Concern for the world’s seas and oceans has never been greater. Until now it was often taken for granted – continuously feeding us, sometimes a distant battleground, dividing countries and covering a vast percentage of the planet. Now our maritime future is under threat often because of mis-use and abuse. Whilst it can seem that the world does not care – we know that many individuals do care a lot and are involved in the study of marine life.
The Conservation Foundation’s Marine Lives project will help projects which are involving people who care in the seas and on coastlines around us.
This year the Foundation provided travel bursaries for 28 young turtle scientists and workers from the US, Canada, South America, Africa, Caribbean, Europe and South East Asia to attend the 39th International Sea Turtle Symposium held in Charleston, South Carolina in February.
Here are some comments and reports received from them:
“Travel grants are a huge help for students, especially when paying for flights from Australia. My PhD project is investigating how moisture during incubation influences different traits in hatchlings. I learned about a new technique for determining the sex of hatchlings and has inspired a lot of ideas for future projects.
“A key thing for me when attending this conference is building a network of colleagues (and friends) that I regularly chat to and discuss new ideas/techniques with. I am hoping to travel to Hawaii in the middle of this year to utilise some data collected and I would never have had that opportunity if I wasn't at the symposium.
“As member of an NGO in Venezuela, my participation allowed me to contact researchers and potential future co-workers from universities, NGOs, and other environmental entities. I co-chaired the Socio-Economic and Culture studies session, received academic formation during a couple of workshops (Global Male Sea Turtle Initiative and Physiology of nesting turtles), I will remember this meeting as one of the most intense and academic prosperous academic meetings that I have participated. Getting together with key-people is vital to me as a leader of conservation initiatives in Latin America.
“Our society based in Uruguay is international, reaching all corners of the planet, fomenting the participation of turtle professionals and students in our activities. Today’s great economic inequality means that for many colleagues from economically undeveloped countries it is practically impossible to attend international events. To be able to meet and talk with my heroes, access project finance, present ideas and conservation problems that other colleagues may not have detected yet. Developing bi-national programs such as monitoring of satellite transmitters, inspire and motivate me to continue growing.