Making WAVES 2013 Speakers
Speaker Bios

Making WAVES is honored to host a prestigious group of speakers to address a broad range of important ocean issues, including energy and drilling, aquaculture, eco-tourism and more. These expert speakers are top in their respective fields, and will be sharing their insight in panel presentations and interactive discussions.

Keynote Speaker: Fabien Cousteau
Diver and Founder of Plant a Fish

Growing up on decks of his famous Grandfather’s ships, Calypso and Alcyone, Fabien Cousteau was destined to work to protect our planet’s immense and endangered marine habitats.

From his vast experience in the field, coupled with a degree in environmental economics from Boston University, he has refined a public policy platform grounded by his strong belief that environmental discipline can be the basis for innovative solutions that strike a balance between regional and global environmental problems and the realities of market economies.

In 2006, Fabien partnered with his father, Jean-Michel Cousteau, and sister, Celine, to complete a three-year multi-hour series for PBS called Ocean Adventures. In 2010, he launched Plant A Fish, an innovative nonprofit organization designed to empower communities and children to help restore their local water ecosystems through the healthy “replanting” of key marine species. Current initiatives include restoration projects in El Salvador, New York City, South Florida and the Maldives. Expansion to Haiti and Indonesia is expected in late 2012.

Mark Spalding
President, The Ocean Foundation

Mark brings his extensive experience with the legal and policy aspects of ocean conservation to The Ocean Foundations’ grantmaking strategy and evaluation process. He is also Executive Director of the Fundacion Bahia de Loreto and St. Kitts Foundation. Mark is an active participant in the Marine Working Group, Baja California Group, and Coral Reef Group of the Consultative Group on Biological Diversity and serves on the International Bering Sea Forum.

Mark has also consulted with numerous foundations including the San Diego Foundation, the International Community Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Fundación La Puerta; he has served as a member of the Environmental Grants Advisory Committee of FINCOMUN. Mark is the Chair of the Council of the National Whale Conservation Fund.

Master of Ceremonies: Jim Toomey

JimToomey125Jim Toomey will be joining us for Making WAVES 2012 as the emcee of the Ocean Symposium.  He has been writing and drawing the daily comic strip Sherman’s Lagoon, which is syndicated to over 250 newspapers in North America and in six languages around the world for the past 18 years.  Sherman’s Lagoon combines two of his life-long passions: art and the sea.  In addition to drawing his comin strip, Jim is active in marine conservation and has been recognized by many organizations such as NOAA, NPR, Harvard University, TED, and Discovery Channel for raising public awareness of the oceans in a humorous way. Photo courtesy of insights.wri.org.



Richard Charter
Senior Fellow, The Ocean Foundation

Richard Charter is a Senior Fellow with The Ocean Foundation and has been working for over three decades to ensure continued protection for sensitive coastlines threatened by offshore oil and gas drilling. Richard coordinated the local government support that led to the creation of the Gulf of the Farallones, Cordell Bank, Channel Islands, and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuaries, presently serves as Vice Chair of the Gulf of the Farallones Sanctuary Advisory Council, and is also an appointee to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Methane Hydrates Advisory Committee. Richard also works on fracking and the toxic impacts of onshore oil and gas drilling. Richard is a resident of the Northern California coast, and spent much of his childhood in its tidepools and on its beaches.


David Guggenheim
President, Ocean Doctor

David is a marine scientist, conservation policy expert, ocean explorer, educator and filmmaker. He is now in his 13th year leading marine research and conservation in Cuba. An Explorers Club National Fellow, Guggenheim piloted the first manned submersible dive into the world’s largest underwater canyons in the Bering Sea. His documentary, Disaster at Nightingale, details the South Atlantic oil spill that killed thousands of penguins. He is a leading advocate for sustainable aquaculture. His 50 States Expedition brings ocean programs to schools, encouraging careers in science. Guggenheim is an acclaimed speaker and has been featured on 60 MINUTES, Good Morning America, CNN, NPR.

Previously, he was VP, Ocean Conservancy; President/CEO, The Conservancy of Southwest Florida; Co-Chair, Everglades Coalition.

Holly Lohuis
Field Producer, Executive Coordinator for Jean-Michel Cousteau

Holly is a marine biologist with a degree from the University of California– Santa Barbara and for more than fifteen years has explored the world with Jean-Michel Cousteau and his team. A member of the expedition team for all eleven hours of the PBS series, Jean-Michel Cousteau Ocean Adventures, Holly acts as a liaison with scientists, and is responsible for confirming the factual accuracy of Ocean Futures Society documentaries and publications. As a marine educator, she has taught thousands of children and adults about the wonders and fragility of the marine environment and the importance of protecting our water planet for future generations.

Holly has been a marine educator for almost 20 years and, with the mentoring of Jean-Michel Cousteau, she has been involved with creating Ocean Futures Society’s consistent theme: the ocean is connected to the existence and lifestyle of every human being. For her educational outreach efforts, in 2009 Holly was honored with the Hall of Fame award from the San Juan School district in her hometown, Sacramento, California.

Stephanie Tobor
Founder, Green Apple Supply

Stephanie Tobor is a philanthropist, entrepreneur and environmental activist. Born and raised in Texas, she is no stranger to the coast and has strong ties to the Gulf of Mexico. While in Texas, Stephanie worked diligently to maximize charitable donations by founding DonationDoubler.org, a database of matching donation opportunities for consumers. Upon moving to Colorado, she founded Green Apple Supply, a non-profit that seeks to educate the public about Earth-friendly options while providing eco-friendly home, office and school supplies at wholesale prices. Stephanie serves as an Executive Advisor to Plastic Pollution Coalition and works closely with the Sylvia Earle Alliance as the Director of the Mission Blue Education Initiative.


Richard Theiss
RTSea Media

RTheiss1012-1hRichard Theiss brings together experience as a filmmaker and media producer to advance the cause of ocean conservation through the use of broadcast, print, and online media. As a wildlife cinematographer, his work, particularly with sharks like the great white, has been used by National Geographic, Discovery, Google Ocean, History Channel, ABC, CNN, and many others. He has provided media and marketing consulting services to multi-billion dollar corporations and has been a strong advocate for promoting better communications within the marine scientific community. A 30-year diver, speaker and writer, and member of the international Explorers Club, Theiss is currently working with the Kiribati government and the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) Trust in developing sustainable ecotourism in one of the world’s largest and most unique marine protected areas.

Gregg Treinish
Founder/Executive Director, Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation

GreggTreinishGregg Treinish, both an adventurer and a conservationist, formulated the idea for the ASC in late 2010. He believes firmly that it is the responsibility of those who recreate in natural areas to protect those same areas. Gregg has worked as a wildlife biologist, a backcountry guide, and a supervisor in wilderness therapy programs in Colorado and Montana. He has traveled to six continents and continues to explore our world. In 2004 he hiked the 2,174-mile Appalachian Trail, and in 2008 he completed the first ever trek of the Andes Mountain Range, which took more than 22 months and covered 7,800 miles. Gregg was awarded the National Geographic Adventurer of the Year award in November of 2008 for this accomplishment. Gregg was recently named to the Christian Science Monitor’s 30 under 30 list in January of 2012 and was named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in May 2013. Gregg lives and plays in Bozeman, MT.

Erika “echo’ Bergman
Submersible Pilot, ExploreOcean

ErikaBergmanAs a lifelong storyteller turned manned submersible pilot Erika Bergman is a passionate ocean explorer. She studied chemical oceanography at the University of Washington while simultaneously working as a diesel engineer aboard the tall ship S/V Lady Washington and a steam ship engineer aboard the S/S Virginia 5. Since then she has worked full time as a submersible pilot and engineer completing exploration, research and filmmaking sub dives in Washington, California, and Florida. In May of 2013 she was named a National Geographic Young Explorer and is thrilled to share an upcoming series of manned submersible dives with young adults through real time streams using modern social networks as well as ongoing mentorship. While she loves to spin a yarn, Erika has also written academically, most recently presenting a paper on manned submersibles for the Marine Technology Society conference Oceans ’12. Manned submersibles are a unique and inspiring tool to translate abstract ocean concepts into something tangible for a global audience. Erika hopes to inspire enthusiasm for ocean awareness using these exciting inner space vehicles.

Dennis Long
Executive Director, Monterey Bay and Channel Islands Sanctuary Foundation

DennisLong photo - CopyDennis Long is very active in the nonprofit sector, in both professional and volunteer capacities. After a career in the high-technology industry, holding a variety of executive management positions, he shifted his focus to environmental and ocean conservation causes.
He was part of the initial Save Our Shores Sanctuary Stewards volunteer program. Dennis served as Director of Business Affairs and on the Board of Directors of Sea Studios Foundation, an award winning film production company, with credits including Once Upon a Tide and National Geographic’s Strange Days on Planet Earth.   For more than a decade he has been the Executive Director of the Monterey Bay and Channel Islands Sanctuary Foundation, a nonprofit organization closely aligned with the National Marine Sanctuary program along with other coastal and ocean resource agencies in California. The Foundation’s major education and outreach initiative may be viewed at www.CaliforniaMPAs.org.

Alex Earl
Executive Director, Project AWARE Foundation

DSC_0031Alex’s childhood was spent in the pristine, natural settings of Stewart, British Columbia, Canada located at the end of one of the longest fjords on the Pacific Coast of North America on the border with Alaska. As a child living in one of the last true wilderness areas left, seeing wild salmon runs, bears, eagles and marine animals like otters, seals, orcas and porpoises in their natural settings instilled a deep desire in him to conserve and protect our environment. With a background in political science and world history from the University of British Columbia and as an alumni of an elite Canadian government international development program, Alex has been fortunate to live, work, volunteer and dive globally within North, Central and South America, Europe, Africa, Northeast and Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Micronesia. He began his dive training in the cool waters of Whytecliff Park, the first Marine Protected Area in Canada. And in 2001, he earned his Advanced Diver certification in the warm tropical waters of another marine protected area in Puerto Galera, Philippines. Scuba diving clarified for Alex that marine conservation was his path and soon his commitment to protecting our ocean planet was forged as a global executive at Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Today, he is proud to utilize his passion, skills and background to lead a talented team at Project AWARE Foundation to help save our ocean planet – one dive at a time.

John Armor
Deputy Director of NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

john armorJohn Armor is the Deputy Director of NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, which serves as the trustee for thirteen national marine sanctuaries and the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument and also oversees the National System of Marine Protected Areas. Mr. Armor has worked for NOAA for more than thirteen years, previously serving as the Chief of the Conservation Policy and Planning Division for the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. In that capacity, he helped direct natural resource policy, management planning, regulatory development, advisory council coordination, and other resource protection functions. Prior to coming to NOAA, he worked for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection working to improve wetlands and water quality in south Florida. A native of Rhode Island, he holds a Master’s degree in environmental science and policy from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor’s degree in marine science from the University of South Carolina.

Richard Boot
President and Founder of FishChoice.com

RJB headshot 1Richard Boot is the President and Founder of FishChoice.com, a web based platform that connects commercial  buyers and sellers of sustainable seafood and keeps them updated with aggregated, market based information about seafood sustainability.  Prior to founding FishChoice, Richard worked as Director of Operations for FishWise (Sustainable Fishery Advocates). At FishWise he developed training and implementation programs for use in grocery stores’ meat and seafood departments. For the FishWise program, Richard formed collaborations with national environmental NGOs on a variety of subjects including mercury labeling and education and sourcing of environmentally preferable seafood products.  Before getting involved with the sustainable seafood movement, Richard graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a degree in Business Economics. He managed large restaurants for Chart House Inc. and Landry’s and has worked as chef, buyer, and kitchen manager in the hospitality industry. He is certified by the National Registry of Food Safety Professionals and has expertise in seafood purchasing, receiving and handling and was named as a 2010 Seafood Champion by the Monterey Bay Aquarium for his work with FishChoice.com.

Courtney Mattison
Artist and Ocean Advocate

CM-BioShotCourtney Mattison is an artist and ocean advocate working to inspire policy makers and the public to conserve our changing seas. With a BA in marine biology and sculpture from Skidmore and an MA in environmental studies from Brown and the Rhode Island School of Design, Mattison has worked in and studied marine conservation ecology and ceramic sculpture simultaneously for over ten years. Her debut large-scale ceramic coral reef sculptural installation – Our Changing Seas: A coral reef story – is currently on display at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in downtown Washington, DC. She just completed a second Our Changing Seas sculpture for the Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center lobby in Dania Beach, FL. More at: www.courtneymattison.com.

Captain Phil Renaud
Executive Director, Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation

Phil_Renaud_Aug_2011smCaptain Renaud’s career in oceanography began at the Naval Academy where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Oceanography in 1979.  During his distinguished 25-year career in the Navy, he served as the oceanographer for an aircraft carrier (USS Theodore Roosevelt), was the lead oceanographer for the Commander, Second Fleet, and his naval career culminated as the Commanding Officer of the Naval Oceanographic Office.  His naval career took him to all corners of the earth.  His hobbies include being a PADI SCUBA Instructor, avid sailor, backpacker, and skier.

Phil has earned master’s degrees in Oceanography, Meteorology, Strategic Studies, and Business Administration.  He has been leading the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation for the past decade and has developed the Foundation into a world-class scientific organization dedicated to conservation of the marine environment, particularly coral reef ecosystems.

Presently, Phil is concentrating on fulfilling Prince Khaled’s vision of circumnavigating the globe to combat the rapid decline in coral reef health through the Foundation’s ambitious Global Reef Expedition program.  This fast-paced expedition is achieving the goals of mapping and surveying coral reefs around the world to rapidly close scientific knowledge gaps and to identify factors that either harm reefs or contribute to their resilience.  More at http://www.livingoceansfoundation.org/

Shawn Heinrichs
Filmmaker, Founder at Blue Sphere Media

shawn-heinrichsShawn is a passionate cinematographer, scuba diver, and marine conservationist. An independent filmmaker and founder of Blue Sphere Media, a production company specializing in underwater, adventure and conservation films, he has acquired considerable first-hand knowledge of the oceans most important marine areas. He has worked with leading film and journalist teams including CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Yann Arthus Bertrand, and National Geographic and delivered projects for many of the top marine conservation organizations including WildAid, Shark Savers, Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy and Pew Environment Group.  Shawn has published numerous conservation articles and given presentations on marine conservation to audiences across the globe.  Key areas of Shawn’s conservation focus include ending the global slaughter of sharks, protecting manta and mobula rays, and establishing marine protected areas. He is working to establish shark sanctuaries and shark fin legislation across the Pacific, Southeast Asia and the Caribbean. Shawn serves on the International Board of WildAid, on the Board of Shark Savers, and is an Associate Director of Manta Trust.  In recognition of Shawn’s hands-on approach to marine conservation, he was presented the 2011 Oris Sea Hero of the Year award.

Mark Stone
(D- Monterey Bay) California’s 29th Assembly District

Stone 076 editMark Stone represents California’s 29th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Monterey, Marina, Pacific Grove, Sand City, Seaside, Capitola, Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley and a portion of San Jose. Previously, Stone served the people of the Central Coast as Board President of the Scotts Valley Unified School District and as a Santa Cruz County Supervisor. As an environmental champion at the local level he led the effort banning plastic bags and creating a Commission on the Environment, and such, has helped Santa Cruz County earn its reputation as an environmentally conscious county. From 2009 to 2012, Stone served on the California Coastal Commission, where he earned the reputation as a principled leader who protects the cherished California coastline for generations to come. Stone lives in Scotts Valley with his wife Kathy and their two children, Melissa and Byron. Stone is an avid open water swimmer.

Claudio Garzon
Artist, Educator

Claudio profile pictureLA-based artist Claudio Garzón is an ocean advocate working to inspire students and the public to conserve our changing oceans. His plastic ocean debris sculptures offer a different way to represent and convey this global crisis. His work exemplifies not only visionary creativity – but exciting solution oriented design to encourage environmental awareness. Garzón believes artists are the storytellers needed to translate massive amounts of scientific data in ways that can be assimilated and acted upon by the public who are simply not getting the message needed to be informed and engage the next generation.


Garzon’s work has been featured the The Los Angeles Times, The Discovery Channel, Discovery Channel En Espanol, National Geographic, and TEDXSoCal.

Ruby Stocking
International Filmmaker

rubyRuby Stocking is an international filmmaker having just graduated with a BFA in Documentary Film Production at Chapman University in Southern California. Over the years, her love for spontaneity and adventure has inspired her passion for making real films with real stories. Having had that passion expand into opportunities to live and work in Italy as well as make documentaries in Ghana, Singapore, India, Hawaii, and more, she now pursues a magical international film career outside of the US and foresees the outcome being absolutely swell.


Lee Lee
Artist, Ocean Advocate

Lee-Lee_Plastic-Install_GadlinA graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design, Lee Lee has developed a practice of figurative painting which integrates new materials like plastic as well as untraditional processes to cultivate rich textures that become inherent into the meaning of the work. Her work has been informed by extensive time abroad, reflecting the unique qualities of place. Because of the rapid and defining growth of globalization, her practice has evolved to placing particular communities within global contexts in a way that demonstrate how we are directly tied to each other. Petrochemicals expressed through transportation, agricultural chemicals and plastic are integrated both literally and figuratively into her paintings to explore the consequences of the imposing nature of post-industrialization in this Chemical Age. Her series on plastic is being exhibited at the Chateau de la Napoule in France in February of 2014, where she was a resident in 2012, and has been featured by the UN Programme on the Environment in regards to the impact of plastic on the Oceans. She exhibits internationally with current projects unfolding in Ireland, Copenhagen, France and Haiti.


Watch a live stream of our speakers here.

Check out Making Waves 2012 Speaker videos

Are you interested in becoming a weekend sponsor? Download sponsor packet or contact coloradoocean@gmail.com for more information.

Co-sponsored by Colorado Ocean Coalition and Colorado Scuba Retailers Association



Make a Donation!