When I first got involved with sharks (through a volunteer program with South Africa based cage-diving company, White Shark projects), I quickly decided this was something I wanted to dedicate a significant portion of my life towards.
All well and good in theory, but this posed a difficult question – how?
I wasn’t from a remotely scientific background, had zero discernible academic qualities and had but a fraction of the experience working with such animals, as my co-volunteers who were all two or three years younger than me.
It didn’t strike me as being an industry suffering from an abundance of opportunities for graphic designers.
What I had noticed, was that the standard of work being done in research and eco-tourism, was rarely continued in the communicative materials such people used to engage the public.
What use is an incredible dataset which uncovers the mysteries of an endangered species, if the value and relevance of that dataset isn’t effectively communicated to those with the power to make a difference?
No use, no use at all.
Which for me – is a good thing.
My role in Sci-comms
That was basically my in – specialise in communicating the value, relevance and importance of marine research and conservation to audiences able to make a valuable contribution.
I wanted to engage people with sharks in the way I felt engaged with them, turning their curiosity into fascination, their desire to learn more into a compulsion to act, and to replace the feeling of helplessness when it comes to making a difference, with a clear understanding of the available opportunities to do so.
And I’d say I’ve enjoyed success in doing so… albeit inconsistent success… which fluctuates greatly… and is never, ever guaranteed.
For the most part, I’ve facilitaed this through interactive digital media, such as websites