The Moore Center for Marine Conservation to hold Cruising for Conservation Conference

The Cruising for Conservation Conference at Sea is being hosted for the third consecutive year from Jan. 6 through Jan. 13, 2019 by the The Moore Center for Marine Conservation. The conference is open to both students at the undergraduate and graduate levels as well as the general public.

Moriah Moore, the vice president of the non-profit organization, accredits the idea behind the conference at sea to her husband Alan Moore, the president of the organization. The Moores have attended several conferences, so they knew how to make their conference unique.

None of the conferences we are aware of focus specifically on marine conservation,” Moore said. “That was an area we felt like scientists should be getting together in a conference setting and discussing the conservation issues.”

Renowned scientists are featured as speakers during the conference. Some have become recurring speakers at the conference, sharing their invaluable experiences and knowledge.

“I think that [it] says alot about the integrity of this conference,” Moore said. “When you have big name professional scientists choosing to put their time, effort and money into something, that tells you they you are doing something right.”

Holding the conference on a cruise ship opens a myriad of opportunities. Being at sea also allows the attendees to have hands on experiences with the conservation efforts they are learning about.

“One of the other huge benefits of doing it aboard a cruise ship is the mobility,” Moore said. “We are moving from port to port, country to country and getting to experience different conservation issues that are going on in each of these locations.”

Ecotourism is also a large focus of the conference.

“We are trying to shift people’s way of thinking from either a take or kill mentality to an observation mentality,” said Moore. “We like to educate people so they can identify the types of ecotourism that they should support, which is a really wonderful thing when it comes to conservation and the types of things to stay away from.”

Moore strongly suggests that students take advantage of this opportunity, especially as undergraduates.

“The reason that I would recommend, undergraduate specifically, to attend the conference is for networking,” Moore said. “There are so many opportunities with our conference to speak one on one with all of our profession speakers. They are getting to travel to different locations and getting to experience the marine ecosystems and organisms in each location. It can expose them to things they have never seen before.”

Another unique aspect of the conference is the poster sessions which are open to both undergraduate and graduate students.

“It is a great way to force yourself to present scientific material which anyone thinking about attending graduate school will have to do, so it is a great way for undergrads to practice,” Moore said.

Educational grants totalling $1,500 are given to the students with the top three posters, which covers most of the cost to attend the conference. While individual costs are based on a combination of per cabin and per person prices, additional excursions including snorkeling, kayaking, scuba diving, etc. require additional costs due to transportation and equipment. The prices for these experiences usually range from $40 to $120.

Students who would like more information can visit the conference website at www.cruisingforconservation.org. All of the information including prices, dates and registration forms can be found on the website as well as all of the instructions on choosing a cabin, choosing roommates or traveling alone.  

Registration for the 2019 conference has closed; however, they can still take people as long as the ship has cabins available. Carnival Cruise Line currently still has cabins available, but once those cabins run out no more attendees can be accepted. Registration for the 2020 conference will open at the end of January or early February of 2019 after the conference is announced.

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