Virtual series to explore ocean depths

Source: The Royal Gazette

The first episode of Ocean Diaries went online this week as part of a collaboration between the Bermuda Zoological Society, the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences and the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute.

The series was designed to highlight ocean exploration to the island and the rest of the world.

Alex Amat, the BZS youth programme co-ordinator, said the series was planned after the three organisations collaborated on a virtual Earth Day event last month.

Dr Amat said: “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”.

Zoleka Filander, an ocean explorer and PhD candidate, will be the first presenter in the series.

Ms Filander, an ecologist with the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries in South Africa, uses cutting-edge technology to study biodiversity and is an expert in the classification of deepwater corals.

The series will also feature Marseille Williams, a pupil at Clearwater Middle School in St David’s and a budding roboticist, and Tomasina Pearman, a Bermuda High School pupil and BAMZ junior staff member.

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

“When Bermuda’s young roboticists could not compete in our annual remotely operated vehicle 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.”

Julie Steele, the BUEI head of education, added: “We are excited to be a part of this initiative and look forward to working on subsequent episodes with this team of educators.

“There are so many careers in ocean science and this is a great opportunity to hear the unique voices of leading researchers.”

• Episodes of Ocean Diaries will air live on the BAMZ Facebook page