The second European Marine Science Educators Association conference, hosted by the University of Gothenburg in Sweden (pictured), is only few days away and everything is starting to fall into place to welcome the 130 participants from 22 countries.
EMSEA14 delegates come from a broad professional horizon; project managers, researchers in marine sciences or in education sciences, leaders of funding agencies, and educators of all kinds. We are delighted to count about 35 teachers participating in this event and even some students who will have the opportunity to present the work they have been conducting in school!
This community is gathering to speed up the transition to a more ocean literate society where European citizens understand the influence the ocean has on them and their own influence on the ocean and are able to take responsible decision accordingly. But the task is not easy. Marine education stakeholders have to deal with a vast number of languages and many social, cultural, and political differences. Moreover, European formal education includes various schools system and a plethora of school curricula where marine science related topics are excluded.
In that respect, European marine education needs an effective transformation and stronger international connection in order for marine educators to feel more supported, engaged, and equipped for the task to make European citizens more ocean literate.
EMSEA, founded on this vision three years ago by Evy Copejans, Fiona Crouch, and Géraldine Fauville, takes its inspiration from the tremendous work accomplished by NMEA in the United States and aims at writing a similar marine education success story in Europe.
If you have already attended a NMEA conference, EMSEA14, a three-day conference, would feel like home to you. We have organized three presentation sessions dealing with marine education: in outreach, in school curriculums, and in aquariums and museums. Three workshops in smaller groups will also take place to facilitate the exchange of ideas, discussions, and foster collaboration between participants. Approximately 30 posters will be displayed and in addition those submitting posters will have the opportunity to give a one-minute presentation to introduce delegates to their work.
All good conferences include social events as well, and delegates will be invited to enjoy some wine and local seafood at the Maritime Museum and Aquarium. During the evening delegates will be able to wander around the museum and go behind-the-scenes of the aquarium and visit the research labs. The conference dinner will take place in one of the best fish restaurants in Gothenburg, which combines top-class cooking with in-depth knowledge of marine products.
Finally, the last day will be dedicated to the field trips. Participants can choose from three options: a visit to the University of Gothenburg’s marine station located at the mouth of the Gullmar Fjord, the only true Swedish fjord (pictured); a behind-the-scene visit of the largest Scandinavian science discovery center, the Universeum; or a visit to the sailing high schools where students spend a total of six months on the school ship T/S Gunilla.
On behalf of the organizing committee, I would like to warmly welcome all the NMEA members to EMSEA14. For those of you who cannot get across the big pond, don’t despair, you can follow @EMSEA_news and participate in the conference using the hashtag #EMSEA14 on Twitter or join our Facebook group here >
Looking forward to seeing you in Gothenburg!
Géraldine Fauville, Chair of EMSEA14