By Jacob Samborn
“The sea, the great unifier, is man’s only hope. Now, as never before, the old phrase has a literal meaning: we are all in the same boat.”
– Jacques Yves Cousteau
I can’t get enough! The most inspiring addition to my new life in Los Angeles has been working as an eager volunteer for AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles.
As a recent graduate from the University of Rhode Island with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marine Biology and Coastal Policy, I moved from the Northeast to Los Angeles, excited about the prospects of making a difference in world through ocean conservation.
I couldn’t wait to see the possibilities awaiting me in Southern California. After completing my transition to L.A., I researched what environmentally-focused organizations are based here in the city. When I first found out about AltaSea, I simply knew I had to get involved however I could.
Reading through AltaSea’s website, I was inspired by the organization’s ongoing projects, such as environmental outreach for students, education grants, and support for other groups focused on ocean science.
What really struck home for me was AltaSea’s mission of bringing together “leaders in science, business and education to generate innovative solutions to global challenges of human and environmental sustainability.”
Challenges such as climate change, pollution, rising sea levels and over-fishing will continue to plague us well into the future.
And these issues are big enough that a single segment of the marine industry can’t hope to solve them by itself.
Graduating with an interdisciplinary degree provided me the tools and views to tackle the environmental challenges we face, in part through engagement with others.
As I learned more about AltaSea, I was inspired to see like-minded individuals working with partner organizations to achieve incredible things.
Campus tenants such as Catalina Sea Ranch have created businesses based on a sustainable method of of domestic food production. At the same time, their business aligns closely with AltaSea’s broader mission, highlights the importance of marine business through aquaculture.
AltaSea Blue Tech partners such as Blue Robotics show us the endless possibilities in marine technology.
As I thought about all the ways that AltaSea and its initiatives can help Los Angeles and the world beyond, I knew I had to get involved. We need more innovative solutions created from the best minds drawn from across the marine industry and beyond.
I joined AltaSea’s team of volunteers and hit the ground running, helping in outreach to local students, schools, the public and our passionate AltaSea members. I’ve worked with the public to raise awareness about the global challenges facing our oceans and the efforts being made to mitigate those effects.
I had a wonderful time working with high school students who visited the AltaSea Campus to learn about marine pollution, local marine life and conservation methods from the Los Angeles Maritime Institute and Catalina Sea Ranch.
I thoroughly enjoy working with students, having taught sailing for years in Boston. It was great to see the students light up as they learned about the marine environment that surrounds them in San Pedro.
I found it motivating to see in the students my own problem-solving and environmental spirit, and to see it reflected in kids so early in their lives.
I also have enjoyed working with the general public at AltaSea’s fantastic open-house events, which draw amazing people from all generations and backgrounds to build a bit of the mutual understanding we will need to solve the world’s issues.
I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the AltaSea team over this summer and look forward to more adventures with them.
The AltaSea team is a fantastic group of intelligent, focused, highly professional people who share a passion for bettering our world by convening the best minds in marine science, business, and education.
With tenants and partners such as Dr. Bob Ballard’s Ocean Exploration Trust, Catalina Sea Ranch, Blue Robotics and the Los Angeles Maritime Institute, AltaSea already has built a powerful coalition for the betterment of our oceans.
I’m honored to help build an innovative foundation for the best among us to come together to face the worst challenges threatening us all.
About the Author
Jacob Samborn graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2014, and is an Aquarist with Consistent Sea, Inc.
For more information about AltaSea’s volunteer programs, contact Robin Aube at 424-210-4973 or at [email protected]