Thinking Beyond the Tides: Exploring Marine Science and Innovation in the Caribbean​

In November 2022, Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA) Caribbean and EcoVybz Environmental Creatives executed a second one-week virtual capacity building training initiative called “Thinking Beyond the Tides: Exploring Marine Science and Innovation in the Caribbean.”

The program had 50 participants (73% female, 27% male) from all over the Caribbean Seas: Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Puerto Rica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.

The program was divided into 5 main sessions, over 5 days, and featured 19 speakers in total from across the Caribbean and beyond, with each session 2 hours in length. The topics included:

  • Young ocean leadership

  • Marine Spatial Planning for SIDS

  • GIS for mapping of Mangrove Swamps and aerial photography techniques
  • The use of drone and satellite imagery for Sargassum Research and Monitoring
  • Coral reef restoration efforts for whole ocean restoration
  • Artificial Intelligence in whale monitoring

Any many more!

Watch the Marine Technology session from "Thinking Beyond the Tides"

The programme facilitated the following outcomes:

  • Provide Youth with networking and internship opportunities

  • Increase in capacity building of advocacy methods

  • Building of Knowledge of new techniques to mapping marine areas

  • Regional-based knowledge of fisheries stock and threats

  • Innovative Techniques in Marine Science eg AI technology

  • Understanding Artistic Tools in Marine Conservation

  • Increasing the sharing of experiences of youth in the field of ocean conservation

As this was the second edition of the TBTT workshop, the executive team were already very well prepared, thanks to the experience of running and competing the 1st workshop and training. The logistics of the workshop were well rehearsed with all members understanding their role in helping the webinar come to fruition with no interruptions.

One of the major strengths of the program was the diverse background of participants.A majority of the participants came from a marine background but additionally there were participants with gender equality and loss and damage background which resulted in fruitful discussions and inputs

Each speaker touched on multiple aspects of niche marine sciences disciples which aided in a well-rounded program. New and upcoming technology was presented as well which was greatly appreciated by the participants due to it greatly raised their awareness.  The format of the webinar was also one of its strengths as the online format of the session allowed participants to join while at work or doing other tasks, this was essential due to the entirety of the webinar taking place during the week.

The training sessions were punctual with clear goals and objectives. Each session started on time and the speakers kept to their time allowing us to end as planned which was something the participants appreciated as some of them were working.


The speaker panel for the opening session

Participant testimonials

Katrina Khan-Roberts, Trinidad and Tobago 

Thinking Beyond The Tides means that we have to move our relationship with the ocean forward further than ever. During this event, I learned that we all have useful observations and communication no matter our background and experience levels. This was further than the average symposium, it brought together people taking action across the region, a range of locations and undoubtedly the best personalities doing amazing things. I can’t wait for next year! Thank you EcoVybz and the SOA Caribbean team as well as the ECOP Program.

Robyn Young, Jamaica –  Thinking Beyond the Tides was a workshop for the books! It was amazing to hear from all the guest speakers who are so passionate about their work. A really eye- opening experience which introduced so many careers which I did not ever consider before! The innovation was incredible! I really look forward to attending the next TBTT. It was incredible to see a Caribbean ECOP community come together.

Alexander Barkley, Trinidad and Tobago – Thinking Beyond the Tides II was just as good, if not better than the first edition! The presentations were on point, insightful and informative. They opened my eyes to new perspectives and opportunities in the field and new ways to go about sampling and doing research. Dr. Kim Baldwin’s work was my favourite as drone mapping of coastal areas is one of my most favorite activities. Hats off to the entire EcoVybz and SOA Caribbean team for a successful workshop as I am looking forward to the next edition.

The information on this page comes from the Training Report delivered by SOA Caribbean and EcoVybz.

Thanks go to IOC-UNESCO and Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) for their generous funding to support this capacity development training.