April 25, 2017

Situated over a mile high and known as one of the most beautiful, active, and environmentally conscious cities in the world, Boulder, Colorado is known for many things. Proximity to the ocean is not one of them.

The flatirons.

Born and raised in this bubble of bliss, nature has always been a big part of my life. We learned a lot about the surrounding forests, mountains and wetlands, as well as the incredible wildlife that inhabited them, and I quickly grew a sense of appreciation and respect for the natural world.

This magical land had a hiccup, however, and neglected to reinforce within me the importance of the ocean. Sure, I learned about hurricanes, currents, and the water cycle, but there are certain things you just can’t teach a 12-year-old sitting in a classroom.

As humans, we have an innate connection to the ocean. It’s that sense of ease and wonder you feel when gazing upon it. Yet, until we are given the chance to witness the sea’s magic firsthand, that appreciation and respect doesn’t come as naturally.

Fortunately for me, I got the chance to explore the ocean on a number of family vacations as a kid and then finally when I started scuba diving as part of my work for Ocean First Education.

Anemonefish.A place I thought I knew well suddenly seemed so foreign to me. An entirely new world thrived beneath the waves and I was a very small part of it. Witnessing phenomena like symbiotic relationships and coral spawning made me realize how intricately connected we all are, and how heavily we all depend on the ocean for survival.

One dive, that’s all it took to ignite that old familiar passion for the natural world within me and I am personally and professionally committed to helping others achieve that same feeling.

Whether you live on the beach or one thousand miles from it, Ocean First Education strives to connect you to the sea in a very real way. Be it hands-on activities, 360˚ videos or virtual reality swimming beneath a manta ray, experiencing the ocean firsthand sparks a natural curiosity to learn more.

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