“President Obama just went down to the everglades and was talking about climate change and the impact it’s going to have on that fragile ecosystem. It’s real. We can’t bury our heads in the sand and think things are okay. That’s what we’ve done and we know it isn’t working. When you know something isn’t working you need to make changes…it’s not scary, its wonderful.” ~ Dr. Mikki McComb Kobza
Did you know that Sustainable Travel International plays an important new role in the dive industry? Dr. Mikki McComb Kobza shares her story in this conversation about her work as a Sharkbiologist-turned-Executive Director of Ocean First Institute. Dr. Mikki wears a lot of hats, and one of them is guiding dive operators through a program that gets their businesses on the path to sustainable practices. She also Skypes with schools all over the world about saving sharks and our ocean.
We Are Changing the Fabric of the Ocean
“We humans are having a huge impact on the ocean […] we are changing the very fabric of the ocean through our actions” […] “There are things that we can do to improve that situation and to be part of the solution.”
Mikki is passionate about sharing her love of the ocean, the joy of exploration and the critical importance of marine science in addressing many of the ocean issues that we face today. Her specific research focuses on the sensory biology and ecological physiology of sharks, skates and rays. Mikki has been a tireless advocate for sharks, highlighting their global declines and framing new directions for their conservation.
Mikki has been invited to speak, educate and conduct research at labs and institutions in South America, Africa, Asia and Australia. Her outreach efforts have been documented in film, magazine and radio by the BBC, National Geographic, Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, and CBC National Radio Canada.
“when people are aware, they care and when they care, they take action”
She has always strived to bridge the gap between research and public engagement and believes deeply that when people are aware, they care and when they care, they take action. Her current position as Executive Director of Ocean First Institute allows her to promote marine conservation, sustainability and education initiatives. She holds a Ph.D. in Integrative Biology from Florida Atlantic University and is the author of numerous scientific publications.
“It’s profound, to me, to be able to go into the ocean and explore […] That’s what we want to do, and we want to do that in a way that preserves the very place we’re going.” “Let’s all know that there is so much opportunity to change things for the better”
Join us and Dr. Mikki McComb Kobza to learn more about Mikki’s programs at the Ocean First Institute, hear her entire interview at Blue Ocean Summit 2015: Dr. Mikki McComb Kobza. You can also visit Ocean First Institute or learn about Sustainable Travel International.
The name “Cousteau” has become synonymous with the ocean, as Jacques Yves Cousteau’s legacy has been carried on by his family. His son, Jean-Michel Cousteau, believes that the key to creating a more sustainable world is to educate people, focusing on the younger generations, the ones who will actually inherit the planet. To hear more from Jean-Michel’s read his article: We Protect What We Understand at Ocean Profiles: Jean-Michel Cousteau