Imagine taking the science you’ve studied and the passion you have for protecting the environment, particularly oceans, and finding a career that utilizes both.

That is exactly what Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson gets to do every day in her work as the Executive Director of Programs and Strategy for the Waitt Institute, which is a non-profit organization based in La Jolla, California that endeavors to ensure ecologically, economically, and culturally sustainable use of ocean resources, for this and future generations.” These scientific pioneers are transforming the ways in which the ocean is managed.

This film provides a sneak peak into what it looks like to work at empowering communities to restore their oceans. The folks at the Barbuda Blue Halo Initiative endeavor to preserve livelihoods and cultures by working with the community to design and implement a plan to sustainably managing their ocean resources. In this brief video, they’ve captured a snapshot of one island’s commitment to finding solutions.

This installment features the community-driven mapping work of SeaSketch, an ocean summer camp for local kids, policy work with the Barbuda Council and local divers learning to do conch monitoring surveys.

With a soundtrack by the Barbuda primary school’s steel drum band, this film by Daryn Deluco shows their collaboration with the community and government of Barbuda, a model they plan to adapt and replicate with other communities around the Caribbean to help save our oceans.

Their efforts to bring together both the community and government is inspiring and a strategy that can affect real and lasting change. These scientific pioneers are making a real difference and all while getting to utilize exciting new technology in this beautiful, ocean setting. A lot of people think being a scientist means that you must work in a lab and wear a white coat. For this job, pack the sunscreen and your swimsuit.

You can check out their other video about Barbuda Blue Halo and follow their progress via Facebook and Twitter @BarbudaBlueHalo.