The Executive Director of OPS, Louie Psihoyos, is widely regarded as one of the world’s most prominent still photographers. He has circled the globe dozens of times for National Geographic and has shot hundreds of covers for other magazines including Fortune Magazine, Smithsonian, Discover, GEO, Time, Newsweek, The New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine, Sports Illustrated, and Rock and Ice. His work has also been seen on the Discovery Channel, National Geographic Television and the History Channel.
Psihoyos’ first documentary film, The Cove, about the Taiji dolphin slaughter in Japan, has won over 70 awards globally from festivals and critics, including the Oscar® for Best Documentary Feature in 2009. His second feature length documentary, “6” will be released during the summer of 2014.
Dr. David Guggenehim
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 14th 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.
As an ocean explorer, Guggenheim piloted the first-ever manned submersible dives into the world’s largest underwater canyons in the Bering Sea as a scientific advisor to Greenpeace. He was inducted into the Explorers Club as a National Fellow in 2008.
Dinah Nieburg is an executive coach and clinical psychologist whose work focuses on helping people fulfill their potential and be guided by a larger sense of purpose. She is also passionate about protecting endangered wildlife and has volunteered in fundraising efforts for whales, elephants, and bonobos over the past five years. As an executive coach for the last 13 years, she has worked with hundreds of UN managers all over the world, including those working in the most challenging environments. Dinah was a manager and leader within the International Monetary Fund for 15 years where she led a multicultural team in developing and delivering career development, management development and training programs. As a psychologist and child development specialist, Dinah has 15 years of experience providing therapy for young children and families to help relieve emotional pain and restore a developmental trajectory that is
hopeful and generative in nature. Dinah has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology; an M.S. in Human Resource Development; and a B.A. in Economics.
For the past 23 years Michael has been actively involved in field research and conservation work on Blue and other Great Whales. He is about to spend his 20th season of fieldwork on the large whales of the Sea of Cortez this winter. Michael’s passion is connecting the scientific and conservation communities and forging actions that minimize human impacts which are detrimental to the world’s Great Whales. His efforts for the GWC revolve around live educational presentations, bringing issues like the “Whale Pump” and Ship Strikes into the public domain, funding, and helping the public to gain more awareness of Great Whales and their current plight. Michael regularly attends the GWC’s MZ Blue – Whale inflations, attends conferences, speaks with the media and friends of GWC. Michael was formerly one of the top 50 tennis players in the world and spent 10 years competing on the Men’s Professional ATP Tennis Tour, all over the world.
During her thirty years as a science and wildlife educator, Karen has taught for the National Zoo, the Audubon Society, the Alexandria City School System and various nature preserves. She has also raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for humans and wildlife in need, including a successful fundraiser for the Great Whale Conservancy that resulted in the completion of a life-sized, inflatable replicable of a blue whale. Karen has had the great privilege of communing with a variety of great whales in the Sea of Cortez over a period of thirty years. She was hosted by the Great Whale Conservancy on three of these journeys and was moved to join their board because of of this organization’s crucial work. Karen has a B.A. in economics from the University of Virginia and she wrote her masters thesis for Duke University about the heroic work of African conservationists. She currently tutors students at the Carolina Friends School in Durham, N.C. and is in training to coach environmental innovators.
John Calambokidis – GWC Advisor
John Calambokidis, research biologist and co-founder of Cascadia Research, a nonprofit organization formed in 1979 and based in Olympia, Washington, is an advisor to the GWC. He periodically serves as Adjunct Faculty at Evergreen State College, where he teaches a course on marine mammals. Calambokidis’s primary interests are the biology of marine mammals and the impacts of humans. As a Senior Research Biologist at Cascadia Research he has served as Project Director for over 100 projects. He has authored two books on marine mammals (one on blue whales and a guide to marine mammals) as well as more than 150 publications in scientific journals and technical reports. Calambokidis has conducted studies on a variety of marine mammals in the North Pacific from Central America to Alaska. His work has been covered by the Discovery Channel and was featured in a National Geographic TV special and magazine article released in March 2009.