Creature:Weedy Sea Dragon
Place:Sitting Rock, Maine
Born and bred in the "Ocean State," you could say it was something in the water that gave shape to Gianna's deep love of marine environments and to a career as an award-winning natural history filmmaker. Whether investigating the impact of plastic on leatherback sea turtles, relaying the effects of sea-level rise on a small community in Vanuatu, or chronicling the journey of a band of South Pacific Islanders on their epic voyage across the Pacific, Gianna's pursuit of powerful environmental storytelling has led her to sink her teeth into some of the most critical conservation issues on the planet. Her work has been featured on PBS, National Geographic, Discovery, and the BBC, among others.
With roots now planted in Montana, this Mountain Mermaid is hell-bent on turning the tide by embracing a collective artistic approach to ocean advocacy in order to address the issues facing our blue planet.
Place:Coronation Island, AK
Raised and schooled in landlocked Oklahoma, Jeff first fell in love with the ocean at 15 diving in the Florida Keys and again at 19 kayaking Alaska's inside passage...then again at 22 working abroad in New Zealand. Really, Jeff falls for the ocean every time he sees it. He made a break for the West Coast in 2010 but only made it half way, ending up in Montana to learn how to produce and shoot Science and Natural History films. He has since had the pleasure of working on films for all sorts for companies like National Geographic, PBS, Smithsonian, and WHOI as well as many other independents and non-profits. Jeff also works to design and build interactive tech to help teach about our world.
Place:Resurrection Bay, Alaska
A self-described animal fanatic and nature enthusiast, Emmy found her passion in conservation after her move to Montana from the planate plains of Illinois. Her dream to work for a non-profit grew and she jumped at the opportunity to assist with OMI’s marketing and fundraising. With a background in anthropology, athletics, and adventure travel, Emmy loves communicating the importance of conservation and working towards a sustainable future. The ocean has been rooted in her heart and soul from being surrounded by a pod of orcas in Alaska to snorkeling with her dad in Grand Cayman. Emmy’s particular fondness for the Arctic seas have put Baffin Island and Svalbard at top of her adventure list.
Place:San Juan Islands, WA
“Educate and Empower through Respect and you will change the World right before your very eyes!”
Growing up in a fishing family in a small town north of Seattle, Elise learned how to gut fish before she could even tie her own shoes. Life was lived outside climbing trees, catching tadpoles, building forts, exploring the San Juan Islands, working on fishing boats and treasure hunting on the shores of Puget Sound. The ocean has always played a vital role in Elise's life. Her love for the ocean has grown exponentially over the years.
With over 30 years working in ocean conservation and education, Elise uses her extensive network to establish strategic partnerships through introductions to key players in those industries. Elise has chosen to strive, through action to manage the slow change that needs to take place to make a difference in the world. To the best of her abilities she uses all the facilities available to her to create partnerships, awareness, advocacy and education through a variety of applications, introductions, projects, events and programs. “Find Your PASSION and FOLLOW IT!" Elise has found hers and you will ALWAYS find her somewhere in, on, over, under or around the ocean working tirelessly to make a difference for us and our future on this planet.
Place:Findhorn Beach, Scotland
Alison grew up in a small fishing town in Scotland, an experience that shaped her views on nature and the ocean, and launched a lifelong passion for wildlife and wild spaces. Her love of the natural world led her to complete a B.Sc. in Zoology at Glasgow University followed by a Masters in Film and Documentary. Since then she has spent the last two decades communicating through film the intricacies of life on planet earth.
Alison began making natural history films for Survival in the United Kingdom. Since immigrating to the US she has created films for the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, PBS and the National Geographic Channel. She worked for five years for National Geographic Television’s Natural History Unit producing series that communicated complicated science to diverse audiences.
Alison now works with a range of media to convey the broader scientific and exploratory mission of The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation. In her role as Director of Communications for the Foundation Alison writes for print magazines and online journals, as well as for the Foundation's own website and social media platforms. She oversees all film production, press, live broadcasts, and events on behalf of the foundation.
Alison lives with her husband and two young children near the Chesapeake Bay, USA.
Place:Bloody Bay Wall, Little Cayman Island
Despite being prone to seasickness, Alexa loves to scuba dive and spend time on the water. So when she was asked to develop a new science series for Miami public television station WPBT2, she jumped at the opportunity to cover some of the exciting ocean research conducted in Florida and the Caribbean. Since 2008 she’s been busy producing Changing Seas, a marine science series that takes viewers to the heart of our liquid planet. Her favorite moments producing the show include a visit to the Aquarius Undersea lab in Key Largo, exploring the waters off Roatan from a submersible, and getting up close and personal with some of the coolest critters in the sea. Her goal is to share pressing ocean issues with the general public and one of her proudest moments came when her team was recognized with the prestigious Communication Award presented by the National Academy of Sciences for a program about the impact of legacy contaminants on dolphins. The show can be seen on 90 percent of public television stations in the US and in more than 30 other countries.
Place:Tobacco Caye, Belize
Descended from a long line of Scandinavians and Celts, from the blood of Vikings and pirates, it was no surprise that Sean followed a life of the sea, exploration, and discovery. He is an educator by vocation, and a writer and storyteller by nature. As the son of teachers on the sunny shores of Southern California, Sean was taught from a young age the importance of the natural world and imbued with a desire to protect it. He has studied the environment and conservation alongside literature and writing, inspired by the works of Rachel Carson, Edward Abbey, Henry David Thoreau, and Hildegard von Bingen. Sean uses the power of story to convey the importance of stewardship, environmental and ocean literacy, and a sense of urgency towards marine protection and understanding. Getting people out under the open sky - and in and on the water - has the power to spark engagement and a connection that only first hand experience can inspire.
Now twenty years in Florida, the Pirate Viking is looking to that horizon again, relentless in his voyage to bring a love of the Big Blue to as many eyes and ears as he can by integrating science, education, and experience.
Place:Middle of the Ocean
Somewhere in between getting a degree in biology and environmental science from the University of Virginia, research at Woods Hole, sailing the Bermuda Triangle, teaching scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, and coming nose-to-snout with a whale shark in the Galapagos, Laura became fascinated with the stories of the natural world around us, and in particular, the mysterious & intriguing big blue. She added a dose of her creativity to her love of science and the natural world, and over the past 15 years, Laura has become an accomplished visual storyteller - through film and photography - working for such clients as National Geographic, PBS, Discovery, Conservation International, and Smithsonian. All of her projects have the same goal: to educate, enlighten and empower, by connecting people to the world around us.