Alex is committed to a life of inspiring others to view science through a more dynamic and empowering lens. Alex obtained her M.Sc. in Chemical Ecology from San Diego State University and most recently resided as a Science Programs Manager and Marine Scientist for the National Park Service.
As an ecologist, storyteller, and community engager, she has spanned critical boundaries between stakeholders in education, academia, non-profit, and government to translate the most current scientific bodies of work in ways that are accessible and inclusive. She is a strong proponent of unconventional science communication and extending the broader impacts of science to the public using the outlets of art, digital media, education, and citizen science.
Currently, Alex works at the interface of climate resilience and community with the Climate Science Alliance. As Deputy Director for the Alliance, her hope is that through her work and experience she can encourage the world to think differently about how we connect and impact the thriving ecosystem around us and commit to fostering a more resilient future.
Danni is the host of Xploration Nature Knows Best, which is a STEM educational TV show syndicated nationwide on FOX, HULU and Amazon Prime. She is also a correspondent on CBS Mission Unstoppable and featured in Strange Evidence on the Science Channel. A graduate of the University of Miami with a degree in Marine Science & Biology — she is also the co-founder of the Big Blue & You, scuba diver, inspirational speaker, digital influencer, proud curly girl, and overall lover of the outdoors. Learn more about Danni at danniwashington.com.
Derek is the founder at The Underswell and The Underswell School of Understanding, crafting sustainability talks and online courses to help students and professionals better understand sustainability and social responsibility so they can integrate both into business and life.
Additionally, he developed the Apparel Industry Sustainability Certificate at Orange Coast College and is a co-founder of the brand KOZM; a sustainability-driven, mindfulness-focused, Certified B Corp, lifestyle brand.
Derek’s helped multiple companies, brands, and individuals with their sustainability journey and was the former VP of Sustainability at Volcom. An engineering student turned art student, mid-career Derek went back to school and received his MBA from the Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine.
In addition to teaching and consulting, Derek serves on the boards of the UCI Alumni Association, the Orange Coast College Foundation, and PangeaSeed Foundation.
Dr. John Mandelman is the Vice President and Chief Scientist of the Anderson Cabot Center for
Ocean Life at the New England Aquarium (NEAq), leading the Institution’s applied ocean
science, policy, and advising portfolios. He is also the acting Vice President of the NEAq’s
Animal Care Division. Beyond his role at NEAq, John is Adjunct Faculty in the University of
Massachusetts (UMass) Boston’s School for the Environment, UMass Dartmouth’s School for
Marine Science and Technology, and Tufts University’s School of Veterinary Medicine, and
serves as a member of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Ocean Science Advisory Council.
Prior to assuming his executive leadership roles, John was a long-time researcher at the NEAq,
focused on fisheries ecology and conservation physiology in marine fishes, especially sharks,
rays, and skates. He was recently included on the inaugural Blooloop 50 Zoo & Aquarium
Influencer List (2022), joining others from around the globe. With a lifelong dedication to the
arts, including graduating as a fine arts major from the prestigious Fiorello H. Laguardia High
School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in New York City, John has a passion for the
combined power of these disciplines to help achieve conservation impacts and protect our ocean.
Paul holds a BA in Spanish and a BA in Education from Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Having worked over 17 years in the Secondary Education sector, he has been serving as a Spanish instructor at Whitewright Independent School District for the past 12 years. As a teacher he is passionate about inspiring his students to become responsible world citizens. Paul is an active volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, a passionate ocean conservationist and lover of the outdoors.