Blue Ocean Institute

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Carl Safina – Board Member & Staff Member

Founding President

Carl Safina’s childhood by the shore launched a life-long passion that led to his bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies at SUNY Purchase, then to scientific studies of seabirds and fish for his PhD in Ecology from Rutgers University. During his research and his recreational and part-time-commercial fishing, he noticed rapid declines in sea turtles, marlin, sharks, tunas, and many other fishes. It seemed to him as though a kind of “last buffalo hunt” was occurring in the seas.

Dr. Safina saw fish as wildlife and brought ocean conservation issues into the wildlife conservation mainstream. He has helped lead campaigns to ban high-seas driftnets, re-write U.S.fisheries law, use international agreements toward restoring tunas, sharks, and other fishes, achieve a United Nations fisheries treaty, and reduce albatross and sea turtle drownings on commercial fishing lines.

Dr. Safina co-founded Blue Ocean Institute in 2003. He now works mainly to help highlight and explain how the ocean is changing and what that means for wildlife and for people. Safina lectures extensively in the United States and is author of over one hundred publications.

His books include Song for the Blue Ocean, Eye of the Albatross, Voyage of the Turtle, Nina Delmar: The Great Whale Rescue, The View From Lazy Point: A Natural Year in an Unnatural World, and A Sea in Flames: The Deepwater Horizon Oil Blowout.

His new TV series, Saving the Ocean, premiered on PBS in April 2011. (Check local listings.) It is also available on Netflix.    Carl Safina’s conservation work has been profiled in the New York Times, on Nightline, and in the Bill Moyers television special “Earth on Edge.”

He is a recipient of the Pew Scholar’s Award in Conservation and the Environment, the Lannan Literary Award for nonfiction, the John Burroughs Medal for literature, the National Academies Communications Award, Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo’s Rabb Medal, and a MacArthur Prize. Safina is an adjunct full professor at SUNY’s Stony Brook University (SBU) in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. He also teaches in SBU’s innovative Center for Communicating Science as a visiting professor.