We all have our Science heroes that we look up and draw inspiration from. Men & women who give us concepts and tools to make sense of our complex world. Tell us who your science hero is, and we will share Your Story with the world. #ScienceHero
Story by Wanjohi Kabukuru
David Obura (@dobura) is my science hero. He speaks so easily about oceans and puts oceanography into easy to understand, everyday language.
As a marine scientist with a cauldron of achievements and expeditions traversing the width and breadth of the western Indian Ocean, David is a rare gem. I met him in 2013 during an intensive Solution Journalism Network (SJN) initiative. As I travelled through the western Indian Ocean in search of stories on how local communities were adapting to climate change, David provided real time scientific evidence.
Home-grown innovative solutions by coastal communities within the western Indian Ocean rim had attracted the attention of scientists like David. These approaches included many projects: from community run marine parks to mitigate declining fish stocks, to mangrove reforestation to address coastal erosion, rising sea-levels, the regeneration of species and ways to curb pollution.
Mega infrastructure projects like modern sea ports and deep sea mining were also explained with ease and useful references to historical events. Bold and yet always with a practical approach in mind, David who is a coral reef expert, explained the interplay of oceans and regional economies through trade, tourism, fisheries and conservation. In David’s words, the transboundary ocean ecosystem was a critical anchor supporting regional economies and linking land-locked nations to the global commerce.
Connecting marine science to everyday community issues and turning oceans into a daily topic that matters was a profound discovery for me. These are the reasons why David, an oceanographer, is my hero.
Falling Walls Science Fellow 2014
Wanjohi Kabukuru is an award-winning international editor and journalist, with a specialty in business, geo-politics, technology and environment. He is the current regional correspondent for premier African continent publications namely New African, and African Business.