BUEI. “There are so many careers in ocean science, and this is a great opportunity to hear the unique voices of leading researchers.”

A spokesperson said, “The first presenter in the series, Zoleka Filander, will speak on the topic ‘The More You Know, The More You Realize You Don’t Know, and the discussion will focus on how Filander came to find her chosen passion and how she utilizes specialized cameras to immerse us in the amazing world of the deep sea.

“Filander has a background in marine taxonomy and is an accomplished benthic ecologist with the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries in South Africa. She utilizes cutting edge ocean technology to understand the biodiversity of local waters, with an emphasis on classifying deep-water coral.

“Her research helps inform key policy decisions regarding marine spatial planning initiatives, such as the establishment of offshore marine protected areas. Filander is also an influential science communicator devoted to educating the public about the importance of conserving and managing ocean resources.

“The first episode can be viewed live on Thursday May 28th at 10:30am on the BAMZ Facebook page. Participants will have the opportunity to submit questions via Facebook during the live event.”

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