Today was a challenging day! We were practising and preparing for our education visit to a local polytechnic. Our plan is to share information about manta conservation in Komodo National Park and encourage them to become marine conservation champions themselves. But there is another objective too. Our education program will not only encourage the students to contribute to manta ray conservation, but is also a test of our ability to communicate and deliver information effectively.

During our preparations, the mentors taught us how to present the material in an engaging way, how to design our messages to suit the audience, and how to identify our key messages. We learned how to use images to complement our messages, to make it easier for the audience to understand our key messages.

To measure our success, we designed a pre- and post-training quiz to give to the participants. Our materials will focus on manta ray ecology and conservation, the Manta Ray Code of Conduct, and how to become a citizen scientist. If we deliver our training well, hopefully, the students will achieve higher scores after the training than before.

Corina gives a manta briefing with Divine Diving

Aside from our experiences in the classroom, one of us was in the field today. Corina’s task was to give a manta briefing to the tourists and to conduct a manta survey. She found 11 manta rays at Karang Makassar, 10 green turtles at Siaba Besar, and four Napoleon wrasse at Batu Bolong. With so much biodiversity in Komodo National Park, we can’t wait to share our experiences with the local students tomorrow.

Firmansyah Tawang

Firmansyah Tawang

Firmansyah is a student of marine science at Kutai Timur Agricultural College. He has worked with the Indonesia Biodiversity Research Center to investigate coral reef diversity, monitored turtle populations with the Natural Resources Conservation Center of Berau, and participated in whale shark conservation efforts with the German international development agency GIZ, WWF-Indonesia, and Whale Shark […]