Today is the first of four outreach events that Meg Burke, Lindzy Bivings and I will be leading all around the Batangas area. I’m nervous and excited about sharing about science, biodiversity, and sustainability for people on local communities in the Philippines!
Our first stop today is a training for about 60 teachers at the Puerto Galera National High School, not far from our dive resort. We’ve got a full day of action planned for the educators, including a coral sketching activity, examining a “habitat in a bucket”, doing a rapid trash assessment of the local area, meeting some of our scientists participating in the expedition, and showing off a few live specimens for them.
Last night, we collected several items from the beach to use during our outreaches, including a pailful of dead coral, some rocks with algae and small animals living on them, and a beautiful assortment of sea stars. It was a lot of fun just wading around in the water at night with flashlights looking for marine life. So many neat fish, eel, sea urchins, and more are active at night!
Over the next days we’ll be doing outreaches in the communities of Verde Island, San Pascual (200 participants!), and Lobo. I hear that we’ll have a mixture of teachers, students, local officials, and the general public. Should be really interesting!