“You ordered HOW MANY leis?” The DUML Open House
The past few weeks have been a complete whirlwind! Since its release on July 10th, The Nai‘a Guide has gained downloads, Facebook friends, Twitter followers, email subscribers, and a few featured articles. News of The Nai‘a Guide’s release has been seen across the country and the world. The app is currently being used in five continents and downloads are continuing to increase. I am surprised each day with what I can discover about sharing messages of conservation through digital platforms.
In the storm of tweets and emails and interviews, I got to slow down a bit yesterday and share The Nai‘a Guide face to face at the Duke Marine Lab Open House. The lab saw more than 300 visitors in two hours, all eager to learn about the research that is currently being conducted by Duke students and scientists.
I, along with PhD candidates Heather and Kenady and Duke undergraduate, Emma, spoke with guests about marine mammals in Hawai‘i including, of course, the nai‘a. An event for which Heather purchased 200 brightly colored leis.
We explained the dolphins’ unique daily schedule, how they feed at night and rest during the day, and watched as everyone’s faces grew more concerned as we showcased photos from Hawai‘i and explained the intense human interactions that disrupt this rest every day. “Wow, I had no idea,” was repeatedly the response. I think that is my favorite part. The reaction perfectly demonstrates the need to continue exploring methods for sharing science and increasing awareness. Several vowed to download The Nai‘a Guide at home or in their classrooms.
It was an honor to participate in the Open House and feature The Nai‘a Guide amongst so many amazing projects. Thank you to everyone who came to ask questions and please, continue spreading the word about the nai‘a and responsible, sustainable ways to experience them.