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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. 


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.  








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. 


Check out more Mission 31 adventures here


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).

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

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.


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.



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New York, NY 10019 USA



© 2020 Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center Inc.