Gardner Bickford arrives in Vanuatu
03 July 2009 | Port Villa
Hello, my name is Gardner Bickford. I just arrived in Port Vila today after a gruelling trip through 5 different airports in four different countries over as many days. I am OceansWatch member #3. I have been volunteering with OceansWatch since late 2007, working with Martin Chadwick on the website. I am a 28 year old Yankee with a mission to live on every continent for one year. Hopefully after I have accomplished that then I can move on to living on each of the seven seas for a year.
I was fortunate enough to be selected as crew on "Magic Roundabout" for the 2009 Pacific trip. As I'm sure you've already read on the http://www.oceanswatch.org/page/pacific OceansWatch Pacific Project Page, the "Magic Roundabout" team is made up of Skipper Chris Bone, Marine Biologist Cleo Pandelaers, Marine/Environmental Scientist Alison Schmidt and me. Cleo and Alison are PADI Dive Instructors and all of us have a diverse repertoire of skills that I hope will become evident as this blog continues. This year we are focusing on working with island communities to develop local teams that can help to define, create, and maintain marine and terrestrial environmental conservation areas to protect resources which, in some cases, are vital to the survival of local communities. Most of that work for OceansWatch involves equipping local teams with knowledge, allowing them to continue Reef Check work and to come to reasonable communal decisions on environmental conservation topics. On land in PNG we will be meeting with Carey Senior. Carey is an OceansWatch volunteer water engineer who will be helping four villages work together to bring a fresh water source into each village. I am keen to help Carey in any way possible which will most likely involve me getting dirty in the jungle. So, stay tuned for pictures!