By Ron Naveen | President/Founder, Oceanites, Inc.
It has been a very successful year championing science-based conservation and increased awareness of climate change and its potential impacts through the lens of penguins and Antarctica. Our work continues to influence Antarctic Treaty decision-making and we’ve expanded our public outreach about climate change and adaptation.
On a very positive note, we celebrate the 25th anniversary field season of our Antarctic Site Inventory and the increased visibility and use of our Antarctic continent-wide penguin database known as MAPPPD (Mapping Application for Penguin Populations and Projected Dynamics).
Oceanites remains the only non-governmental science project working in Antarctica and the only project monitoring and analyzing change across the vastly warmed Antarctic Peninsula.
On the penguin conservation front, Oceanites published our second State of Antarctic Penguins report and continue to assist the krill fishers’ voluntary effort to establish a no-fishing buffer zone around penguin colonies. As well, our MAPPPD database has moved ‘center stage’ as plans for a possible Antarctic Peninsula marine protected area are being discussed.
Oceanites is excited to report that the 25th season of the Antarctic Site Inventory (ASI) will begin in November and continue through February. ASI is the sole ongoing non-governmental science project in Antarctica and the only effort monitoring both penguin and seabird population changes throughout the entirety of the vastly warming Antarctic Peninsula. Throughout 24 seasons, Oceanites’ Antarctic Site Inventory has made thousands of site visits and collected data at more than 223 locations. The changes Oceanites tracks are significant— gentoo penguins are increasing their numbers and extending their range southward, while Adélie and chinstrap numbers are in decline across the region.
Oceanites' Ron Naveen Teaching Students at the LOC
Continuing its educational outreach efforts, Oceanites partnered with the Library of Congress, under the auspices of its “Young Readers Center” and through its office of Educational Outreach, to celebrate World Penguin Day. On April 25, Oceanites founder Ron Naveen served as the resident author and citizen scientist at the Library of Congress' event. He was filmed teaching a class of 4th and 5th graders from a Washington, D.C. elementary school. The Maryland Zoo also partnered with Oceanites and brought Lilly, an African penguin, to the event. The entire program was covered by both ABC News and The Washington Post, the latter of which interviewed Ron following the event. Oceanites has been invited to return next year to the Library of Congress for World Penguin Day 2019.
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