Alle Barber’s Conservation Story:
When I was a little kid, I always thought that I would be a veterinarian when I grew up. If you asked me “why do you want to be a vet?” my response would be “because I want to help animals!” Then, one day, I learned that vets had to perform surgeries on animals and I was O.U.T. out! (Too much blood!) Since that fateful day of NEVER wanting to be a vet, I then had to suddenly figure out what I wanted to do with my life (this is a tragic decision for a 6 year old girl to make). Then, I realized that I didn’t have to be a vet to help animals… I could instead work at a zoo or aquarium and help animals! And in 2007, I did just that. Since starting my career, I have traveled all over the world for various conservation efforts. I have had some amazing experiences (and hopefully made an impact), however I have learned something along the way… You actually don’t even have to work at a zoo or aquarium to help animals… You just have to be willing to make small changes in your life toward conservation! Eat sustainable seafood, turn off the lights when you leave a room, carpool as often as you can, recycle, pick up litter, take a reusable canvas bag to the grocery store, etc. I hope that by educating people about these small actions, then we can all work together to support my 6-year old mission of “helping the animals!”
Scott Wingate’s Conservation Story:
Over the last 30 years there have been many campaigns to increase global awareness of conservation issues. These campaigns have resulted in entertaining programs like “Shark Week” and recognized global holidays like “Earth Day.” A huge thanks is owed to conservation educators and their institutions for such large gains. However, in the same time period animals and their habitats have not seen the increases in number and scale. In fact, wildlife populations and wild lands have seen sharp declines. Our challenge, in the next 30 years is to focus on public conservation action campaigns to involve our communities and empower people to positively affect global conservation! Wildlife conservation is not a wildlife problem it’s a people problem, therefore, people are the solution!
Robert Grossheim’s Conservation Story:
Growing up in Loveland, Ohio, I spent a great deal of time in, on and around the Little Miami River. I have always been fascinated by the power and peacefulness that water can provide. In 1989, I decided it was time to further explore the life under water and became Scuba Certified. Little did I know what impact this would have on my life as an outlet from the indoor life associated with the work I had chosen. As an avid scuba diver, I began volunteering for the Wave Foundation where I learned that I could share this passion for under-water life in a conservation-oriented, educational way with many others. In the wild, I’ve seen and experienced some of the impacts of over-fishing, trawling and littering. I’ve seen too many nutrient induced issues caused by the addition of artificial or natural substances…too many animals negatively affected by human actions…But, I’ve also met numerous people actively engaged in addressing these issues head-on with phenomenal results. I needed to put some effort, money and time behind doing something too. Humans and wildlife can peacefully and productively cohabit our planet, we just need to learn how to do that effectively. I am grateful for the efforts of all those associated with the Wave Foundation and am privileged to be a part of spreading its message.
Dan Dunlap’s Conservation Story:
A few years ago, when I started working for the WAVE Foundation, I remember a very powerful statement from my co-worker: Conservation starts with education. Before working at WAVE, I never really thought about what the word “conservation” actually means. 3 years later, conservation is a large part of my life. Now I realize, when I am hitting our mission of exciting, engaging, and educating the community about the wonders of aquatic life…what I’m really doing is educating the public about what the word “conservation” actually means. In the last few years, I have learned that something as simple as using re-usable bags at the grocery store, will actually save sea turtles lives. I learned that choosing which fish to eat for dinner, will actually save a species of endangered penguins. These are all simple examples that our community needs to know. The greatest thing I can do for conservation is to keep educating the public.
Jenny Greber’s Conservation Story:
We know “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” is the general message for conservation. Growing up times were tight, I am the oldest of five and my father was employed outside the house. We were always reusing and recycling and there wasn’t enough space so we were always reducing. When I lived in Seattle, conservation was the norm and being an active participant with simple choices created impace: not running the water when you brush your teeth, using reusable grocery bags and turning off lights are just a few. My favorite conservation message is my daughters; I asked her what conservation means to her and she said “helping.” I asked her to expand on that comment … She said “Helping others, helping animals, helping the earth.” I thought that was a pretty good answer for a 10 year old! So my goal is to continue to help everyone: people and animals and to protect our planet so my daughter has a great place to grow!
Dr. Charles Acosta’s Conservation Story:
I have worked on marine conservation research and teaching for over 20 years. My reasearch has focused on coral reef ecology and conservation, particularly the impacts of fishing and the design of marine reserves to protect biodiversity. My travels and experiences from reefs of Florida to the greater Caribbean have given me important insights into the complexity of sustainability issues, resource management, and socio-economic problems, Yet, I am optimistic because we have made and continue to make progress in marine conservation. Our ability to do rapid ecological assessments, develop predictive models, and provide resource managers with assessment data has enabled us to respond effectively to conservation crises as they arise. I am also encouraged when I meet talented and dedicated students in my undergraduate classes at Northern Kentucky Univeristy that the future of conservation is bright. The WAVE Foundation at Newport Aquarium plays a fundamental rold in facilitating awareness of the ocean environment that is unprecedented in our region.
Julie Uffman’s Conservation Story:
As a young girl I had a love for the oceans around us and had the desire to become a marine biologist and train dolphins when I grew up. Although I do not have that “dream job” from when I was little, I do have a job that allows me to foster the love I still have. I obtained my Bachelor of Science from Ohio University with a concentration in Marine Biology. My most memorable experience from OU was the week I spent at a field station on Andros Island in the Bahamas. I began working in the guest services department at Newport Aquarium in 1999 as a way to “get my foot and the door” with the hopes of eventually becoming one of the biologists. As happens with most people when they “grow up”, my priorities began changing and I decided to get my masters degree in education and decided I would teach students and share my love of the aquatic world with the hopes of inspiring them as my high school biology teacher inspired me. Although my job has taken on more of an administrative roll, I am thankful for the opportunity to work at the WAVE Foundation as well as have the flexibility to do what matters to me most at this point in my like – take care of my family!