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Science & Nature

Blue Mind: Why the Ocean and Water Can Make Us Happier and Healthier

In this one-time course, we will explore the science of why being in, around, or near the ocean (or any body of water) can make us happier and healthier.
Sara Vanderkaden
4 total reviews for this teacher
1 review for this class
Completed by 6 learners
  There are no upcoming classes.
year old learners
learners per class


Charged upfront
Meets once
55 minute class
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Class Experience

This class is taught in English.
Students will improve their knowledge of 'blue mind' science, which spans human biology, evolution, physiology, cognition, and psychology. These scientific concepts will be presented to students in an accessible and digestible manner so that students can leave the class knowing some new cool facts about the ocean and a greater background in some scientific concepts. 
I am a marine manager with 5 years of experience working as a professional consultant, where I collaborate with government, academic, and communities regarding the sustainable use and management of our ocean. I have a Master of Marine Management from Dalhousie University and an Honours Bachelor of Science in marine biology and international development from the University of Guelph. I am also a PADI Rescue Diver with regular experience guiding and assisting new divers to experience and connect with the ocean environment. Through my personal and professional experiences, I am comfortable and proficient in speaking about our connections to the ocean and the many benefits that the ocean can provide. 
A quick, verbal, knowledge review will be completed towards the end of the class to summarize and reflect on what we have learned about the 'blue mind'. 
55 minutes per week in class, and maybe some time outside of class.
While the science of the 'blue mind' includes many of the cognitive and psychological benefits that water provides to our emotional health and physical well-being, this course will avoid any sensitive topics, such as mental illness or physical disabilities. We will be focusing on positive interactions with the ocean (or other bodies of water) that encourage students to foster ocean connections. 
This course is inspired by the book, titled "Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do" by Wallace J. Nichols. This book, however, will not be presented directly to the students because the course content will have a different focus and be delivered in an age-appropriate manner. I will draw on examples from this book to showcase reasons why the ocean can make us happier and healthier. 

This class will include video(s) from the platform 'Ocean School' as a prompt for classroom reflection/discussion: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmciyrltnj6xFtihmjMHJVA


Sara Vanderkaden
Lives in Canada
Marine Manager, Scuba Diver, Marine Biologist, and Ocean Optimist
4 total reviews
9 completed classes

About Me

I am a marine manager with over five years of experience working to promote the sustainable use of our ocean. Our connection to the ocean is boundless – from the food we eat, to the energy we consume, to the oxygen we breathe – and yet there are... 
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