Island Education in the UK
Seacology UK's 2012/2013 Island Activist Shana Gallagher (left) examined coral reef and mangrove protection efforts in Calatagan, Batangas, Philippines; 2010/2011 Island Activist Tamara Berber (right) looked at the challenges of access to fresh water on Guadalupe Island, Mexico.
In addition to supporting island environmental projects,
Seacology UK also aims to raise awareness within the UK about the
environmental and quality of life hardships faced by island communities
around the world. One way we do this is through our "Island Activist" environmental service award targeted towards 14-18 year-olds living in the UK.
"Island Activist" Environmental Service AwardObjective
Did you know that...
- the earth is home to over 100,000 islands, where more than 600 million people reside, and whose economic zones harbor one half of the globe's marine biodiversity?
- islands have been home to the vast majority of the planet's extinctions -- more than all the continents combined?
- due to their typically small populations, isolation, and small economies, most islands are not able to afford appropriate environmental remediation measures?
Seacology UK has established this Island Activist award to encourage UK senior school students (14-18 years) to join us in helping to protect the threatened biodiversity of global island communities.
We offer an annual award to a student or team of students who successfully design (and implement) an awareness-raising plan around a current Seacology island environmental project.
Through this award, we aim to help UK senior students to:
- Learn more about our shared responsibilities towards vulnerable island environments around the world
- Participate in educating others about the environmental and livelihood challenges faced by island communities around the world.
- Experience that it is in their power to contribute to improving the environments on which these island communities depend.
- Are you a UK senior school student (between the ages of 14-18) who is passionate about protecting island environments and supporting island communities?
- Do you want to experience how you can make a difference?
- Are you looking for a globally focused environmental service project to fulfill your IB diploma requirements or to simply enrich your educational experience?
If so, we encourage you to submit an application to Seacology UK's Island Activist award program.
Individual students or teams of students (not more than 4 students per team), between the ages of 14 and 18, residing in the UK are welcome to apply.
Upon successful completion of their projects, Seacology UK "Island Activists" will receive:
a cash award of up to £250 towards project expenses and charitable goals
- a Seacology UK certificate of achievement, a duplicate of which will be sent to your academic advisor.
- public recognition of your efforts on the Seacology UK website and at the Seacology UK annual year-end event.
While the money and public recognition for your hard work may be welcome, the real benefit of this award program will come from the training it will give you to help spearhead positive social change.
- Successful Island Activists, mentored by Seacology UK trustees, will have to plan, network, write, and present on real-life threats to island communities and our shared responsibilities towards them.
- By independently creating and implementing both an educational and fundraising program, Island Activists will gain the experience of turning their passions and ideas into a viable action plan for change.
Those who are interested in pursuing the "Island Activist" award need to be prepared to commit to a year-long, multi-stage project.
Choose an island environmental challenge: To begin with, Island Activists will be expected to choose an island environmental challenge and a related Seacology island project around which to focus their educational and fundraising efforts. For example, one past award recipient wanted to understand more about the problem of access to fresh water. She used the story of Seacology's purchase of a seawater desalination system on behalf of Mexico's Guadalupe islanders to both anchor her awareness raising efforts and to illustrate what can be done to help islanders solve this problem. Students should consult with their academic advisor on how to best incorporate their research, presentation, and fundraising plans into their current course of study.
Tailor an educational presentation to reach a target audience: Once you have chosen your topic and related island project, you will then need to decide where you would like to deliver your presentation. The choice is yours. You could raise awareness about the problem of waste disposal on isolated islands by presenting to an assembly at your local community center or at a sibling's elementary school. You won't be judged by the size of the audience you gather, but by how well you tailor your presentation to reach that audience.
Design and implement a fundraising plan: This project will also require you to move beyond words into action. How will you raise funds to support the island community project of your choosing? You could, for example, challenge your friends to a swim-a-thon at a local pool, where you each set up a (free) web page asking people to sponsor you in this good cause. Seacology UK's "Just Giving" page is a terrific on-line resource to help you with this aspect of the project. The amount you raise is not as important as the feasibility of your fundraising design. Be creative and be sure to demonstrate how your supporter's donations will make a tangible difference in the life of this island community
Reflect upon what you have learned: Upon completion of your educational and fundraising program, we will ask you to critically reflect on what you have learned. How did this experience affect you personally? How did it impact your chosen local and island communities? The format of these reflections will be developed in conjunction with your academic advisor.
Island Activist applicants should submit the following information in a single e-mail to email@example.com
- Identify the island environmental challenge and Seacology island project on which you have chosen to focus, explaining why you have chosen this topic and project.
- Name the audience to whom you will present your island environmental awareness-raising message.
- Briefly describe your island fundraising plan
- Include contact details for your academic advisor
- Attach a copy of your cv (1 page per person).
- Seacology UK trustees will consider Island Activist Award applications on a first-come, first-serve basis.
- Successful candidates will be notified by e-mail.
- While we only have the capacity to fully support one or two Island Activist awards per year, we are happy to work with individual students or teams of students who have submitted worthwhile project ideas.