The theme for this year’s EMSEA Conference revolves around the past and the future. As EMSEA is now a well-established and widely recognised Conference around Europe, we decided to take it a step further this year and challenge what we know and how we can use that to our benefit to grow, develop and build on this ever-increasing, active ocean literate community.
The idea is to focus on evaluating the impact of actions, projects and activities that have taken place since the first ever Conference on ocean literacy, in Bruges, in 2012. We want to look ahead to the future, and be part of the ‘the way forward’ for ocean literacy! We want to thereby explore and discuss the development of ocean literacy in Europe, how ocean literacy is being used within formal and informal education and, finally, is ocean literacy really affecting us and the society we live in?
Evaluating and measuring the impact of ocean literacy and seeing the results from around the world is also important as we can learn and develop new ideas or collaborate with our counterparts from around the globe.
Finally, in these crucial financial times, it is important to involve the private sector and the industry in such Conferences, meaning the different companies that create educational toys, children’s books and general learning material for kids and young adults for the marine environment. The industry, as such, is invited to join this Conference and present how their work is put together from the beginning to the end, also highlighting possible means of cooperation between educators, scientists and the educational/learning material industry.
Based on the above, two main sessions have been formulated, one on “Evaluation of Actions and Measured Impact” and the other one on “The Way Forward”. Both sessions are split into 2 parts, to make it easier to distinguish between “formal” and “informal” education.
Ocean Literacy: Evaluation of Actions and Measured Impact: a) Schools and b) Museums, Aquariums and Science Centres
This session focuses on the actions that have taken place so far, on the initiatives and activities that promote, advocate and advance ocean literacy worldwide. Examples range from the strong US Ocean Literacy Campaign that started more than 10 years ago to the launch of the EMSEA Conferences in Europe and all the efforts to ensure that ocean science concepts will be integrated in the science education curriculum.
EMSEA is continuously gaining support in Europe and beyond, however, it is time to pause, reflect and evaluate how far we have come and where we can go from here. It is time to evaluate past actions that have brought us here and use our lessons learned to shape the way forward and develop new ideas for the future of ocean literacy.
In this session, we therefore, expect to see abstracts that describe actions, activities and initiatives, particularly from Europe, that have measured their impact on the audiences for which they were planned. It is always important to know what the impact of an activity has been in order to be able to develop it further, or modify it for a stronger impact. We are inviting abstracts that not only describe the activities carried out but also the evaluation of these actions and their impact. In this way, we will have a clear picture of how ocean literacy has been, so far, perceived, by the target audiences of both formal and informal education.
The Way Forward: Innovative Methods of Promoting Ocean Literacy: a) Schools, Aquariums, Science Centres, Industry and b) Research Projects
Session 2 is focused on how we can best use all the knowledge we have collected to our advantage to move forward implementing ocean literacy in Europe. This session looks at innovative methods of how to best promote ocean literacy in any setting, including formal and informal education, and industry. The word ‘industry’ here could include companies responsible for children’s books, learning materials, educational toys, resources for school children and youth in general, ecotourism, recreation, and other related commercial ocean enterprises. Including industry could result in unique collaborations in Europe, that provide resources and capabilities that have not been attempted before.
Research projects dedicate a large part of their work on educational activities, sometimes even beyond project needs or resources. It is interesting to look at these activities and see how we can keep the momentum going as, too often, when a project ends all efforts fade and results from educational activities are not further used or taken up once funding has terminated. It is time that we work together and put all our knowledge, expertise and experience to good use, to formulate, discuss and put across a plan for European Ocean literacy.
At the end of both sessions, ample discussion time and a Concluding Remarks session will allow for comments and suggestions on how to work around these issues and on how to best use our knowledge, experience and resources for building and advancing the future of European ocean literacy.
Presentations will be 15 minutes long with an additional 5 minutes allocated for questions and discussion plus extra discussion time at the end of each session.
The poster session will take place at a time and place specifically allocated for the purpose of discussion, networking and fruitful dialogue among participants. Posters should be of A0 portrait format.
The call for abstracts has now closed.