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April 25, 2012


Adam Norko <Adam@seasiderealty.com> +


NAGS HEAD, NC – Leaders and innovators from the worlds of neuroscience and ocean exploration will come together to discuss the convergence of the two expansive disciplines at the upcoming BLUEMiND 2 Summit, being held June 4-5th at Jennette's Pier in Nags Head on North Carolina's Outer Banks.

“Humans have a deep emotional connection to the sea that drives many of our decisions—from what seafood we eat and where we live, to how we vacation and relax,” said Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, founder of BLUEMiND and a research associate at the California Academy of Sciences. “But that connection is poorly studied and perceived as tricky territory to discuss among scientists and policy makers. So, we decided it was time to bring the mind and ocean together with this symposium. Understanding the connection between neuroscience and the ocean may shed new light on the best use of our brains to change our relationship to the ocean planet.”

Michael Roberts, in his award-winning Outside Magazine article, writes that "Nichols himself isn’t a neuroscientist. Unable to test his hypotheses, he’s launched a campaign to create a new field of study he calls neuro-conservation. His hope is to inspire cognitive scientists to examine these fundamental questions. As he sees it, it’s a ripe invitation: Who wants to know what happens when our most complex organ meets the planet’s largest feature?"

A team of scientists, explorers and entrepreneurs have worked for two years planning this second BLUEMIND Summit. BLUEMiND is a one-of-a-kind event that explores the intersection of brain and ocean. Bringing together neuroscientists, ocean scientists, economists, photographers, explorers, writers, and ocean advocates, the summit will help define an emerging field that unites neuroscience, ocean exploration and stewardship, providing a unique opportunity for participants to engage in this exciting new dialogue.

"We are thrilled to host BLUEMIND this year on the Outer Banks. The goals of the Summit are right in line with the way people in our community and visitors to the Outer Banks live and feel about the ocean. There's no better place to get your blue mind on than right here," said Adam Norko, Director of Marketing at Seaside Vacations in Kitty Hawk, avid waterman and on-site BLUEMiND coordinator.

“As a clinical neuroscientist, it is clear to me that the mind-brain and the ocean are two vast dynamic organic domains,” explained Dr. Philippe Goldin, Research Psychologist at Stanford University, who presented at the 2011 Summit at California Academy of Sciences. “Both are complex and intriguing, and they require our attention and care for their continued well-being and existence.”

With ongoing threats to the ocean intensifying, there is urgent need to focus on solutions: Nichols and his team believe that new insights may emerge as we understand our brains more deeply—and most critically, our brain’s interrelationship with this ocean planet.

Currently, little data exists about the brain ‘on the ocean’ in the field of cognitive neuroscience, or the ocean research and conservation communities. What happens to the brain when a person is in proximity to the ocean? Why do we spend hard earned money to vacation, live or dine within the view or sound-shed of the sea? What are the links between the ocean, relaxation, stress and public health? What are the fundamental emotional drivers behind our voracious appetite for disappearing seafood?

This year BLUEMiND will provide a platform for scientists from National Institutes of Health, Penn, NOAA, Duke University, Institute of Neuro Innovation, The Greenstein Institute, Sands Research and other institutions and organizations to present, discuss, debate and better understand these interconnections, supporting further exploration on the implications for ocean and human health. Topics to be explored this year include PTSD and the ocean, open water swimming and youth empowerment, your brain on seafood and the science of playing in the ocean. But this year's main theme is all about memory.

"Nostalgia is the word we use for a special kind of memory. For many people nostalgia is connected to the sea. What do you want your kids to be nostalgic about? The ocean is a pretty good choice for a lifetime of fond memories that can help us manage stress and think creatively. The goals of the summit are to expand the conversation we jumpstarted last year, hear about new findings and promote several new lines of mind and ocean research in order to add a new tool to our ocean conservation and human well-being toolboxes,” say Nichols."

The daytime invitation-only summit will be livecast to the public free of charge at www.MindandOcean.org

For program updates and further information on BLUEMiND, please visit www.MindandOcean.org.

To interview BLUEMiND speakers please contact the organizers listed above.

BLUEMiND 2 sponsors include Seaside Vacations, Cateleya Software, Ocean Revolution, LiVBLUE.org, Outer Banks Visitor's Bureau, Sands Research, CleanFish, Institute of Neuro Innovation, Jennette's Pier, Outer Banks Brewing Station, Comfort Inn, Ramada Inn and Max Davis Design.

The BLUEMiND Summit is part of the LiVBLUE.org Campaign, The Mind and Ocean Initiative, and the NeuroConservation Research Group, a collaboration between leading researchers in the conservation, communications and cognitive sciences. Our fiscal sponsor is The Ocean Foundation.

The California Academy of Sciences is an international center for scientific education and research and is at the forefront of efforts to understand and protect the diversity of Earth’s living things. The Academy has a staff of over 50 professional educators and Ph.D.-level scientists, supported by more than 100 Research and Field Associates and over 300 Fellows. It conducts research in 11 scientific fields: anthropology, aquatic biology, botany, comparative genomics, entomology, geology, herpetology, ichthyology, invertebrate zoology, mammalogy, and ornithology. Visit research.calacademy.org.

About Seaside Vacations: Founded in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1990, Seaside Vacations is a full-service vacation rental management company representing homes from Corolla to Nags Head. Seaside Vacations offers a complete selection of Outer Banks vacation rentals. Guests can choose from 1 - 10-bedroom private vacation rental homes, condominiums, townhomes and villas. Explore our homes in Duck and Corolla as well as numerous vacation rentals in Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head. For more information about the BLUEMiND 2 Summit, visit www.OuterBanksVacations.com/blue-mind-summit.htm. For more information on Seaside Vacations and their wide selection of vacation rentals, visit www.OuterBanksVacations.com or call one of their Vacation Specialists at 855.267.8199.
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