University of Western Australia: WA’s leading scientists to share marine expertise with local students

The State’s leading marine researchers are set to share their science expertise with local students this week in the first of a series of teaching sessions on Western Australia’s marine environment.

“Thinking Blue is a fantastic initiative that connects WA youth with world-class scientists and emerging scientific concepts so they can explore this passion early on and be inspired to plan a career in marine science and environmental conservation.”

WAMSI Business Coordinator Hayley Sims
Thinking Blue is the Western Australian Marine Science Institution’s (WAMSI) School Outreach program connecting students in their final year of high school with top scientists in their field of research.

The online sessions are designed to inspire students to consider the wide-ranging possibilities of a career in marine science and give them unprecedented access to marine experts from WA research organisations.

Researchers from the WAMSI partnership including The University of Western Australia, Murdoch University, Curtin University, the WA Museum, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and the State Government department managing fisheries research, have offered their expertise to students studying marine and maritime subjects.

The program showcases a range of researchers at various stages in their marine science journey, from PhD students to established marine scientists, to demonstrate the many pathways available for students considering a career in the field.

WAMSI’s Business Coordinator Hayley Sims, who last year completed a Masters in Biological Science (Marine Biology) at UWA, will be presenting a session on major issues impacting the marine environment.

With a background in business development, Ms Sims had always wanted to better understand biological oceanography and marine ecosystems and values the direction her career has taken with her role at WAMSI combining her business background with a passion for marine science.

“After 15 years working in business, I went back to university to study marine science, a childhood passion I couldn’t let lie,” Ms Sims said.

“I could see the problems future generations were going to face with protecting our oceans and I wanted to really understand the underlying issues and gaps in our knowledge.

“Thinking Blue is a fantastic initiative that connects WA youth with world-class scientists and emerging scientific concepts so they can explore this passion early on and be inspired to plan a career in marine science and environmental conservation.”

Coordinator and Sacred Heart College marine science teacher John Ryan described it as a valuable learning opportunity for final year students to learn from scientists at the forefront of research on these subjects.

“The students really engage with the many careers and avenues in the marine field so it’s great to see such a broad range of topics being represented,” Mr Ryan said.

Each week a scientist will conduct a presentation on one of the subjects in the curriculum followed by a question-and-answer session. The broad topics covered reflect the various areas a career in marine science may entail and include marine heatwaves, surfing economics, coral communities and maritime archaeology.

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