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EKOS Communications specializes in science communications, with deep expertise in outreach, education and community engagement. It works with scientists, educators, managers and green entrepreneurs to advance biodiversity conservation, environmental protection and sustainability.


Rick Searle's blog

Making Marine Science Matter - IMCC2014

International Marine Science Congress Opening Shot

My contract with Ocean Networks Canada came to an end on Jan. 2nd of this year. I have come away very proud of what I was able to accomplish in these past four short years, and I'm very grateful for what the experience has taught me. As I turn away from it and face the future, I am excited by the opportunities I see to assist with the conservation of wildlife and ecosystems of the planet by working with mission-aligned organizations and individuals and offering them my expertise in outreach, education and communications, and particularly with the use of digital media to enhance reach and impact. 

In this regard, I am delighted to have just produced this short video to promote the third International Marine Conservation Congress in Scotland, this coming August.

A Matter of Principle

Maligne Lake

It's been more than a decade since I wrote my book, Phantom Parks: The Struggle to Save Canada's National Parks, which documented the mounting pressures in and around these very special protected areas. Both my book and the report of the Panel on Ecological Integrity, a blue-ribbon of scientists appointed by the government of the day, came to the same disheartening conclusion: that despite a clear mandate to put the maintenance and restoration of ecological integrity as a first priority in all decisions affecting the management of the national parks, short-term economics and a culture of business dominated. The Panel made numerous recommendations as to what needed to be done to reverse the downward spiral of ecological integrity but only a few easy-to-implement changes were made, leaving the culture of business largely intact.

Time to Return

Rick with his nephew at the beach

The past four years since taking on the position of Manager of Communications and Public Engagement with Ocean Networks Canada have flown by. During this time, I have had so many wonderful opportunities: developing a strategic plan for the new education and public engagement program; hiring, training and mentoring young staff; building the program together; engaging K - 12 and post-secondary students with the ocean sciences; expanding my professional network many times over, especially among educators and scientists engaged in ocean science education; and of course, learning so much about the deep ocean.

However, the job has kept me so busy that I lacked the time and energy to keep up my blog posts. Hence the long period of silence.

But I've arrived at a point in my life where re-establishing work-life balance has taken on new meaning and so I'm returning to blogging as I feel a strong pull once again to share my thoughts, opinions and reflections on topics of importance to me.

EKOS - Not A Business But A Way of Fulfillment

Rick sitting on the side of trail with sandwich in one hand and a bottle of wine in the other, with a big happy grin.

I received word that some of you found the tone of my last blog "a bit off." The feedback prompted me to re-read it and I have to agree.

The tone seems to imply that EKOS Communications was solely about business. That is blatantly untrue. It arose from, and still does, a profound sense of life purpose to save the planet...our one and only home...oikos, as the Greeks called it.

What's Up at EKOS Communications?

Forest Scene

June 11, 2010: As many of you know, seven months ago I took on a new challenge, that as Manager of Communications and Engagement with Ocean Networks Canada. This is a full-time gig for the next three - four years and possibly longer. As I've mentioned in a previous blog, the opportunity to work with VENUS and NEPTUNE Canada ocean observatories to advance ocean literacy among Canadians was just too great of an opportunity to pass up. However, it leaves precious little time for much in the after work hours, especially since I'm also still supervising a graduate student in the Masters of Environmental Education and Communication program at Royal Roads University.

Meanwhile, Starr has gone on maternity leave with the birth of a second child; she is not likely to be able to re-engage with EKOS Communications until the late fall or winter.

As a consequence, EKOS Communications has been pretty quiet for the past while and will likely remain so until the end of the year.

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