The Team

Meet the Ocean Futures Society Team

The Cousteau name is forever linked with the ocean and so it is also necessarily linked to a ship, a vessel run by a team who keep both the ship and the adventure going. The same is still true and with or without a ship at any given time, this team represents a wide-range of devoted people who love the sea and put in long hours--on expedition, in the editing room, the classroom, or at the office computer. They play different roles, do 150 percent of what they’re asked, and are paid mostly in knowing that their work makes a difference. That, after all, is the great adventure.

  • Board member and secretary James R. AndrewsJAMES R. ANDREWS, OCEAN FUTURES SOCIETY PAST BOARD MEMBER AND SECRETARY
    James R. Andrews is an attorney in Santa Monica, California, with a long affiliation and friendship with both Jacques Cousteau and Jean-Michel Cousteau. A graduate of UCLA Law School, his legal practice has focused on general business transactions and he has represented many nonprofit entities over the years. In 1969, he represented Captain Cousteau in the creation of the Living Sea Museum located aboard the former ocean liner, the Queen Mary, in Long Beach, California, and it was the beginning of a relationship that lasted until the Captain’s death. Mr. Andrews continues to represent Jean-Michel Cousteau and Ocean Futures Society and is a member of the Board of Directors of OFS. Mr. Andrews has been in love with the sea since he was a little boy. Growing up, he spent virtually every summer weekend swimming and fishing at the beach in Oceanside, California, and regularly bicycled to the Palos Verdes peninsula to snorkel in its many coves. His present involvement with OFS is a continuation of his life-long dreams.
  • Ruben ArvizuRUBÉN D. ARVIZU, FILM PRODUCER/WRITER, DIRECTOR FOR LATIN AMERICA
    Rubén Arvizu is the founder and president of Arvintel Media Productions, an Atlanta based dubbing company with studios in Los Angeles, California specializing in dubbing films, cartoons, documentaries and commercials into English and other languages. As a writer and journalist he has published hundreds of columns and essays in newspapers and magazines in the United States and Latin America. In 1982 he received the Isabella of Spain award, in 1986 La Pluma de Plata and in 1992 La Palma de Oro.

    Rubén was formerly representative to Latin America for The Cousteau Society as well as film producer/writer and worked extensively with Captain Cousteau and Jean-Michel on many of their projects. Presently, he collaborates with Ocean Futures Society as film producer/writer and director for Latin America and the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation as their director for Latin America.

    Contact Rubén at rarvizu@oceanfutures.org

  • LEDA L. BOZACIYAN, PRESIDENT OF OCEAN FUTURES BRASIL
    Leda Bozaciyan has known the Cousteaus since the early 1980s when she collaborated with The Cousteau Society during the Amazon Expedition. In 2004 she established Ocean Futures Brasil and is responsible for the implementation and operation of Jean-Michel Cousteau’s first environmental education camp in Latin America: the Ambassadors of the Environment in Guarujá on the shore of the State of São Paulo. She is currently designing OFS Brasil’s next project--the Sustainable Amazon Rainforest program aimed at creating, producing and distributing environmental education materials free of charge to all schools in the Brazilian Amazon region. Leda graduated from São Paulo Mackenzie University in Architecture and has completed 3ème Cycle post graduate studies in Urban Planning at the Institut d'Urbanisme de Paris. Most of her professional experience, prior to OFS Brasil, was centered in project management and coordination on World Bank projects in Washington DC, Brasilia and São Paulo.

    Contact Leda at leda@ofsbrasil.org.br

  • Laura Brands, Education Associate and NaturalistLAURA BRANDS, EDUCATION ASSOCIATE/NATURALIST
    Laura first fell in love with water on a trip to the Everglades, immersed in the most crystal clear water she’d ever known. With a taste for the far-flung and unique, at twenty Laura headed to Madagascar for studies in coral reef conservation. Her studies continued in Environmental Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, including French language studies. As a naturalist for Ocean Futures Society since 2000, Laura thrived at teaching tropical marine ecology in the South Pacific onboard cruise ships. Other ship-based naturalist work took her to the icy waters of the North Pacific and Cape Horn, into the turquoise Mediterranean and Caribbean. Ocean fish species, seabirds, and their conservation became her specialty. Now at Ocean Futures’ headquarters in Santa Barbara, Laura works as expedition researcher and educator at El Capitan Canyon--one of Ocean Futures’ outdoor education programs.

    Contact Laura at lbrands@oceanfutures.org

  • Nathan Dembeck, Marine OpsNATHAN DEMBECK, MARINE OPERATIONS
    From age 11 until he turned 18 and graduated from the program, Nathan worked on a naval ship called the Pride Of Michigan as a U.S. Naval Sea Cadet. He spent every summer training in the Great Lakes and learned to dive, taking advantage of every opportunity in or on the water to do many interesting projects. Nathan worked with the Ocean Futures Society dive team during the filming of the Thunder Bay portion of the Ocean Adventures PBS film, “America’s Underwater Treasures” and was offered a permanent job working with Ocean Futures. Upon graduation from high school, he moved to California to join the team and to pursue his dreams and career as a diver.

    Contact Nathan at ndembeck@oceanfutures.org

  • Jean-Michel Cousteau and Dr. Sylvia EarleDR. SYLVIA EARLE, BOARD OF DIRECTORS
    Dr. Sylvia A. Earle is a longtime friend of Jean-Michel Cousteau and has been a member of the Ocean Futures Society Advisory Board since its beginning in 1999. She is a pioneer in ocean exploration and research and is currently an Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society, leader of the Sustainable Seas Expeditions, chair of the Advisory Councils for Harte Research Institute and for the Ocean in Google Earth. Dr. Earle also served as Chief Scientist of NOAA in the early 1990s and she is a 2009 recipient of the coveted TED Prize for her proposal to establish a global network of marine protected areas.
  • Board member Albert FalcoALBERT FALCO, PAST BOARD MEMBER (deceased)
    As Jacques Cousteau’s first diver, Albert Falco spent nearly four decades as expedition chief and captain of the Calypso, a pioneer diver uncovering the sea’s wonders and secrets. He calls those years “the most beautiful of my life.” Falco is now retired, but not from the ocean, still sharing what he has learned in short films he creates for environmental organizations such as Martinique Vidéo Sub, Earth and Sea Images and others. He also works to preserve the Calanque de Sormiou, a place close to his heart where he first discovered underwater diving. His films aim to protect the ocean and the riches it conceals; to create marine reserves in order to save aquatic species facing extinction; and to teach children about the environment. An OFS board member, Falco lives in Marseille with his wife, Maryvonne, and has a daughter and four grandchildren.
  • Director of Photography Matthew FerraroMATT FERRARO, DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
    Matt graduated from California State University Monterey Bay in 1999 with a degree in Earth System Sciences and Policy. As an original expedition member for Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Adventures PBS series, Matt’s duties have encompassed research, still photography, camera operator, underwater lighting, and marine operations. Currently he is Director of Photography and Chief Diver for Ocean Futures Society.

    Contact Matt at mferraro@oceanfutures.org

  • Brian Hall Cameraman and Post ProductionBRIAN HALL, CAMERAMAN/POST PRODUCTION
    Brian graduated with a B.S. in Marine Biology and a minor in Oceanography from the University of New Hampshire. He then studied whales in the field with renowned biologist Roger Payne and Ocean Alliance. Through his work in the field, Brian realized the importance of conveying the discoveries and issues that scientists were uncovering to the public to help promote awareness and better decision-making. He left field research and began freelancing for documentary photography and video projects that work towards this goal. Brian joined the Ocean Futures team in 2006 working on post production for “America’s Underwater Treasures” and continued with post production work on “Return to the Amazon,” “Sea Ghosts,” and “Call of the Killer Whale,” contributing second camera filming and assistant camera duties for “Call of the Killer Whale.”

    Contact Brian at bhall@oceanfutures.org

  • Associate Producer and Editor Jim KnowltonJIM KNOWLTON, ASSOCIATE PRODUCER AND EDITOR
    Jim Knowlton has helped create films for Ocean Futures Society since 1999. In addition to working as post production supervisor on the Ocean Adventures series, his credits include associate producer and co-editor on “Call of the Killer Whale” and “America’s Underwater Treasures,” associate producer and editor on “Sea Ghosts,” cameraman and associate producer on “The Gray Whale Obstacle Course,” and associate producer on “Sharks at Risk.” Knowlton previously worked on shark documentaries for the Discovery Channel, as underwater cameraman and editor of “Sharks of the Deep Blue,” and underwater cameraman of “Sharks in a Desert Sea” and “Sharks of the Atlantic.” He graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a double major in Environmental Studies and Geography.

    Contact Jim at jknowlton@oceanfutures.org

  • Education and Research Associate Holly LohuisHOLLY LOHUIS, FIELD PRODUCER/EXECUTIVE COORDINATOR FOR JEAN-MICHEL COUSTEAU
    Holly is a marine biologist with a degree from the University of California in Santa Barbara and has been diving around the world with Jean-Michel Cousteau for more than a decade. A key member of the expedition team, Holly acts as a liaison between the team and scientists, and is responsible for confirming the factual accuracy of the content of Ocean Futures Society documentaries. Also a marine educator, she has taught thousands of children and adults about the wonders and fragility of the aquatic environment and the importance of protecting them for future generations. For her educational outreach efforts, in 2009 Holly was honored with the Hall of Fame award from the San Juan School district in her hometown Sacramento, California.

    Contact Holly at hlohuis@oceanfutures.org
    Contact Jean-Michel Cousteau at jmcousteau@oceanfutures.org

  • International Advisory Council Chair Nancy MarrNANCY MARR, INTERNATIONAL ADVISORY COUNCIL CHAIR
    
A native of the Pacific Northwest, Nancy Marr is instilled with a love for nature. An aspiring artist, she studied art and then made a career representing artists and antiquarian maps in galleries in Hawaii. Moving to Santa Barbara, California, in 1992, she helped found Ocean Futures Society with Jean-Michel Cousteau and continues fundraising efforts and working behind the scenes. She is an eclectic collector of native arts and crafts worldwide and antiquarian maps. She actively supports peaceful enterprises, global healthcare and education for women and children.
  • International Advisory Council Jeffrey MoraJEFFREY MORA, INTERNATIONAL ADVISORY COUNCIL
    Jeffrey is the corporate chef and owner of Metropolitan Culinary Services Inc., chef for the Los Angeles Lakers and a devoted environmentalist. His unique menus featuring sustainable meats, seafood and produce have delighted palates for more than 20 years, for people in more than 20 countries. He competed in the Culinary Olympics in 1992 and 1996 as part of the U.S. team. Jeffrey now serves as a member of the International Advisory Council of Ocean Futures Society, and sits on the board of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and the Earth Communications Office.
  • Director of Science and Education Richard Murphy PhDRICHARD MURPHY Ph.D., DIRECTOR OF SCIENCE AND EDUCATION
    A Ph.D. scientist in Marine Ecology from the University of Southern California, Murphy began working with Jacques and Jean-Michel Cousteau in 1968 and has been involved in projects and expeditions around the globe. He has served as chief scientist, photographer, writer, educator, and project director and has created many educational programs for young people in developed and developing countries. His book Coral Reefs: Cities Under the Sea offers a unique and fascinating look at how coral reefs function and what lessons they can teach us in making our own communities more sustainable.

    Contact Dr. Murphy at rmurphsurf@gmail.com

  • ANDREA NEAL, Ph.D. SCIENCE ADVISOR

    Andrea is an avid ocean enthusiast and self-proclaimed surf and SCUBA addict. Andrea has a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics and Lipid Biochemistry from the Swedish Life Sciences University and a B.S. in Horticulture Science from Purdue University. She has 11 years of experience in the scientific community including projects ranging from bio-fuel development, nano-toxicity studies, marine debris and educational outreach about environmental toxins. In 2009 Andrea became the Principal Investigator for Project Kaisei. She has experienced firsthand the effects of marine debris in both the Sargasso Sea and the Subtropical Convergence Zone of the North Pacific Gyre. Andrea is very concerned about the state of our oceanic environments, but, she remains hopeful. She believes in the intellect and ingenuity of people and knows that if we all work together on this emerging disaster that we can all make a difference.

  • MARIE-CLAUDE OREN, OCÉAN FUTUR EUROPE

    Marie-Claude has been working with Jean-Michel Cousteau for more than 25 years. She assisted and managed the Jean-Michel Cousteau Productions office in France and now Océan Futur Europe. Marie-Claude specializes in finance and financial analysis but she contributes in a variety of ways to the organization.

    Contact Marie-Claude at mcoren@ofeurope.org

  • Director of Expeditions Don SanteeDON SANTEE, DIRECTOR OF EXPEDITIONS
    Don has worked side by side with both Jacques and Jean-Michel Cousteau for more than three decades. Assuming duties as expedition leader and production manager, he coordinates everything from diving excursions to film logistics. An underwater photographer for books and magazines, he has also worked on over 40 television documentaries. In addition to serving as the team's medical dive officer, Don is also responsible for training the Ocean Futures Society team in advanced technical diving procedures and state-of-the-art closed-circuit rebreathers.

    Contact Don at dsantee@oceanfutures.org

  • Co-Producer and Writer Pamela StaceyPAMELA STACEY, CO-PRODUCER/WRITER
    Pamela Stacey is an Emmy-nominated writer for a variety of film projects, including work as producer and writer of a one-hour ABC network special on dolphins, writer and producer of films for Ocean Futures Society/PBS productions, Cousteau Society/Turner Broadcasting, and IMAX feature films. Pam served as chief editor for the Cousteau Society’s Dolphin Log magazine for children and is an author/editor of books about water, coral reefs and ocean protection. Pam has written, co-written and produced nine episodes of the Ocean Adventures series including “The Gray Whale Obstacle Course,” “Sharks at Risk,” “America’s Underwater Treasures,” “Return to the Amazon,” “Sea Ghosts,” and “Call of the Killer Whale.”

    Contact Pam at pamstacey@gmail.com

  • Board Member and CFO Tim TrabonTIM TRABON, OCEAN FUTURES SOCIETY BOARD MEMBER
    An admirer of Jacques Cousteau since his teens, Tim first joined Calypso as a guest in November 1980 for its voyage on the St. Lawrence River. At one point, the ship was caught in a winter storm and threatened to capsize. But since that was Tim’s first time sailing, he was blithely unaware of any danger. “My inexperience and ignorance led everyone to believe I was fearless,” he recalls, ultimately leading to an invitation to join Calypso on the Amazon in 1982, this time as financial director. Later Cousteau expeditions took Tim to the Sea of Cortez, the British West Indies, Papua New Guinea, the Fiji Islands, and the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. Today, in addition to serving as OFS Chief Financial Officer, Tim co-leads Trabon Solutions, a custom-software company; owns and operates Fallin’ T Ranch, raising 750 head of Black Angus cattle; and runs Trabon Printing, which published Jean-Michel Cousteau’s award-winning book America’s Underwater Treasures. Tim lives in Kansas City with his wife and four children, including Delila, an orphan he brought home and out of the war in Sarajevo in 1993.
  • CHARLES VINICK, OCEAN FUTURES SOCIETY BOARD MEMBER

    Charles has worked closely with both Jacques and Jean-Michel Cousteau for over 25 years, as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Ocean Futures Society, Vice President of the Cousteau Society, and Fonde de Pouvoir of Parc Oceanique Cousteau in Paris, France, and is now an advisor to the wide range of Ocean Futures Society projects and goals. Charles is also a consultant to Ecomerit Technologies, a renewable energy development company in the areas of business development, government relations and environmental permitting, and he brings extensive experience in ocean policy, environmental policy, project management and government relations. He has been extensively engaged in the offshore renewable energy regulatory development process and MMS and FERC permitting regimes. Charles served as President and CEO of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound and as the CEO of the Santa Barbara City College Foundation as well as Director of Training and Development for TRW, Inc., and Executive Director of Adult Education for the University of Southern California. He has received commendations from the White House for his work with youth education and from the Los Angeles City Council for community environmentalism. Mr. Vinick currently serves on the Board of Directors of Ecosphere Technologies, Inc., Heal the Ocean, and Ocean Futures Society Europe. He also provides management and policy consulting services to for profit and non-profit organizations.

  • medium_Carrie-Vonderhaar.pngCARRIE VONDERHAAR, CHIEF EXPEDITION PHOTOGRAPHER
    
As chief expedition photographer, Carrie is the first woman to work with Jean-Michel as both a topside and underwater camera operator. Also an assistant camera operator for Sony 900 HD cameras, Carrie fulfills many responsibilities while on expedition. She is also the only expedition member to travel the entire length of the Amazon from the Andes to the Atlantic for “Return to the Amazon” and the first women to dive using a rebreather at Cordell Banks off California. Her degrees in French, political science and fine arts from Wittenberg University in Ohio and advanced studies at the Université Rennes 2 in France led to studies at the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara. Carrie was the photographer and photo editor for Jean-Michel’s award-winning, limited-edition book America’s Underwater Treasures, and her images have been published in distinguished magazines such as DIVER, Sublime, Santa Barbara Magazine, Outside, Men’s Journal, Outdoor Enthusiast, Reader’s Digest, Vogue and Discover, as well displayed in many gallery shows including the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco where over 3 million tourists viewed her images. In 2011, Carrie was inducted into the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame for her contributions in the Arts and Conservation.

    Contact Carrie at cvonderhaar@oceanfutures.org