“Education is imperative, we must reach as many people as possible; diversity and consistency are key.” -Andrea Marshall
Andrea maintains that the most important aspect of a conservation campaign is education. Through the Marine Megafauna Foundation, she places a strong emphasis on education at local, domestic and international levels. Each year, she and her team give hundreds of talks to tourists, dive professionals, school children, teachers, university students and government officials in countries like Mozambique, Ecuador, Thailand, Indonesia, and the United States. To reach the masses she constantly contributes to popular articles, books, magazines, blogs, news features and international documentaries. Her tireless outreach work has improved awareness in many communities around the world. Drawing attention to the plight of manta rays is at the forefront of her agenda and the work that she has done to champion their protection has provided the catalyst for many global conservation initiatives.LISTEN TO AN INTERVIEW WITH ANDREA ON CLASSIC FM IN SOUTH AFRICA
Andrea’s passion for the sea is contagious and she adamantly believes in the power of personal testimony. A powerful speaker, Andrea motivates through regular public engagements and inspires with sensational natural world documentaries.“All I need is a few moments to convince someone of the importance of protecting the ocean. I just need an audience. These days I spend a lot of time trying to reach out to the public in new and engaging ways. I will never stop trying to inspire people or urging them to get involved in this fight.”
Many of Andrea’s long-term goals revolve around uniting scientists with the pubic to propel research efforts to a new level. Convinced there is an impending need for creative multi-faced solutions to wildlife issues, she partners globally with other like-minded individuals and organizations to develop new initiatives that unite different demographic groups.
WildMe’s wildbooks which allow ‘citizen scientists’ to contribute to global scientific databases will facilitate global studies on threatened species like whale sharks and manta rays for the first time. By opening these traditionally specialist fields, and making them more accessible and appealing to the public, these initiatives stand not only to educate a broad audience but they also have the added benefit of accessing untapped data sources and harnessing near-unlimited volunteer manpower.“My experience with ‘Manta Matcher’ has shown me that ‘citizen science’ programs can unite communities all around the world that share a common passion. It revealed how much more we can achieve when we break down traditional barriers and invite people from all walks of life to participate in studies of our natural world. Now as a collective, researchers, conservationists, NGOs, IGOs and the public can work together to undertake collaborative wildlife studies which will lead to hard hitting global conservation solutions. In my mind, ‘citizen science’ has the capacity to change the world.”
Join the ‘Manta Matcher’ network and become part of Andrea’s Manta Army!