Diogo Geraldes is a biologist and marine educator, who currently works at the educational department of Oceanário de Lisboa. He is responsible for content production and development of educational programmes.
In 2010, Diogo started his career in ocean and science literacy for the Portuguese Government’s educational project – Kit do Mar. Beyond being responsible for several projects to engage high school students in ocean science research projects (Project: Bridge between school and blue science), Diogo was one of the creators and designers of the Portuguese Blue School programme.
Since 2016, he has been working at Oceanário de Lisboa, creating several outreach programmes, (such as Marine Plasticology that has engaged more than 80 000 students in marine litter subjects), raising awareness and promoting behavioural change, and developing and instructing teachers trainings about climate change and marine litter.
In 2018, Diogo was part of the team that developed the programme “Ocean, Educating a Blue Generation”, an unprecedented education programme, which brings ocean literacy to Portuguese classrooms. This educational programme aims to transform Portugal’s future generations into European citizens who are committed to sustainability and the conservation of the ocean.
In short, I can say that my 40+ year career in Marine Sciences (that crept into education) has allowed me to “live the dream” and I confess that I’ve never really “worked” a day in my life.
My experience includes oil seep detection off of Cartagena, advising NOAA and BP onsite during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, mapping the Congo River for safe navigation, seafloor analysis to optimize global locations for oil rigs, pipelines, and transoceanic communication cables (fiber optic) and searching for submerged beaches present before Noah's (biblical) deluge in the Black Sea. I’ve flown with NASA’s Ice Mapping missions in Iceland and Greenland, taught the Navy's Marine Dive and Salvage Unit techniques how to interpret underwater images and looked for Cortez's treasure in and around the port of Veracruz (successfully). While with NOAA I applied these technologies to look for abandoned fishing gear, map the natural distribution of oyster reefs, and identify key habitat for fish in the Chesapeake Bay. With NOAA’s Integrated Ocean Observing System my role was to streamline the acceptance of academic models into the Federal Operating system to improve forecasting of storm surge and hypoxia (lack of oxygen in water).
Since 2011 I’ve been the Chief Innovation Officer for the Center for Environment and Society at Washington College in Chestertown, MD creating a low-cost water quality and weather observatory on the Chester River in Maryland and a catalog of hands-on programs that connect students and teachers with their watershed. What I’ve learned is that we can imprint our lessons on any student at any level if we engage them in real science that connects them to their own world and backyard. A few of the programs from our One-Watershed STEM initiatives include Aquabotz, where you design, build and operate an underwater robot in a little more than an hour, breaking the world’s record for a small buoy holding golf balls, attaching QR coded tags to trees adopted by students to study their growth and decorating ice trackers and launching them out of planes to monitor Arctic Ice Floes. We teach teachers how to deliver programs designed using the mission statement “Enlighten, Educate, Empower”. The goal of teaching is to make the topic invisible, provide content that is contagious and addictive, and provoke them to use what they’ve learned to better their community. I will share my thoughts of this ICAP intent with the EMSEA group of educators.
I have 7 grand kids, enjoy fishing, flowers, model trains, woodworking, thinking, baseball, soccer and have a pitiful sense of humor. We enjoy kayaking out of our back door on the Choptank River on the eastern shore of Maryland.