Interfaith Oceans Advisors
Allen Johnson, Co-founder and Director, Christians for the Mountains (group focused on ending mountaintop removal mining), was a member of the first interfaith ocean expedition. As an evangelical Christian, he said, "My faith guides me to protect mountains and work for clean water and justice for all." He received his Masters in Theology and Public Policy from Palmer Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, has served as a fellow with Evangelicals for Social Action, and has worked to foster peace and nonviolence and resolve conflict with Christian Peacemaker Teams around the world. He currently serves on the Steering Committee of the National Religious Coalition on Creation Care. THis group is co-sponsoring health studies in central Appalachia, and with the help of a dedicated band of volunteers, conducting field surveys in mountaintop removal areas. "I believe I must love, serve, give generously without expecting something back, work for justice, trust in God, and protect God’s kingdom...It just gets into you, I guess. It’s in the spirit, something that gets deep down in your heart, and it’s just there."
David Krantz, Co-founder and President of Aytzim: Ecological Judaism (parent organization for Green Zionist Alliance: for the Greening of Israel, Shomrei Breishit: Rabbis and Cantors for the Earth, and Jewcology.org: Home of the Jewish Environmental Movement). He serves on the steering committee of Interfaith Moral Action on Climate; on the founding team of the Interfaith Ocean Ethics Campaign; and on the cabinet of the American Zionist Movement. David previously served as a leadership fellow at the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life and as a global-justice fellow at American Jewish World Service. He is also the editor of the Jewish Energy Guide. David earned three master's degrees, including one in journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, and two through a Steinberg Fellowship at New York University, where he studied Judaism and environmental policy. He has spoken about Israeli, Jewish and interfaith environmentalism on four continents.
Richard W. Miller II, PhD, is an associate professor of theology at Creighton University and the director of the M.A. in Systematic Thology program. He has specialized in the moral and scientici challenges of climatic changes and received the Blessed Peter Award for Integrity from Creighton in 2012 and the Book Award in Faith and Science in 2011 from the Catholic Press Association of teh U.S. and Canada. He has spoken at many forums, including a workshop on oceans at the United Nations COP22 talks.
Jodi Rose is the Executive Director of Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake -- Forming Faithful Stewards, Caring for Sacred Waters. This organization serves as a model of what interfaith groups can accomplish together bringing together many different communities of faith together for common goals for their shared watershed protection and restoration. She graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry. She worked in the environmental consulting field managing soil and groundwater remediation projects. In the early 2000s, as a volunteer in her Indianapolis Roman Catholic parish, she spearheaded several environmental greening efforts and recognized that caring for Creation is all about loving your neighbor. She is deeply committed to engaging all people of faith to address the environmental crises of our time as an act of love for our brothers and sisters, and future generations.
Ryan Ono was the Ocean Acidification Program Manager at Ocean Conservancy where he engaged fishermen, shellfish farmers and other non-profit groups on legislative and management policies related to ocean acidification. His work further includes supporting commercial industry voices on this global environmental threat at the state, national and international level. Previously, Ryan worked for five years in support of sustainable fisheries management tools in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic regions with Environmental Defense Fund. He holds a Master of Marine Policy degree from the University of Delaware where he studied shellfish aquaculture permitting policies and a Bachelor of Science and Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Ryan has been a Christian since 2002, and has been using his faith as a guiding resource in his professional work. He advises Interfaith Oceans on matters related to ocean acidification, and climate change.
Julie Dunlap has a Ph.D. in social ecology from Yale University and is an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland University College. S Julie grew up in the Midwest dreaming of the sea. Horseshoe crabs captured her heart when she finally saw the Atlantic, and now she writes often from her Maryland home about crabs, shorebirds, seals, dolphins, and all of the human and nonhuman creatures that depend on oceans. The author of Extraordinary Horseshoe Crabs and co-editor of Companions in Wonder: Children and Adults Exploring Nature Together, Julie also teaches college students about the environmental values of Rachel Carson, Aldo Leopold, and people around the world.
Marina Stant graduated from Indiana University in 2014 with a degree in Psychology and a passion for nature that was born in her youth exploring the hilly woods behind her home in Brown County, Indiana. She moved to Santa Rosa, California in 2016 to work for Americorps as a volunteer coordinator and couldn't help but fall in love with California. After serving as the program assistant and website manager, she is now lives back in Indiana and is working at a clinic as a recovery coach for individuals with substance abuse and mental illness.
Reverend Sergei Kapral is a Protodeacon and Ecumenical Officer with the Orthodox Church of America. He was on the first Interfaith Oceans expedition, at its founding, and is Vice President of the Board of Creation Justice Ministries. He worked on the Blessing of the Waters event in support of the National Northeastern Seamounts and Canyons Marine Monument. The event was arranged by Creation Justice Ministries, Interfaith Oceans, the Providence Rhode Island Council of Churches, and the Pew Charitable Trust.
Dr. Sarah Sayeed is Director of Community Partnerships at the Interfaith Center of New York City. Among the programs she oversees are the Rabbi Marshall T. Meyer Retreats for Social Justice and Muslim-Catholic Initiatives. A former assistant professor at Baruch College, Sarah graduated from Princeton University in 1990 and earned her Ph.D. in communications from the Annenberg School for Communications. Sarah is a board member of Women in Islam, Inc. , and she has authored numerous articles about women, Islam, and public health.
Jules Hermes, West Coast Coordinator, Interfaith Oceans photographer and production specialist, is also a communications professional. She has for decades followed a passion to document scenes of life around the world that represent the intimacies of human thoughts and their connection to nature. Author and photographer of numerous books that focus on youth, art and compassion for all beings, Hermes attempts to convey the insoluble spirit of the people living on this pale blue planet. Water and world religions have been a constant theme in her life, from growing up in a large Roman Catholic family in Minnesota—Land of 10,000 Lakes—to living India, where the sacred Ganges River flows. A graduate of UCLA, Hermes lives on the West Coast in Southern California. Her deep love and respect for the oceans—and mountains—is a reflection of her surrender to the greatest mystery: the Infinite and Unknowable. She has worked as the communications director for the American Refugee Committee and Global Volunteers and run her own press. Her children's books on the youth of India, Micronesia, Morocco, Guatemala, and Bolivia have impressed reviewers and readers with their moving photographs and text. She has also interviewed, photographed, and written a children's biography of the 14th Dalai Lama.
Kristen Mitchell, Ph.D. has worked on ocean issues for more than 10 years, first as a scientist, and now in policy. As a AAAS Congressional Fellow she helped write legislation aimed at reducing pollution in the ocean. Twice, Kristen has sailed the Pacific Ocean with Sea Education Association, first as a student then as a guest scientist aboard the Plastics at SEA: North Pacific Expedition in 2012 where she investigated the relationship between plastic and marine chemistry. At Eckerd College, Kristen was a member of the sailing team and graduated with a degree in marine chemistry. After graduation she moved to Denmark as a Fulbright scholar. She earned her Ph.D. from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, but worked on her dissertation at Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Waterloo, with extensive collaboration at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Kristen did postdoctoral research into using remote sensing techniques to map and quantify marine debris at the University of Waterloo. Kristen has authored several peer-reviewed scientific articles. Kristen can be found regularly in the Sant Ocean Hall at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History where she is a volunteer.
Mirjana Mataya, student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in zoology, was part of the first interfaith ocean ethics expedition, working to help film proceedings and add insights as a teenager. Long an advocate of working to save species, she started her own environmental club and website when she was in elementary and middle school. The oceans and marine species are of particular interest to her, and she hopes to find ways to be part of ocean preservation and restoration efforts. She loves music and art, and will do what she can to get youth involved in this project.
Dmitri Mataya, administrative page, assisted at the U.S. Senate briefing and Netherlands Embassy Reception. He stands ready to assist on additional events. He is currently an engineering student at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul.