[Coral-List] Educating the masses (Didier Thomas and Virginie Fruh: ekolibrium.org)

Virginie Fruh eko at ekolibrium.org
Mon Aug 11 14:55:31 EDT 2008

Dear all, Some time ago, Didier and I wrote to the coral-list as a request
for feedback regarding what you may all think about gathering information on
ecological research and placing it on one central website. Some of you spoke
of a research blog, some of you spoke of hammers and screw drivers, well, we
have the tool kit you're looking for! Hammer? Screw driver? Free open source
articles, finally! All can be available through the ekolibrium toolkit, what
we need now is your help to help us start centralizing the information here!

We have a lot to say but don't want to monopolize the coral list, so we'll
be as brief as possible. If you would like more information about
ekolibrium's functions, feel free to email us.

Seeing the thread of emails concerning the education of the masses, and
having received many emails from you to establish collaborations, we have
decided to go ahead and found ekolibrium. The foundation aims at precisely
what everyone has been talking about: gathering, encouraging, and exchanging
ecological information in a way which is useful, free, and which prevents
everyone from reinventing the wheel. Time is ticking indeed, and we are now
preparing to provide what you need to make it all happen. A toolkit, and a
search engine, the research blog you mentionned, all in one where all
information can be viewed, and worked with in an easy and structured manner
for everyone, including the usual forums, discussions, you name it.

The foundation is founded, and the website is undergoing construction.
Obviously, the complexity of the project means this will take some time to
implement, but we could happily start an online research blog on our website
to start with.

Right now, the website idea is based on portfolios where each individual or
association can edit their own information related to ecological
information: posters, result of what works and what doesn't work (just as
important to prevent reinventing the wheel) in the form of text and
graphics, open source publications, symposiums, etc. We aim at marine
conservation as well as other areas of ecology, in view of making
interdisciplinary communication. New projects, projects already running,
equipment to sell, vacancies,  links etc, are going to be the information
that can be freely viewed by anyone through a search engine provided on the
website. This website will also include the usual groups, forums, and other
interactive tools we currenlty see today, but it will more working as a
desktop tool with new ideas and interactive web-based tools we haven't seen
before, that can allow users to become more efficient in their day to day
work. Imagine an ecological search engine with google earth integration,
where we can easily pinpoint where research is under way, and where it is
lacking. Ekolibrium will be accessible to all for free, in which hobbyists,
amateurs, students, kids, universities, research centers, industries,
journalists, investors, producers, and more, will find their interest in the
field of ecology. We will give the opportunity to users to add citations to
their peer-reviewed articles, but because we find this financial restriction
to articles to be really limiting in today's advance in ecology, ekolibrium
can become a place for open source publication of articles. We will indeed
look to link to existing entities who take care of such things, again, to
take advantage of everyone's skills and waste a minimum of time.  We'd also
like to see links to databases for raw data and processing of semantic data,
as we are currently working in collaboration with Rainbow Warriors
International on this subject.

This is just an introduction to ekolibrium, but we wish to spread the news
that we will gladly take on the challenge of reuniting all of you and your
research, views, dreams, and thoughts on making this world an easier place
for everyone! We will gladly persue this communication with anyone
intersted, here on coral-list or on our email address: eko at ekolibrium.org .
We will gladly respond with enthusiasm and action!

Please, feel free to comment what your needs are and how you can imagine the
website become a useful tool.

Furthermore, we'd appreciate your feedback, helping us to create a
substantial back up to present in our grant seeking process.

Ekolibrium has been latelty invited to a radio/internet interview (Radio
Francophone Internationale) to send out the word. If you'd like us to add
anything in this interview, also feel free to tell us. Next step, we will
contact some journalists involved in the Ecology industry.

Yours truly,

Didier and Virginie
PS: Please, feel free to forward this message.

On Fri, Aug 8, 2008 at 6:00 PM, <coral-list-request at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>wrote:

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> Today's Topics:
>   1. Utilization of the internet to educate the public about coral
>      reefs (Emily Vuxton)
>   2. connecting to the masses (Shanee.Stopnitzky at sce.com)
>   3. Educating the Masses (Lucy Marcus) (Lucy Marcus)
>   4. recent MPA survey, Philippines (Marga McElroy)
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message: 1
> Date: Thu, 7 Aug 2008 13:12:48 -0400 (EDT)
> From: Emily Vuxton <emilyvux at ufl.edu>
> Subject: [Coral-List] Utilization of the internet to educate the
>        public  about coral reefs
> To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> Message-ID:
>        <292772295.42481218129168687.JavaMail.osg at osgjas02.cns.ufl.edu>
> Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed; charset=us-ascii
> Hello Coral-listers,
> Recent posts about you tube have made me start thinking about the
> power of the internet to spread coral reef awareness. Recent CNN
> articles about "armchair astronomers"
> (http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/space/08/07/space.discovery/index.html)
> tell about the Galaxy Zoo project, launched last year by Yale
> University astrophysicist Kevin Schawinski and Chris Lintott at
> the University of Oxford in England (http://www.galaxyzoo.org/).
> The project invited volunteers from around the world to help
> categorize galaxies from the comfort of their own home after
> viewing a brief online tutorial. Last year, 150,000 people
> submitted over 50 million classifications.
> "We were overwhelmed by the response. It completely melted the
> server," Schawinski told CNN. "People tell us it's addictive. Some
> of [the volunteers] are professional astronomers, but most of them
> are not. They're just regular people who got excited about the
> project."
> Why do I wish to draw your attention to this? More and more people
> are using the internet to learn about new subjects and connect to
> the world around them. Public service announcements and news paper
> articles certainly get our message out, but if we want the public
> to truly connect to the mission of saving the world's coral reefs,
> we should invite them to get involved, on a personal level.
> Organizations like Reef Check have already recognized this, but
> for those people who are unable to dive, visit, or even see coral
> reefs we should provide an online option that would let them get
> involved. So many people are internet savvy nowadays and would
> prefer to spend their time surfing the web making a difference
> (you can see this through the success of sites like
> www.goodsearch.com). Why not provide them with an opportunity to
> surf (the virtual wave) and save coral reefs?
> As for using you tube to post videos from ICRS, I think you'd be
> surprised at the wide range of videos that people watch on that
> site. Students alone are used to watching classes online: watching
> ICRS talks would not be that big of a difference. If they were
> posted, as well, professors and educators could integrate them
> into their lectures and classroom lesson plans. If we wish to be
> successful in our mission of educating the public, we should
> utilize all mediums that are currently available.
> Emily Vuxton
> Undergraduate, Department of Zoology, University of Florida
> ------------------------------
> Message: 2
> Date: Thu, 7 Aug 2008 11:02:33 -0700
> From: Shanee.Stopnitzky at sce.com
> Subject: [Coral-List] connecting to the masses
> To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> Message-ID:
>        <OFEC9A5B7D.459FD19D-ON8825749E.0059D7CF-8825749E.00631C6D at sce.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"
> Hi all,
> Educating the masses is an issue of pop culture. Let's establish a
> charitable organization, a Marine Marketing Trust, with a board made up of
> professionals who are mostly from the entertainment industry (of course
> these are the most successful educator of the masses - in this US),
> including ad agency creative directors, agents, film producers and other
> people whose business it is to make things appeal to the masses. Many of
> these people are looking for a cause and are able to donate small amounts
> of time and significant expertise, including the power to get lots of free
> or heavily discounted advertising. This is not a job for scientists! As
> far as I can tell, there are two primary ways that information is
> delivered to the masses: by one charismatic spokesperson who gains
> popularity by luck, or by an army of people who will be fired if what
> they're selling doesn't sell. It is these people who know how to fundraise
> on large scales, pull strings and make the public buzz. With the right
> team of people proposing it, it would even be possible to merge the two
> and create a celebrity devoted to ocean issues.
> The decline of ocean resources and coral reefs is itself a charismatic
> issue - they are adored throughout the world and most people in the US
> would be happy to  make small 'sacrifices' to make the fish happy again.
> There are plenty of examples of public consciousness radically changing
> patterns of consumption. The broad public is receptive, just hard to
> reach. They can be reached by using people who have reached them
> before...Gore's people, Obama's people, The Dark Knight's people, Jacques
> Cousteau's functional equivalent - a poetic, creative person who shows how
> humans relate to, reflect on and have adventures in the marine envionment,
> etc.
> Yes, these types of campaigns cost a lot, but I think there are only a
> handful of people on this list, if that, who know what that cost actually
> is. There are many organizations that fundraise on the scale needed, it is
> NOT out of reach. I have been to quite a few 'industry' charity
> fundraisers and the way funding happens would be as revolting to most of
> you as it was to me, but it does happen. The question isn't whether it can
> be done because there is plenty of evidence to suggest that it can, the
> questions are what message is most important? Who will do it? Will it
> undermine the work of others? Is this the best way to spend money?
> (Of course this is a separate but related exercise to local outreach,
> which is absolutely vital).
> I think this is in the off-topic realm, so please reply off-list.
> Best,
> Shanee
> ------------------------------
> Message: 3
> Date: Thu, 7 Aug 2008 15:23:04 -1000
> From: "Lucy Marcus" <lucymarcus at gmail.com>
> Subject: [Coral-List] Educating the Masses (Lucy Marcus)
> To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> Message-ID:
>        <e4ab14130808071823r3fa2c1cfj6b672037fac2e379 at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=WINDOWS-1252
> *Educating the Masses*
> I was very inspired by the talks at ICRS bravo to the speakers, presenters
> and organizers!  I wanted to join the discussion on educating the masses by
> encouraging marine scientists to get their message out there in as many
> forms as possible: speak at other environmental conferences, add
> information
> to new books and magazines, create educational videos and record radio
> podcasts.  I feel encouraged that so many activists, authors and
> environmental groups are already taking on the responsibility of educating
> the masses about climate change, and they are already presenting the
> information in many forms. We just need to support and join them!  Here are
> some ideas:
> ICRS could use a similar model to share the talks with more people by using
> ideas from the environmental *Bioneers Conference*
> http://www.bioneers.org/where talks are simultaneously broadcast in 18
> cities across the US.
> http://beaming.bioneers.org/
> 'Each October in San Rafael, CA, the Bioneers Conference convenes leading
> social and scientific innovators to share stories, present model solutions
> and network with each other. Beaming Bioneers Satellite partners receive a
> simultaneous broadcast of the Conference plenary talks and complement them
> with locally produced workshops, tours and activities tailored to the needs
> of specific bioregions.'
> Some of this years marine advocates speaking at Bioneers include Alexandra
> Cousteau, and Wallace J. Nichols Senior Scientist at Ocean Conservancy.
> Every past Bioneers conference is also available on radio podcasts, and
> perhaps ICRS could have something similar.
> http://www.bioneers.org/radioseries/2008
> Every August the innovative conference *Sol Fest*
> http://www.solarliving.org/display.asp?catid=17  shares information about
> alternative energy and solar power.  'The mission of the Solar Living
> Institute is to promote sustainable living through inspirational
> environmental education'.  This conference shares an amazing wealth of
> information on green energy technology, sustainable living, building, and
> farming.
> So many NGO's are making a huge impact: *Rainforest Action Network *(RAN)
> http://ran.org/campaigns/   'runs hard-hitting campaigns to break
> America's
> oil addiction, reduce our reliance on coal, protect endangered forests and
> Indigenous rights, and stop destructive investments through education,
> grassroots organizing and nonviolent direct action.'
> There also are some inspiring books recently published about innovative
> solutions for Climate Change. I found this one in the Airport when leaving
> ICRS and it really gave me hope:
> *The Plot to Save the Planet:*  How Visionary Entrepreneurs and Corporate
> Titans Are Creating Real Solutions to Global Warming
> http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl/9780307406187.html
> By Brian Dumaine
> 'The Plot to Save the Planet is an illuminating look at the "conspiracy" to
> make green technology the Silicon Valley of the twenty-first century?the
> creator of massive numbers of jobs and huge amounts of wealth.'
> 'Suddenly, the ugly mudslinging between environmentalists and big business
> has abated, and these two previously opposed forces are now strange
> bedfellows in a race to head off climate change.'
> Another inspiring book:
> *Earth: the Sequel*    http://earththesequel.edf.org/book
> By Fred Krupp and Miriam Horn of the Environmental Defense Fund
> 'The high-stakes race is on. The competitors are the smartest minds in
> America. And the prize will be the biggest explosion of wealth ever
> witnessed.'
> 'This book is about the people who will solve the climate crisis and create
> wealth at the same time. It is about the minds that will save the planet,
> and what we can do to help them.'
> 'Earth: The Sequel asks of us that we as a nation let them compete fairly
> in
> the world's biggest business. We can avert the crisis, make the planet
> safe,
> and beat the climate challenge.'
> Check out this great intro video with interviews of "Earth: the Sequel's"
> featured environmentalists.
> http://earththesequel.edf.org/trailer
> In order to communicate to the public, I have combined my background in
> marine biology with creating science documentary videos.  I hope to getting
> the word out about scientific research and inspire viewers to care about
> the
> environment.  Videos are a powerful tool that can reach a wide audience and
> disseminate information in concise visual medium; information that may
> previously have only been available at conferences and in journals.
> Educational videos can be played at film festivals, be posted on websites
> and be screened in classrooms to provide students and the public with
> meaningful, scientifically rigorous information.
> *San Francisco Ocean Film Festival* and the *Santa Barbara Film Festival*.
> http://www.oceanfilmfest.org/
> http://www.ocean.com/index.asp?LocationID=311&CatId=311
> Other science filmmakers like the *Wild Classroom*,
> http://www.thewildclassroom.com/home/nav/pastvideos.html  make field
> research projects into great educational classroom videos.
> I hope some of you will be inspired with the messages of positive change in
> these various media, and realize that we are not alone in our quest to keep
> our Earth's climate stable and protect the reefs we love.
> Cheers, Lucy
> Lucy Marcus MSc
> Kailua, HI
> Email: lucymarcus at gmail.com
> ------------------------------
> Message: 4
> Date: Thu, 7 Aug 2008 19:35:52 -0400
> From: Marga McElroy <margamcel at hotmail.com>
> Subject: [Coral-List] recent MPA survey, Philippines
> To: <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
> Message-ID: <BAY103-W37C1111B63D7B613763843B0750 at phx.gbl>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
> Greetings
> we have been trying to contact Dr. Douglas Fenner regarding some questions
> arising from a recent coral survey.  We have made observations of coral
> whitening in irregular patterns of patches & spots.  We do not know if it is
> bleaching, white line disease or some other.  Can send pictures or post them
> somewhere.
> "Marga"
> Marguerite  K. McElroy
> U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer
> Campaclan, Sibulan 6201
> Negros  Oriental
> Philippines
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