Keynote Speaker 

#OceanOptimism: Success Stories in Ocean Conservation

Time: Sunday, 5 November | 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Location: Rhode Island Convention Center - Ballroom A

Dr. Nancy Knowlton 

Sant Chair in Marine Science, Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, Washington DC
Senior Scientist Emeritus, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama

An unrelenting torrent of bad news about coral reefs dying, fish populations collapsing and shorelines choked in plastic has led many to believe we have done irreparable damage to the ocean. Yet the past decades have also witnessed a growing number of successes in saving species, protecting places, harvesting wisely, reducing pollution, and restoring habitats. These and other examples inspired the Ocean Optimism initiative whose goal is to recognize, learn from, and celebrate our successes.

About Dr. Nancy Knowlton

Dr. Knowlton is the author of National Geographic’s best-selling Citizens of the Sea, was the founding director of the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Smithsonian’s Ocean Portal website. Dr. Knowlton’s research centers on the diversity and conservation of life in the ocean, and her studies have taken her across the tropics. Currently she uses state of the art molecular methods to find out what really lives in the sea, and previous work has ranged from systematics, symbioses and reproduction of corals to the formation of new species across the Isthmus of Panama. She contributes regularly to the global ocean conversation via @seacitizens and has worked to promote messages of conservation success via the #OceanOptimism initiative and the Earth Optimism Summit. She is a past member of the AAAS Board, is a winner of the Peter Benchley Prize and the Heinz Award, and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2013.