Our team

The Ocean Project is a collaborative and strategic communications organization with a lean team of three employees, plus several bright and innovative student interns. We are steadfastly dedicated to supporting our partner network to advance action for ocean conservation.

Bill Mott, Director

Director Bill Mott

Since the late 1980s Bill Mott has focused his energy on building large networks and coalitions to promote more collaborative and strategic ways to bring about a better future. Bill has directed The Ocean Project since its founding in the late 1990s, growing it from the founding five partners into 2,000 partner organizations in 75 countries. Starting in 2002, Bill has also led global efforts to coordinate and grow the reach and impact of World Oceans Day.

Bill began his professional career at the Center for Marine Conservation (now Ocean Conservancy), where he helped on marine ecosystem protection initiatives nationally and internationally, including serving as coordinator for the Coral Reef Coalition whose efforts led to the establishment of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary in 1990. After graduate school in the early 1990s, Bill served as director of the newly-created Marine Fish Conservation Network, another diverse coalition, eventually growing to more than 100 conservation and fishing organizations. Through innovative national media and grassroots campaigns, the Network helped reform Federal fisheries policy in Congress, eventually succeeding in getting unprecedented conservation provisions incorporated through congressional passage of the Sustainable Fisheries Act in 1996. Bill then spent seven years with SeaWeb, and focused primarily on aquaculture and sustainable seafood issues. During that time, he also split his time to develop The Ocean Project. In 2005, Bill left SeaWeb to focus full time on The Ocean Project.

Bill received an M.E.Sc. from the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies in 1993 and a B.Sc. in Natural Resources from Cornell University in 1987. Bill lives with his wife, Stephanie, and two children, Sophia and Nicholas, and dog, Joey, in Providence, RI and is involved with many community efforts.

Douglas Meyer, Strategic Communications and Evaluation

4meyerDouglas plays a key role in our communications initiative, assisting with our market research and working with our partners to help them integrate and evaluate those insights as applied to their own priorities and programs. As a principal with the consulting firm of Bernuth & Williamson since 2003, Douglas has worked in similar ways with other leading environmental organizations and philanthropic funders, including Defenders of Wildlife, Resources for the Future, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), the World Business Council on Sustainable Development, World Resources Institute  and World Wildlife Fund (WWF), as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Previously he was on staff at The Nature Conservancy, where he focused on international communications and special initiatives, and had worked extensively in film, television and radio production.  Fluent in Spanish and conversant in Portuguese, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature and Spanish from Indiana University, holds a master’s degree in international affairs from Georgetown University, and has taught nonprofit marketing at Skidmore College. In spite of being a sad sight as a surfer, he still loves going to the beach with his wife and daughters.

Jennifer Spring, Network Coordinator

Jen pictureFrom an early age, Jen knew that environmental concerns and conservation were going to help shape who she would become. As a student at Denison University, she focused on Sustainable Agriculture, and spent a semester studying at the New Alchemy Institute on Cape Cod. She spent her senior year living at the Homestead, an off-the-grid housing option which promotes a socio environmentally-responsible life ethic. Post-graduation, with a desire to see the world, Jen and her husband Scott backpacked around Africa, India and SE Asia for 19 months. Seeing how people around the world live and interact with their environments was life changing. After a few years of reality back in the U.S., work opportunities allowed Jen, Scott and their children Anna and Matthew to live in Europe for five years. Since returning from Europe, Jen has spent the last 10 years working as the Operations Coordinator at Tall Ships America, a national non-profit based in Newport, RI. At Tall Ships America Jen became very involved with the sailing community and the issues that they face. Along with becoming acquainted with tall ships nation/world-wide, Jen and her family also took a year to sail from Newport to Grenada and back. In Newport, Jen has been the Shore Team Volunteer for a non-profit promoting child literacy in the Eastern Caribbean – Hands Across the Sea, and is also a member of and volunteer for Clean Ocean Access. Any free time is spent finding ocean-view walks around Newport, baking, singing with the Swanhurst Chorus, and playing tennis. Jen is half-time and started in December 2015. She is very happy to get back to her conservation roots!

Samantha Mackiewicz, Youth and Online Communications Coordinator

imageSamantha Mackiewicz recently graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Affairs and a minor in Environmental Economics. Growing up on the Connecticut shoreline and traveling to many coastal locations throughout the world, Sam has always been drawn to the ocean. She interned with Mystic Aquarium, in the Education & Conservation Department, in the summer of 2014. She also lived and studied the marine environment in Mallorca, Spain in the summer of 2015. Sam is excited to be a part of The Ocean Project and promote ocean conservation across the globe.

Advisors

Tom Adams,  Policy Advisor

TomAdamsAs a congressional staffer for former Rep. Dante Fascell (FL), and government affairs professional for National Parks Conservation Association and National Audubon Society, he has been involved in dozens of legislative policy campaigns including the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Act, national moratoria on oil and gas drilling on the outer continental shelf, California Desert Protection Act, Presidio Trust Act, the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Act, and defeat of legislation to create a military base closure-type commission to make recommendations to close units of the National Park System. During his tenure as Director of Federal Government Relations for Chicago Zoological Society he secured more than $5.5 million in federal appropriations and grants for research programs such as its Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, transportation infrastructure needs for Brookfield Zoo, was instrumental in the creation and funding of a NOAA B-WET education program in the Great Lakes, and writing a successful grant to create the Great Lakes Zoo and Aquarium Partnership. Tom is also President at High Ground Strategies. He began working with The Ocean Project as its Policy Advisor in 2014.

Eva Anderson,  Creative Advisor

EvaAndersonEva has worked with The Ocean Project on numerous projects since 2004. She has over 25 years’ experience in virtually every aspect of design for local, regional and national clients. She has managed award–winning projects for diverse clients both locally and nationally. In 1987, Eva moved from California to Rhode Island to earn a masters degree at Rhode Island School of Design and started her first design business while still wearing her cap and gown. Eva is also recognized nationally for her environmental commitment: she was awarded the prestigious EPA Environmental Merit Award for her work with ECO, a newsletter dedicated to educating the graphic design community about the environmental impact of the profession. She has taught at Rhode Island School of Design and Clark University. Born in Texas, schooled in Ecuador and enlightened in California, Eva fancies herself a Rhode Islander at heart… although she has been known to drive outside of Providence from time to time.

Current interns

 

coraCora Wiese Moore is a rising sophomore at Brown University, planning on concentrating in Environmental Engineering. She is a conservationist native to Madison, WI, and spends as much time as she can in the woods and in the marsh. Cora took a gap year to travel in Latin America learning about sustainable agriculture, and now looks forward to living close to the ocean for the first time. She is interested in sustainable design and the health of the environment, especially as they influence each other. Cora is very happy to be working with The Ocean Project this year.

 

Alexandra smallAlexandra Thomsen is a recent graduate from Brown University who studied Biology. Her love for marine life began during childhood, through snorkeling, identifying fish in guide books, and visiting the New England Aquarium. In high school, she grew concerned about the conservation issues affecting the oceans and has been drawn to this area of study ever since. Last summer, Alexandra studied algal blooms in Narragansett Bay with the Thornber Lab at URI. She looks forward to helping Ocean Project partners communicate conservation issues and inspire others to do what they can to live sustainably.