Hello! I’m Ian and I’ve just started at Earthwatch in the role of Research Coordinator. I’m very excited to be here and keen to engage with a truly pioneering citizen science project.
I have had a lifelong fascination with water. I’m pretty sure that this is due to the mystery it holds which has always kept me captivated. As a young child I can remember designing garden ponds complete with periscope so that I could see through the glare upon the surface and directly into the watery world underneath. When I was slightly older, and a keen fisherboy, I can recall the excitement when my first pair of polarized sunglasses arrived. I was convinced (wrongly) that these glasses would enable me to locate all the biggest fish in the pond and improve my fishing no end. Of course, I had overlooked the fact that water is absolutely crammed full of microscopic life, suspended sediment and a chemical soup that rendered the view still too clouded and murky – and my fishing remained suitably amateur. I was nonetheless hooked.
Today, on day five of my employment at Earthwatch, I have begun to peer beneath the surface of over 12,000 data collected by you, the citizen scientists. This is a fantastic privilege and I can but say thank you to everybody that has, and continues to take part in FreshWater Watch. Lurking in the depths of this dataset are plenty of big fish which will help us to learn about the state of our freshwater across the globe. It is datasets like this that will support us in our efforts to untangle the many complex issues that face freshwater. If we can do this, then we can contribute to finding solutions that will improve the security and quality of our most precious resource – water.