Experts gather at UNILAG to explore benefits of marine science – The Sun Nigeria

Experts gather at UNILAG to explore benefits of marine science – The Sun Nigeria

Brian Arbick, professor of physical oceanography at the University of Michigan, USA, called for greater representation of Africa in world science.

Arbic made the call on Friday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

He was speaking on the sidelines of the week-long 2022 Coastal Ocean Environment
Summer School of Nigeria (COESAN) held at the University of Lagos (UNILAG).

NAN reports that the programme, which started on Monday, is annual
an event.

The 2022 edition was organized by UNILAG in collaboration with
The University of Michigan and the Nigerian Institute of Marine Research.

According to Arbic, Africa is one of the largest continents in the world
and there is a need for Africans to be actively involved in decision-making
about the sea.

“This program, called the Coastal Environment Summer School, is the first
when it will be hosted in Nigeria and it will also be done for the first time in
in both virtual and physical form since its inception in 2015 in Ghana.

“It’s basically a week-long summer school in oceanography
which helps people learn about the ocean, its importance and challenges
such as pollution and overfishing.

“It also seeks to build a network of people working around the world

with Africans so that they can cooperate with Americans and Europeans

on ocean issues.

“Africa, as one of the largest continents in the world, is in need
therefore to be better represented in the global enterprise as e.g
publication of scientific works, participation in international communities
and maritime decision-making,” he said.

According to Don, the summer school also aims to promote
marine science in Africa as well as collaboration between marine scientists in Africa and the world at large.

He said that the university also participated in the program
Michigan, University of Lagos, Ghana, China, Liberia and Malaysia,

physically and virtually.

Regarding the impact of the program on students,
Arbic said: “This is the first time we have hosted the program here at
Nigeria but if you go back to Ghana where we held
program, students learned about new technologies.

“They can apply it to research, we hope to bring the same.”

Arbich called for support for the program, noting that cooperation usually leads to this

He commended UNILAG for its efforts in ensuring the success of the event.

Dr. Owoyemi Elegbeye of UNILAG Department of Marine Sciences,
told NAN that it is important to understand that 70 percent of the earth is water.

According to him, 90 percent of the water is ocean water.

Elegbeye, a member of the event’s local organizing committee, said it was unfortunate
that humans are not drawing enough from ocean resources.

“We have to consider the things that really matter to people.
We need to delve more into the usefulness of the ocean and the things in it and see
how it can be applied in our daily life.

“We do not have adequate research in this aspect of human existence; It is
part of the essence of this whole program at UNILAG
for the first time.

“Our goal is to see how people can learn more about the benefits
of ocean and sea science.

“This program is held in Ghana every year; in the last two years, 2020 and 2021,
took place practically after the pandemic.

“It is being held here in Nigeria for the first time, right on our campus,” he said.

He also noted that summer school takes place both physically
and practically for the first time.

“The population should be sensitized en masse to this, starting with the benefits,
because what you don’t know you can’t touch.
It is extremely important that we spread the word,” Elegbey said.

The Vice Chancellor of UNILAG, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, described the program as timely.

He said this is in line with the institution’s decision to boost research
activities among students and staff.

Ogundipe was introduced by Prof. Bola Oboh, Vice-Chancellor (Academic and Research).

According to Ogundipe, UNILAG is excited to host the event.

He said networking remains critical to the advancement of knowledge.

“I am of the opinion that much more needs to be done, especially in West Africa,
given the fact that it is associated with a lot of water.

“What happens in the water space is important and needs a lot of research.

“Therefore, it is important that we delve into the program to ensure this
participants have something good to take home,” he said. (NAN)

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