Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Getting my feet wet...

Hi Everyone! My name is Aaron Becker, and I’m thrilled to join Save the Harbor/Save the Bay as a Senior Marine Educator this summer—but while I’m already in love with this organization, I feel like my position title leaves a lot to be desired. Mostly, I take issue with being called “senior.” It gives the impression that I’m much older than my 22 years. And while I did just finish my senior year at Brown University, this summer is just the beginning of my adventures in the real world.

Moreover, I’m an absolute novice when it comes to Boston Harbor. Many of our “Junior Assistants” have far more experience working on the harbor than I do—Thi, BJ and Alex, to name a few. I do have years of experience teaching and coordinating a science outreach program, but even the brief week of training we’ve had so far has shown me that I’m going to spend as much time learning as teaching in the upcoming weeks. I may be a “Senior” Marine Educator, but I’m anything but set in my ways.

I just completed degrees in Geology-Biology and Urban Studies, and I’ve been drawn to Environmental Education as a field that allows me to draw on my experience working in Earth science to impact children and families in urban communities. The urban community I’ve spent the most time working with is Providence, RI, a city I’ve grown incredibly attached to over the five years I lived there. A little over a month into my residency in Boston, however, I can already tell that I’m going to love it here.

Much of the geological work I’ve done to date has taken me as far from water as possible—this picture of me was taken in Canyonlands National Park, in Utah. I grew up in South Jersey and Tampa, FL, and although the ocean was never more than two hours away, this is going to be my first real opportunity to get to know what it means to live in a coastal community. I can’t wait to share the experience of getting to know Boston through her Harbor.

I’m excited to get my feet wet, both literally and figuratively, and help kids discover the incredible coastal resources that are practically in their own backyards. I’ve already learned more about fishing in two days than I had in the 22 years that preceded them, so I’m sure that this summer is going to change the way that I look at the ocean. Even more importantly, this summer is going to give me an opportunity to help hundreds, if not thousands, of inner-city kids take home a new perspective on Boston Harbor. Even though most kids in Boston Harbor Explorers won’t catch record-shattering fish, I hope that each and every one carries away memories and experiences that last a lifetime.

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