I grew up fascinated by the ocean and its creatures. I spent a good part of my childhood by the shore and later earned a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies at SUNY Purchase. I pursued scientific studies of seabirds and fish for my PhD in Ecology from Rutgers University.
My research and recreational and commercial fishing showed me that a kind of “last buffalo hunt” was occurring in the seas. It was clear that fish were wildlife too, but many people had a land-locked view of the environment and conservation.
In 2003, I co-founded the Blue Ocean Institute with my colleague, Mercédès Lee. Our nonprofit strives to use science, art, and literature to inspire a closer connection to the sea. We work to build a “sea ethic” – a relationship that extends our sense of community below the high-tide level. I lecture and travel extensively to help highlight and explain how the ocean is changing and what that means for wildlife and for people. More than ever, we are aware of the ocean’s problems – and that means solutions are likely to be found, helping us to recover the living abundance of our seas.