Paging Dr. Barord: Central Teacher is Saving the Nautilus

Dr. Greg Barord of Central Campus.

Dr. Greg Barord of Central Campus is one of the world’s authorities on the nautilus.

Not only does Central Campus offer one of the nation’s few high school programs in marine biology (and unquestionably THE best one in a landlocked school district), it sent a delegate to the 17th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP17) to CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) in Johannesburg, South Africa!

Marine bio teacher Dr. Greg Barord was there as an expert on, and advocate for, all species of chambered nautiluses and last week he sent word that his trip was not in vain. By an overwhelming majority, the 183 countries represented at the conference voted in favor of regulatory protections governing international trade of nautiluses.

Before flying home Dr. Barord connected with his classes at Central via Skype to share some eyewitness impressions of a major international environmental summit taking place 9,000 miles away.

“So, now the work begins to partner even closer with countries that currently fish for nautiluses to help them ensure that the exports, if any, do not affect wild populations,” said Dr. Barord in an e-mail from Johannesburg. “Honestly, I can’t think of a…10-day stretch where I’ve learned so much about so many things, and not just about nautiluses but other animals, plants, and how the world looks at conservation.”

This week he’s back at work sharing knowledge, experience and personal accounts with his students here, giving them a rare firsthand glimpse of breaking news in a field that few high school students get to study under any circumstances.

On the board in the marine bio classroom at Central is written the hashtag that’s been Dr. Barord’s mantra: #savethenautilus.

Thanks to his work, that hashtag is getting closer to becoming a completed assignment.

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