Oceans of Learning celebrates our sea with success

Over the past 10 weeks, the Marine Institute and partners have been celebrating our seas through our Oceans of Learning series, by offering news, online activities and resources on a range of marine topics. More than 130 resources are now available on the Marine Institute’s website, enabling everyone to engage with our ocean from anywhere. 

Each week our Oceans of Learning series has offered videos, interactive activities and downloadable resources exploring Ireland’s marine resource – from the food provided by our ocean, our rich marine biodiversity, changing ocean climate, ports and shipping, coastal communities as well as the impact the ocean has on our health and wellbeing. The series also included an exclusive Irish interview with broadcaster Pat Kenny and Kathy Sullivan – the first person to ever experience travelling to both deep space and the oceans deep. The interview was broadcast live on the Institute’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube Channels.

Dr Paul Connolly, CEO of the Marine Institute said, “Throughout our Oceans of Leaning series we have seen how the ocean has an impact on our lives every day. From providing food, transport and employment to the influence it has on our climate and weather, as well as our health and wellbeing. By raising awareness of the opportunities and benefits provided by our ocean, we can inspire a new generation to safeguard and harness this valuable marine resource.”

The Oceans of Learning series received support from a wide range of government departments, state agencies and organisations around Ireland. The Marine Institute worked with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Bord Bia, The Commissioners of Irish Lights, National Maritime College Ireland, Galway City Museum, GOAL, Met Éireann, NUI Galway, Port of Cork, Port of Galway, Seavite Skincare and Údarás na Gaeltachta.

Acknowledging the support from partners, Dr Connolly said, “Thanks to the many partners who were involved in our Oceans of Learning series, providing resources and sharing information about the importance of our marine resource. In a challenging time, Ireland’s marine sector came together virtually to celebrate our world’s shared ocean with the people of Ireland.”

A #SeaToMe social competition was also held as part of the Oceans of Learning series, asking people across Ireland to share what the sea means to them for the chance to win weekly prizes. More than 700 entries were received, with people sharing photos of their favourite places along the Irish coast and activities along the shore, as well as artworks and poems inspired by the sea.

For more information on Ocean of Learning and the work of the Marine Institute see http://www.marine.ie

Oceans of Learning Resources

Oceans of Life
With Ireland’s marine territory ten times the size of its land area, the waters surrounding Ireland are highly productive and provide a habitat for hundreds of species of invertebrates and fish, 35 species of sharks, as well as 24 species of whales and dolphins. Scientists survey our marine habitats to enable us to better understand Ireland’s marine territory so that we can protect and monitor our marine biodiversity.

The SmartBay Observatory in Galway Bay is the only underwater cabled observatory in the country, providing scientists with real-time data. The video camera has recorded a variety of fish, inclyding seals and an octopus!

To find out more, dive deep into the Marine Institute’s Oceans of Learning resources:

  1. Video: Seal
    Video: Rón Beag
  2. Video: Octopus

Video: Ochtapas

Oceans of Exploring
Ireland has two marine research vessels, the RV Celtic Explorer and the RV Celtic Voyager. These vessels are used for fisheries and oceanographic research, seabed mapping and climate studies. The RV Celtic Explorer can stay at sea for up to 35 consecutive days and is at sea for about 300 days every year.

To find out more, dive deep into the Marine Institute’s Oceans of Learning resources:

  1. Virtual Tour: RV Celtic Explorer
  2. Video: RV Celtic Explorer
  3. Video: RV Celtic Voyager
  4. Fact Sheet: RV Celtic Explorer
  5. Colouring: RV Celtic Explorer

Oceans of Observations
Our ocean and climate are inextricably linked – the ocean plays a crucial role in the global climate system in a number of ways. The Marine Institute, with its national and international partners, works to observe and understand how our ocean is changing and analyses, models and projects the impacts of our changing oceans.

The Irish Marine Data Buoy Observation Network is managed by the Marine Institute in collaboration with Met Éireann and is designed to improve weather forecasts and safety at sea around Ireland. 

To find out more, dive deep into the Marine Institute’s Oceans of Learning resources:

  1. Video: In Conversation with Evelyn Cusack, Head of Forecasting at Met Éireann
  2. Video: Irish Marine Data Buoy Observation Network
  3. Fact Sheet: Irish Marine Data Buoy Observation Network
  4. Quiz: Irish Marine Data Buoy Observation Network
  5. Colouring: Irish Marine Data Buoy Observation Network

Oceans of Food
Our ocean is an important and reliable source of food. Ireland’s fisheries resource is the bedrock of the Irish seafood industry and the waters around Ireland are some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe. The Marine Institute works in conjunction with international scientists to assess many of the key commercial fish and shellfish stocks in the waters around Ireland.

To find out more, dive deep into the Marine Institute’s Oceans of Learning resources:

  1. Video: The Stock Book
  2. Fact Sheet: Something Fishy
  3. Video: Shellfish Safety
  4. Fact Sheet: Phytoplankton
  5. Colouring: Ireland’s seafood

Oceans of Technology
Research and innovation are critical so we can better monitor, understand, protect, preserve and harness our oceans and seas. The Marine Institute uses state-of-the-art infrastructure, advanced equipment and innovative technologies, to undertake marine research and explore our ocean. Ireland is also mapping our seabed to allows to better model the movement and behaviour of the ocean and the life within it.

To find out more, dive deep into the Marine Institute’s Oceans of Learning resources:

  1. Video: Seabed mapping
  2. Story Map: Shipwrecks
  3. Fact Sheet: ROV Holland 1
  4. Fact Sheet: Argo Float
  5. Fact Sheet: SmartBay Observatory

Oceans of Creativity
For centuries, the ocean has inspired writers, artists, filmmakers and photographers. From the infinite deep sea to the seashore, the ocean has always captured our hearts and minds with its magic and mystery. The sea has been the setting for exploration and adventure, voyages to the great unknown, and inspired stories of mythical beings and curious creatures. 

To find out more, dive deep into the Marine Institute’s Oceans of Learning resources:

  1. Poems: Odes to Our Ocean
  2. Colouring Book: Great Lighthouses of Ireland
  3. Book: Our Ocean – Marine Legends, Fairy Tales and Folklore in Ireland
  4. Video: Sea How to Draw Whales and Dolphins
  5. Video: Sea How to Draw Fish and Shellfish

Oceans of Health
Spending time at the sea has long been associated with providing benefits to our health and wellbeing but in recent years, Oceans and Human Health has developed as an emerging field of research.

Many people around the coast of Ireland enjoy sea swimming and swear by the health benefits. Sea water has been shown to have positive effects on mental health and is also known to have benefits for the skin. Seaweed is packed with an unusually high concentration of vitamins and minerals which all pose benefits for the skin, and is used in skincare products.

To find out more, dive deep into the Marine Institute’s Oceans of Learning resources:

  1. Video: Dr Easkey Britton – Oceans and Human Health
  2. Video: Our Ocean: Our Health and Wellbeing
  3. Video: Benefits of seaweed
  4. Fact Sheet: Benefits of seaweed
  5. Fact Sheet: Sea swimming

Written by IOLN admins

The Irish Ocean Literacy Network (IOLN) aims to bring together relevant institutes, agencies, researchers, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs), individuals and educators who are working towards the vision of “achieving an ocean literate society across the island of Ireland”.

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