Environment

Recruiting the next generation of ocean explorers

Sky Ocean Rescue and National Geographic have teamed up to find the next generation of ocean heroesSunday, 15 April 2018

By Kieren Puffett

A major search is underway for the next generation of ocean explorers.

National Geographic Society and Sky Ocean Rescue have joined forces to identify the next wave of talent who are looking to run projects that can highlight the issues surrounding ocean health.

The partnership is offering eligible, early career explorers funding and support to run marine-based projects and the opportunity to become ambassadors for Sky Ocean Rescue. This includes working with the successful grantees to help capture their work, share the outcomes of their projects and raise awareness of the issues surrounding ocean health.

With our oceans facing numerous challenges and threats including climate change, pollution, coastal development, unsustainable fishing practices, threats to biodiversity and microplastics, there has never been a more important time to highlight the need to protect our oceans and marine life.

That is why the Sky Ocean Rescue/National Geographic partnership is particularly looking to reward projects that are unique, innovative and develop technology that advances ocean exploration or protection.

The equivalent of five grocery bags of plastic trash for every foot of coastline spills into the oceans annually. Here, on a remote island in the Caribbean Sea, discarded bottles, wrappers, and straws wash ashore and cover the beach.

There are three awards available to scholars who are working on projects concerning issues affecting ocean health. The early career explorers will also need to demonstrate how their work will advance humankind’s knowledge of the ocean and the challenges it currently faces.

To be eligible students need to hold citizenship or be permanent residents in Italy, Ireland, Germany, Austria or the UK, and that’s why preference will be given to projects that are focused on the North Sea, North Atlantic and Mediterranean.

The grants programme has drawn applications from a variety of students hoping to be one of the awardees. The process is nearing its conclusion with the three award winners to be announced at a major event in Rome, Italy on April 16. The award winners’ projects are due to take place later in the year.

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