The Ocean Project’s work on advancing ocean conservation in partnership with zoos, aquariums, and museums (ZAMs) around the world has yielded a growing network of interested and involved people from approximately 1,500 ZAMs and other organizations.
Within this network, “Priority Partners” are our most valuable partners in helping inspire visitors and the public to conservation action. We look forward to working closely with you and your colleagues to support your institution’s mission for conservation.
As a Priority Partner, The Ocean Project will provide you with the following
- Cutting‐edge communications research: We conduct ongoing comprehensive research into the public’s perceptions of the ocean, climate change, related environmental issues, and the role of ZAMs in conservation, as well as what can motivate them to take conservation action. Priority Partners receive the survey findings in advance of the public release. As a Priority Partner, we invite you to contact us if you have specific questions you would like to see included in our ongoing surveys.
- Interpretation of the research findings: In addition to annual comprehensive surveys and monthly tracking, we provide regular analysis of the research with strategies that you can choose to incorporate into your programs and activities. We also release quarterly reports on specific issues, for example climate change or target demographics, relevant to strategic communications. Priority Partners are invited to provide input on the topics covered in these reports.
- Staff training workshops: Priority Partners can receive an interactive 4‐hour workshop on how to integrate the research findings into your institution’s outreach, education, and marketing. We will work with you to tailor the workshop to your needs, whether it be for your staff, docents, or your board members. We can also help apply the research findings in connecting with local audiences through shorter, complementary workshops with our expert on social media.
- Presentations: Priority Partners can host a regional presentation of the research that provides an overview of the latest communications research, for your staff, Board, ZAMs, NOAA and other Federal officials, and/or private foundations, NGOs, and for your other partners in your area. This 30‐ or 45‐minute presentation can help promote your institution as a leader in conservation communications, and it can precede an interactive workshop for your staff, if desired.
- Opportunities for public recognition: We help publicize and highlight your efforts with private foundations, government officials, and other ZAMs in our global network, through development of case studies, and joint publications and presentations. We also highlight our Priority Partners on our website and in other communications.
- Opportunities for networking: The Ocean Project helps broker connections among our partners and others in the wider research and conservation community. We host workshops at conferences to provide past and present Priority Partners opportunities to network and learn from each other.
- Funding opportunities: Your early access to the cutting‐edge research findings allows you to demonstrate the potential of your institution to be a major force for conservation in your community. Previous partners have successfully used the survey findings as a fundraising tool, noting that getting this valuable market and public opinion data delivered in a timely fashion has helped with securing grants. We will also provide links for funding opportunities, and make other fundraising connections, as we can. In addition to our Small Grants Program open to all our partners, we are also pursuing additional funds to help create an annual conservation action effectiveness award. Additionally, because The Ocean Project is widely recognized for research and long‐term assessment of environmental attitudes, our letters of support add significant value in the review of grant applications.
- Evaluating success: We can work with you to help evaluate progress/success throughout this initiative. The Ocean Project staff is currently working on compiling available resources for program evaluation, which we will share soon.
In return, here is what we request from you as a Priority Partner
- Integrate findings: Most importantly, we need a commitment from you to incorporate and integrate The Ocean Project communications research findings into your program and outreach efforts, both onsite and online.
- Establish a contact person and communicate internally: In addition to establishing a lead contact person, we can distribute our information to as many people at your institution as you would like. This primary contact will work with us to share resources and information widely within your institution and provide coordination as the need arises. We anticipate that it will take the lead contact person no more than a few hours every few months over the course of the year to conduct these activities.
- Networking and outreach: Willingness to share your experiences in case studies and communications with the wider ZAM community through involvement on conference panel presentations and joint publications.
- Participate in the evaluation of this initiative: An evaluation specialist will conduct brief calls and in‐person meetings at the mid‐year and/or annual AZA conference with you to evaluate progress and to help us improve our activities. We really do need to hear from you as to what is working, and what is not, so we can continue to improve this communications research and outreach initiative.
If you’re interested in becoming a Priority Partner, contact Communications Project Director Wei Ying Wong.
Visit our current Priority Partners!
- Aquarium of the Pacific
- Cabrillo Aquarium
- Florida Aquarium
- Georgia Aquarium
- Monterey Bay Aquarium
- Mystic Aquarium
- National Aquarium
- New England Aquarium
- North Carolina Aquarium
- Philadelphia Zoo
- Seattle Aquarium
- Shedd Aquarium
- Steinhart Aquarium
- Tennessee Aquarium
- Texas State Aquarium
- Vancouver Aquarium
- Virginia Aquarium
- Wildlife Conservation Society