Ocean Voyages Institute Board of Directors
Mary T. Crowley, President and Founder
John Grant Crowley, Director
Conrad Gann, Director
Ann Nichols, Director
Ann Rundle, Director
Ryan Yerkey, Director

Ocean Voyages Institute & Project Kaisei Directors
Mary T. Crowley – President & Founder
Mary Crowley is the founder and executive director of Ocean Voyages Institute established in 1979 as a public charity based in Sausalito, California, with the goal of preserving the maritime arts and sciences, the ocean environment and island cultures. Mary is one of the founders and project directors of the environmental mission Project Kaisei. She is also founder and CEO of Ocean Voyages, Inc, an international yacht chartering company which offers trips on sailing vessels and luxury yachts worldwide.

Ms. Crowley previously served as Executive Director of the Oceanic Society, publisher of Oceans magazine and on the board of Directors of Project Jonah, the Maritime Museum of San Diego, Sail San Francisco and many other organizations. Her current board positions include Ocean Voyages Institute, WELL Network as well as the Richardson Bay Maritime Association. She is a founding member of Planetree, which enhances healing environments in hospitals and healthcare education.

As an educated and ardent environmentalist, Mary has found time to enjoy exploring the world via yacht, logging over 90,000 nautical miles. She was a teacher and program director for the Oceanic School of New York on board the 345′ Brigantine Statsraad Lehmkuhl for nine months, (a school year). She was also on the first voyage of S.E.A. of Woods Hole on board the Brigantine Westward as staff. She has sailed in the Galapagos archipelago 17 times as well as repeat visits to most of the world’s ocean areas.

It is Mary’s lifelong passion for sailing, snorkeling, diving and exploring the world’s oceans that has fueled her continuing commitment and dedication to ocean conservation and the marine environment. She feels we all need to take action to improve the health of our oceans.

George Orbelian – San Francisco
George is a long time resident of San Francisco, and an avid surfer. He is very active as a member of the Board of directors of the San Francisco Global Trade Council which was founded by his late father, Harry Orbelian in 1992. George also sits on the board of the Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association, is the former Surfboard Design Editor of Surfer Magazine, and authored the standard reference on surfboard design, “Essential Surfing.” George’s network encompasses the ocean, environment, technology and diplomacy, with a focus on solutions.

James Gollub – Program Manager
Director of the E-Cubed Institute which is dedicated to helping develop integrated solutions for a sustainable economy. E-Cubed refers to the “triple bottom-line” goal of addressing economic, energy/environment and equity challenges. Jim has 32 years experience as a researcher and consultant on bottom-up, collaborative, strategies for sustainable economies around the world. Through scores of initiatives he has helped regions across Asia, Latin America, North America, Europe and Central Europe, Africa and the Middle East diagnose the forces shaping their economy and environments, define challenges on which they were ready to work together, examine best practices, craft realistic approaches to shared problems, and build partnerships for implementing solutions as well as continuous improvement. Jim has analyzed and help develop collaborative solutions for industries from fisheries and tourism to emerging fields particularly in clean technology, including fuel cells and hydrogen, offshore wind energy, and bioproducts. He has also developed the business plans for science and technology parks, R&D institutes and technology incubator–all designed to help move knowledge to the marketplace and serves on the board of leading edge start-ups. Jim began his career at SRI International where he worked 17 years as co-founder of the Center for Economic Competitiveness and most recently served as senior vice president for global economic development at ICF International for nine years prior to launching E-Cubed. Jim believes that prevention and remediation of the ocean’s environmental challenges will require helping markets to work in news ways, including enabling stakeholders to discover and define common values, aggregating market demand to achieve scale-economies for solutions, creating new bridges between supply and demand, as well as the partnerships to manage them and ensure their integrity. He has a BA from UC Berkeley and an MS in Urban & Regional Development and a certificate in Gerontology from the University of Southern California, where he was an NOAA Sea Grant Fellow.

John Azzaro – Kaisei Communications Liaison
John Azzaro has lived history in his four decades in communications and knowledge transfer, a span that includes working in advertising during the height of its persuasive power and in the music industry during one of its most interesting periods. After cementing his reputation as a clear communicator at Time Magazine and several international advertising agencies, Mr. Azzaro left the ‘traditional communication’ world to use his skills in the emerging world music genre. In 1992, John once again spotted a new trend and founded the professional speakers management bureau known as Great Speakers. In addition to his success in the commercial world, John entered the new millennium by embracing the social consciousness movement. As John’s lifelong love affair with the outdoors had led him to many global travel adventures, these experiences now propelled him toward using his business skills to raise awareness of environmental issues. This fusion of Mr. Azzaro’s interest and skills can be seen in his work with ‘musical environmentalist’ and jazz saxophonist Paul Winter and the label Living Music Records that the two men founded.

John has supported the work of Ocean Voyages Institute since its beginning in 1979 and is proud to collaborate on their Project Kaisei initiative. He will be sailing aboard the tall ship Kaisei where he will serve as communications liaison.

Peter Murphy Crowley – Director of Media and Communications
An accomplished film maker with three feature films to his credit Pete has been on the cutting edge of digital technology doing the first commercial project on a NASA Satellite as well as Producing and Directing the first live all digital Music concert. An avid surfer, Pete has an affinity for the Oceans of the World and a passion for Project Kaisei’s mission.

Ed Kosior – Sydney
Edward Kosior has been involved in Plastics and Rubber technology for the past 30 years. In 2004 he established NEXTEK Pty Ltd to provide new technical solutions to the environmental and recycling challenges facing the polymer industry. Currently he is the Technical Director of Closed Loop London which is establishing London’s first plastics recycling plant ( He is also an Adjunct Professor of Polymer Engineering and Recycling at Swinburne University, Melbourne. Since 1997, at Visy Industries Pty, he has been involved in the planning, construction, commissioning and expansion of Australia’s foremost post-consumer plastics recycling plants where he developed a wide range of markets for PCR plastics.

He is especially interested in developing career paths for young people through education and employment in the international plastics and rubber industries. He has won numerous awards in the plastics recycling industry, has 6 patents, 82 conference papers, two books and has specific expertise in the following: food grade approval of polymers, sustainable technology applied to polymer packaging, design for recycling and minimal environment impact, and computer-aided engineering applied to polymer processing. He has a Masters of Engineering Science in Polymer Engineering from Monash University, Australia, 1985.


Sylvia Earle – Explorer in Residence
National Geographic

Dr. Earle is probably the most renowned person in the world of ocean preservation and exploration.  In 1979, Sylvia Earle walked untethered on the sea floor at a lower depth than any living human being before or since. In the so-called Jim suit, a pressurized one-atmosphere garment, she was carried by a submersible down to the depth of 1,250 feet below the ocean’s surface off of the island of Oahu.  In the 1990s, Dr. Earle served as Chief Scientist of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration where she was responsible for monitoring the health of the nation’s waters.  She is co-founder and CEO of Deep Ocean Engineering, a company which designs and builds underwater research vehicles. Additionally, she served on the President’s Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmosphere and is involved with several environmental foundations and committees, including the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Duke University Marine Laboratory, World Wildlife Fund, and The World Resources Institute.  She was the 2009 winner of the TED Award (Technology, Entertainment and Design) for her work on the oceans.

Jim DufourAssociate Director and Principal Development Engineer
University of California, San Diego/Scripps Institution of Oceanography,
The Instrument Development Group
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, at University of California, San Diego, is one of the oldest, largest and most important centers for global science research and education in the world. The National Research Council has ranked Scripps first in faculty quality among oceanography programs nationwide. Now in its second century of discovery, the scientific scope of the institution has grown to include biological, physical, chemical, geological, geophysical and atmospheric studies of the earth as a system. Hundreds of research programs covering a wide range of scientific areas are under way today in 65 countries. The institution has a staff of about 1,300, and annual expenditures of approximately $155 million from federal, state and private sources. Scripps operates one of the largest U.S. academic fleets with four oceanographic research ships and one research platform for worldwide exploration

Russell Long  Founder
Bluewater Network

Russell founded Bluewater Network, a national environmental organization which merged with Friends of the Earth in 2005. Bluewater has helped establish laws and regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from passenger cars, reduce air and water pollution from the shipping industry, and curtail thrillcraft use on public lands.  He has served on various state, regional, and local advisory boards regulating oil spills, water conservation, and marine transportation in California. Russell holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard, a Master’s of Business Administration from Columbia University, and a Doctorate in Ecology and Development from the California Institute of Integral Studies. In addition to Friends of the Earth, he also serves on the Board of the Sapelo Foundation in Georgia.  He was the youngest skipper to ever challenge the America’s Cup, and continues to hold various world speed sailing records.

Mark Massara  Attorney
Director of the Sierra Club’s California Coastal Campaign
Massara gained a reputation in the surfing and environmental communities when, as counsel for Surfrider in 1991, he won a lawsuit against two pulp-mill companies near Eureka, California that were dumping 40 million gallons of toxic effluents per day into the ocean. Massara founded Surfers Environmental Alliance and the National Association of Surfing Attorneys, and partnered with Ken and Gabrielle Adelman to create a California coastline photographic survey. He is on the board of Vote the Coast and Coastal Advocates, and serves on the advisory board of Save the Waves Coalition. He writes on coastal and environmental legal issues for surfing magazines, Coastwatcher, and other publications.

Adam DellManaging General Partner
Impact Venture Partners
Prior to founding Impact, Mr. Dell was a partner with Crosspoint Venture Partners in Northern California and a senior associate with Enterprise Partners in Southern California. Prior to becoming a venture capitalist, Mr. Dell worked as a corporate attorney in Austin, Texas, with the law firm of Winstead, Sechrest & Minick. He received a B.A. in political economy from Tulane University and a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law. Mr. Dell’s investments include: Buzzsaw (ADSK), Hotjobs (YHOO) and Connectify (KANA).  Mr. Dell founded and served as chairman of the board of MessageOne, which was acquired by Dell, Inc. in 2008. He currently serves on the board of directors of XO Communications, BagBorrowOrSteal and Open Table and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Santa Fe Institute. Mr. Dell teaches a course at the Columbia Business School on business, technology, and innovation and is a visiting professor at the University of Texas School of Law where he teaches a class on the role of law in innovation.

Seba B. Sheavly – Principle
Sheavly Consultants
Ms. Sheavly is an international marine debris expert with over 15 years working with the United Nations Environment Programme’s Regional Seas and Wider Caribbean Region and other organizations. Formally the director of pollution prevention for the Ocean Conservancy, she is their technical advisor for marine debris.  She also works with the American Chemistry Council, Dow Chemical, NOAA’s Marine Debris Program, and EPA’s Office of Water/OCPD on marine debris research and is currently directing a debris monitoring study with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation on Midway Atoll of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.

Tim Eichenberg – Chief Counsel
San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission
Mr Eichenberg is an adjunct professor of law at the Vermont Law School, where he teaches Ocean and Coastal Law.  He is a graduate of Earlham College and the Washington University School of Law, and was post-doctoral fellow in Marine Policy at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.  He has co-chaired the Clean Water Network in Washington, D.C., co-founded the Casco Baykeeper Program in Maine, and has served as legal counsel for the Ocean Conservancy, Oceana, the Marine Law Institute, the California Coastal Commission and the Environmental Defense Center.  He is a member of the Bar in California and Washington DC, and has authored more than 30 articles and reports on environmental issues, including Ocean and Coastal Law and Policy published by the American Bar Association in 2008. 


Principal Investigator:  Andrea Neal, Ph.D.
Andrea is an avid ocean enthusiast, and self proclaimed surf and SCUBA addict. Andrea has a PhD in Molecular Genetics and Lipid Biochemistry from the Swedish Life Sciences University and a B.S. in Horticulture Science from Purdue University. She has 10 years of experience in the scientific community including projects ranging from bio-fuel development, nano-toxicity studies, and educational outreach about environmental toxins with Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society.  Andrea in very concerned about the state of our oceanic environments, but feels that there is hope.  She believes in the intellect and ingenuity of people and knows that if we all work together on this emerging disaster, we can all make a difference.

Co-Principal Investigator: Michael Gonsior, Ph.D.
Michael Gonsior, is a scientific ocean explorer who has traveled the world looking at dissolved organic matter (DOM) marine cycling systems. He is a post doc at UC Irvine in the department of water resources working with William Cooper. He has two masters degrees from Friedrich Schiller University in Environmental Chemistry, and TU Dresden in Environmental Protection Engineering. He has a Ph.D. from Otago University in Marine and Aquatic Chemistry. Michael has extensive experience with developing new analytical techniques to understand DOM, the most dynamic component of the global carbon cycle.

Co-Principal Investigator: Heather Coleman
Heather is an enthusiastic marine explorer and avid SCUBA diver. Heather is finishing her Ph.D. in Marine Ecology and Environmental Science.  She also has a M.A. in Environmental Economics and B.S. in Marine Biology, as well as Oceanographic, Atmospheric and Environmental Science. Heather is trained in marine and estuarine ecology, as well as related oceanographic processes.  Her areas of expertise include environmental restoration, management, animal husbandry, behavioral, manipulative, and toxicological studies, as well as environmental economics and cost-benefit analysis research.  Heather believes that neither science nor policy can independently formulate plans of action to benefit our community, and that as scientists we need to effectively communicate our work to the world.,

Co-Principal Investigator: Nicole Argyropoulos
Nicole Argyropoulos is a fervent swimmer and adventure travel and outdoor devotee.  She has worked for distinguished think tanks and non-profit organizations; such as The Rocky Mountain Institute, The Clinton Climate Initiative and Jean-Michel’s Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society. With over eight years of environmental education and expedition experience, Nicole joins us as our education outreach coordinator and GIS specialist. She has a Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Colorado at Boulder in Geography.

Co-principal Investigator: Margy Gassel, Ph.D.
Margy is a research scientist for the California Environmental Protection Agency at the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, in Oakland, California. She evaluates chemical contamination of fish and potential health risks for fish consumers. She received a Ph.D. in biology from the University of California at Berkeley. Her dissertation research was on behavioral ecology of crustaceans in Hawaii. Margy has a passion for ocean and marine life conservation. She has participated in many cruises at sea covering several areas of research. This included a month on a multi-disciplinary, multi-national research cruise aboard the S/V Polarstern, in which she measured primary productivity of phytoplankton sampled from the Arctic Ocean. In addition to studying invertebrates and fish, she worked as a naturalist aboard whale-watching boats while documenting the behavior of humpback whales. She has sailed on the barkentine Regina Maris to humpback breeding grounds and on the Maine topsail schooner Alvei, which operates as a non-profit sailing cooperative.

Co-Principal Investigator: Barbara Balestra, Ph.D.
Barbara has a Master’s Degree in Geology and a PhD in Earth Science, and she is presently collaborating as researcher at the Earth Science Department at the University of Florence (Italy). She is a micropaleontologist with also expertise in the living coccolithophore and diatom groups. Her studies attempt to determine the relationship of living assemblages to their environment. She  analyzes coccolithophore fossils (that are called coccoliths) in deep ocean sediment samples to trace changes in the surface circulation of the past.

Co-Principal Investigator: David W. Steuerman, Ph.D.
David is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of Victoria, BC. There the focus of his research group is to understand complex dynamic phenomena in novel materials. Prior to that he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Physics Department at UC Santa Barbara where he developed electron microscopy techniques to study polymers and investigated the fate and transport of nanoscale pollutants in collaboration with scientists from Environmental Science and Chemistry departments. David has extensive experience using a multitude of electron, optical, and atomic force microscopy techniques to explore surface-related structure property relationships. He is also AAUS certified with significant diving experience from a variety of field research projects (Mexico, Jamaica, Los Angeles, and Santa Barbara) and as an assistant instructor for the UCLA diving program.


Professor William Cooper, Ph.D. – Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Director of the Urban Water Research Center. His research interests have included analytical chemistry of chlorine residuals, disinfection byproducts and trace organics analysis. More recently, Cooper has focused on carbon cycling in coastal oceans and the application of free radical chemistry in advanced oxidation processes (AOPs).

Professor Arturo Keller, Ph.D. – Professor of Biogeochemistry at the Bren School at UCSB. He holds a joint appointment in Mechanical and Environmental Engineering at UCSB. His research and teaching interests focus on water quality management and the fate and transport of pollutants in the environment. He is the Associate Director of the new NSF/USEPA funded UC Center for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology. His current research topics involve the treatment of water and soils which have been contaminated with nanoparticles or hazardous wastes, larger scale pollution management at the watershed scale, and the nexus between energy and water. Dr. Keller is also well-known for his expertise in the fate and transport of pollutants, including nanoparticles, organic liquids (NAPLs), and persistent organic pollutants associated with clay particles; he has over 90 peer-reviewed publications in top journals.

Gordon Neal, Ph.D. – 45 years experience in the aerospace industry working with electronics and avionics systems, including, government and commercial contracts. Gordon has a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Wyoming. His areas of expertise include: avionics, displays, automatic flight control systems, dynamics, systems, communications, software management, requirements analysis, certification processes, marketing, implementing, and managing large projects.

James Dufour, Ph.D. – (please see Advisory Committee)

Seba B. Sheavly, – (please see Advisory Committee)