Monthly Archives

July 2015

10 Reasons You’ll Feel Good Joining Team Snotbot

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Our Snotbot Kickstarter is launched and in full swing. It’s an exciting opportunity for Ocean Alliance to again make a splash in the natural world, with drones! And here are some of the reasons why backing us on Kickstarter will make you feel like a million bucks.

 

  1. It’s tax deductible! We are a 501c3 nonprofit, and your pledge, minus the fair market value of the reward, is deductible on your taxes like any other charity donation! This means you can feel even better about giving.
  2. You help Gloucester stay on the innovation map. Our hometown of Gloucester, MA is undergoing a transition – for centuries, we were a busy fishing port until depletion of stocks  led to a sharp decline in the industry. But Gloucester is not only surviving, it’s blossoming into a new marine-engineering and technology friendly place to run an organization – and we want to continue our goal of turning the iconic Paint Factory into a world-class marine education and research center.
  3. Snotbot is tied in with our robotics program!  On the grounds of our Paint Factory headquarters, we have a robotics laboratory made out of an old shipping container! We provide a weekly robotics meetup called Paint Factory Flyers, and we aim to provide every kid who wants to be involved a way to make their own RC plane, whether or not they have the financial means. Often, we have many children (as young as 6) and teens flying drones in the field! We love getting kids involved with STEM.
  4. You’re helping the whales. Whales are amazing, smart animals – but they’re massively sensitive to ocean acoustics. We aim to see what is stressing them – and in the case of the endangered Southern Right Whale, they can’t afford to be stressed out.
  5. We prove that drones have a positive use. Sometimes, drones and quadcopters are misunderstood or maligned in print. We are here to prove that they have a positive and necessary use in marine sciences and in all types of research.
  6. You get cool stuff in return! We have everything from hoodies, bandanas, and t shirts to interesting rewards like flexidisc recordings of whale songs from the 1970’s!
  7. We are able to quickly do research in a fast-changing climate – this isn’t a five year project, where climate change will outpace our research. We can do this soon, so that the data we get can be used as quickly as possible. If we can
  8. You Make Patrick Stewart happy! He has been a great friend to Ocean Alliance, and has even come on a research expedition! He generously gave us his time for this video, and he also loves drones, and Snotbot!
  9. You provide jobs. Locally, Ocean Alliance provides jobs to the Gloucester area, and during our expeditions, we’ll also need additional help. Keeping STEM jobs local is a huge goal for us, and with Snotbot, we’re on our way.
  10. You become part of the Snotbot team. We will bring you updates before, during, and after our expeditions – with stunning ocean photography caught from drones. We’ll regale you with stories and interact with our backers whenever we can. This is a great opportunity for families to follow a STEM-based excursion and show the next generation that science and engineering are fun and engaging.

Take the Plastic Free July Challenge!

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Here’s a sobering fact: in the first 10 years of this century, more plastic was produced than the entire last century.

And apart from the small amount of plastic which has been incinerated, every piece of plastic which was ever produced still exists on earth somewhere.

This unsustainable and alarming trend has led to some necessary introspection – what are we, as individuals, putting into the plastic waste stream? What is our negative contribution to the environment? It can be hard to measure when we, as consumers, are conditioned to accept a single-use plastic bag for all our purchases, expect our retail items surrounded by plastic packaging, and single-use water, juice, and soda bottles line the walls of every convenience store in America.

This is why a group of concerned folks at the Western Metropolitan Regional Council (WMRC) in Perth, Western Australia started the Plastic Free July Challenge locally 2011. By last year’s challenge, participation had grown to 14,000 individuals, schools, businesses and organizations from 69 countries.

What, exactly, is the Plastic Free July Challenge? The website explains:

The challenge is quite simple. Attempt to refuse single-use plastic during July. “Single-use” includes plastic shopping bags, plastic cups, straws, plastic packaging…basically anything that’s intended only to be used once and then discarded. If refusing ALL single-use plastic sounds too daunting this time, try the TOP 4 challenge (plastic bags, bottles takeaway coffee cups & straws).

The rules

  1. Attempt to refuse single-use plastic during July.
  2. Remember it’s not going to be easy! It is a challenge, not a competition so don’t worry about being perfect.
  3. Collect any unavoidable single-use plastic you buy. Keep in a dilemma bag and share it with us at the end of the challenge.
  4. It’s up to you regarding how long you participate. You might decide to go plastic-free for a day, a week, a month or longer! However long you choose will still make a contribution.

 

Our Social Media Manager, KT Toomey, is going to try the challenge. Check up on her progress, and her bag of shame, on our Facebook page this month!