[Coral-List] Don't be Such a scientist

Billy Causey billy.causey at noaa.gov
Tue Jan 3 17:11:57 EST 2012

Gregor ....
These are all great comments.  I responded to Wes Tunnell's posting before
seeing what you had written.  I agree with the outreach value of such TV
stories.  All the while, we can't drop our guard on the major impacts
affecting coral reefs .... climate change, land-based sources of pollution,
habitat loss and destruction and overfishing. But when we visit and observe
relatively healthy coral reefs, we should glean the positive messages to
get out to the public.  Thanks for your comments.  Happy New Year!  Billy

On Wed, Dec 28, 2011 at 11:05 AM, Gregor Hodgson <gregorh at reefcheck.org>wrote:

> David Guggenheim is to be congratulated for getting a major TV program like
> 60 minutes to focus on coral reefs with an initial viewership of over 18
> million Americans that can now be viewed online throughout the world.
> Helping to create a TV program like this takes a huge amount of time and
> effort and resources. Getting a celebrity like Anderson Cooper underwater
> is
> a major accomplishment because he will be talking about this experience for
> many years.
> The biggest problem facing coral reefs today continues to be the lack of
> awareness among the general public regarding how messed up coral reefs are
> and that the causes are anthropogenic I.e. fixable. David did a nice job of
> simplifying this message and this will help generate more support for coral
> reef science/ conservation efforts that are so desperately needed and
> continue to be so poorly funded.
> The underfunding of coral reef science and conservation is a reflection of
> the lack of support among the general public and politicians regarding the
> importance of this issue. The total annual funding for coral reef work
> globally wouldn¹t even pay for one beach resort in Cuba, one cruise ship or
> one high-rise office building in a major city.
> For those scientists who continue to want to nitpick ‹ I strongly suggest
> that you read the excellent book by our colleague Randy Olson on why
> scientists are such poor communicators and how we can learn to do better.
> http://www.dontbesuchascientist.com/
> We no longer have Jacques Yves Cousteau who was a magician at bringing the
> ocean and coral reefs into the living rooms of the average family at a time
> when there were three major TV stations. In an age of hundreds of
> TV/internet channels,  we all need to try our best to better communicate
> the
> importance and urgency of the global decline of coral reefs and that we
> need
> more help to reverse this. We are winning some battles but losing the war..
> Gregor Hodgson, PhD
> Executive Director
> Reef Check Foundation
> PO Box 1057 (mail)
> 17575 Pacific Coast Highway (Fedex)
> Pacific Palisades, CA 90272 USA
> T: +1 310-230-2371 or 2360
> Gregorh at reefcheck.org
> Skype: gregorh001
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Billy D. Causey, Ph.D.
Regional Director
Southeast Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Region
NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
33 East Quay Road
Key West, Florida 33040

Office:  305 809 4670 (ex 234)
Mobile: 305 395 0150
Fax:     305 293 5011
Email:  Billy.Causey at noaa.gov

Will Our Grandchildren Remember Us For What We Conserved and Protected or
For What We Let Slip Away?

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