ABOUT

THE FABIEN COUSTEAU

OCEAN LEARNING CENTER

I would like to receive updates from Fabien on protecting our ocean.

The Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center was founded in 2016 as a 501(c)(3) by aquanaut, oceanographic explorer, conservationist and documentary filmmaker Fabien Cousteau, to fulfill his dream of creating a vehicle for positive change in the world. 

The FCOLC was created to empower local communities to champion ocean conservation in ways that are most meaningful to them.  

By engaging local communities worldwide in restoration, conservation and research activities, we can plant the seeds of growth toward a healthier relationship between ourselves and our life support system that comes from our oceans. 

OUR APPROACH  SEE. LEARN. DO.  

We are fueled by two things: passion and science. We believe that individuals and communities are motivated to effect change through this cycle.  We call it - SEE. LEARN. DO.  

SEE: RAISE GLOBAL AWARENESS

LEARN:  EDUCATE VIA EXPERIENTIAL PROGRAMMING 

DO: EMPOWERING COMMUNITIES

THE NEED IS URGENT 

A PLANET AT RISK

MISSION 31 

THE BIRTHPLACE OF NEW IDEAS 

In June 2014, Fabien Cousteau and his team of aquanauts embarked on Mission 31, the longest science expedition to take place at Aquarius, the world’s only underwater marine laboratory, located nine miles off the coast of the Florida Keys, and 63 feet beneath the sea.  

 

Fabien’s epic Mission 31 expedition broke new ground in ocean exploration and honored the 50th anniversary of his grandfather, Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s original 30-day underwater living experiment known as Conshelf Two. 

 

For 31 straight days, Fabien and his team kept the importance of the ocean in the news, classrooms, businesses and homes worldwide broadcasting each moment live on multiple channels, and exposing the world to the adventure, drama and mystique of what lies beneath. 

Most importantly, Mission 31 gave birth to the idea for the Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center. The proven success and global reach of Mission 31 confirmed the need for the FCOLC to create programs designed to inspire and empower individuals  to restore and protect the ocean in their own backyard and, in doing so, ensure the health of our vast waters throughout the world. 

RESULTS OF MISSION 31

Check out more Mission 31 adventures here

 

BOARD MEMBERS

Fabien Cousteau

Founder & President

Aquanaut, Oceanographic Explorer, Environmental Advocate and Founder of The Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center 

As the first grandson of Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Fabien spent his early years aboard his famous grandfather’s ships, Calypso and Alcyone; and learning how to scuba dive on his fourth birthday.

 

He is well known for his study of sharks.  From 2000-2002, Fabien was an Explorer-at-Large for National Geographic and collaborated on a TV special aimed at changing public conceptions about sharks called, “Attack of the Mystery Shark”.  In 2003-2006, he produced the documentary, “Mind of a Demon”, that aired on CBS. With the help of a large crew, Fabien created a 14-foot, 1,200- pound, lifelike shark submarine called “Troy” that enabled him to immerse himself inside the shark world, providing viewers with a rare view of the mysterious and often misunderstood creatures.

 

For the next four years (2006-2010), Fabien was part of a multi-hour series for PBS called, “Ocean Adventures” with his father, Jean-Michel Cousteau, and sister, Céline, inspired by his grandfather’s famous 1978 PBS series, “The Cousteau Odyssey”. In the following years, and as a member of multiple cause- driven and charitable boards, Fabien has been working with local communities and children worldwide to help restore local water ecosystems.

 

In June 2014, Fabien and his team of aquanauts embarked on Mission 31, the longest science expedition to take place at Aquarius, the world’s only underwater marine laboratory located in Florida. Fabien’s Mission 31 broke new ground in ocean exploration and honored the 50th anniversary of his grandfather’s original underwater living experiment (Conshelf Two) by going deeper, longer and further, while broadcasting the Mission live on multiple channels educating and exposing the world to the adventure and mystique of our blue planet.

 

Early in 2016 he founded the Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center  (“FCOLC”) to fulfill his dream of creating a vehicle to make a positive change in the world. Currently he is working on multiple projects and dedicates much of his time to the FCOLC’s marine restoration programs and research initiatives to protect and preserve the planet’s waters, coastal areas, and endangered marine habitats.

 

Recently Fabien was named an Honorary Advisor to the NGO Committee Sustainable Development-NY, whose purpose is to monitor and influence the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Matt Gilbert started his career in advertising in the 90’s, eventually heading up and leading the expansion of two top five global ad agencies’ interactive media divisions – DMB&B (now Publicis) in North America and Young & Rubicam in Asia/Pacific.

At the height of the dot-com boom, Matt was asked to lead the acquisition strategy for US$120MM Qixel Capital Group in Asia/Pacific. That led to similar positions in structured finance, M&A, wealth management and private banking at Castle Hill Holdings, UBS and Bank of America.

Currently, Matt is Managing Director for Select Fund Management LLC, a private credit fund manager based in Alpine, Utah.  He resides in Wellington, FL with his wife and two boys.

Matt Gilbert 

Board Member

Highly experienced in the fields of business, media, international affairs, art and culture, Irene shares her activities between Greece, U.S. and the Mediterranean region. Her recent activities focus on International Relations and collaborations for business in New York – Athens – EU. Irene is active in projects that help raise awareness to protect and preserve the planet’s waters.

Following her dreams she has been a well appreciated journalist and a senior business advisor, founder of Vandiri Art NYC, supporter of cultural and environmental NGO’s and events such as Art Thessaloniki, International Art Fair (as a Member of the executive committee) and Delphi Economic Forum. She was recently appointed as Senior Advisor at RIEAS (Research Institute for European and American Studies.)

Irene Vandaraki  

Board Member

Dr. Lisa Haile

Board Member

Dr. Lisa Haile is a partner at the global law firm DLA Piper and based in their San Diego, California office.  Her practice focuses on strategic counseling relating to all areas of biotechnology, pharmaceutical and life sciences intellectual property law. She works with clients including start-up companies, non-profit institutes, investors and large public companies to develop strategic and comprehensive life sciences patent portfolios.

 

With a Ph.D. from Georgetown University School of Medicine in Microbiology and Immunology, she has been trusted with patent matters by eight Nobel Prize winners. She is an advisor to many leading global life sciences research institutions as well as companies seeking to develop life-saving technologies. 

 

In addition to many awards, Dr. Haile is on the board of directors of Biocom, a leading industry group in the US, and also serves as their General Counsel.  Dr. Haile graduated with a B.A. from Rollins College in Winter Park, FL and a J.D. from California Western School of Law, in addition to her Ph.D. from Georgetown University School of Medicine.

Courtney Hall

Board Member

Courtney Hall is a co-founder and Managing Director of Hillcrest Venture Partners. Before co-founding Hillcrest, Courtney co-founded EXACT Sports, a company that performs quantitative assessments of the athletic, psychological and neuro-cognitive abilities of high school and collegiate student-athletes. Prior to EXACT, Courtney was an investment banker at UBS and Morgan Stanley. Before working in investment banking, Courtney worked for the law firms Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigan, and Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich (now DLA Piper).

Courtney was the starting center for the NFL San Diego Chargers from 1989 to 1997 where he was a Captain, a four-time Pro Bowl 1st Alternate, and an NFL Players Association team representative. He also captained the Chargers to the 1994-95 Super Bowl, the franchise’s lone Super Bowl appearance.

Courtney served as a Bloomberg Mayoral Appointee of the New York City Campaign Finance Board, serves on the Civic Builders Board and is a Trustee of the Randall’s Island Park Alliance. Previously, Courtney served on the Investment Committee for Rice University, which is responsible for managing the university’s $4.8 billion endowment.

Courtney holds a JD/MBA from the University of Chicago, and a BA in Economics and Managerial Studies from Rice University.

OUR TEAM

Justin Muir

Board Member

Justin Muir is the owner and designer of City Aquarium. Justin’s vision for City Aquarium began in the 1980s, when he was just a teenager. Even before college, Justin was building his own tanks, fishing for lobsters and eels, as well as working with marine merchants.

The City Aquarium team has created residential, commercial, and artistic installations all over the world. Its diversity of clients includes New York’s Majestic “Dream” Hotel, Bloomberg, hedge fund developers, well-appointed residences, world-class museums, artists Tony Oursler and Ryan McGinness, and the Honda Corporation.

His studies in marine biology took him to exotic places such as Hawaii, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Barbados, Jamaica, and the British Virgin Islands. Today, Justin designs, builds, and maintains unique water installations for clients all over the world. For him, each project presents a new opportunity to collaborate with interior designers, sculptors, architects, reef makers, and even world-class installation artists. His personal attention and the willingness to go beyond the expected are characteristics that make Justin’s approach unique.

 

Brian joined IBM in 2015, and leads their Federal Salesforce Practice in Washington, DC. Brian has served in numerous capacities throughout his career such as New Product Development, Mergers & Acquisitions, Cross Partner Alliance Strategies, and Organizational Development.  Throughout his career Brian has specialized in CRM implementations, product strategy, and product development.
 

Prior to joining IBM, Brian spent 10 years at Accenture and led the Avanade CRM Industry solutions team.  Mr. Boardman’s work experiences have encompassed multiple CRM platforms such as Salesforce, Microsoft, and Oracle/Siebel.

Brian graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a BS in Accounting, then proceeded to London School Economics where he earned a Masters in Global Communications. Upon returning to the United States, Mr. Boardman attended Quinnipiac University to earn his MBA & JD. In addition to his leadership role at IBM, Mr. Boardman is also a Professor at Rutgers Business School.

Brian Boardman  

Board Member

ADVISORY COUNCIL

Dr. Anne Madden

Anne A. Madden, Ph.D. is an award-winning microbiologist, 5x TED/TEDx speaker, academic researcher, and serial entrepreneur. Her mission in life is to explore the microscopic life around us and find out ways it can make our lives better.

 

She is currently Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of the biotechnology company, Lachancea, founder and President of The Microbe Institute, and a consultant for a broad range of life science organizations at Imnovate Consulting. She holds an Adjunct Assistant Professorship in the department of Applied Ecology at North Carolina State University. She was formerly a research scientist at the biotechnology company Novobiotic Pharmaceuticals, Innovation Strategist at Harvard University, and an executive at Indigo Ag—the world’s most successful agricultural technology startup.

 

Dr. Madden has authored more than a dozen peer-reviewed science publications and been awarded fellowships by the National Science Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Her research and interdisciplinary projects have been featured by leading media outlets such as the BBC, NPR, National Geographic, Newsweek, and The Wall Street Journal. By exploring diverse microbial habitats--from marine sediments and plants to human hands and insect guts--she has developed, patented, and licensed numerous microbial technologies in the fields of agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and food and beverage technology. 

 

She holds a PhD from Tufts University and a BA from Wellesley College. She completed postdoctoral training at the University of Colorado, Boulder and North Carolina State University.

Dr. Mark Patterson

Professor, Marine and Environmental Sciences; Jointly Appointed, Civil and Environmental Engineering; Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Affairs, College of Science; Chief Technology Officer, Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern University.

Dr. Patterson directs the Field Robotics Laboratory at the Marine Science Center in Nahant, developing Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (free-swimming robots) and methods to use them for environmental monitoring and homeland security applications. Dr. Patterson co-founded the first company to market AUV technology and this former commercial design is now owned and developed by Northeastern University.

For his work with AUV technology, Dr. Patterson received the Lockheed Martin Award for Excellence in Ocean Science and Engineering. He currently collaborates in the areas of counter-terrorism for port and harbor security, developing methods for coordinating swarms of AUVs, and machine learning and signal processing to automatically recognize objects or conditions of interest underwater.

Dr. Patterson received his A.B., A.M., and Ph.D. degrees in Biology from Harvard University, where he combined biomechanics, environmental fluid mechanics, and sensor development to investigate the chemical engineering of mass transfer in marine organisms. He continues to work in the area of environmental fluid mechanics and global change biology on coral reefs. For this research, he has spent 87 days living and working on the bottom of the ocean in underwater laboratories.

Dr. Oscar Shoefield

Distinguished Professor at Rutgers University, Oscar is a biological oceanographer interested how the physics and chemistry regulates ocean ecosystems, with a primary research focus on the physiology and ecology of phytoplankton. His research is conducted in a range of oceans from the rapidly warming/melting along the West Antarctic Peninsula to sustained studies along the northeast United States. Additionally he takes part in the Rutgers University Center of Ocean Observing Leadership (COOL), which is focused on developing new technologies and ocean sensor networks to better document and model the marine system. The COOL group has, and continues, to innovate a range of technologies spanning from remote sensing, radars, and autonomous underwater robotics. Their research efforts are coupled to an extensive public outreach effort focused on communicating the excitement and adventure of conducting science in the field. These outreach efforts have been anchored by extensive web services, teacher training and full length feature movies.

Shoefield grew up swimming, fishing, diving and surfing in Southern California. He decided to pursue a degree in biology and marine science and attended the University of California at Santa Barbara for his undergraduate and PhD where he conducted research on photosynthesis and environmental impacts of the Antarctic ozone hole. He then joined the Agricultural Research Service in New Orleans conducting research in aquaculture and microbial production of off-flavor metabolites before he joined Rutgers in 1995.

Robin van Bokhorst

Born on the island of Curaçao, Robin holds an LLM from Leiden University in the Netherlands. Robin is a partner with law firm STvB which has offices in Curaçao, New York, and Amsterdam, where his legal practice focusses on investment structures and corporate finance. He is also a Principal at Valico Holdings LLC, a family office which has diversified holdings across the real estate, finance, and media sectors. Robin is an active conservationist and an avid skier and SCUBA diver. He lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

OCEAN AMBASSADORS

Allan Adams

Allan Adams is a physicist and PI of the Future Ocean Lab at MIT.  Adams earned degrees in physics from Harvard, Berkeley, and Stanford, and spent three years in the Harvard Society of Fellows, before joining the faculty of the MIT Dept of Physics in 2008. Along the way, Adams developed a passion for ocean conservation and photography; his documentary work and art have been exhibited at the New England Aquarium, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Boston Museum of Science, the The Charles Hayden Planetarium, The Franklin Institute, and beyond.  In 2015, Adams joined MIT’s Creative Art Council. In 2016, after many years happily exploring the physics of black holes and string theory, Adams officially switched his research focus to engineering and communication for ocean conservation. In January of 2017, Adams opened the Future Ocean Lab, devoted to developing low-cost, low-power sensors and imaging technologies for marine research, and to using those technologies to document the world’s changing oceans.  Adams is also a dedicated educator and public speaker — his introductory lectures on quantum mechanics from MIT have been viewed nearly two million times, and his TED talks have been viewed more than that 3 million times.  His 2016 TED talk about the LIGO  discovery of Gravitational Waves was chosen as one of the top 10 TED Talks of 2016.

Jean-Michele Cousteau

Jean-Michele is the eldest son of the legendary Jacques Cousteau and father to Fabien.  As an explorer, environmentalist, educator, and film producer for more than four decades, he has dedicated himself and his vast experience to communicate to people of all nations and generations his love and concern for our water planet.  Since first being “thrown overboard” by his father at the age of seven with newly invented SCUBA gear on his back, Jean-Michel has been exploring the ocean realm. With his father, Jean-Michel was able to investigate the world’s oceans aboard Calypso and Alcyone for much of his life. Honoring his father’s heritage, Jean-Michel founded Ocean Futures Society in 1999 to carry on this pioneering work. As Ocean Futures Society’s spokesman, Jean-Michel serves as an impassioned diplomat for the environment, reaching out to the public through a variety of media and educational programs.

With Jean-Michel’s lifetime of achievements and exemplary public service in ocean conservation through education, awareness, and diplomacy, he was honored with the highest French civilian order of distinction, the Chevalier de la Légion D’Honneur, Knight of the Legion of Honor from the President of France in May 2016. Jean-Michel has produced over 80 films, received the Emmy, the Peabody Award, the Sept d’Or, and the Cable Ace Award. In 1989, he became a syndicated columnist for the Los Angeles Times where his articles appeared in over sixty newspapers worldwide. In recognition of his many and diverse contributions to learning, Pepperdine University awarded Jean-Michel an Honorary Doctor’s Degree in Humane Letters in 1976. He has received DEMA’s 1994 Reaching Out Award and the 1995 NOGI Award from the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences.

Jean-Michel is a dedicated advocate for the protection of the water planet. As a voice for the ocean, he inspires and educates audiences worldwide about the need to act responsibly and preserve the fragile underwater ecosystems that are so intricately tied to all life on earth.

Sylvia Earle

Sylvia Earle is President and Chairman of Mission Blue / The Sylvia Earle Alliance. She is a National Geographic Society Explorer in Residence, and is called Her Deepness by the New Yorker and the New York Times, Living Legend by the Library of Congress, and first Hero for the Planet by Time Magazine. She is an oceanographer, explorer, author and lecturer with experience as a field research scientist, government official, and director for several corporate and non-profit organizations.
 

Formerly Chief Scientist of NOAA, Dr. Earle also founded SEAlliance and Deep Ocean Exploration and Research, Inc., and Chairs Advisory Councils for the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies; the Ocean in Google Earth; the Marine Science and Technology Foundation and the Schmidt Research Vessel Institute. She has a B.S. degree from Florida State University, M.S. and PhD. from Duke University, 19 honorary degrees, has lectured in more than 80 countries, appeared in hundreds of radio and television productions and has authored more than 175 scientific, technical and popular publications.

Dr. Earle has led more than 100 expeditions and logged nearly 7000 hours underwater with a record solo dive to 1000 meters and nine saturation dives including leading the first team of women aquanauts during the Tektite Project. Her research concerns marine algae and deep water ecosystems with special reference to exploration, conservation and the development and use of new technologies for access and effective operations in the deep sea and other remote environments. She has been awarded more than 100 national and international honors including the 2009 TED Prize, the Netherlands Order of the Golden Ark, the National Women’s Hall of Fame, Academy of Achievement, and medals from the Explorers Club, the Philadelphia Academy of Sciences, Lindbergh Foundation, National Wildlife Federation, and others.

Henry Elkus

Henry Elkus is Founder and CEO of Helena, a global institution that leads projects addressing critical societal problems.

Helena's past and current projects have sought to address elements of climate change, global security, economic inequality and the development of advanced technologies.

Helena's first project, "Factory in the Sky,” supported the construction of the first commercial carbon capture factory by the Swiss company Climeworks, which is now operating in 15 countries globally. Its second Project, "Shield" catalyzed state and federal action to help protect the North American electrical grid from threats due to solar storms and cyber-attack, including a 2019 Presidential Executive Order.

Helena operates its projects with a small group of leaders called "Helena Members." They include Four-Star Generals, artificial intelligence experts, Fortune 100 executives, Nobel Laureates, Academy Award winners, CIA Directors, academics, NGO leaders, Olympic athletes, explorers, and more.

Dr. Brian Helmuth

Brian Helmuth (FN ’07) is a Professor at the Marine Science Center at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. Brian’s research and teaching focus on predicting the likely ecological impacts of climate change on coastal ecosystems. His lab group also collaborates with formal and informal educators to develop cutting edge technologies such as video games and virtual reality environments to facilitate science learning by K-16 students. His lab also explores methods for public engagement including citizen science and visual art to promote climate resilience.  He currently serves as Chair of the National Sea Grant Advisory Board, which provides guidance to NOAA and to the Sea Grant Program. Brian also works extensively overseas on climate adaptation strategies with partners in China and Iraq. A veteran of several saturation missions in the Aquarius underwater habitat, Helmuth was a science advisor to the Fabien Cousteau Mission 31 project in 2014. He is a resident of Marblehead, MA.

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