Exploring the emotional connection between society and the ocean

I have organised with Luisa Galgani (GEOMAR – Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel, lgalgani@geomar.de), Ngozi Oguguah (Nigerian Institute For Oceanography and Marine Research), Ana Fernandez Carrera (Leibniz-Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemuende) and Allison Fong (Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research) a geo-oceanographic session focused on citizen participation and fostering transdisciplinary collaborations at the next ASLO Aquatic Sciences Meeting 2023, Palma de Mallorca, Spain, from 4–9 June 2023.  

A bit out of our traditional paths but we’d love to get insights and contributions from geographers! Don’t hesitate to get in touch if interested and want to talk (chiara.certoma@unito.it).

If you want to send us your abstract, further than via the website procedure, please drop it to Chiara Certomà and Luisa Galgani too. Deadline for abstract submission: 23 February 2023 (please note that the early registration rate ends in February too)

Call for abstracts: Exploring the emotional connection between society and the ocean (EP004)

Various types of marine pollution are amongst the most relevant problems that we are facing today, whose irreversible consequences are already affecting global ecosystems’ balance and services. Ongoing initiatives advanced by both public and private institutions, as well as environmental NGOs, mainly consist of monitoring and awareness-raising campaigns and citizens’ science processes to prevent or reduce littering and polluting activities, or -more limitedly- end-of-pipe waste collection infrastructures (e.g. the Blue Growth initiative of the European Commission). This session welcomes cross-cutting thematic studies, case studies and fertile ideas for potential actions across the natural and the social disciplines, featuring engagement, education and social innovation examples that address the ocean as the core of all human health and thriving. We also welcome proposals of new tools and processes to promote a new narrative of emotional connection and literacy to face the pressing challenges for the resiliency of the ocean and all life that depends upon it. Most of the related research frames within a utilitarian conception of the economic importance of seas and oceans, including resource extraction for food or energy), logistic or leisure activities, and contemporary geopolitics and marine bordering.  This managerial approach often characterises sea governance research and social-technical innovation against marine pollution, whose function is mainly interpreted as devoted to efficient planning and management. This is quite at odds with the evidence that the blueprint for future environmental governance requires a more inclusive and integrated way of thinking, drawing increasingly on not just economic values but also taking account of social and cultural values, whilst participatory modes of governance support effective management that are being increasingly adopted. Notably transformative and co-creative potential of the civic agency has been mobilised for both exploring and seeking potential solutions for tackling marine sustainability challenges. Nevertheless, the emotional, affective and care-based connection between society and the oceans has been scarcely investigated, despite the ocean’s role in sustaining life and cultural heritage lays at the core of the strategies and visions of the UN Decade for Ocean Sciences. The sea remains a largely unexplored space for turning knowledge into action via effective and wide social mobilisation. The ocean is the focus of this session: however, we encourage contributions related to freshwater environments of particular societal and economical relevance to explore potential ideas and share experiences (and challenges) in reconciling our society with the aquatic world. 

Sessions list https://www.aslo.org/palma-2023/session-list/

Conference website: https://www.aslo.org/palma-2023/

Abstract preparation guidelines: https://www.aslo.org/palma-2023/abstract-preparation-guide/

A number of student travel grants and early career grants are available https://www.aslo.org/palma-2023/student-early-career-travel-awards/

Student Opportunities https://www.aslo.org/palma-2023/opportunities-for-students/ and a sort of stipend if helping in certain duties (about $100, for monitoring the sessions). 

Fees https://www.aslo.org/palma-2023/registration-information/ 

Photo by Chiara Certomà

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