Every day of MIP-2018 has been interesting. We’ve learned new knowledge, and sometimes our minds have been blown! Our mentors have already given us a lot of easy tips and tricks to expand our abilities, to think more critically, and to elaborate our knowledge during the internship.
Today was our first time learning how to record our manta encounters and how to submit our data to MantaWatch Online. I found it very easy, and it is great that anyone can become a citizen scientist and help to support manta conservation. All we have to do is visit mantawatch.com/report, record our dive profile, and then add details about the marine wildlife and impacts that we saw. This data can be used by local stakeholders to support their conservation approaches.
Next we learned more about conservation communications and its role in changing behaviours. The most important point to remember is that we need to know our target audience, and tailor our key message to reflect our audience’s needs. This is an important tool to promote behaviour change that leads to real actions. One thing that I remembered about this session is to always think about our target audience and ask “what’s in it for them?” rather than “what’s in it for me?”.
At the end of the session we practiced how to make a press release. This was my first time creating a press release and it was great to learn how to simplify our information and make it concise. The mentors gave me lots of feedback on my first press release, and it inspired me to practice my writing more!
After a long day in class, we still had more learning to do! We met with Sofia, our PADI dive instructor. Over the past three days we’ve been reading the PADI Advanced Open Water manual, and learning about peak performance buoyancy, underwater navigation, deep diving, drift diving, and fish identification. Today we had to pass a knwoldge about peak performance buoyancy and underwater navigation, because tomorrow we will have our training dives! It’s going to be our first time into the water, and we’re all excited to see the marine wildlife and to start our Advanced Open Water course.
Are we going to meet the mantas underwater? We’ll let you know tomorrow.