Watch the video here for the full story.
If we want to make a difference, sharing our work with the public is essential – not only to spread the word about our research, but also to allow others to provide feedback on what we do. Whale Wise should act for the benefit of others – this requires our results to be accessible to everyone.
A large part of this exchange of information involves telling stories – stories of our research, the whales, the people we meet and our future direction. To this end, we are:
We had the amazing experience of working with a BBC film crew and wildlife presenter Chris Packham during our 2021 field season in Iceland. They documented some of our blow sampling and acoustic work to feature on the new series, Our Changing Planet. This series is a seven-year endeavour following scientists and conservation projects across the globe throughout the years. This way, they are hoping to document actual change and share results through the course of the series. It was an absolute blast working with their team and it was an experience we will never forget.
We are happy to have also shared the experience with Judith Scott and Láki Tours, who offered their boat and expertise during the film shoot. Massive thanks also to Larissa Clark (media advisor for the project) and Barba for sharing our work and making this connection to BBC in the first place.
Partnered with University of Iceland and Barba, we are creating a virtual reality (VR) programme with schools and museums in Iceland, Norway and Denmark using 360 footage captured during Barba expeditions of research, wildlife and climatic highlights. Within classrooms, problem-solving tasks related to fieldwork and data analysis will provide real-life applications of national school curricula related to science, maths and sustainability.
Our overall aim is to foster environmental stewardship in children and demonstrate the power of virtual reality to provide immersive education and virtual mobility to a fragile Arctic.
The project is currently part-funded by a Nordplus Horizontal grant.
Inspired by the Build-A-Whale programme (created by Strawberry Isle Marine Research Society), which allows participants to re-build a killer whale skeleton, we have created our own Project Porpoise together with the Húsavík Whale Museum in Iceland to create an innovative hands-on activity for children.
The particular harbour porpoise was caught in a gillnet (active fishing gear), providing a unique opportunity to teach individuals about the real dangers whales face and sustainable solutions. Project Porpoise now stands as a museum exhibit that shares the story of the porpoise and an education programme that allows children/young adults to interact with the skeleton, by removing and touching some of the bones and learning about cetacean anatomy whilst doing so. The skeleton will also be transported to local schools as a traveling education programme, in the future.
Huge thank you to FabLab Húsavík who helped us bring this idea to life, and to Ocean Missions for providing us with plastic from beach cleans that were used to create the somewhat abstract organ structures within the skeleton.
Ocean Films Húsavík took place for the first time in 2021 at Húsavík Whale Museum in Iceland. The first event included several local films sharing the wondrous ocean and nature of Iceland. Since 2021, the festival has grown and we now feature incredible ocean-related films from all over the globe. If you are interested in knowing more about the festival or submitting a film yourself, you can head here.