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. The fall series has ended, but you can find videos of most lectures below.
Human Health, Disease, and the Environment:
How the connection between Dams, Snails, and Prawns revealed Win-Win Ecological Solutions to Fight Human Disease in Sub-Saharan Africa
Dr. Giulio De Leo, Professor of Biology and Population Dynamics, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment
Dr. Susanne Sokolow, Executive Director of the Stanford Program for Disease Ecology, Health and the Environment
Tuesday, September 12
McGowan Building, Room 102
VIDEO AVAILABLE: DISEASE AND ENVIRONMENT
About the Topic: Dams in Sub-Saharan Africa have long been associated with elevated rates of human schistosomiasis, or “snail fever,” a severe disease marked by blood loss and tissue damage. However, how dams increase disease is not always clear, in part because dams have many ecological and socioeconomic effects. A recent hypothesis argues that dams block reproduction of the native, migratory river prawns that eat the disease hosts. In the Senegal River Basin, there is evidence that prawn populations declined and snail fever increased after completion of the Diama Dam. Restoring the native prawns in small aquaculture enclosures at water-access sites reduced snail density and reinfection rates in people. We estimate that one-third to one-half of the global population at risk of snail fever could benefit from restoring native prawns, an effective ecological solution for reducing human disease. Snail fever is just one of many diseases that could be reduced through environmental interventions. By using a random subsample of 250 diseases from the roughly 1415 described human pathogen species, we show that 76-81% of human pathogens are environmentally transmitted. If attention is paid to the connection between human health and environmental factors, with a focus on identifying ecological solutions to interrupt transmission, we estimate this could lead to a 40% reduction in today’s global burden of human infectious disease.
About the Speakers: Dr. De Leo is a Professor of Biology and Senior Fellow of the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University. He is a theoretical ecologist, based at the Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University in the Monterey bay, with a strong interest in Planetary Health. His lab investigates factors and processes driving the dynamics of natural and harvested population and explores how to use ecological knowledge to inform practical management. De Leo launched and co-directs with Dr. Susanne Sokolow the Stanford Program for Disease Ecology, Health and the Environment. Dr. Sokolow is a disease ecologist and veterinarian at Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station, and Associate Fellow at Stanford's Center for Innovation in Global Health. In her role as Executive Director of the Stanford Program for Disease Ecology, Health and the Environment, she is helping to build a growing interdisciplinary community at Stanford and beyond interested in discovering and promoting ecological solutions to disease that lead to improved human health and a more sustainable use of the natural environment.
The World Ocean Council: Global Industry Leadership and Collaboration in Ocean Sustainable Development
Mr. Paul Holthus, Founding President and CEO, World Ocean Council
Tuesday, September 19
McGowan Building, Room 102
VIDEO AVAILABLE: THE WORLD OCEAN COUNCIL
About the Topic: The World Ocean Council (WOC) is an international, multi-industry business leadership alliance on ocean sustainable development, science and stewardship. The WOC brings together companies that depend on the ocean to catalyze global leadership and collaboration in addressing cross-cutting issues in support of responsible business, reduced risk, continued access, and sustainable development. Mr. Paul Holthus, founder and CEO will discuss the mission and vision of the World Ocean Council, a not-for-profit, non-government BUSINESS organization with a growing global network of 34,000+ ocean industry stakeholders. He will discuss current initiatives and the challenges in creating a multi-sectoral, multi-stakeholder organization tackling a broad range of priorities such as ocean governance and policy, marine spatial planning, marine sound pollution, the opening of the Arctic, invasive species, marine debris, marine mammal ship impacts, the adaptation of ports and coastal infrastructure to sea level rise and extreme weather events, data collection by ocean industries, illegal and unreported fishing, and fishery catch documentation and traceability.
About the Speaker: Paul Holthus is the founding CEO of the World Ocean Council (WOC), the international, multi-industry leadership alliance on ocean sustainable development. He has been working to advance the role of ocean industries in sustainable development since the 1990’s. Paul speaks regularly about ocean sustainable development at major industry and ocean events around the world. At the U.N. Ocean Conference, June 2017, Paul addressed the U.N. General Assembly on the role of the private sector in ocean sustainable development. Prior to founding the WOC, Paul held senior positions with the UN Environment Program (UNEP) and with several international environment organizations, including as: Deputy Director of the IUCN Global Marine Programme and as head of the Asia Pacific Marine Program for The Nature Conservancy, where he originated the “Coral Triangle” concept. He has worked as an international consultant in over 30 countries, working with companies, communities, industry associations, UN agencies, NGOs, foundations and governments to develop practical solutions to ocean sustainable development. He is a graduate of the University of California and University of Hawaii, with advanced degrees and certificates in geography and international business. He was a Fulbright scholar in Australia and is an East-West Center alum.
Related Links: The World Ocean Council
The Dawn of Sustainable Seafood in Japan
Dr. Isao Sakaguchi, Visiting Scholar at the Center for the Blue Economy, Middlebury Institute of International Studies
Professor of International Relations, Faculty of Law , Gakushuin University, Tokyo, Japan
Tuesday, September 26
McGowan Building, Room 102
NO VIDEO AVAILABLE DUE TO TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES
About the Topic: In the global fishing economy, Japan is a titan. Japan is the second-largest fish and seafood importer in the world and the top market in all of Asia. However, retailers and restaurants sell seafood without considering sustainability. Three Bluefin tuna species and three eel species are all classified as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), basically because of high demand in the Japanese market. Seafood caught by illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fisheries flows into the unethical Japanese market. More than half of the coastal fish stocks in Japan are now in over-fished status. Scientists remain silent and Cconsumers are blissfully unaware. Walking through the aisles of a Japanese supermarket, it is uncommon to see sustainable seafood certification labels. Why is this? Because there is a severe public governance deficit in the management of fisheries and aquaculture. In Japan, public regulation is dysfunctional.
But there is hope. Private certification schemes and rating schemes (similar to Seafood Watch) have begun to play a central role in promoting sustainable fisheries and aquaculture through an enlightened market. There is mounting economic pressure for sustainable seafood ahead of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020. Sustainable sourcing of seafood became a norm of the International Olympic Committee in 2012, and more and more fishermen and aquaculture farmers in Japan are now interested in seafood certification. Recently, the largest supermarket company in Japan announced a new policy to sustainably source all seafood and aquaculture products. The tides may indeed be turning.
However, legitimate international certification agencies are locked in an unusual battle with Japanese local schemes. These local schemes are strongly promoted by the Fisheries Agency of Japan, but work as “blue-washing” mechanisms. For example, they call practices like targeting spawning schools of pacific Bluefin tuna "sustainable." In addition, the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee recently adopted a lax sourcing code ahead of the 2020 Olympics, which may jeopardize the future of the sustainable seafood market in Japan.The dawn of sustainable seafood faces a highly uncertain future, but with more and more public awareness, there is hope. Join Dr. Isao Sakaguchi, Visiting Scholar at the Center for the Blue Economy, as he discusses current efforts to rescue the nascent sustainable seafood market in Japan.
About the Speaker: Dr. Isao Sakaguchi joined the Center for the Blue Economy as a Visiting Scholar in September of 2016. He is former Chair of the Department of Political Studies and currently Professor of International Relations with the Faculty of Law at Gakushuin University in Tokyo, Japan. In 2017 he was nominated as a Pew Marine Fellow. Dr. Sakaguchi will be researching issues of seafood traceability in the course of his 18 month appointment with the Center for the Blue Economy. His primary research agenda is “Exploration of Effective Growth of Private Seafood Sustainability Certification Schemes.” Dr. Sakaguchi will analyze the conditions of effective growth of certification schemes through comparative case studies of fisheries and aquaculture schemes as a part of a larger joint-research project which includes comparison with certification schemes of forestry and biofuels. The goal of this study is to provide a rich set of policy guidelines for those who govern and to sponsor and promote legitimate seafood certification schemes that can adjust to changing circumstances.
The Future of Our Oceans – What Each One of Us Can Do
Mr. John Laird, California Secretary for Natural Resources
Thursday, September 28
McGowan Building, Room 102
VIDEO AVAILABLE: THE FUTURE OF OUR OCEANS
About the Topic: Secretary Laird will discuss California’s efforts to promote sustainable oceans, describing the state of our marine protected areas network. He will discuss international efforts to fight ocean acidification, and the science and current guidance on sea level rise and other ocean issues.
About the Speaker: John Laird was appointed California Secretary for Natural Resources by Governor Jerry Brown on Jan. 5, 2011. He has spent nearly 40 years in public service, including 23 years as an elected official. The son of teachers and raised in Vallejo, Laird graduated with honors in politics from the University of California Santa Cruz in 1972. He then served on the district staff of U.S. Representative Jerome Waldie, and as a budget analyst for the Santa Cruz County Administrator. Laird has served in many public and non-profit roles: as Santa Cruz City Council Member, board member for local transit, transportation, education, water planning, and regional government agencies, the Santa Cruz AIDS Project, and the Cabrillo College Board of Trustees. In 2002, Laird was elected to represent the 27th Assembly District in the California Assembly, which includes portions of Santa Cruz, Monterey and Santa Clara Counties. Continuing his public service as California’s Secretary of Natural Resources, Laird has made climate change adaptation, water conservation and supply reliability, enhanced relationships with tribal governments, State Parks access, farmland conservation, and oceans sustainability among other issues top priorities. As Secretary, he provides administrative oversight to thirty departments, commissions, councils, museum, boards and conservancies – and is a sitting member of sixteen conservancies, councils, boards and commissions within the purview of the Agency.
Discussing the Disgusting: Policy Solutions to Sewage Pollution in the San Francisco Bay Area
Mr. Kelly J. Miller, M.A. International Environmental Policy Candidate '18, Natural Resource Policy and Management, Middlebury Institute of International Studies
Tuesday, October 3
McGowan Building, Room 102
VIDEO AVAILABLE: DISCUSSING THE DISGUSTING
About the Topic: Throughout the United States, billions of gallons of raw or undertreated sewage are released from sewer systems each year, due to pipe defects and insufficient treatment capacity. In the San Francisco Bay Area, sewage pollution routinely flows into the San Francisco Bay. Sewer laterals, the privately owned pipes that connect home plumbing to the sewer main, are a major source of this pollution. Some cities are working to address this problem through ordinances that promote inspection and repair of defective laterals. This lecture will recount Kelly’s work on promoting stronger sewage policy in the Bay Area.
About the Speaker: Kelly Miller is a second year student in the MIIS International Environmental Policy Program. Kelly spent the summer of 2017 in Oakland working with the San Francisco Estuary Partnership. The SFEP is a collaboration of local, state, and federal agencies, as well as other stakeholders, working to protect and restore the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary. Kelly’s work on sewage policy addressed one of the tasks of the SFEP’s Estuary Blueprint, which outlines a set of goals for environmental projects in the Bay Area.
Related Links: San Francisco Estuary Partnership
Obstacle or Opportunity? Transforming Plastic Pollution into Smart Business on Central America’s MesoAmerican Reef
Ms. Jillian Flavin, M.B.A. & M.A. International Environmental Policy Candidate '18, Business, Sustainability & Development, Middlebury Institute of International Studies
Tuesday, October 10
McGowan Building, Room 102
VIDEO AVAILABLE: OBSTACLE OR OPPORTUNITY?
About the Topic: Plastic pollution in the world’s oceans have increased dramatically and are causing harm to delicate ecosystems, economies and livelihoods. Of the 6.3 billion tons of plastic waste that have been generated, only 9% has been recycled, sending billions of tons of plastic to landfills, the natural environment and into our oceans. Think Beyond Plastic is working in the Bay Islands of Honduras, nestled within the second largest barrier reef in the world, to reduce plastic pollution through market-based and business driven solutions. Learn how entrepreneurship, policy, and education are progressing the new plastics economy in a region rich with beauty and rife with challenges.
About the Speaker: Jillian worked in environmental science, environmental health and sustainable business before pursuing her MBA & MA in International Environmental Policy at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey in 2016. She has explored local and global environmental issues including: the effectiveness of marine protected areas in Belize’s Mesoamerican Reef, water quality in Costa Rica and California, ecology and biodiversity in Ecuador, sustainable agricultural practices in Latin America and the U.S. and opportunities for on-site water generation in Perú and Australia. Her most recent project with Think Beyond Plastic Innovation Accelerator brought her to the Bay Islands of Honduras to identify market-based solutions to plastic contamination in the region. Jillian enjoys thrift shopping, reusable straws and bamboo cutlery. She also loves to travel, hike, ski, bike, speak Spanish and “get outside” whenever possible. Jillian received her B.S. in Environmental Science from CSU, Monterey Bay.
Related Links: Think Beyond Plastic
The Eight Pillars of Effective Fisheries Management
Dr. Jake Kritzer, Lead Senior Scientist, Oceans Program, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)
Tuesday, October 17
McGowan Building, Room 102
VIDEO AVAILABLE: EIGHT PILLARS
About the Topic: In light of the profound importance of healthy fisheries for functional ecosystems, food security, livelihoods, and cultural heritage in coastal communities, considerable scholarship has been devoted to the question, “What are the key elements of success in fishery management?” Synthesis of the seminal papers among this literature and key international policy documents, coupled with decades of our own research and practical experience, reveals eight fundamental pillars, the presence and nature of which are critical determinants of success.
About the Speaker: Jake works on the scientific and policy dimensions of a variety of issues, including fisheries management, coastal habitat protection, watershed planning, and others. His work has addressed the waters off his home in New England, as well as Australia, Cuba, Belize, Chile, Northern Europe, the Middle East, and other locales. Recently, he is increasingly focused on China, the world’s largest fishing power. His expertise span fisheries biology, spatial ecology, and environmental policy, and he has published more than 30 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters in these fields, as well as numerous technical reports and popular articles. He is also the senior editor of the milestone book Marine Metapopulations, which was the first to systematically apply metapopulation theory directly to marine systems. Jake provides regular fishery management expertise to stakeholders and policymakers through service on several technical and advisory committees, including past appointments as Chair of both the New England Fishery Management Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Habitat Committee, and as a member of the City of Boston’s Conservation Commission. Jake joined the Environmental Defense Fund in 2004 as the first Dennis Puleston Fellow, honoring the founding trustee of the organization. Prior to joining EDF, Jake graduated from Middlebury College with a B.A. in Biology, earned a Ph.D. in Marine Biology from James Cook University in Australia, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Windsor in Canada. Jake lives in New Hampshire with his wife, Brooke, and his energetic and adorable daughter, Rosa.
Related Links: EDF Bio Link
Saving the world is simple, right? The novel integration of science, social enterprise and pro-ocean policies to save coral reefs
Mr. Christopher LaFranchi, Founder and CEO, OneReef, and Molly Shane, IEP student who served as Summer Fellow for One Reef
Tuesday, October 24
McGowan Building, Room 102
VIDEO AVAILABLE: SAVING CORAL REEFS
About the Topic: This talk will explore OneReef, a social enterprise that works with local communities, Pacific Island Presidents, and technology-wielding scientists to protect healthy coral reefs and recover nearshore fisheries. We will review OneReef’s model and history, and explore inspiring and frustrating aspects of work that is breathtakingly simple and infinitely complex. Expect unvarnished accounts of what it has taken to get this far. We will examine the hard parts that are impossible to ignore and current prospects. Our discussion is sure to embolden (or disabuse) anyone harboring visions of social entrepreneurial stardom.
About the Speaker: Chris founded OneReef in 2012 to create direct impact through locally controlled coral reef conservation. As CEO, he has been principally responsible for fundraising, organizational vision and design, and negotiating agreements with Micronesian communities who own coral reefs and are committed to conservation goals and adaptive management strategies. He has lived in Africa and Indonesia, and performed field work in at least 12 countries, building extensive experience in community engagement, environmental policy, and diplomatic work. His former work with the World Bank, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the marine science community provides a wealth of knowledge in global conservation. Chris has an M.S. in natural resource economics from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a B.S. in biology and technical journalism from Oregon State University. In 2015, he was nominated for the Pew Fellowship in Marine Science.
Related Links: OneReef
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
VIDEO AVAILABLE: NEW PLASTICS ECONOMY
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
VIDEO AVAILABLE: TURNING SCIENCE INTO POLICY
About the Topic: Dr. Orbach will describe the genesis, progression and results of the Marine Managed Area Science Program, a five-year $12.5 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.
"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
VIDEO AVAILABLE: EVIL FISHING
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
National Marine Sanctuaries and Ocean Conservation in 2017
William J. Douros, West Coast Regional Director, NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
Tuesday, December 12
McGowan Building, Room 102
VIDEO AVAILABLE: NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARIES
About the Topic: William Douros will discuss how national marine sanctuaries, including one of the country's largest, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, are advancing ocean conservation and some of the latest challenges and opportunities to protecting our ocean.
About the Speaker: William J. Douros serves as the West Coast Regional Director for the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, a position he’s held since 2006. In the role as Regional Director, Bill is responsible for oversight of nearly 16,000 square miles protected as national marine sanctuaries on the west coast of the United States. Bill came to federal service in 1998 where he served until 2006 as was the Superintendent for Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. From 2010 through 2012 he served as the Acting Deputy Director of the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, working much of that time from Washington, D.C. Bill’s past work and educational experience combine coastal policy, marine science and operational management. Immediately after graduating with a Master’s degree in Marine Ecology from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1985, Bill worked for, and for many years managed, Santa Barbara County’s Energy Division, which regulates offshore oil and gas development in that county. Bill comes from families skilled as restaurant chefs and ship builders, neither of which he claims to have inherited. Some skills Bill has acquired from past jobs include bagging groceries, baking pizzas, and fighting forest fires. Bill’s graduate work, conducted at Santa Cruz Island, examined intra-specific competition within extremely high-density populations of black abalone (Haliotis cracherodii). He also evaluated archaeological remains to determine how pre-historic predation on abalone may have affected their population sizes. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Biology from U.C. Santa Barbara in 1981. Bill lives with his family in Carmel, California, where his two sons attend public schools.