Oceans For Life virtual teacher workshop April 16 - 28 2007

About Oceans for Life Scientists

Carl Safina, PhD, Blue Ocean Institute

Carl Safina grew up fascinated by the ocean and its creatures.  His childhood by the shore led to scientific studies of seabirds and fish, and to his doctorate in Ecology from Rutgers University.  During his research and his recreational and part-time-commercial fishing, he noticed rapid declines in sea turtles, white marlin, sharks, tunas, and many other fishes.  It seemed to him as though a kind of "last buffalo hunt" was occurring in the seas. 

For nearly two decades Dr. Safina has worked to put ocean fish 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 drownings on commercial fishing lines.  Safina is author of over one hundred publications, including the books Song for the Blue Ocean, Eye of the Albatross, and Voyage of the Turtle.  He also co-authored the Seafood Lover's Almanac.

His 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, a World Wildlife Fund Senior Fellowship, the Lannan Literary Award for nonfiction, the John Burroughs Medal for literature, National Academies Communications Award, Chicago's Brookfield Zoo's Rabb Medal, and a MacArthur Prize. Safina is an adjunct professor at Long Island University and SUNY at Stony Brook.  He is president of Blue Ocean Institute, a non-profit that he co-founded in 2003, which seeks to inspire a closer relationship with the sea

Greg Marshall, Critter Cam National Geographic Society

Greg Marshall is a scientist, inventor, and filmmaker who has dedicated the last 17 years to studying, exploring, and documenting life in the oceans.

In 1986, while diving in the reefs off Belize, Greg encountered a shark and was struck by the sight of a remora fish clinging to the shark's side. Imagining the unique perspective the remora must have when hitchhiking with its host, Greg conceived a remote camera that would mimic the remora's behavior. If the camera were small and lightweight, it could attach like a remora to a host and record the behavior of sea creatures in situations where a handheld camera could never venture. Recognizing the scientific potential of such a tool, Greg decided to make it a reality.

Greg began developing a revolutionary animal-borne research tool to record images, sound, and data from an animal's perspective. Today that tool is called Crittercam, and it has been used in groundbreaking studies on dozens of marine species. Deployed on whales, sharks, seals, turtles, penguins, and other species, Crittercam has enabled Greg and his research collaborators to capture information that, until now, was inaccessible to humans. In 2003 Greg and his team deployed the first land-based Crittercam on wild lions in Kenya, capturing remarkable new images and insights—and ushering in a new era of behavioral science.

Funded by National Geographic Television, philanthropic foundations, and U.S. federal grants, Greg has created not only a scientific tool, but also a major collaborative research program engaging scientists worldwide. Over ten years, Greg's Remote Imaging Program has collaborated with over 25 scientific groups on almost 40 different species.

In addition to providing critical scientific data for basic biology and habitat management, Crittercam's unique perspective captures the imagination of television audiences. Shared through National Geographic films, the stories these images convey fuel public awareness of the extraordinary lives and challenges many marine species face. With heightened awareness comes caring, and with caring, conservation.

Greg is a two-time Emmy Award winner for cinematography and sound, for the National Geographic Specials Great White Sharks (1995) and Sea Monsters: Search for the Giant Squid (1999). In 1999 he produced Tiger Shark, a one-hour film for the National Geographic EXPLORER TV series. Today Greg is the creator and an executive producer of Crittercam, a 13-part series that will premier on the U.S. National Geographic Channel in early 2004.

Greg earned a bachelor's degree in international relations from Georgetown University and a master's degree in marine science from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is currently discovering extraordinary creatures named Connor and Logan—his sons.

Mike Libbee Ph.D Geography Professor, Central Michigan University


Ph.D. Syracuse University, 1975 
Syracuse University, 1971
B.A. University of Oklahoma, 1967

Research Interests

Geographic Education
Teacher Preparation
Human Geography


GEO 400 Geographic Education

“Empty Oceans?” is a collaborative project between the National Geographic Society, the University of Southern California Sea Grant Program and The College of Exploration





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