About Us

I wish you would use all means at your disposal—films, expeditions, the web, new submarines—to create a campaign to ignite public support for a global network of marine protected areas; Hope Spots large enough to save and restore the blue heart of the planet.

Mission Blue inspires action to explore and protect the ocean. Led by legendary oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle, Mission Blue is uniting a global coalition to inspire an upwelling of public awareness, access and support for a worldwide network of marine protected areas – Hope Spots. Under Dr. Earle’s leadership, the Mission Blue team implements communications campaigns that elevate Hope Spots to the world stage through documentaries, social media, traditional media and innovative tools like Google Earth. Mission Blue also embarks on regular oceanic expeditions that shed light on these vital ecosystems and build support for their protection. Currently, the Mission Blue alliance includes more than 200 respected ocean conservation groups and like-minded organizations, from large multinational companies to individual scientific teams doing important research. Additionally, Mission Blue supports the work of conservation NGOs that share the mission of building public support for ocean protection. With the concerted effort and passion of people and organizations around the world, Hope Spots can become a reality and form a global network of marine protected areas large enough to restore the ocean, the blue heart of the planet.


Board of Directors

Sylvia Earle PhD : President & Chairman
Sylvia Earle PhD
President & Chairman
Sylvia Earle is President and Chairman of Mission Blue / The Sylvia Earle Alliance. She is a National Geographic Society Explorer in Residence, and is called Her Deepness by the New Yorker and the New York Times, Living Legend by the Library of Congr...
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Prof Dan Laffoley PhD :
Prof Dan Laffoley PhD
Dan Laffoley is Principal Advisor on Marine Science and Conservation for IUCN's Global Marine and Polar Programme and also acts as Marine Vice-Chair for the World Commission on Protected Areas. He is a leading global expert on ocean conservation. He ...
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Carl Gustaf Lundin :
Carl Gustaf Lundin
Carl Gustaf Lundin serves as Director for the IUCN Global Marine and Polar Programme. His primary responsibility is to develop the program in four areas: global coastal issues, high seas, climate change/nature-based solutions and working with marine ...
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Shari Sant Plummer :
Shari Sant Plummer
Environmental philanthropist and ocean activist Shari Sant Plummer is President and Founder of Code Blue Charitable Foundation, Secretary/Trustee of the Summit Charitable Foundation, founding board member of the Sylvia Earle Alliance, and Vice Presid...
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Shannon O’Leary Joy :
Shannon O’Leary Joy
Shannon O’Leary Joy is an avid ocean advocate, serving on the Board of WildAid, as well as on the Executive Committee of Mission Blue / Sylvia Earle Alliance and as Executive Director of the EarthSense Foundation.
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Linda Glover :
Linda Glover

Linda Glover has been a leader in ocean science, policy, and public outreach for decades. Her research work includes shipboard science in the North Atlantic, Caribbean and Indian Ocean, with publications in marine geology and ancient climates. She...

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Robert Nixon :
Robert Nixon
Robert Nixon is an American film director, writer and lifelong conservationist. Raised in a Philadelphia suburb, he aspired to be a field biologist before taking up a career in film. His films, often focus on the battles of tribal peoples and field b...
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Sharon Kwok :
Sharon Kwok
Sharon Kwok was born in Hong Kong of a Chinese mother and an American father of Germanic decent. Much of her childhood was spent at Ocean Park as her father was one of the founding members. Sharon has been featured in over a dozen films. Sharon is pu...
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Will Travis :
Will Travis

Will Travis is creative industry leader and a respected global brand builder. Over his 27 years of business, he has launched six businesses, navigated teams of 2,000 plus creatives, won hundreds of global creative awards and sold two of the world'...

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John Vermilye :
John Vermilye

John Vermilye is an Entrepreneur, Environmentalist and Philanthropist. He is Chairman of the Swiss based Gallifrey Foundation which supports marine conservation and social enterprise education. He has been active in marine conservation issues for ...

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Emeritus Directors

Jenifer Austin •Gigi Brisson (Current Treasurer) •Meg Caldwell •Erik Gordon •Daryl Hannah 
•John Hanke •Michael Holland •Ann Hurley •Ann K. Luskey •Greg MacGillivray •Jim Toomey

Our Staff

Sylvia A. Earle : Founder
Sylvia A. Earle

National Geographic Society Explorer in Residence Dr. Sylvia A. Earle, called Her Deepness by the New Yorker and the New York Times, Living Legend by the Library of Congress, and first Hero for the Planet by Time Magazine, is an oceanographer, exp...

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Laura Cassiani : Executive Director
Laura Cassiani
Executive Director

As Executive Director, Laura works with Mission Blue’s Board of Directors and staff to implement the strategic goals and objectives of the organization. Laura provides direction and leadership toward the achievement of the organization's philoso...

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Kip Evans : Director of Photography and Expeditions
Kip Evans
Director of Photography and Expeditions

Award-winning filmmaker, photographer, and explorer Kip Evans has led or participated in more than sixty expeditions throughout the world, including recent assignments in Antarctica, Costa Rica, Chile, Mexico, and the Galapagos Islands. In 2008 Ki...

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Deb Castellana : Director of Strategic Partnerships
Deb Castellana
Director of Strategic Partnerships

As Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Sylvia Earle Alliance / Mission Blue, Deb is responsible for strategic planning and forming new alliance relationships to generate cooperative programs and projects to increase ocean conservation. She...

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Brett Loveman : Director of Communications
Brett Loveman
Director of Communications

Brett directs Mission Blue's communications program as well as shoots video for the expeditions program. As the son of an original national organizer for Earth Day, Brett grew up in a family dedicated to preserving the integrity of our environment...

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Shannon Rake : Hope Spots Program Manager
Shannon Rake
Hope Spots Program Manager

Shannon oversees the Hope Spots Program working with Mission Blue's Hope Spot Champions and the Hope Spots Council. Shannon grew up as an ocean lover spending many days at the beach. She began to ...

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Avrah Baum : Communications Strategist
Avrah Baum
Communications Strategist

As Communications Strategist, Avrah works to produce press releases announcing Hope Spot launches, creates Mission Blue's monthly newsletters and has aggregated content for Google Earth. Avrah earned a degree in Journalism from California Polytec...

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Charlotte Vick : Advisor
Charlotte Vick

Charlotte’s fascination with sea life began when she was in elementary school. She loved to sneak down to a quarry and lake near her home to collect what she learned were fossils. These giant white chalky versions were really big. This was her ...

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Carolina Dratva : Development Consultant
Carolina Dratva
Development Consultant

Caro Dratva’s greatest passion is the ocean. After falling in love with the sea as an avid scuba diver, she decided to leave the development, marketing, and graphic design roles in a major San Francisco architectural firm to completely dedicate ...

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Courtney Mattison : Special Projects Consultant
Courtney Mattison
Special Projects Consultant

With a Master of Arts in environmental studies from Brown University, Courtney has a deep understanding of marine conservation science and policy—particularly regarding coral reef ecosystems—and believes in finding creative ways to bring ocea...

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Jonathan Knowles : Science and Exploration Fellow & Advisor to the Chairman
Jonathan Knowles
Science and Exploration Fellow & Advisor to the Chairman

In his role as Science and Exploration Fellow and Advisor to the Chairman, Jonathan engages broadly in Mission Blue activities from strategy to field expeditions. His expertise keeps him at the frontier of beyond the horizon technologies while p...

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