Oceanswell launches official website with ‘We are Designers’

Monday, 9 April 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Oceanswell.org is a portal which introduces people to the work of Oceanswell - Sri Lanka’s first marine conservation research and education non-profit organisation. Visitors to the site are drawn deeper and deeper into the ocean. Before they know it, they have witnessed some spectacular sights and learned some amazing facts. They may then proceed to learn more or find out how they can get involved.

Oceanswell is run by Dr. Asha de Vos, together with directors Dr. Sumith Pilapitiya and Dr. Eric Wikramanayake - a trio of Sri Lankan scientists who have dedicated their lives to the conservation of nature. Oceanswell’s work at sea is giving us a clearer picture of what’s going on in the oceans, how they are doing and what we can do to help.

Founder and Executive Director Asha De Vos is a doctor of marine biology who has spent the last decade researching the blue whale population off the coast of Sri Lanka. With Oceanswell, she aims to ensure that all people recognise the integral role that oceans play in our planet and are equipped to work towards its preservation. For Oceanswell, this is now a matter of exciting the world with what they know, and engaging people in their cause. 

“Over the last decade, my work has led to growing interest in the ocean around Sri Lanka and within the region. I realised I had to scale-up my efforts to provide opportunities for more people to foray into the field. Here at Oceanswell, we believe that to solve any conservation issue, we need an army, and to create that army, we need a well-informed public. As a science-based organisation, we ensure that our messaging is scientifically sound yet fun and engaging. We want people to learn as we learn, explore their inner scientist, and feel like they can be part of the solution and not just part of the problem. That’s why we wanted oceanswell.org to be a site that not just showcased our work but also in time became a place of learning”

As the web developer of Oceanswell.org, the ‘We are Designers’ team had to pull out all the creative stops to meet the unique requirements of this site. It had to be attractive, informative and fun for academics, researchers and students while conveying a body of data as vast as an ocean. It is also the case that Sri Lanka offers very little in terms of opportunities for young people to study a subject like marine biology, so an initiative of this nature is even more important. 

 ‘We are Designers’ Founder and Managing Director Joe Lenora stated that he knew this project called for an extra special effort from his first contact with Oceanswell.

 “This is not a commercial proposition but rather an organisation trying to sell an idea. The kind of engagement they are seeking is of a completely different sort. Technically, we had to plan for easy content management and accessibility across a spectrum of devices. Then in terms of design, we were faced with a great body of data which we had to turn into interesting information. The challenge was daunting, but we loved every minute of it”.

Oceanswell’s stated mission is to change the trajectory of the world’s oceans by educating the next generation of diverse ocean heroes, equipping students from underrepresented nations to conduct marine conservation research, and engage everybody in conversations about the magic of our world’s oceans.