NGEN Cambodia Expedition 2019
Hello and thank you for visiting my #GoFundMe page!
My name is Captain Breezy Grenier, FRGS, and I am an Ocean M.E.S.E. Mariner, Educator, Scientist, Explorer. I am also part of the Next Generation Explorers Network.
The Next Generation Explorers Network (NGEN) is a community within The Explorers Club members who are leading the next generation of exploration. This January, NGEN is holding the first, of what we hope is a series of expeditions put entirely together by some of the "younger members" of the Explorers Club. It incorporates science, adventure, physical exertion, and foremost exploration, where we hold an expedition to a region of the planet (this year Cambodia), and where the objectives for expedition are collectively highlighting our research, training, and passions.
Through the NGEN network, ten explorers (myself included) have come together to embark on a journey down Cambodia’s Mekong River, traveling intoremote areas using inflatable packrafts. The interdisciplinary team brings together the next generation of scientists, researchers, and outdoor professionals to complete a variety of objectives that will advance our collective knowledge of the region.
During our Cambodia expedition, the team will paddling the Mekong River and along the way will be teaching wilderness first aid, conducting water quality and micro plastics tests, conducting fisheries observations, amongst other objectives.
My role on the expedition is to lead our fisheries studies for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). A new dam has been installed on the Se San River which is the largest tributary to the Mekong, about 1/3 of the way through our route down the Mekong. We will be conducting interviews with fishermen to determine if the new dam has affected fisheries and their livelihood. Our route on the Mekong will bring us both above and below the confluence of the Se San and Mekong, so any changes above the confluence would not be caused by this dam. Surveys may also be applied to the floating villages of the Tonle Sap Lake where fisheries, rookeries, and communities rely heavily on the annual flood of the Mekong to reverse the flow of the Tonle Sap River. The flood of the Mekong is typically significant enough to fill the lake, creating a uniquely abundant environment; however climate change and dams have the potential to negatively affect these areas and the lives of people who depend on it for their food security.
I am seeking partial funding for the expedition, because since graduating, I keep finding myself with an over qualification quandary. As I continue to search for full-time employment with little success, I keep trying to creates my own opportunities. I have coined the title; Ocean M.E.S.E Mariner, Educator, Scientist, Explorer. Where I not only takes job contracts and internships. I joins expeditions around the world to further my knowledge and testing my skills and abilities. I then uses my free time to deliver ocean & polar science, and exploration lectures to schools and social groups around the Northeast [United States] and beyond.
I have been lucky enough to have been inspired by some amazing people, and I only wish to continue giving back to future generations.
As many of you know I am currently attending the MATE Internship aboard the USCGC Healy in the Alaskan High Arctic. Yes you read that correctly, internship, because even at the age of 30 with a college degree and as a USCG veteran, I cannot find full-time employment, that offers more than $11.50 an hour in Southern New England. I am sorry, its called part-time seasonal on paper, so they do not have to give benefits. I am living paycheck to paycheck working every possible hour, taking every opportunity I can, not only for training, education, and potential employment, but to put food on the table and just to make ends meet.
I spend hours each day applying for jobs, attending interviews, commuting (2-3 hours round trip), and working. When I am not doing the above, I am volunteering and working on projects. In the meantime I also have been creating my own opportunity coining the title Ocean M.E.S.E (Mariner, Educator, Scientist, Explorer). It has been helping to compensate my lack of income. I have been building up my steady fleet of boat work, slowly but steadily been getting more and more requests for lectures, and have been gaining opportunity to do more science and research through expeditions. Unfortunately most of the expeditions are volunteer, but they are offer an amazing opportunity for hands on research, expanding my knowledge, resume, and a chance to use my degree. Not to mention creating opportunities to continue to serve as a role model for the next generation, to inspire and give back what my elders have given me. To show them to not give up no matter how many times you are turned down, to always work hard, try new ways, to keep learning, because something good will come up... It has to!
So if you can help donate to my cause, it will be greatly appreciated. The money does not only go towards my participation in the expedition, but it will help us as a team accomplish our goals. The expedition is the first of its kind through the Explorers Club, Next Generation Network, put entirely together by us. We are setting out, creating our own scientific endeavors, creating our own opportunity, giving back to communities, and feeding our thirst for exploration. Each member of our team is leading an objective, so if one of us cannot go, it will have a direct impact on the expedition.
Thank you for your time,
Happy Veterans Day from the High Arctic!