Rob Stewart is the filmmaker and environmental activist behind the movies Sharkwater and Revolution. Since childhood, he has been passionate about the environment, especially the ocean. His love of nature drove him at first to pursue a career as a wildlife photojournalist and scuba diver. By the time he was in his early twenties, Stewart had already become an acclaimed photographer. That trajectory of Stewart’s life changed after he witnessed the practice of long-lining in supposedly protected marine areas in the Galapagos Islands. He put aside his already successful photography career to raise awareness about the threatened global shark population through documentary filmmaking.
Madison Stewart began scuba diving at age 12 and filming underwater at age 14. She was an international award winning underwater filmmaker at age 17; making small films to change peoples minds about sharks and shed light on the legal shark fisheries operating within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
Madison works with various groups and production teams with one goal in mind; sharks; and their presence in our future. Working with corporations and government against the unethical use of shark products and harvesting of sharks, and drawing in the younger generations in the name of the oceans.
Louie Psihoyos has been widely regarded as one of the top photographers in the world. He was hired directly out of college to shoot for National Geographic and created images for the yellow-bordered magazine for 18 years. His ability to bring humanity and wit to complicated science stories carries over to his filmmaking. An ardent diver and dive photographer, he feels compelled to show the world the decline of our planet’s crucial resource, water.
With Jim Clark, he created The Oceanic Preservation Society (OPS), in 2005. The non-profit organization provides an exclusive lens for the public and media to observe the beauty as well as the destruction of the oceans, while motivating change.
National Geographic Society Explorer in Residence Dr. Sylvia A. Earle is an oceanographer, explorer, author and lecturer with experience as a field research scientist, government official, and director for corporate and non-profit organizations. She has led more than 100 expeditions and logged more than 7000 hours underwater.
Her special focus is on developing a global network of areas on the land and in the ocean, “Hope Spots” to safeguard the living systems that provide the underpinnings of global processes, from maintaining biodiversity and yielding basic life support services to providing stability and resiliency in response to accelerating climate change.
Professor Peter Harrison is the founding Director of the Marine Ecology Research Centre at Southern Cross University. Peter is a recognized leader in coral reproduction ecology and has been actively researching and teaching a wide range of marine science and ecology programs for more than 30 years.
Peter is passionate about science and ecology and its application to conservation management, and has participated in many international and national marine science conferences and workshops. He also enjoys communicating science research to the broader community and has featured in more than 20 television documentaries and many hundreds of other media interviews on national and international television, radio, newspapers, and magazines to highlight science research and promote conservation and management.
Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg is the inaugural Director of the Global Change Institut and Professor of Marine Science, at The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. He is deeply-motivated by a desire to communicate science effectively, undertake game-changing research and to find high-impact solutions to address several of the most pressing and serious challenges facing humanity worldwide.
In this respect, Professor Hoegh-Guldberg has actively collaborated with organisations such as the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, the Royal Society of London and The World Bank, as well as advising government and business on the science and urgency associated with climate change.
Ove is the coordinating lead author of the Oceans chapter in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fifth Assessment Report.
Dr. Charlie Veron is a prominent marine scientist known as the ‘Godfather of Coral,’ having discovered 20 percent of all coral species in the world. He has worked in all the major coral reef regions of the world, participating in 66 expeditions and spending 7,000 hours scuba diving. Veron was formerly the Chief Scientist of the Australian Institute of Marine Science and has authored over 100 scientific articles, including 14 books and monographs. He has been the recipient of the Darwin Medal, the Silver Jubilee Pin of the Australian Marine Sciences Association, the Australasian Science Prize, the Whitley Medal and received special mention in the Eureka Awards. Today he continues to work in many different fields although he concentrates on conservation and the effects of climate change on coral reefs. He predicts that if humanity continues to produce carbon dioxide at present rates, coral reefs will vanish in the next few decades.
David Hannan is an Emmy Award-winning cinematographer based in Queensland, Australia. Hannan built and owns one of the largest independent marine footage libraries in the world, amassing hundreds of hours of spectacular, high-definition underwater sequences. His cinematography is featured in some of the world’s most successful natural history projects, including The Blue Planet, National Geographic’s The Shape of Life, David Suzuki’s The Nature of Things, and his own programs, including Coral Sea Dreaming – a Celebration of Reefs. Hannan has also worked with Rob Stewart on his documentary features Sharkwater and Revolution. Hannan is the co-founder and director of the Ocean Ark Alliance, a high-profile collective of scientists, filmmakers and artists who are focused on both regional and global marine conservation initiatives.
Professor Marshall’s principle aim is to understand how other animals perceive their environment. As arrogant humans we tend to assume we are the pinnacle of evolution, however, certainly in sensory terms this is far from true. By taking an approach to sensory systems which is based around ecology but also includes physiology, anatomy, behaviour and neural integration, he hopes to decode languages such as colour and polarisation. Much of his work focusses on the marine environment, in particular reef systems and the deep-sea. As part of this effort he has become acutely aware of man’s influence on both these environments and now run two projects / organisations: The Deep Australia Project, bringing research submersibles and high-tech deep-sea capability to Australia for the first time and CoralWatch, the world’s largest citizen-science-based coral health assessment program (60 countries, 10 languages).
Derrick Jensen is the best-known voice of the deep ecology movement. Winner of numerous awards and honors including the Eric Hoffer Book Award, USA Today’s Critic’s Choice, and Press Action’s person of the Year, Jensen is the author of over fifteen books, including Endgame and Deep Green Resistance (with Aric McBay and Lierre Keith). Philosopher, teacher, and radical activist, he regularly rouses packed auditoriums across the country with his revolutionary spirit. Jensen holds degrees in creative writing and mineral engineering physics. He lives in Crescent City, California.
Emily Hunter is an environmental writer and filmmaker. Born into the environmental movement, her father was the late Robert Hunter, first president of Greenpeace and her mother, Bobbi Hunter, was the first woman to save a whale by blocking a harpoonist at sea. For nearly a decade Emily has documented from the frontlines of global environmental campaigns, from the the high seas of Antarctica saving whales on the vessels of Sea Shepherd to the rainforest of Borneo putting a spotlight on destructive palm oil plantations.
Emily uses media as her tools for change. She hosted and produced four TV-documentaries on MTV News Canada’s IMPACT and published her first book in 2011 titled The Next Eco-Warriors, an insider’s look at the new wave of environmental activism. She is a sought-after speaker, including a talk on TEDx and character in Rob Stewart’s documentary Revolution and How to Change the World.
Paul Watson is the founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society – an organization dedicated to research, investigation and enforcement of laws, treaties, resolutions and regulations established to protect marine wildlife worldwide.
Over the years, Paul Watson has exhibited a remarkable diversity in his activism including Co-founder of Greenpeace in 1972 and Greenpeace International 1979, Founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society 1977, Field Correspondent for Defenders of Wildlife 1976 to 1980, Field representative for the Fund for Animals between 1978 to 1981, Representative for the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals 1979, Co-founder of Friends of the Wolf 1984, Co-founder Earthforce Environmental Society 1977, and Director, National Board of the Sierra Club USA, 2003
In 2000, Watson was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the environmental heroes of the 20th Century.
Filmmaker Kip Andersen saw Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. From there he became what he terms as an OCE or “Obsessive Compulsive Environmentalist.”
Thinking he was making a difference by taking ultra quick showers, recycling obsessively, bike-commuting and turning off the lights when leaving the room, Andersen worked hard to reduce his carbon footprint. But, he thought, “with all the continuing ecological crises facing the planet, even if every single one of us adopted these conservation habits, was this really going to be enough to save the world?”
Then he saw a friend’s post: a United Nations report stating that raising livestock produces more greenhouse gasses than the entire transportation sector. He realized how the impact of his OCE lifestyle changes were dwarfed by the contribution to greenhouse gas emissions that comes from a diet fed by animal agriculture.
Keegan Kuhn is a videographer, award-winning documentary filmmaker, and professional musician living in the east bay of San Francisco. He has worked with nonprofit organizations and been involved in social justice movements for virtually his entire life. As a filmmaker, he helps organizations reach an ever-greater community of supporters with the highest possible quality films and videos. His film career has taken him as far as the remote interior of Alaska to document modern homesteaders, to the high deserts of the American west filming the nation’s remaining wild horses, to rural agricultural communities and dirty urban streets. He is motivated by a deep desire to shed light on untold stories of the most downtrodden in our society, and to raise to awareness through greater visibility of social justice issues.
Felix Finkbeiner was inspired by Wangari Maathai when, while in the 4th grade, he developed the idea that children could plant a million trees in every country. Children from a hundred countries answered the call and founded the child and youth initiative Plant-for-the-Planet. Children empower other children at academies (one-day-workshops) to spread the word of sustainability. Today’s 16,000 Climate Justice Ambassadors want to be a million by 2020 and to increase the number of planted trees to 1,000 billion – which means 150 per person on the planet.
From a global two-year consultation they have developed a 3-point-plan to save their future. Condensed into four words, the message is: ‘Stop talking. Start planting’. With this effective worldwide campaign, the 3-point-plan and the transparency of the promised and the planted trees, the young world citizens are asking heads of government, company bosses and fellow citizens to support their fight for their future.
Dr. David E. Guggenheim is a marine scientist, conservation policy specialist, submarine pilot, ocean explorer and educator. He is president and founder of the Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization, Ocean Doctor.
Guggenheim directs Cuba Conservancy — an Ocean Doctor Program, and is in his 15th year leading research and conservation efforts in Cuba focused on coral reefs and sea turtles, a joint effort with the University of Havana. His work was recently featured on 60 MINUTES. Guggenheim led the formation of the Trinational Initiative for Marine Science & Conservation in the Gulf of Mexico & Western Caribbean, a major project to elevate collaboration in marine science and conservation among Cuba, Mexico and the U.S. to a new level.
After many years at the International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM), in Manila, Philippines, Daniel Pauly became in 1994 Professor at the Fisheries Centre of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, of which he was the Director for 5 years (Nov. ’03-Oct. ’08). Since 1999, he is also Principal Investigator of the Sea Around Us Project (see www.seaaroundus.org), funded for 15 years by the Pew Charitable Trusts, Philadelphia (currently by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation), and devoted to studying, documenting and promoting policies to mitigate the impact of fisheries on the world’s marine ecosystems.
Professor Callum Roberts is a marine conservation biologist. He was first tempted into marine science by a trip to the coral reefs of Saudi Arabia, where he studied behaviour and coexistence of herbivorous fishes. This led to a lifelong love of coral reefs and effectively dispelled his prior notion that marine science was all about freezing on the deck of a North Sea trawler knee deep in fish. In the early 1990s his interests in behaviour gave way to concern about the deteriorating condition of coral reefs, leading to his current emphasis on marine conservation.
Currently, Callum's research focuses on human impacts on marine ecosystems. While his interests in marine conservation have blossomed over the years, his field research remains firmly rooted on coral reefs. On the islands of St. Lucia and Saba in the Caribbean, he has studied the effects of marine reserves closed to all fishing. Those studies revealed both the huge scale of human impacts on the sea, and the means of protecting marine ecosystems from such effects.
Tom began diving in the cold water lakes of British Columbia long before serving as a Navy Diver. He enjoyed a career as a California Highway Patrol officer where he worked with President Reagan’s security team and created successful educational projects including the “Sober Graduation Program.” Throughout his career, Tom took every opportunity to be photographing and filming underwater, developing a successful profession with his underwater images. His award-winning career filming for BBC, National Geographic, Discovery and History Channels culminated in a 10-year assignment for a private client with whom he helped create a foundation to protect the oceans.
Today, Tom chooses to film and produce high quality programs that have strong educational content, filming with the EPIC 5K digital cinema camera system. When not diving somewhere around the world, Tom enjoys life in the high desert of Prescott, AZ, and the Far North of New Zealand.
As the first grandson of Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Fabien spent his early years aboard his famous grandfather’s ships, Calypso and Alcyone; and learning how to scuba dive on his fourth birthday.
In June 2014, Fabien and his team of aquanauts embarked on Mission 31, the longest science expedition to take place at Aquarius, the world’s only underwater marine laboratory. Mission 31 broke new ground in ocean exploration and honored the 50th anniversary of his grandfather’s original underwater living experiment (Conshelf Two) by going deeper, longer and further, while broadcasting each moment live on multiple channels exposing the world to the adventure, drama and mystique of what lies beneath.
In early 2016, he founded the Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center (“OLC”) his non- profit 501(c)3 to fulfill his dream of creating a vehicle to make a positive change in the world.
William Rees is a human ecologist, ecological economist, Professor Emeritus and former Director of the University of British Columbia’s School of Community and Regional Planning in Vancouver, Canada, where his research and teaching focused on the biophysical prerequisites for sustainability in an era of accelerating ecological change. Within this envelope developed a special interest in ecologically-relevant metrics of sustainability and their interpretation in terms of complexity theory and behavioural ecology. Prof Rees is perhaps best known in ecological economics as the originator and co-developer of ‘ecological footprint analysis’. His book on eco-footprinting, with then PhD student Dr Mathis Wackernagel, has been translated into eight languages including Chinese. Widely adopted for sustainability assessments by Governments, NGOs and academics, the human ‘eco-footprint’ has arguably become world’s best-known sustainability indicator.
Author of the groundbreaking book Food Choice and Sustainability, Dr. Oppenlander is a consultant and researcher whose award-winning book Comfortably Unaware, has been endorsed as a “must read” by Ellen DeGeneres, Dr. Jane Goodall, and Dr. Neal Barnard, among many others. Dr. Oppenlander is a much sought-after lecturer, has been a keynote speaker for several conferences and events, and has presented lectures and workshops at numerous universities and corporations. Dr. Oppenlander also serves as an advisor to municipalities in the U.S. and to world hunger projects that are designing programs from his model of multidimensional sustainability.
Cheryl founded and leads the Toronto chapter of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, and has lobbied Parliamentarians, US lawmakers and the World Bank to put a price on carbon.
Since 2009, Daryn has been steering the Green Majority, an environmental spoken word show at CIUT. His mandate is to tell us what is really happening in the world, to encourage us to dig a little deeper, and to challenge what we are being told.