The hope and positivity of the OYA team, their goals, and their sense of drive and determination to educate the younger generation on the problems our ocean is currently facing, also made me reflect on these problems and motivated me to want to help solve them...
Hi, I’m Heidi and I was an intern for OYA last year during summer 2021. Through OYA, I was able to explore my interest in marine biology by carrying out different tasks such as writing blog posts, creating social media content and designing logos, to name a few examples. The hope and positivity of the OYA team, their goals, and their sense of drive and determination to educate the younger generation on the problems our ocean is currently facing, also made me reflect on these problems and motivated me to want to help solve them. It wasn’t until later that I attended an Operation Wallacea (Opwall) lecture at my university and discovered an opportunity to help the ocean in the field. Opwall is a biodiversity and climate research organisation, whereby annual data is collected (mostly by students) from both terrestrial and marine sites all around the world. I chose to take part in the marine project in Honduras, where I will learn how to scuba dive in order to collect data to assess any changes in the health of coral reef communities. However, this opportunity did not come without cost. Opwall expeditions can be quite expensive, but they are more than happy to help students fundraise for these expeditions by providing numerous fundraising ideas, as well as directing you to the right places to apply for grants that you might be eligible for. OYA played a major part in my fundraising efforts for my expedition after successfully promoting their ‘Adopt a Penguin’ program that I helped to create. Without OYA’s help, I might not have been able to go on this expedition! I couldn’t be more grateful for all their support and willingness to help and I cannot wait to share my journey with the OYA team.
I was able to develop my interest even further by writing blog posts for OYA about what I had learnt from documentaries such as ‘Mission Blue’ and ‘A Plastic Ocean’.