Category Archives: Marine Education

How oceans help fight Covid-19

There is no doubt that our health is intimately tied to the health of the earth and its’ oceans. According to UNESCO, our oceans not only help in the detection of COVID-19 but could also help combat it.

 

How oceans help detect Coronavirus

Bacteria found in the depths of the ocean are currently being used to carry out tests to detect the presence of COVID-19. The bacteria were identified years ago and have been used to diagnose other viruses such as AIDS and SARS.

 

How oceans could help treat Covid-19

 

 

In addition to diagnosis, many commonly used medicinal products already come from the ocean, including ingredients that help fight cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s and heart disease. The potential health benefits lie in the diversity of microbes found in the ocean’s hydrothermal vents. These are currently being researched as a potential treatment for Covid-19.

 

 

 

Our lives depend on healthy oceans (and a healthy planet) in many ways. Oceans cover nearly three quarters of the Earth’s surface; contain 97 per cent of the Earth’s water and support life on earth by providing oxygen and food to an astonishing range of ocean and non-ocean life.

 

 

How Can I Protect the Ocean?

Scientific research has concluded that we need to protect 30% of our blue planet by 2030 in order to safeguard the health of marine life and habitats. Yes, we need to put pressure on governments to take action and change policy but we can all do our bit to make a difference. In fact, working together we can all make a huge difference.

“Our actions over the next 10 years will determine the state of the ocean for the next 10,000 years.” Dr.Sylvia Earle, Marine Biologist & Conservationist

 

How you can take action to protect the ocean locally and internationally…

 

Local action to protect the ocean

 

  • Reduce your use of plastics: refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle
  • Reduce your carbon footprint and energy consumption: use public transport and turn off unnecessary appliances
  • Make sustainable seafood choices: check the label – is it ocean friendly?
  • Help take care of the beach: volunteer with an organisation such as Coolum Coast Care or simply pick up debris as you walk
  • Travel the ocean responsibly: be mindful of wildlife and never throw anything overboard
  • Campaign for change: support local campaign groups such as Coolum Coast Care and Great Barrier Reef Foundation to protect and rebuild marine areas
  • Educate yourself and your friends about oceans and marine life: the more you know, the more you’ll want to help ensure the health of the ocean – then share that knowledge to educate and inspire others.
Check out our program Marine Biologist for a Day 

International action to protect the ocean

Sign this petition telling world leaders that you want action to protect our oceans now!

10 Reasons Why We Depend On Our Oceans

Healthy, productive oceans are essential for food, jobs and economic growth. They also keep the planet cool – in more ways than one!

1. 50-70% of our oxygen – This oxygen comes from phytoplankton (tiny oceanplants that live close to the water’s surface and use sunlight and carbon dioxide to make food).

 

2. Absorption of carbon dioxide – About 30 per cent of carbon dioxide produced by humans is absorbed by our oceans, buffering the impacts of global warming.

3. Climate regulation – Oceans transport heat from the equator to the poles, regulating our climate and weather patterns.

4. Economic benefit and jobs for millions of people – Ocean-dependant businesses directly or indirectly employ over 200 million people worldwide.

5. Food for millions of people – Oceans serve as the world’s largest source of protein, with more than 3 billion people depending on the oceans as their primary source. Ingredients from the sea are found in surprising foods such as peanut butter and soymilk.

6. Breakdown and removal of waste and pollution

7. Marine transportation for world trade – Over two thirds of most developed countries’ trade involves some form of marine transportation.

8. The majority of life on earth – As over 70% of the Earth’s surface is underwater, it comes as no surprise that marine species outnumber those on land – an incredible 94 per cent of the Earth’s living species exist within the oceans.

9. Tourism, recreation and fun  – Fishing, boating, kayaking, diving, surfing and whale watching – the ocean provides us with many unique activities. Humans just love the beach and coastline!

10. Medicine: Many medicinal products come from the ocean, including ingredients that help fight cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease. The ocean is also an ally in fighting Covid 19.

 

 

How to become a Marine Biologist in Queensland

What is Marine Biology?

Marine biology is the study of ocean life – organisms and ecosystems in saltwater environments. Marine scientists study interactions between marine plants, marine animals and coastal areas and the atmosphere. Marine biology is a broad term which includes many specialisations.

What does a Marine Biologist do?

The job is research based, so research projects are the main focus (as well as ocean education). These involve collecting specimens at sea, compiling research data, and laboratory-based experiments. Research areas may include human impact on reef systems, migration patterns and the underwater ecosystem.

Where could I work?

Marine Biologists can work in many research and education specialisations. These include conservation and marine parks, fisheries and the fishing industry, planning and management, universities, museums, marine science institutions, power generation (sustainable please!), engineering and consulting government and industry.

Key responsibilities:

  • Developing, planning and carrying out experiments
  • Operating tracking technology, fishing nets, sonar and remotely operated vehicles.
  • Using specialist computer software to aid data interpretation
  • Writing research papers and reports.

Skills required

  • Patience and determination
  • Excellent problem-solving skills
  • Finding solutions to challenges whilst out on the ocean – sea legs required!
  • Practical skills – boat handling, scuba diving and first aid knowledge
  • Thorough attention to detail
  • Team working and interpersonal skills

Research Skills

Must be able to conduct successful research and complete a literature review, plan a research question, design the study, collect and analyse data and accurately publish results.

Teamwork

Marine Biologists rarely work alone. They therefore need to be able to work as part of a team and communicate well with everyone. Communication and coordination are key attributes.

Observation Skills

Marine Biologists spend extended periods of time observing and studying ocean life. Therefore, they need a passion for this in order to generate new ideas for research and understandings about how sea life works.

Analytical Skills

Excellent research means analysing in a new or insightful manner so Marine Biologists need to be able to decide which analytic methods would prove most useful to a particular set of data.

Qualifications required

A degree in marine science, biology, geology, ecology, oceanography or zoology is usually required, followed by a Masters to work in a research position. Many marine biologists collaborate with universities and also teach when not out working on research projects in the field, whilst others work for consultancies, coastal authorities, charities and aquariums.

Where can I study Marine Biology in Queensland?

  • University of Queensland
  • James Cook University
  • Griffith University
  • Southern Cross University (external studies)

Check out our fascinating Marine Biologist for A Day programs to get things rolling…