Conservationists these days aren’t your stereotypical, Birkenstock-wearing, tree-hugging activists. We have evolved into so much more and the ZEP (zoox experience program) crowd is a perfect example of this. With so many different cultural and professional backgrounds ranging from British teachers, a Singaporean biotechnologist to a Dutch seaweed scientist we all share something in common and that is the love and passion for the marine world.
Which brings us here, Puerto Galera, Philippines where the Zoox office is based and where we have received our Green Fins training for the past two weeks. Our Zoox experience has so far been challenging but eye opening. With a strong background in science and research I have always been a passionate marine ecologist but always wanted to dip my toes in marine conservation. Zoox has allowed me to be able to do that. With that has come a huge understanding that scientific research and conservation essentially need to go hand in hand with an ever-changing climate. We have now surpassed doing research just for the sake of understanding how an organism or ecosystem works but now need to focus on looking at the bigger picture. Now the question needs to evolve into: How will an ecosystem change under the effects of climate change and how will we be able to conserve it?
And so, with a conservation state of mind I am absolutely looking forward to what the next 6 weeks will bring and what better company to be around than with fellow marine conservationists like me!