The mission of Ocean First Institute is ocean conservation through research and education.
Ocean First Institute (OFI) was founded in 2014 with the mission of connecting people with the ocean, no matter their age or where they live. Through research efforts and educational outreach programs, OFI works to conserve our ocean and empower individuals to be a part of the solution.
Ocean First Institute provides exemplary ocean science research and education. One of its foremost activities-and most rewarding-is awakening and engaging the interest and passion of young people in ocean sciences. Ocean First emphasizes learning as an authentic experience, where the importance of protecting and sustaining healthy ocean environments is made real to inland-based students. The connections they make, between our daily behaviors and actions and the welfare of dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, and the quality of life and health of our ocean waters, is not simply an abstract exercise. It is experiential learning that enables transformations, from small steps, to large-from developing "conservation consciousness," to affirming and ensuring lifelong vocations in ocean science exploration and stewardship. The Institute has served 6,000 students in Colorado with their in-school programs.
OFI has taken students on research expeditions, built underwater robots with elementary classes, and presented to thousands of local youth about the important role the ocean plays in our everyday lives. In its first four years, OFI was able to reach over 113,000 students through virtual programs, speaking with students around the world, including China, Pakistan, Bulgaria, Canada, Argentina, Australia, and 40 U.S. states, about the importance of our ocean and ways each of us can have a positive impact.
"The presentation left an impact on my students, inspiring them to become involved in cleaning up our environment." (Middle School Teacher, Louisville, CO)
"We truly appreciate organizations like Ocean First Institute that engage our students in meaningful projects that spark questions and exposes them to new things. Thank you so much again for making this happen!" (Elementary School Teacher, Frederick, CO)