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

2009 off with a bang!

Looking down on Moat Lake, Forbidden Plateau, Strathcona Provincial Park, Vancouver Island

Happy belated New Year to everyone!

How is the new year treating you so far? I hope as well as it is for myself and EKOS Communications. Two hours before midnight New Year's eve,  I glanced at my e-mail and discovered to my great delight that funding had been approved for the second video to help celebrate BC Parks 100th in 2011.

Since then, more exciting projects have come our way. Four years ago, Oxford University Press Canada asked us to produce an interactive CD-ROM to accompany a first year geography textbook focused on environmental challenges in Canada. They were so pleased with the learning resource that they have come back to us again to produce something a little more special, innovative for the third edition. We're still negotiating the details, but production will commence very soon since the final product has to be ready by mid-April.

Best Summer Vacation Yet!

Mule Deer buck among the hoodoos of Writing-On-Stone Prov. Park
I've just returned to Victoria from a nearly seven week long vacation. Over the course of this time, my wife and I visited numerous parks, protected areas and historic sites throughout Western Canada. Our travels took us to Waterton Lakes National Park, Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park, Cypress Hills Provincial Park, Fort Walsh National Historic Site, Grasslands National Park, Riding Mountain National Park, Rushing River Provincial Park, Great Sandhills Special Management Area, Dinosaur Provincial Park, Royal Tyrrell Museum, Jasper National Park, Banff National Park and, finally, Kootenay National Park. In nearly every park or site, we camped, hiked and photographed. Between us, I think we returned with nearly 5,000 images!

High Hopes for Nature-Based Tourism in Jamaica

Looking up into the canopy of a huge stranger fig
Before leaving Jamaica, several weeks ago, I had an opportunity to hike through a portion of the St. Ann's Forest Reserve near Oche Rios in the company of two men from the Hills United Development Organization (HUDO). This organization represents the interests of several tiny rural communities in the region. The two men were anxious to show me the area they hoped to develop as a nature trail with an interpretive/visitor centre.

Montego Bay Marine Park

Resort development along Montego Bay Marine Park
In my previous blog, I wrote about the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park and the valiant efforts of the Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust to protect and conserve them. In this blog, I'd like to profile Montego Bay Marine Park and the remarkable group of volunteers who have dedicated themselves to its protection and restoration. Just over two weeks ago, while passing through Montego Bay, I was invited to explore the marine park with Andrew Ross, a fellow British Columbian, and his friend, Brian Zane, who hails from the Southern US. No sooner where we on the water, bouncing over the chop stirred up by a stiff breeze, when we encountered a local spearfisherman well inside the park boundaries. Pulling alongside, Andrew asked the fellow if he had any luck. With a big grin, he showed off a string of 6 or so fish. Andrew then informed him that he was inside the marine park which was closed to spearfishing and asked him to leave the area. At first the fisherman appeared reluctant to do so, but as I got my camera and began taking pictures, he swam off hastily.

Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park of Jamaica

Tree ferns and morning mist
Yesterday was an awesome day! With the business meetings associated with the biodiversity curriculum project completed, I spent the day exploring the Hollywell Recreation Area within the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park with Susan Otoukon, executive director of the Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust, the ngo charged with the responsibility of managing this protected area.



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