BCSS Empowers Environmental Leaders Across Oceans

BCSS Scientific Training Program (STP) doesn’t finish once the internship placement onsite comes to an end. We value new connections and always try to stay in touch with our students. This enables us to provide broader support in all aspects of the further career development, that extents way beyond onsite experiences, be it professional guidance and mentorship, recommendations and support letters, scientific supervision and papers’ co authorships, or even sponsorships.

We’re delighted to share a remarkable story of success of one of our STP’s students, who is becoming a dedicated advocate for environmental conservation.

In July 2022 a keen diver and passionate environmentalist, Tamino Köhne, accomplished marine research internship with BCSS. Being an environmental studies student at Lake Forest College at that time, Tamino has already had a keen interest in marine conservation. He was a member of environmental initiatives, such as Plant for the planet and Divers for climate and other projects which coped with environmental problems since his childhood. After being immersed into the professional world of marine research at the BCSS Ocean Observatory, he was able to hone his practical skills and deepen an understanding of the marine science concepts.

At the College, I started exploring the ocean more and looking at it from different viewpoints, not just from the scuba diving perspective but also from an environmental protection perspective,” Köhne said.

Tamino’s visionary project, “Restoring Reefs, Reviving Hope: Empowering American Samoan Communities Through Coral Restoration,” earned him the prestigious Projects for Peace $10,000 grant – a testament to the transformative power of education and mentorship. Armed with new knowledge and experience, Tamino embarked on a mission to safeguard coral reefs in American Samoa. We are delighted to see how Tamino’s journey exemplifies the ripple effect of BCSS’s impact.

My time at BCSS was a turning point in my life. The marine scientific internship program not only equipped me with the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue my goals but also sparked a great passion for marine conservation. The support and guidance I received from the BCSS team were important in shaping my path. I am forever grateful for the opportunities and experiences that BCSS provided, and I am committed to using the Projects for Peace grant to continue making a positive impact in our world.”, said Tamino.

As Tamino sets sail for American Samoa, his project embodies the essence of community-based conservation. Through extensive national capacity building activities, such as workshops and hands-on coral restoration efforts, he will be empowering local communities to become stewards of their marine ecosystems.

Coral reefs protect island peoples’ culture and traditions,” Köhne said. “They’re very connected to the natural environment, and coral reefs are a key element that allow them to keep living the way they’re living.”

We feel truly privileged to play a role in these successes, as we envision BCSS being more than a mere institution, but a key stakeholder that supports scientists, students, and researchers well beyond our time together in iconic Bazaruto seascape. Trying to provide more than hands-on training and mentorship, BCSS fosters a culture of collaboration and empowerment. From career guidance to peer-reviewed publications, from co-funding projects to supporting initiatives, BCSS is trying to open doors of opportunity and growth for its beneficiaries.

This resonates firmly with the groundbreaking concept of Resort to Research initiative, which BCSS harnesses together with its sister property Kisawa Sanctuary through the meaningful collaboration, where Kisawa’s commitment to innovation extends beyond its luxurious accommodations and facilitates cutting edge science through directly supporting BCSS Ocean Observatory. This unique concept underscores the profound impact of mentorship and support provided by the Bazaruto Center for Scientific Studies to all its visitors and partners.

Read full story of Tamino Köhne here

Read more about R2R concept and collaboration between BCSS and Kisawa in its Annual Impact Report here

For questions about this article, please contact:
Ekaterina Kalashnikova, Bazaruto Center for Scientific Studies

Bazaruto Center for Scientific Studies
Host of the first permanent Ocean Observatory focused on multi-ecosystem time series research in Africa, the Bazaruto Center for Scientific Studies (BCSS) was established in 2017 as in independent, non-profit organisation with a mission to protect and support the fragile ecosystems of the Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique. The research station is located on Benguerra Island, off the coast of Mozambique.

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