Our Team

The Hydrous is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization on a mission to create open access oceans. We are an international community of scientists, divers, designers, filmmakers, and technologists who love the ocean.

 

Leadership

 

Erika is a marine biologist who has been studying and exploring coral reefs around the world for over 15 years, with a particular focus on how rising ocean temperatures affect coral populations. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she conducted her PhD research with the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia and earned her Masters of Applied Science in Coastal Management from the University of Sydney. She received a B.A. from Duke University, where she studied biology and art history. A National Geographic Explorer, Erika is dedicated to public engagement of science and believes the ocean is too good not to share. Learn more about her at erikawoolsey.com

 

Dr. Erika Woolsey

CEO & Co-Founder

Peggy is committed to the mission of The Hydrous, to make the oceans more accessible for all people to explore, engage and understand the climate and human threats to our planet. She has previously served on the Boards of two education nonprofit organizations, the Photographic Center Northwest and the New Media Consortium. Her 20+ year career in technology was focused on Education. As Director of North America Education Sales for Adobe Systems, she was responsible for sales and programs serving the K-20 market. At Autodesk, as Director of Education Strategic Partnerships and Initiatives, she developed Education programs and partners for a global audience. Peggy is passionate about the impact of technology in learning environments, and she will use that passion in her work for The Hydrous, to expand awareness of our oceans.

Peggy Snyder

Board Member

Rick is a photographer, designer, educator, and the founder of 22 Degrees, an eco-minded outdoor gear company. He holds a B.F.A in arts education and an M.F.A. in film and video. Rick's professional experience spans a wide range of roles including Community Organizer  for Boston Public Schools, Director of Academic Computing at California College of the Arts, designer, photographer, and small business owner. Rick is also a certified PADI Scuba Instructor and a 2nd degree black belt in aikido. He lived in Asia for 9 years, including in Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, and Palau. Rick’s fashion photography has been published in the L.A. magazine Metro-Pop and, for his most recent project, was lead designer and photo editor for Gutsy Tuason's underwater photography book, "Black Water/Open Blue." In his spare time you can find him volunteering at the California Academy of Sciences as a diver and teaching aikido at Suginami Aikikai Dojo in San Francisco. He is passionate about the ocean and will be drawing from his experience in design, education, and technology as a collaborator and ambassador for The Hydrous.

Rick Miskiv

Designer & Director of Underwater Photography

Aaron is passionate about using technology for ocean health and social good. He is a Data Scientist for Global Fishing Watch (by Google, Oceana, and Skytruth), the first geospatial visualization and dataset of fishing activity globally (see: globalfishingwatch.org). He also worked on Billion Acts of Peace, a 2017 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, (billionacts.org). Aaron believes that data is the motivator and driver of change, especially in the ocean space where new complex datasets are manifesting through underwater technology, satellite technology, and marine sensor technology. He is passionate about knowledge sharing and open access to data where innovation, collaboration, and insights can come from anyone in the world.

Aaron Roan

Board Member

Elle comes from a background of learning by making and believes that having something in your hands is way better than keeping it in your head or on the computer. With a deep knowledge in both design and rapid fabrication, Elle is excited to help share The Hydrous’ coral data in a tangible and exciting way with those who are unable to experience it firsthand. You can find other examples of her work as well as cool dive photos from all around the world at her website: www.ellestapleton.com

Elle Stapleton

Project Manager & Fabrication Artist

Known as the “Mother of Multimedia”, Dr. Woolsey directed the Apple Multimedia Lab from 1984 until 1998. She has worked as an Assistant Professor at UC Santa Cruz, a Visiting Faculty member in MIT’s Architecture Machine Group, the Director of Atari’s Sunnyvale Research Lab, a technology, education, and design consultant, and the head of the Advisory Board for the Learning, Design and Technology Program at Stanford. Most recently, she served as the Project Director for the Exploratorium’s relocation to Pier 15, providing a technical infrastructure to enhance multi-sensory learning, as well as a net-zero, LEED Platinum building. She is currently writing a book about the history and future of multimedia.

Dr. Kristina Woolsey

Board Member

 Pete is a diver, management consultant, photographer, and sailor. His passion for the ocean started early with his first snorkeling trip to Key Largo at age seven. Over many years spent enjoying the oceans from above and below Pete has seen first hand the alarming affects that humans are having on such an important resource. As a management consultant working with some of the worlds most well known brands Pete has spent 15 years learning what it takes to turn innovative ideas into actionable strategies, then build organizations that bring them to life. Pete is excited to bring his passion and talents to the incredible community of Hydrous scientists, educators, artists, and ocean lovers to cultivate ideas and strategies to help preserve our oceans.  

Pete is a diver, management consultant, photographer, and sailor. His passion for the ocean started early with his first snorkeling trip to Key Largo at age seven. Over many years spent enjoying the oceans from above and below Pete has seen first hand the alarming affects that humans are having on such an important resource. As a management consultant working with some of the worlds most well known brands Pete has spent 15 years learning what it takes to turn innovative ideas into actionable strategies, then build organizations that bring them to life. Pete is excited to bring his passion and talents to the incredible community of Hydrous scientists, educators, artists, and ocean lovers to cultivate ideas and strategies to help preserve our oceans.  

Pete Niesen

Photographer, Strategist & Expedition Leader

 

2018 Hydrous Ambassadors

 

Dave Greenberg was co-founder and director for CiviCRM, the built-for-nonprofits open source CRM software platform used by more than 10,000 non-profits globally. He has 25 years of experience in the application software, electronic commerce, and banking industries. Dave previously worked in the nonprofit sector as a Psychiatric Counselor at the Tenderloin Community Mental Health clinic, and has a Masters degree in Social Work. Dave is passionate about natural science, the environment and social justice. He is currently having a blast teaching Live Animal programs to elementary school children at the Randall Museum, and tutoring kids in the Reading Partners program.

Dave Greenberg

Ambassador

Nora has extensive knowledge of marine and terrestrial systems and possesses excellent program management skills. She is a Co-Founder of the Hydrous, earned her BS in Environmental Science and Biology from Loyola Marymount University, and holds a Masters of Science from James Cook University, where she researched the effects of plastic pollution on coral reefs. Her publication “Microplastic ingestion by scleractinian corals“, published in Marine Biology, is ranked in the top 5% of all research outputs. Nora has recently executed the world’s largest software conferences for a Fortune 500 company in a fast-paced, high-visibility environment. She is an avid volunteer in the Bay Area and has a passion for teaching, diving, and ocean optimism.

NORA Hall

Co-Founder & Ambassador

John is a producer, director, designer, and an early pioneer of 360 video and surrogate travel. He works in a variety of media including digital video, cinematography and still photography in a wide range of formats. His experience includes multimedia computer-based productions for science museums throughout the world, as well as for classroom curriculum (e.g. Voyage of the Mimi). He has invented a variety of hardware and software solutions for the implementation of new techniques, special effects, motion control, virtual reality, and exhibits as well as for his linear films. John’s productions and designs work toward enhancing and expanding media content for natural history, science, and educational and environmental programs.

John Borden

Ambassador & Senior Advisor

Kathryn is a marine scientist (PhD) who has dedicated her career to investigating the impact of pollution on marine organisms and ecosystems. Winner of The Nature Conservancy Conservation Award, she is driven to protect ocean health for future generations. Kathryn is passionate about ocean communication and education. As a finalist in the Asia-Pacific Three Minute Thesis competition, Kathryn actively promotes powerful messages about ocean conservation and believes the impact of her science is not based on a journal title, but by the number of people she can inspire to become ocean stewards. When Kathryn isn’t under the sea, you can find her inspiring young minds in science classrooms or on the beach picking up plastic.

Dr. Kathryn Berry

Ambassador

 Allison is an evolutionary biologist studying how coral reefs became the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. As a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at California Academy of Sciences, she does research on nudibranchs, aka the most beautiful slugs you’ll ever see. She holds a Ph.D. in Biology form UCLA and a B.S. in Natural Resources from Cornell University. She hopes that by learning as much as we can about coral reef biodiversity and sharing it with the world, we may inspire change that could reverse their current trajectory towards extinction. 

Allison is an evolutionary biologist studying how coral reefs became the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. As a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at California Academy of Sciences, she does research on nudibranchs, aka the most beautiful slugs you’ll ever see. She holds a Ph.D. in Biology form UCLA and a B.S. in Natural Resources from Cornell University. She hopes that by learning as much as we can about coral reef biodiversity and sharing it with the world, we may inspire change that could reverse their current trajectory towards extinction. 

DR. Allison Fritts-Penniman 

Ambassador

 Andrea Murchie is a well-rounded designer, humanitarian, and environmentalist. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Design from James Madison University. She is a certified Divemaster and has a passion for ocean conservation. She is trained in human-centered design, computer-aided design, digital fabrication, form-making, graphic design, and more. She has experience working on a variety of research and conservation projects involving various species of sharks, hand-rearing of African penguins, and oyster reef restoration. She also has considerable experience volunteering and teaching at-risk and disabled children in Third World countries. When Andrea isn’t exploring the depths of the ocean, she is continually seeking ways to apply her experience in design, conservation, and teaching to raise awareness of ocean conservation.

Andrea Murchie is a well-rounded designer, humanitarian, and environmentalist. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Design from James Madison University. She is a certified Divemaster and has a passion for ocean conservation. She is trained in human-centered design, computer-aided design, digital fabrication, form-making, graphic design, and more. She has experience working on a variety of research and conservation projects involving various species of sharks, hand-rearing of African penguins, and oyster reef restoration. She also has considerable experience volunteering and teaching at-risk and disabled children in Third World countries. When Andrea isn’t exploring the depths of the ocean, she is continually seeking ways to apply her experience in design, conservation, and teaching to raise awareness of ocean conservation.

Andrea Murchie

Designer & Ambassador

A marine scientist turned designer and serial entrepreneur, Sly incorporated his passion for technology, photography, and design to develop a method to 3D capture coral reefs underwater. His goal is to utilize technology to create a space for conversation around human centered design and sustainability issues surrounding oceans and climate change. He is an award winning photographer, Singularity University GSP 2015 alumni, 2015 Fast Company Innovation by Design Award nominee, and World Economic Forum Global Shaper. His other work can be found at www.slylee.com

SlY Lee

Co-Founder & Board Advisor

 Grace C. Young is an ocean engineer, aquanaut, and National Geographic Emerging Explorer. She discovered her passion for the water as a child, sailing, swimming, and diving in the Great Lakes and the Chesapeake Bay. She pursued her dreams at MIT, earning a degree in Mechanical and Ocean Engineering then going on to Oxford University, where she is currently a Ph.D. candidate. Grace has developed an array of technologies that help us better understand the ocean, including robots and camera systems designed to record fish populations, map coral reefs in 3D, and document slow motion underwater events. Her work experience includes developing technology for Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), CERN, and NASA. In 2014, Grace spent 15 days as an aquanaut, living underwater in the Aquarius Reef Base during Fabien Cousteau’s Mission 31. The Mission’s goal was to build awareness about the need for ocean conservation.   Photo Credit: Mission 31

Grace C. Young is an ocean engineer, aquanaut, and National Geographic Emerging Explorer. She discovered her passion for the water as a child, sailing, swimming, and diving in the Great Lakes and the Chesapeake Bay. She pursued her dreams at MIT, earning a degree in Mechanical and Ocean Engineering then going on to Oxford University, where she is currently a Ph.D. candidate. Grace has developed an array of technologies that help us better understand the ocean, including robots and camera systems designed to record fish populations, map coral reefs in 3D, and document slow motion underwater events. Her work experience includes developing technology for Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), CERN, and NASA. In 2014, Grace spent 15 days as an aquanaut, living underwater in the Aquarius Reef Base during Fabien Cousteau’s Mission 31. The Mission’s goal was to build awareness about the need for ocean conservation. 

Photo Credit: Mission 31

Dr. Grace C. Young

Ambassador

Shayle is a science storyteller and PhD student at the Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology. He uses DNA sequencing and 3D-imaging to study the dynamic symbioses between coral and their algal partners, and is particularly interested in the intersection of technology and biology for creative problem solving and education. He is passionate about science communication (WIRED.com, Story Collider, Nerd Nite), was the creator and host of the science happy hour series, Science, Neat, in San Francisco, and is on the organizing committee for ComSciCon 2017 (the National Communicating Science Workshop for STEM graduate students). Out of the lab, you can find him making watercolor Sketchnotes (@wrong_whale), tinkering, and enjoying being out in nature as much as possible in Hawaii. 

SHAYLE MAtsudA

Ambassador

 For Tiffany, all paths eventually lead to the ocean. Tiffany grew up in California’s Bay Area where fostering a love for saltwater was like second nature. Her mind was made up early on that her destiny was to be a marine biologist, but she’s worked as a fishery observer in Alaska, a scientific diver in Hawaii and a research student describing the deeper fishes of the Great Barrier Reef (Australia). She draws on a broad knowledge of the ocean, having also been a SCUBA instructor, competitive sailor, safety diver, boat captain and wildlife naturalist. Tiffany has a B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Southern California, a Masters, and soon-to-be-finished PhD in Marine Biology from James Cook University.

For Tiffany, all paths eventually lead to the ocean. Tiffany grew up in California’s Bay Area where fostering a love for saltwater was like second nature. Her mind was made up early on that her destiny was to be a marine biologist, but she’s worked as a fishery observer in Alaska, a scientific diver in Hawaii and a research student describing the deeper fishes of the Great Barrier Reef (Australia). She draws on a broad knowledge of the ocean, having also been a SCUBA instructor, competitive sailor, safety diver, boat captain and wildlife naturalist. Tiffany has a B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Southern California, a Masters, and soon-to-be-finished PhD in Marine Biology from James Cook University.

Tiffany Sih

Ambassador

Jason McGuigan is a virtual reality specialist and the Chief Creative Officer of Horizon Productions. He has over 20 years of experience in designing across all mediums with dozens of local and national awards to his credit. He has led, designed, created, directed, and produced high quality VR experiences for clients including Lenovo, IBM, The Home Depot, and many others. He is also the President and Founder of worldmoVR, LCC which builds high-end, portable VR systems. Jason is the Hydrous VR advisor and is Co-Producer, Director of Land-based Photography, and Post-Production Supervisor on the upcoming Hydrous VR film. 

Jason McGuigan

VR Advisor & Director

Handcrafted in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Jim came to better coast of California to pursue his Bachelors at Whittier College and onto Los Angeles for brief stint in the entertainment industry with a focus on live music performance. Seeking an interest in Design and Function, pursued an MBA in Design Strategy from California College of the Arts. Post graduation seeking a path beyond startups, began his focus on implementing SRI strategies at a small family office, helping to transition investments into Renewable Energy and Sustainable Aquaculture. His desire to connect more with the oceans lead him to Hydrous through diving and hasn’t looked back at the surface since!

Jim Chowdry

Ambassador

Cecilia is a manager at Autodesk, a company that "makes software for people who make things”. The Autodesk story is about "human ingenuity and the drive to improve the reality around us.” Cecilia is also a certified PADI Scuba Instructor, passionate about nature, ecology and addicted to the underwater world. Cecilia’s interests and expertise converged when she joined The Hydrous for the 2015 expedition in Bali.  She is motivated by anything that can somehow slow down the damage human kind has been doing to planet earth, and in The Hydrous she has found a way to help.

Cecilia Dobner            

Ambassador

Brandon is an avid individual dedicating his passion and devotion for the seas and oceans. For the past 16 years in the scuba diving industry, he has travelled and explored various beautiful dive sites around South East Asia. Also a freelance certified PADI Dive Master, recently he started his conservation profile as a volunteer with the Autodesk Foundation. Working as an Enterprise Systems Specialist, he commits the effort in using Autodesk values and technology to help Imagine, Design and Create a better world. He believes in the application of design principal and design tools to solve social environmental pressing issues.  When the opportunity arose in 2016, he joined The Hydrous as a representative from Autodesk to fulfill the first maiden expedition to The Maldives. Using design thinking, he hopes to see the impact in solving epic challenge that is to continue sustaining the coral reefs eco-system. In the majority of his free time now, he is using it to scuba dive and getting immerse looking through the lens for both normal and underwater photography.

Brandon Goh

Ambassador

 
 

Collaborators

 
 
 
  Incubated by the Global Development Incubator

Incubated by the Global Development Incubator