Using grand scale media to drive conservation: Protecting the Last Ocean

John Weller, United States and Cassandra M. Brooks, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, United States
During this session, we invite you to journey above and below the ice in Antarctica. In 2004, critically acclaimed photographer John Weller, along with Antarctic ecologist David Ainley founded The Last Ocean Project– the first dedicated campaign for a marine protected area (MPA) in the Ross Sea, Antarctica. Working alongside New Zealand filmmaker Peter Young and Antarctic scientist Cassandra Brooks, the Last Ocean became the face of Antarctic conservation efforts worldwide. We will explain how his effort to protect the Ross Sea, Antarctica inspired a global coalition of organizations, scientists, diplomats and more than a million people, and helped entrain world leaders from the White House to the Kremlin. 12 years of work came to fruition in October 2016 when the international community adopted the Ross Sea MPA – one of the most profound international environmental agreements of our times. It is the first large-scale international MPA and the largest MPA in the world. Focusing on lessons learned and the creative applications of media to emerging conservation opportunities, this session will examine ways in which media can help drive marine conservation.