The Fall 2017 Ocean and Coastal Resource Management Speaker Series

Each fall, the Center for the Blue Economy hosts a speaker series that brings creative, pragmatic, and practice-based professionals to campus, primarily to inform and support the students in the International Environmental Policy program, but all lectures are also open to the public and free of charge.   Lectures are typically held on Tuesday or Thursday evenings,  6:00-7:30pm in the McGowan Building, room 102.  The McGowan Building is located at 411 Pacific Street, Monterey, CA 93940.   Click here for a campus map.   Parking is available on the street or in any campus lot after 5:00pm.

The Role of the Emerging New Plastics Economy:  Addressing the Global Ocean Plastics Crisis?
Ms. Daniella Russo, Founder and CEO of Think Beyond Plastics & Adjunct Professor, International Environmental Policy Studies program, Middlebury Institute of International Studies
Tuesday, October 31
McGowan Building, Room 102

About the Topic:    Marine plastic is an economic, environmental, human health and aesthetic problem posing a multidimensional challenge to humanity, often compared to climate change in terms of impact, breadth and complexity. We know that it affects our community as well, and the fragile eco-systems of the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary we safeguard. Current efforts to harness it through recycling are inadequate to the exponential growth in consumption: recycling (worldwide) is affected by the dropping commodities prices of fossil fuels, which rendered virgin plastic cheaper than the recycled material. Many plastic recyclers have gone out of business. There are very small economic incentives to recycle. Yet plastic as a material is valuable and important, and offers multiple benefits to consumers and manufacturers and for the most part, without viable alternatives. Consumption has grown 20X times since the sixties (1.5MT in 1964 to 311MT in 2014), and industry projects that rate to triple by 2050. A McKinsey report released in 2016 projects more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050. The negative externalities associated with this growth are staggering – plastic production will reach almost 20% of the global oil production; it will use 15% of the global carbon budget and will likely surpass the airline industry’s use of petroleum. To address this challenge, in the last five years there has been a growing interest in advancing innovation for commercially and economically viable alternatives to conventional plastics. At the forefront of this work is Think Beyond Plastic™, with its focus on early stage innovation and commercialization; and more recently, the New Plastics Economy initiative launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2016, with focus on circular use of materials and “a plastics system that works.”

About the Speaker:  Daniella Dimitrova Russo believes that intractable environmental challenges can be addressed by harnessing the forces of innovation and entrepreneurship, and the power of the markets to do good. Since 2009, she has led the development of an innovation eco-system enabling the shift away from fossil fuel-based plastics towards bio-based, bio-benign materials from renewable sources and new manufacturing, and innovative consumer and business products specifically designed to handle these new materials.  Daniella Dimitrova Russo is a serial entrepreneur. Her experience includes executive management of businesses from start-up phase through an IPO, as well as within Fortune-500 companies such as Frame Technology, Infoseek, Sun Microsystems, and Xerox PARC.  Daniella Dimitrova Russo is a member of the Founders Board of Advisors at StartX, the Stanford University Accelerator. She is an Adjunct Professor at the Graduate Program for International Policy and Management, at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies at Monterey.  In 2007, she launched Think Beyond Plastic™, the award-winning 360 campaign associated with National Geographic's Strange Days on Planet Earth. The campaign included a creative mix of traditional media, social media, advocacy and hands-on outreach and grew to 360,000 people, businesses and organizations working to reduce their plastic pollution footprint.  In 2009, she co-founded and led Plastic Pollution Coalition, and grew it to become the world’s largest NGO dedicated uniquely to plastic pollution. In 2012, she launched the Think Beyond Plastic™ Innovation Forum, a social impact venture that harnesses innovation, entrepreneurial and investment opportunities in solutions to plastic pollution. The Think Beyond Plastic™ innovation eco-system sources innovations, accelerates businesses and cutivates the impact investment network.  Think Beyond Plastic™ is a model for addressing global sustainability problems that can be extended to food security and agriculture, clean energy, climate change and other pressing issues. Daniella Dimitrova Russo serves on the board of numerous public and private businesses. She is a frequent speaker on innovation and entrepreneurship, and the emerging role of the social enterprise engaging business, policy and civil society in a holistic approach to the planet's global threats.

Related Links:  Think Beyond Plastic

Turning Science into Policy: The Marine Managed Area Science Program
Dr. Mike Orbach:  Professor of the Practice Emeritus of Marine Affairs and Policy, Duke University
Tuesday, November 7
McGowan Building, Room 102

About the Topic:    Dr. Orbach will describe the genesis, progression and results of the Marine Managed Area Science Program, a five-year $12.5 million dollar program to develop marine managed areas in Belize, Brazil, Fiji and Panama.

About the Speaker:  Mike Orbach is Professor Emeritus of Marine Affairs and Policy in the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University.  He has worked as Social Anthropologist and Social Science Advisor with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Associate Director of the Center for Coastal Marine Studies at the University of California at Santa Cruz; and Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at East Carolina University.  He joined the Duke Marine Laboratory in 1993, and was Director of the Marine Laboratory from 1998 to 2006 and Director of the Coastal Environmental Management Program from 1993 to 2014. Mike has performed research and has been involved in coastal and marine policy on all coasts of the U.S. and in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, Europe, Alaska and the Pacific, and has published widely on social science and policy in coastal and marine environments.  He was a formal advisor to both the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and the Pew Ocean Commission, has served on the Ocean Studies Board -- and is a National Associate -- of the National Research Council, and has held numerous other appointments to Boards and Commissions both public and private.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Sea Grant College Program, the Ocean Conservancy, and is a member of the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Science and Engineering Board that is overseeing the development of the 2017 Louisiana Coastal Master Plan.  Since 2005 he has been involved with the Ecological Institute of Berlin in a comparison of policy responses to sea level rise in the U.S. and Northern Europe.

Suggested Pre-Reading:

Multisite, Interdisciplinary Applications of Science to Marine Policy, Hastings et al 2015

Lessons Learned from the Marine Management Area Science Hastings et al 2015

"Evil Fishing"--Significance and Solutions

Ms. Sally Yozell, Senior Associate and Director of the Environmental Security program, Stimson Center
Tuesday, November 14
McGowan Building, Room 102

About the Topic:    At a recent meeting U.S. Navy Admiral Robert Sharp called illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing “evil fishing.”  IUU is a serious global issue that is not often highlighted in the media but is gaining attention in Washington DC’s national security and intelligence circles. While the global demand for fish has increased, fish stocks have plummeted to half the size they were in 1950. Depleted fish stocks threaten not only ocean ecosystem health, but human food security and economic prosperity. IUU fishing is also connected with other transnational organized crimes, including drug, weapon, and human trafficking. Global enforcement efforts until recently have been difficult to actualize given the vastness of our oceans, but new technologies and civil-military partnerships are key to combatting IUU fishing and mitigating its negative ecological, economic, and social impacts.

About the Speaker:  Sally Yozell is a Senior Associate and Director of the Environmental Security program at the Stimson Center. Yozell’s research examines the links between environmental crime and global security issues — with a focus on combatting Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and wildlife trafficking; identifying innovative technologies to fight IUU fishing in Marine Protected Areas; and tracking transnational organized crime as well as natural resources theft.  Prior to joining Stimson, Yozell was a Senior Advisor to Secretary of State, John Kerry and the Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and Environment — where she provided advice and technical expertise to advance U.S. policies in the international arena related to ocean, coast, climate, and wildlife protection. She joined the State Department to support and manage the Our Ocean Conferences starting in 2014, where she stewarded and developed many of the far-reaching outcomes resulting in conservation commitments and investments totaling over $9.2 billion and 9.9 million sq. km of marine protected areas, including the expansion of the Pacific Remote Islands, and the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monuments, as well as the first marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean. She was also instrumental in the global strategy that successfully created the world’s largest marine protected area in Antarctica’s Ross Sea.  Yozell holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Vermont.

Related Links:  The Stimson Center

Live Blue: The Seven Ages of Water

Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, Founder of the Blue Mind Movement, Author, Researcher, Speaker and Senior Fellow, Center for the Blue Economy, Middlebury Institute of International Studies
Tuesday, November 28
McGowan Building, Room 102

About the Topic:    The ecological, economic and educational benefits of waterways and oceans are well debated, documented, and discussed. However, the 4th “e”, emotion is largely overlooked and absent from our reports, media, legislation and curricula. Healthy waters make life possible, literally, but also make it worth living. Research on the science of emotion has the potential to change the conversation about water for good, creating a more accurate perception of its true value. We will consider this intimate relationship through the seven ages of water, from birth to death.

About the Speaker:  Dr. Wallace "J." Nichols is an innovative, silo-busting, entrepreneurial scientist, movement maker, marine biologist, voracious Earth and idea explorer, wild water advocate, bestselling author, and fun-loving Dad. He also likes turtles (a lot).  His experiences as a field research scientist, government consultant, founder and director of numerous businesses and nonprofit organizations, teacher, mentor, parent, and advisor all support his quest to build a stronger and more diverse blue movement.  He has authored more than 200 scientific papers and publications, lectured in more than 30 countries, and appeared in hundreds of print, film, radio, and television media outlets.  His research interests span ocean and aquatic ecosystems, migratory species, marine protected areas, fisheries management, and plastic pollution with special emphasis on building new action networks and developing novel interdisciplanary solutions, sometimes involving so-called enemies. He takes a slow, collaborative approach with leaders in businesses, government, non-profits, and academia to inspire a deeper connection with nature and inventive approaches to pressing issues ranging from supplies of fresh water to improved hospice care for our aging population.  His current focus is on what he refers to as Blue Mind, a powerful new universal story of water. In this story society accurately describes all of the physical, ecological, economic, cognitive, emotional, psychological, and social benefits of healthy oceans and waterways. By connecting neuroscientists and psychologists with aquatic experts and artists to ask and answer exciting new questions his work is transforming many sectors.  His book Blue Mind, published in summer 2014 by Little, Brown & Company, quickly became a national bestseller and has been translated to numerous languages and inspired a wave of media and practical application.  J. knows that inspiration comes sometimes through adventures, or simply by walking and talking. Other times through writing, images, and art. Science and knowledge can also stoke our fires. But he also knows that what really moves people is feeling part of and touching something bigger than ourselves. At every turn he encourages people to disconnect from the grid and reconnect with themselves, those they love, and the special places they care about.  The emotional connection to waters of all kinds—rather than force or financial gain—is what keeps his colleagues and collaborators working hard to understand and restore our blue planet. 

Related Links:  Wallace J. Nichols and Blue Mind

The Politics of Conservation

Dr. David Wilmot, Co-Founder and President, Ocean Champions
Tuesday, December 5
McGowan Building, Room 102

About the Topic:  David Wilmot, Ph.D., President and Co-Founder of Ocean Champions, brings over thirty years of experience in ocean science, environmental policy, non-profit governance and fundraising, and political advocacy to Ocean Champions.   Ocean Champions, a 501(c)(4) organization, with a connected political action committee (Ocean Champions PAC) is the first national organization of its kind focused solely on oceans and ocean wildlife.  David will discuss what the politics of conservation means and how Ocean Champions has achieved legislative and electoral success over the past decade.  “Ocean Champions is the political power that we have needed in the marine environmental community for decades.”  Elliott A. Norse, Ph.D.  President, Marine Conservation Biology Institute.

About the Speaker:  David Wilmot brings over thirty years of experience in ocean science, environmental policy, non-profit governance and fundraising, and political advocacy to Ocean Champions. David received his MS and BS from the University of Georgia where he also Co-Founded Students for Environmental Awareness. David traveled to the west coast to study the recently discovered deep-sea hydrothermal vents and received his PhD in marine biology from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego.  David continued his environmental work while at Scripps (worked with 2 fellow graduate students to ban Styrofoam on campus and local beaches) and it became clear his passion was advocacy. A National Sea Grant Marine Policy Fellowship at the National Research Council’s Ocean Studies Board helped David better understand ocean policy and the workings of Washington, DC. Next came the jump to advocacy with service as the Executive Director of the Ocean Wildlife Campaign (OWC) where for eight years he worked to build this coalition of six national and international organizations into the leading voice for the conservation of large ocean fishes.  David has authored or co-authored numerous ocean science and conservation articles. David lives with his wife and two boys in the Santa Cruz area where they spend lots of time on and in the ocean. When he is not enjoying the ocean, or remodeling his house, David trains in the martial arts and has earned the rank of black belt in Shorinji-Ryu Karate-Do.

Related Links:  Ocean Champions

Topic TBD

Speaker TBD
Tuesday, December 12
McGowan Building, Room 102

About the Topic:    TBD

About the Speaker:  TBD

Related Links:  TBD

See Also

Fall 2017 Hayward Sustainability Speaker Series


Past 2017 Ocean and Coastal Resource Management Speaker Series


Past 2016 Ocean and Coastal Resource Management Speaker Series


Past 2016-2017 Hayward Sustainability Speakers


Videos of Lectures Available for Viewing