It is with great pleasure, that I introduce this year's Small Business Saturday Highlight. As you all know, I like to share someone that is making a difference, to help us all think about the products we purchase, or our own businesses on this day. Allison Randolph is literally giving a voice to the ocean and has taught me about so many great people, products, and movements through her many podcast interviews. I love to paint and listen about how these new surfboard fins will send research back to scientists, or how a community leader is fighting against toxic algae blooms, to name a few. They are so inspiring and leave you feeling amped about the future, which doesn't always happen when people talk about ocean conservation. Thanks for sharing with us today, Allison!
Tell us a little about you and your background/schooling.
I was born and raised in Stuart, FL and thanks to my parent's love for the ocean, growing up I practically spent more time underwater than above. In school I was involved in environmental groups and had several science fair projects that went to the state level. All of this eventually brought me to Florida Institute of Technology where I earned my degree in Marine Biology. During my time at Florida Tech, and for a short time after I graduated, I had the opportunity to work as a researcher on a number of different ocean science projects, from corals to sharks, and while I love science and know that it is vitally important to furthering our understanding of the planet that sustains us, I felt as though my passion and talent could be better utilized as an Ocean Science and Conservation Communicator. In other words, I went from being a Marine Biologist to being someone that jumps at any and all opportunities to talk about the ocean, teach people about the ocean, and help protect and conserve the ocean. As Ocean Allison, I strive to be a voice for the ocean.
What made you want to get into podcast interviews, and what is your main goal or mission for them now?
I initially got the idea to produce a podcast when a number of factors started to converge all at the same time. For one, I started actually listening to podcasts, and soon began to realize that what I really wanted to listen to (ocean science/conservation stories) just simply wasn't out there. So at least to me, it seemed as though there was a need. Second, I was meeting an incredible amount of people through events, conferences, social media, and collaborations, that were all doing such positive things in ocean science, conservation, and education and I felt compelled to highlight their work. Third, while I was seeing so much "doom and gloom" cast over ocean issues in most media outlets, I felt like my real-life experiences were showing me that there is in fact a lot of positive work being done to help the ocean. And so Ocean Allison Podcast was created! My two main goals with Ocean Allison Podcast are to highlight people from all walks of life creating positive change for the ocean, and to inspire listeners to care deeply for our blue planet.
Has your network of friends and people you've interviewed help inspire some collaborations?
Yes! Usually a pretty deep bond is formed after going through a ~30 minute interview with someone, so there have been many instances where I've collaborated with one of my podcast guests in a different capacity later on. Or often I collaborate with someone on a project or initiative and then after meeting them, ask them to be a guest on the podcast, so it works both ways. I've also been fortunate enough to collaborate with listeners that reached out to me. It's truly created an amazing network of ocean advocates!
Tell us about Patreon and how it works?
Patreon is a subscription based funding platform that allows people to financially support creators, like me, as someone who is regularly producing podcast episodes. Although listeners can access all of my podcast episodes for free, if a listener wants to help ensure that the podcast episodes continue by supporting the creator, they can pledge a specific dollar amount per episode. Basically, if someone pledges $2 per podcast episode, each time I produce a new episode (once a month) they are charged $2. For me, Patreon is great because it allows me to provide free content to anyone and everyone, and in turn grow a large, interested audience, while also getting at least a bit of compensation for the work I do to produce this inspiring ocean content. Big thanks to all of my current Patreon supporters, it truly does help keep the podcast episodes coming!
How else can we support the cause?
I'm always open to new opportunities to collaborate on all things ocean science, conservation, and education so feel free to get in touch via my website oceanallison.com. I love to facilitate ocean education via K-12 and University classroom visits (in person or via Skype), as well as work with science groups from institutions and non-profits to help communicate ocean science research to the public using digital media tools like videos and social media.
Where can people hear all of your latest podcasts?
All Ocean Allison Podcast episodes can be found on iTunes, Google Play, Soundcloud, and oceanallison.com. Happy listening ocean lovers!
Thanks again for all that you do!!
Carly Mejeur is a floridian artist, inspired by her ocean hobbies and travels. This Blog is for news, events, and just for fun. Click here for the artist's Bio.