Explorers Symposium: Ocean Now

In a week that began with World Ocean Day, some of the planet’s most renowned oceanographers and marine conservationists kicked off the annual Explorers Symposium at National Geographic headquarters. The event celebrates the Society’s 2009 Emerging Explorers, and gathers pioneers in a host of fields—anthropologists, archaeologists, conservationists, photographers, educators, oceanographers, epidemiologists, paleontologists, geneticists, geographers, linguists, urban planners, and more—from across the globe.

Highlights of the opening session:

  • National Geographic Fellow Enric Sala described the Ocean Now project, and hopes to inspire world leaders and the public to protect the ocean’s last wild places.
  • Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle challenged listeners to imagine how the seas and the Earth might look 50 years from now, and underscored the urgency of going beyond just knowing to “doing something armed with the knowledge that you’ve got.”
  • Explorer-in-Residence Robert Ballard described the realization of his decades-long vision for ocean exploration, and used a sailing metaphor for reaching goals, counseling young explorers to “pick a wind that gives you the best reach” and tack effectively to get where they want to go.
  • National Geographic research grantee Greg Stone said that when it comes to scientific understanding and public awareness of conservation challenges, the ocean lags the land by a century.

BlogWILD is following the entire Explorers Symposium. Share your ideas on ocean exploration and conservation below, and check back for more highlights from the event!