Oceanswell offers immersive introductory marine conservation field courses once a year to inspire and educate the next generation of local ocean heroes. The structured trip provides students with an opportunity to learn more about marine conservation through classes and hands-on experiences. This immersive experience is led by our founder, executive director, National Geographic Explorer and Adjunct Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia, Dr. Asha de Vos, who brings her experience in marine conservation to guide and inspire you.
The inaugural marine conservation field course made possible by the Students Rebuild project of the Bezos Family Foundation, and Ocean Collectiv took place over three days in June 2019 in Nilaveli, off the north-east coast of Sri Lanka. The excursion brought together a diverse group of 11 Sri Lankan students from both local and international universities, who share a common love for the ocean. The students went dolphin-watching, learnt how to estimate population sizes, and how to spot species at sea. They experienced close encounters with a range of species in coral reefs including colourful parrotfish, reef sharks, turtles and crown-of-thorns starfish, while snorkeling off Pigeon Island. They also experienced, first hand some of the threats faced by these reefs – bleaching and by species at sea – unregulated tourism. These observations were later unpacked in beachy classrooms along with a range of activities that taught students research techniques and skills such as photo identification.
The course is aimed at Sri Lankan university students who are passionate about marine conservation. If you fall under this category and would like to get into the field, keep your eyes peeled for our next call for applicants which will be posted on our social media and website.
Some quotes from participants –
“I enjoyed the lectures, Asha’s passion in delivering them and the discussions that followed.”
“Enjoyed every bit of a second. But the most is snorkeling and whale watching. Incredible experiences and knowledge.”
“The best field course to attend.”