At SORCE we believe that education is key to conducting good research and carrying out effective conservation strategies. We are constantly furthering our own education by gaining new certifications and working with new groups of people, but we also strive to educate those around us. This includes volunteers, local conservation groups, students, resorts, and anyone who is interested!
Volunteers receive training and education in each aspect of their trip. From day one we give a briefing on our projects and initiatives so that volunteers understand how and why our program operates. We continue this training by giving a lecture and hands-on experience before any new project is undertaken to make sure that each participant is trained and comfortable in the activities we offer. International certifications are available for volunteers who spend more time at SORCE through ReefCheck and CoralWatch, and many volunteers choose to pursue further scuba certifications during their time here.
SORCE offers a Marine Science A-Level course accredited by Cambridge International for students of all ages and at all stages in their careers. This course gives a solid foundation for studying and understanding marine ecosystems, and the classroom learning is complemented by hands-on learning and work in our underwater classroom right next door where students can gain practical experience.
Students working on their undergraduate and post-graduate dissertations and theses also choose SORCE as a location to pursue fieldwork. SORCE can work with students to tailor projects that fit university requirements and offer support and on-site resources to help complete these projects. Additionally, the SORCE community is full of other participants excited and involved in marine studies who are happy to help out while you’re here.
SORCE also works with local schools and students to encourage understanding and appreciation of the marine environment. This happens through beach cleanups, snorkeling and swimming lessons, and cultural exchange to share and learn from each other.
Local Conservation Groups
SORCE works with local conservation groups from the area to both learn from them and share our expertise and knowledge. We hold workshops to help educate groups on coral restoration and other conservation initiatives, and often use their expertise to supplement our local knowledge as our organization expands.
The tourist industry on Lombok is increasing, and as it does, we are increasing our reach to make significant impact there as well. By educating local resorts we often find support in tackling our other initiatives, such as increasing local patrols to minimize destructive fishing techniques. Additionally, tourists at these resorts benefit from sound ecological presentations which convey both the magnificence of the place they’ve come to visit, but also the threats it faces and the steps we can collectively take to conserve it.
Our organization could not run without support from the local community. They are the people who know this area best and who are the biggest stakeholders in its continued productivity. Successful changes cannot be enacted without their backing, and we take steps to make sure that we are acting and communicating our actions in a way that benefits these people the most. This education occurs through presentations and workshops, as well as field trips for our local university students from Mataram, the capital of Lombok.