Annabel Ruffell, Billion baby turtles, biologist, Blue Angels, Blue Marbles, BlueMind, Journey for Earth, LivBlue, marine conservation, ocean, sea turtle biology, sea turtles, Wallace J Nichols, water
My name is Annabel Ruffell and I am the founder of Journey for Earth, a global awareness company committed to inspiring change for humanity, the environment and animals, one choice at a time.
Dr. Wallace “J” Nichols is a scientist, activist, author and dad. For several decades he has studied sea turtle biology and marine conservation.
1) What Journey are YOU on?
This decade I am working to help people better understand how water of all kinds — lakes, rivers, bays, oceans and even swimming pools, puddles and bath tubs — can heal our bodies and our minds. We’re accumulating research that shows how being outside, in motion makes our brains work better–just add water for an extra boost. Surfers, swimmers, divers, beachcombers, fishers, and kayakers have known this for a long time. We’re finding that people with chronic stress, attention issues, PTSD, and a wide variety of other concerns are helped by moving their bodies on, in, or near water. We call it BLUEMIND and our hope is to share our findings with everyone. And we mean EVERYONE. Our hope is that what we’re learning becomes common knowledge among all human beings.
2) What has been one of your greatest challenges over the years, either with the work that you do or in another area of your life, and how did you overcome it?
I’ve been consistently told by senior advisors and colleagues that my ideas weren’t worth pursuing. That they were impossible, too late, un-fundable, not worth my time, too far out there, and that I was committing “career suicide”. From trying to save sea turtles in Baja, to working with turtle hunters to do it, to sharing satellite tracking data in real time online…and now crowd-funding my salary, connecting neuroscience and the ocean, and passing a blue marble through every hand on the planet–the consistent advice I’ve gotten has been to find something else to do.
It can be a challenge to hear that over and over again, and to keep trusting your gut. Especially when there’s no funding initially for the new ideas.
But I guess it’s become a habit to just push ahead, gather like-minded people who see things similarly, and make things happen.
3) What is your greatest hope for our planet at this time?
We must move beyond seeing nature simply as a commodity and as deliverer of “ecosystem services” and place real value on the vast cognitive and emotional benefits we get throughout our lives from interacting with a healthy biosphere. I think many of the problems we are trying to solve relate to that disconnect. Some call it neuroscience literacy, others call it mindfulness or consciousness, and it’s changing the way we understand ourselves and each other, hopefully for the better. We’re seeing it happen, and it can and will scale.
To hear more about Dr J’s amazing conservation work watch our interview below.
What Journey are YOU on?