by Arcadia Davies
When I was three my family vacationed to Washington, and I saw the ocean for the first time. It was the orcas that first caught my eye; and on that trip my fascination for the ocean surfaced.
Growing up in land-locked Ohio meant my relationship with the ocean had to be long distance one, but that didn’t stop me from loving it. As a kid and teenager, I read numerous books and watched many documentaries on the subject. What intrigued me most was its mystery and complexity. I loved magic as a kid and the ocean represented a magical place.
As I got older I learned that environmental conservationists and advocates felt the same way, except what I was calling magic they called science. We were all just trying to scratch the watery surface of this complicated world.
The first time I actually got to study ocean ecology in the field was after my freshman year of College, during a program in the Florida Keys and The Bahamas. I finally got to snorkel over the coral reefs that I had only seen in videos. It was on that trip that I first truly understood how reliant all human life is on the ocean—even for those of us who grew up in the Midwest.
After that trip I was ready to dive all in and contribute my part to ocean conservation work. I went back to school prepared to dedicate my studies and life to exploring the complex relationships between humans and the ocean, — with the goal of helping both. Through an internship with The Island School in The Bahamas and numerous courses in ecology, writing, community engagement, I learned to communicate marine ecology to the public. I hope that through raising awareness about marine issues, communities will come together in efforts to save our blue planet.
Having found my love for the ocean at a young age, I am especially passionate about engaging youth in efforts to save the oceans. I am so inspired by all of the young people demanding better action towards addressing climate change and protecting our ecosystems. That is why I am incredibly excited to now serve as Ocean Matter’s Youth Advocate Leader, and support young people in their passion for protecting our world’s oceans.
Arcadia recently graduated from Miami University with an interdisciplinary degree focusing on marine ecology and community engagement. She is passionate about connecting communities, especially youth, in ocean conservation projects. During college she practiced communicating science to the public through serving as the communication intern at The Island School in The Bahamas and taking numerous classes in marine ecology, creative writing, journalism, photography and community engagement. Arcadia has loved the ocean since a young age and strives to share that love with others.