Islands and seas is changing the way science, adventure and education come together to create positive change in some of the most amazing places on earth!
Islands and seas, land and ocean, banks and rivers: the intersection of water and land is a special place and an invaluable resource to the plants, animals and humans who depend on them for survival.
Islands and Seas is building a network of small, independent research stations and facilities on islands and shores where humans can make a difference in the conservation of the unique natural resources they depend on, know, and love.
Our model pairs discovery tourism, scientific research, and sustainable development partners by using education as a tool for benefitting the local and global communities that visit and live in the special places we love.
We want to change the world.
About This Cause
Islands and Seas is creating a network of small field stations worldwide. These dual purpose stations:
serve as a research facilities for scientists working in the area
are centers for science and environmental education
The locations for our field stations are selected because they are in or near ecologically unique and sensitive areas of the world. These areas meet the following criteria: proximity to ecosystems with high levels of endemic organisms and/or unique geological formations; proximity to local communities; on or near islands, shores, and coasts.
We believe that as scientists and educators, we should strive for minimal impact on the environments we work in. The design for our field stations has a carbon minimal footprint, and are built using local resources, a small footprint, are unobstrusive in the environment, harness green energy for power, and reuse greywater.
Our research vessel is the only sailboat in the world dedicated to the study of coastal and island ecosystems. It is one of very few research vessels in existence with the specific goal of accessing shallow coastal ecosystems while not disturbing these environments. This research vessel will act as a floating “discovery laboratory”, providing virtually carbon-free island and shore access for researchers in a fiscally tangible way, allowing them to enter parts of the world that are normally inaccessible because of financial or logistical constraints.
These facilities serve as a base-station for scientists wishing to conduct research in the areas surrounding our research station. Our sites have been carefully selected because of their unique surroundings, and the creation of research facilities will stimulate much needed research. A more complete knowledge of the ecosystems, will lead to a better understanding of their importance, and thus lead to increased protection. Islands and Seas will facilitate research to whatever extent possible, and maintains dedicated spaces for laboratory work and specimen preparation. Additionally, our facilities help researchers with finding competent guides, connecting with relevant permitting agencies, and creating outreach programs.
Our research vessel is available to the scientific community at large for research projects. Projects are proposed by researchers and reviewed via a system that is expert-reviewed to ensure safety, feasibility, and responsible research methods for all the research projects taking place aboard.
Science and Education Centers
The activities of our educational centers focus on two categories: local education and education of the global community.
Our local education programs are designed to create environmental stewards who will make decisions about the sustainability and practices of their community. We are enabling citizens to make informed and educated decisions about development that has direct impacts on the unique environments they live in. This is achieved through: field-based education programs for school children, research apprenticeships for teenagers, and field guide training programs for young adults. By emphasizing the value of ecotourism and training local communities to become informed and effective ecotourism business owners and proprietors, we hope to encourage sustainable development where the environment is seen as a resource for economic growth.
Our global education programs focus on place-based science and adventure education. These programs provide rich and engaging opportunities for the global community to learn about the wonderful places we are working in. These “discovery tourism” trips focus on combining adventure with education for example: art and science, surfing and coastal ecosystems, sailing and cetacean education and observation. Additional programs are specifically targeted at undergraduate students from local and U.S. universities provide short courses for students on the ecosystems we are working in, opportunities to participate directly in scientific research projects, and service learning projects for conservation and education.