By Sam Andrews
Sam is a marine conservation biologist and ecologist currently based in Newfoundland. When she is not engaged in marine science communication, she can be found studying fisheries management at The Marine Institute, and preparing for her upcoming PhD at Memorial University of Newfoundland looking at marine protected area network design for Atlantic Canada with a focus on connectivity. You can follow her work here.
Here at CaNOE we have a fantastic blog that tells the stories of CaNOE members—the experiences they have had, the outreach they have done, and plans for the future. The success of the blog lies very much with the contributions of CaNOE members. We have had some fantastic contributions already, but we would love to have more. Why should you write a blog post you ask? Here are just five reasons why.
1. Fame and fortune could be yours!
Could you be as famous as The Simpsons? Credit: worldsurfr/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Well, fame maybe… Well, fame among CaNOE members at least…
Actually, the blog is currently open-access, which means its reach goes beyond our fabulous members. Not only can you share your post widely, but it can appear in your favourite internet search engine too. We also share blog posts on our social media channels and in our monthly members’ newsletter, SPLASHmail.
2. Your work and your experiences are special
Here in Canada we are blessed with a dedicated group of people who are working hard to ensure that Canadians know about and care about the ocean—and crucially become good ocean stewards. The people who make up this group come from all sorts of different backgrounds and cultures, are engaged in ocean literacy in different ways, and are faced with unique situations. By sharing your experiences and plans, you can help us all grow and improve our outreach.
3. You did some ocean education and it went brilliantly… or not…
Here at CaNOE we believe that by learning about other people’s experiences—good and bad—we can better work towards our common goals. Perhaps you have organised an event, been invited to a school group, or created a video or a song to convey some message about the ocean. Done something else? Great! We want to hear all about it. If it didn’t work out as expected, that’s just as good as the ‘perfect’ story. We all find ourselves in challenging situations—by learning from each other we can work through them. And who knows, perhaps someone will read your post and have a great suggestion for you for the future.
Celebrating a success? Jump on the beach! Something didn’t go to plan? Jump on the beach! (honestly, it makes you feel better). Credit: flowcomm/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
4. You have an upcoming event, or other form of outreach that totally amazing and you’re bursting to tell everyone about it
Congratulations on getting something off the ground! We all love to hear about the amazing things coming up. We don’t accept advertorial-style pieces on the blog (you can submit event information for our SPLASHmail), but are more than happy to hear about your plans in the form of a story. Story-telling is a great way to get your message across. It can engage the reader emotionally and really get them excited about your project. A few ideas to help you get started (but feel free to do something else): you could tell us what you hope to achieve; why you chose to do what you are doing; your own experiences, the experiences of others (especially if you have done whatever you are doing, before), and the changes they have made.
5. You are an inspiration—yes, really!
Perhaps you have a story you want to tell that can help and inspire others—even if you don’t think it’s all that inspirational yourself (we are a modest bunch after all). There are plenty of people who want to get involved in ocean literacy, and plenty others looking for opportunities to participate in ocean literacy events, or just learn about the ocean. Your post can help them on their journey.
Who doesn’t find a dolphin playing inspirational? You could be that dolphin… metaphorically speaking… Credit: Bryce Bradford/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
So now you’re thinking about writing something…
If you are thinking about writing a blog post – even if it is just an idea at this point, please get in touch with me, Sam Andrews, via email: s-andrews[at]live[dot]ca (don’t forget to replace the characters in between the  – they have been removed here to prevent potential spam). Remember no idea is a silly idea—and who knows what your post could lead to!