Our intern Deb chats about why outreach is important in making a difference for sharks!
My name is Deb and I am an intern with the American Shark Conservancy. I’ve been learning with Hannah and ASC that one of the most important jobs of a scientist is public outreach. It’s something that I can admit to not realizing the importance of until I started really getting involved in the science community my freshman year of high school. The first event that I volunteered for with ASC is the 2nd Annual Stoked on Salt Ocean Conservation Day.
It was created to bring awareness to our ocean in efforts to preserve and protect it. There were 50 ocean/marine conservation groups (ASC being one of them) at this event. It was so much fun being able to interact with the public and answer questions on how we’re working to protect sharks and raise awareness of the issues that are occurring today.
Public outreach is such a big part of creating change because there is no good in conducting research or making new discoveries if the public is not aware that change needs to happen! The phrase “You don’t know what you don’t know” says it all! How can we preserve and protect the ocean if you don’t know that it’s in danger? That is why public outreach is so important! It’s also crucial to expose young children to public issues that can be addressed on a local level, because they’re our future scientists, anglers, law makers, etc! If children understand and know the importance of ocean conservation from a young age, then they could make a much bigger impact in their community! I’m very glad that I realized this at the beginning stages of my marine science career, because I can now be intentional with the way that I speak and reach out to the public, knowing that public outreach can go a very long way!
Keep an eye on our Facebook page for a schedule of our upcoming outreach events so you can come out, ask us questions, learn some fun stuff and support your local shark research organization!
~Deb A., ASC Intern