Our Research Manager, Karen Bowles, was recently interviewed by the American International School of Mozambique (AISM) in the light of World Oceans Day last month. Aimed at the students aged 5-18 years old, Karen speaks about the BCSS Ocean Observatory, gathering data through fieldwork, our relationship with the ocean and providing data to scientists and organisations globally. Watch the interview by scrolling to the end of this page.
“Our world is more ocean than it is land, and yet we still don’t know much about the ocean, its ecosystems and the creatures that live in them. So, what am I doing to help protect or benefit the ocean? I am part of a team that created a place where researchers and students can come together and learn about the ocean. Have you ever thought about what kinds of marine ecosystems and animals we can find in Mozambique? Where are they, and why are they there? And in the case of animals, when are they there? What do they do there? What do they eat? And what happens when their food starts to run out? How to these animals and ecosystems change over time? And with the influence of climate change and human presence, how can we help protect them and allow them to thrive?”
“You cannot protect what you don’t know. If you don’t know what’s in the ocean, and what problems they are facing, you won’t know that it needs your help, or what kind of help that is.”
“As you can see, there are so many questions and but a few answers. But this is why we are here. BCSS focuses on long term ocean observation and research in the Bazaruto Archipelago area, where we collect data, win information about the ocean, our relationship with it and its inhabitants. We then make this information available for other scientists and organisations and work with them to answer some of these questions, which can then be used to better protect the ocean in Mozambique.”
“One message that I would like to leave with you today: you cannot protect what you don’t know. If you don’t know what’s in the ocean, and what problems they are facing, you won’t know that it needs your help, or what kind of help that is. So firstly, I hope you have many personal experiences with the ocean and that you are curious about our planet, and the environment and how it all works. Secondly, take care of our shared home and be a voice to raise awareness and stand up for the environment. Happy World Environment Day and Ocean Day everybody! One day, one of you or some of you will be helping us answering some of the questions we have about the ocean. I look forward to that day!”
“Have you ever thought about what kinds of marine ecosystems and animals we can find in Mozambique? Where are they, and why are they there? One day, some of you will be helping us answering some of the questions we have about the ocean. I look forward to that day!”
About Karen Bowles
Karen is an early-career environmental scientist, interested in the Earth as a system, and understanding how humans interact and alter them. After achieving a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences, Karen has worked on the intersect of science and policy as an environmental consultant in Mozambique, and conducted field research in Greece, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Mozambique. She joined BCSS to coordinate projects for the Ocean Observatory and manage data and laboratories.
About the American International School of Mozambique (AISM).
The American International School of Mozambique is an American international school in Maputo, Mozambique. The school serves grades K-12. AISM pursues excellence by empowering learners to achieve mastery of self, advance their communities, and flourish in an ever-changing world. Learn more about AISM by visiting their website.
For questions about this article, please contact:
Iris Uijttewaal, 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.