Dr. Finch, executive director of the Mobile Botanical Gardens, is a writer, conservationist and consultant on environmental issues including the demise of Alabama’s state tree, the longleaf pine. He is also a former assistant managing editor of the Mobile Press-Register and served as conservation director for the Nature Conservancy.
Josh has spent his career advancing conservation through book publishing and writing. In 1990, he founded Living Planet Press, which published books in collaboration with NRDC, World Wildlife Fund, the Wilderness Society, the ASPCA, Conservation International, and American Forests. In 2002, he founded Waterford Life Sciences, which publishes books by thought leaders in a range of scientific disciplines. Josh spent seven years researching and writing War of the Whales: A True Story (Simon & Schuster, July of 2014) which chronicles the decades-long battle by environmentalists and marine biologists to limit the use of naval sonar in marine habitats. War of the Whales became a New York Times Science Bestseller and was named among the Best Books of 2014 by The Washington Post, Amazon, and Kirkus Review. As a Senior Fellow at The Ocean Foundation, Josh continues to lecture, write and educate about the threats to marine life posed by industrial and military noise pollution, and to advocate for reductions in man-made sound in the ocean.
Dr. Michael A. Lang, called “Master of the Deep” by SMITHSONIAN, currently serves as President of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences and director of the Divers Alert Network. His career has emphasized the importance of placing the trained scientific eye under water to record and interpret the marine environment and enhancing the safety and effectiveness of scuba diving. Lang’s research projects have effectively bridged the international diving and marine science communities with impact on decompression sickness risk management through the use of advanced technology and procedures, marine natural history education through Smithsonian Journeys expeditions, scientific and popular articles, and providing training courses and facilitating work in extreme polar (Antarctica and Svalbard) and remote tropical environments (Clipperton, Palmyra, Eastern Tropical Pacific and South Pacific Islands) in the study of global change and marine biodiversity. His most recent books include Smithsonian at the Poles: Contributions to IPY Science; Smithsonian Marine Science; The Future of Diving: 100 Years of Haldane and Beyond; Science Diplomacy: Antarctica, Science and the Governance of International Spaces; and, Research and Discoveries: The Revolution of Science through Scuba.
Conn’s career has been evenly divided between running philanthropies and running organizations that depend on them. He is currently directing TOF’s major study for The Pew Charitable Trusts on the science, economics and geopolitics of seabed mining. As president of the Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment, a Washington think-tank, Conn also oversees programs in ecosystem management, carbon pricing, and environmental health. When Conn was the executive director of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, the non-profit was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Kevin Ranker concurrently serves as a Washington State Senator and as a Partner at Coast Policy Group, a Seattle-based environmental policy firm. In the Senate, Kevin serves as one of four top negotiators in the responsible for writing the Washington State budget. Previously, he served as Chair of the Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee. Kevin possesses two decades professional experience developing and advancing ocean and climate policy, political strategies and conservation initiatives. Recognized for his national leadership, in 2011, he received a White House appointment to serve as an Advisor to President Obama’s National Ocean Council.
Randall D. Snodgrass is a Senior Fellow at The Ocean Foundation where he focuses on conservation initiatives in the Arctic. Mr. Snodgrass’ career as a conservation policy advocate spans four decades. His achievements include work to enact the landmark Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980; ensure protection of Bristol Bay and its rich fisheries; and defend against efforts by Congress to develop the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. His current focus includes U.S. ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; advocating strict enforcement of the Polar Code, the International Maritime Organization’s regime for ships operating in polar waters; Marine Protected Area designation; and, addressing climate change by building capacity in communities to ensure a sustainable future for people and biological diversity.
Ken is an Ocean Policy Fellow at The Ocean Foundation and Program Manger for the The Pew Charitable Trusts' Fisheries Project. He provides research, policy analysis, technical reports, briefing papers, comment letters and expert recommendations on marine fisheries issues with a focus on applications of ecosystem-based management principles in fisheries management decision-making.
For the past seven years, Brooks has been spending an increasing amount of time working with the Arctic Council to encourage the Arctic governments to more aggressively tackle the challenge of Arctic climate change, and to strengthen the cooperative framework for managing the Arctic system as it comes under the influence of climate change and globalization. He also works son climate preparedness and adaptation in Washington, DC.
Richard is a specialist in advocacy on ocean protection issues, including marine spatial planning, media techniques to secure conservation outcomes, and preventing and mitigating industrial impacts on ocean ecosystems. As Co-Chair of the National Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Coalition, Richard was involved in initiating and maintaining the twenty-seven-year congressional moratorium on offshore oil and gas leasing which prevented new drilling along the U.S. West Coast, the Atlantic Coast, and Florida’s Gulf Coast, as well as in Alaska’s Bristol Bay. Richard also coordinated the local government support that helped to bring about the creation of the Gulf of the Farallones, Cordell Bank, Channel Islands, and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuaries.
Alexandra is one of National Geographic’s “Emerging Explorers” and founder and President of Blue Legacy International, a fiscal sponsorship project that we helped fledge from The Ocean Foundation. Her global initiatives, such as Expedition Blue Planet, seek to inspire and empower individuals to take ownership of their freshwater resources and realize their implications for human and aquatic communities, including marine habitats.
Sonja founded Shark Advocates International as a project of The Ocean Foundation in May 2010. Her advocacy work through Shark Advocates International includes identifying priority shark conservation needs, building informal coalitions of conservationists and scientists to unite around a common stand, and making timely written and in-person appeals to governments on behalf of those interests.
Wolcott Henry invested 11 years in The Ocean Foundation as a founding member and long-time Board member. We are grateful to Wolcott for his sixth sense about the need for community to work together on behalf of the ocean. He has donated his time and extraordinary photographs on behalf of the work we undertake. His service and dedication to our mission has been invaluable.