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For the first time, Master’s students organise conferences on climate change, ocean pollution and marine resources conservation for the local community in Northern France

Published on: Fri, 18/02/2022 - 14:17
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    Students of the new Master’s degree in Marine Ecology and Fisheries of the Littoral Côte d’Opale University (Boulogne-sur-Mer, France) invited middle school students and the general public to attend a series of online micro-conferences on Thursday 17th December 2020, as part of the scientific communication unit of their course. This activity was developed in collaboration with Nausicaá, National Sea Centre, also located in Boulogne-sur-Mer.

    Boulogne-sur-Mer is France’s first fishing port and Europe’s first seafood processing centre. It is also located on the busy English Channel, and the seafront industries of the whole region are resolutely oriented towards the sea.  It is also part of a marine national park since 2012. 

    To address key marine issues and provide tangible professional opportunities, the new Master’s degree in Marine Ecology and Fisheries opened in September 2020 in the local university. The students work in a multidisciplinary, fully immersive setting giving them a comprehensive understanding of the whole marine environment, through access to renowned research laboratories and a dense maritime and socio-professional fabric.

    Students enrolled in this course partnered with Nausicaá during the first term. Nausicaá is an aquarium bringing the general public closer not only to the beauty of the marine environment, but also to the issues faced by the ocean and marine resources. As part of this mission, Nausicaá is the coordinator of the Youth4Ocean Forum, an initiative from DG MARE. 

    The public outreach and education team of Nausicaá devised the concept of micro-conferences for the Master’s students and has been helping them in gaining skills in marine science communication. This collaboration culminated with the cycle of micro-conferences at the end of December.

    Students organised three 30 minutes conferences for middle school students, where they explained the effects and consequences of climate change on polar environments, sea level rise and biodiversity, but also suggested solutions to tackle these pressing issues. 

    In the evening they held one additional conference, this time targeting the general public to raise awareness on the impacts of marine pollution and fishing on biodiversity. They highlighted local solutions which are already implemented and how they could develop even further.