I write and speak about ocean conservation and the traits we need to be effective stewards of our seas and life on this planet – among others, courage, an engaged, active hope, and the ability to work together to find solutions. My award-winning book, Ocean Country (North Atlantic Books, Fall 2015), with a foreword by Carl Safina, examines the state of the oceans in four key regions of the world. I am also the author of Talking Politics: Choosing the President in the Television Age (Praeger). I’m very active as a speaker at schools, universities, community-based conservation events and large public venues such as the Commonwealth Club, the New England Aquarium and the New York Times Building. I am active in the education field as the cofounder, with my husband Charlie Costello, of KurtHahn.org, the Web archive for the founder of Outward Bound. I serve on the board of Outward Bound Peacebuilding.

I’m at work on two new books now, The Passion for Rescue and Our Oceans, Our Breath. The Passion for Rescue is about the spirit which inspires people to undertake rescue operations and how pivotal this is to meeting our environmental and humanitarian challenges. Our Oceans, Our Breath is about marine plants and algae. It’s inspired by the fact that over 50% of the oxygen in every breath we take comes from marine plants and algae in the ocean. It will highlight the crucial role of marine plants and algae in ocean ecosystems and the importance of them to decarbonization efforts and restoring the earth.

My writing has been published in newspapers, magazines and journals such as Alternet.org, Asian GeographicEarth Island JournalThe East Bay ExpressGreenBiz, the Marin Poetry Center AnthologyThe Mindful WordThe Outward Bound International JournalTimes of the IslandsSeven Seas, and The San Francisco Chronicle. Drawing and nature journaling are integral to my writing process. My drawings have been exhibited at a variety of venues including the Berkeley Art Center, the COA Ethel Blum Gallery, Fort Mason Center and the Oakland Museum.

I grew up outside of New York City and received a B.A. in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine. Drawn by the openness of the vast Pacific landscape and California’s innovative spirit, I moved west in search of what felt like some “intangible, infinite thing.” I learned to scuba dive, raced sailboats. I loved what the ocean seemed to demand of us: elemental truths such as camaraderie and grace in overwhelming situations.

I worked as an editor and writer for over fifteen years and authored my first book, Talking Politics, a series of oral-history interviews with top television journalists such as Tom Brokaw, Larry King and Robin MacNeil. In the year following the book’s release I began to do radio commentary. But I also was in an accident in which I nearly lost my life. The combination of those two experiences – a book launch and an acute reminder of how precious each moment is – caused me to reassess my work. Over time I realized my greatest passion was to help others connect with nature and inspire them to participate in forging a sustainable future.

With much of my work I seek to create “the magic of the encounter” – to take the audience deeply into an experience, whether it be in an oral-history interview or an illustration depicting what it might be like to quietly look into the eyes of a trunkfish in an underwater cavern. For me that sense of connection is the “intangible and infinite thing” I so sought when I came west and I think it’s key to our future. Our future depends upon seeing connections – biological, cultural, economic, political – and crafting our collective and individual lives with them in mind.

I am proud to be a Mission Blue Partner. Led by legendary oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle, Mission Blue is uniting a global coalition to inspire an upwelling of public awareness, access and support for a worldwide network of marine protected areas – Hope Spots.

I am also a proud member of W2O (Women Working for Oceans), which works in partnership with the renowned New England Aquarium to inform individuals about the challenges facing our oceans inspiring them to connect with their communities to take action to ensure a healthy, sustainable blue planet for tomorrow.

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