Akbar Tahir, M.Sc., Ph.D. is a Professor of Marine Pollution and Ecotoxicology with the Department of Marine Science at Universitas Hasanuddin. On our Expedition, he will be monitoring microplastic ingestion in pelagic fish or marine animals, bringing samples back to his lab for analysis. Among many other positions, Dr. Tahir is also the Senior Advisor to the Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs of the Indonesian Government on Marine Pollution and a member of the team to construct a National Action Plan on Marina Plastic Debris Management.
Charles and Patrick Seeholzer
Father-and-son team Charles and Patrick Seeholzer have worked with Marcus Eriksen more than a decade on various marine research projects to help raise awareness of plastics pollution and reduce the prevalence of single-use plastics in our society. They're excited to join this latest expedition and continue their hands on work furthering these research goals, and getting to see first hand the effects of plastic pollution and to help make a positive impact in this area of research. They are also feeling fortunate at having this chance to explore another region of our amazing planet for the first time. As one of 5 Gyres Institute’s founding board members, Patrick feels it's about damn time he went on one of these expeditions.
Debra Woodall and Paul Hintze
Debra Woodall, PhD is an oceanography professor at Daytona State College in Daytona Beach, Florida and is the founder and Director of the Institute of Marine and Environmental Studies. In her undergraduate research lab, Debra and her students investigate the impacts of plastics on local marine organisms; these students then educate the local community by sharing their research findings. Her husband, Paul Hintze Ph.D., is a chemist at NASA Kennedy Space Center who sees the Earth as humanity’s first spacecraft and has learned from his wife, Debra, how plastics are impacting our environment. He believes in sustainable approaches to spaceflight operations and works towards this goal by developing technologies that minimize waste, conserve, recycle and generate resources on Earth and in space. On the Expedition, Debra will explore new sampling and data collection techniques that she can then take back to her lab to help broaden student learning, while Paul is interested in learning more about our impacts and finding ways to create solutions.
The Yeh Family
Michael, Cait, Roan, and Patrick Yeh live in Los Angeles, CA. Michael is a Professor of Surgery at UCLA Medical School, and Cait is a nurse practitioner and hospital administrator. Roan (age 15) enjoys singing and fencing. Patrick (age 13) is an avid soccer player. The four of us share a love of the outdoors and a deep concern for the preservation of earth's ecosystems. Roan does volunteer work in wetlands restoration, and Patrick has had a lifelong interest in marine life.
Raven Jirikovic and Sego Jackson
Raven Jirikovic and Sego Jackson live on their 5-acre homestead on Whidbey Island in the Salish Sea. Raven helps children survive and surmount their challenges as a School-Based Mental Health Counselor while Sego struggles to address the impacts of the material world as Strategic Advisor for Waste Prevention and Product Stewardship for City of Seattle. Both are passionately in love with nature and excited to see the beauty of the Coral Triangle, witness and learn more about plastic pollution impacts and solutions, and benefit from and support the great work of 5 Gyres!
Steven Sherman lives in Berkeley, CA, where he enjoys bicycling and hiking in the nearby hills, learning to sing in a group, photography, and travel. A composting and recycling specialist with 30 years of experience, Steven’s consulting, operations, policy, education and training efforts for several award-winning clients, such as San Francisco and Portland, have helped to place comprehensive organics management as a cornerstone of zero waste and advanced recycling efforts. His current and past board service includes: Upstream; Northern California Recycling Association; Alameda County; Recycling Board; Berkeley Zero Waste Commission; California Organics Recycling Council; San Francisco League of Urban Gardeners; and Cooperative Center Federal Credit Union. Steven earned an M.S. in Resource Economics from Cornell University, a Certificate in Advanced Indonesian language from Cornell/IKIP Malang, and a B.A. in Environmental History from Yale University. Favorite slogan: “More fun, less stuff.”
Wouter van den Broek
Wouter van den Broek is a Swiss engineer and project manager who works at Lonza, a custom manufacturer for active pharmaceutical ingredients. Wouter is now planning an early retirement to devote more time to environmental projects and activities. A 5 Gyres Ambassador, Wouter chose to join the Coral Triangle Expedition to learn more about the problem of plastic pollution firsthand, and better understand how it is measured, how to reduce it, and how to work with local organizations to do so. He is also very much looking forward to meeting and network with people who share the same mindset, and to learn more about the environment and local culture of a part of the world he has never before visited.
The Jekogian Family
Yael, Nick, Bryna, and Becca Jekogian live in New York City. Yael is a hands-on advocate and leader in the women's rights movement, has over 20 years of experience in nonprofit management, and is an environmental engineer. She is Managing Director of WINGS WorldQuest, where she leads the mission to support and recognize extraordinary women in science and exploration. 5 Gyres founder Anna Cummins is a WINGS Fellow. Nick is a real estate entrepreneur, extreme athlete, and invests/advises start-ups and social enterprises. His latest project, Walden Monterey, is an innovative contemporary approach to living in nature. Bryna (16) and Becca (14) will both figure skate in Central Park, and are members of a synchronized ice skating team. Bryna was accepted into an independent science research program at her school and hopes to do her research on conservation. Becca is a spokesperson for the United Nations International Day of Women and Girls in Science and has made the eradication of drinking straws her latest focus. We are all excited about becoming more educated ambassadors for our environment with this trip.
Mochamad “Tio” Adi Septiono
Mochamad “Tio” Adi Septiono is a Program Officer and Researcher in Toxic Division for the BaliFokus Foundation. He has been working in BaliFokus since late 2015 on several toxic chemical issues such as mercury, POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants), lead in paint, and also plastic-associated POPs. In regards to plastic pollution issues, he is currently conducting research in plastic waste trade, plastic leakage, plastic regulatory and policy assessment in Indonesia and plastic-associated POPs in seafood. He is also one of the BaliFokus representative to the Alliance for Zero Waste Indonesia (AZWI),which is working on waste and hazardous waste issues in Indonesia that identify solid waste problems through zero waste concept approach.
Marcus has led expeditions around the world to research plastic marine pollution, co-publishing the first global estimate and the discovery of plastic microbeads in the Great Lakes, which led to the federal Microbead-free Waters Act of 2015. He and Anna Cummins began 5 Gyres with an 88-day journey from California to Hawaii on the Junk Raft, built from 15,000 plastic bottles. Earlier, Marcus had rafted the Mississippi River, writing about the river and his experience as a Marine in the 1991 Gulf War in the book, My River Home (Beacon 2008). His second book, Junk Raft: An ocean voyage and a rising tide of activism to fight plastic pollution (Beacon 2017) recalls the rise of the plastic pollution movement, growing steadily today. He received his Ph.D from USC. Currently in development of the Leap Lab Institute (www.leaplab.org).
Carolynn received her MA in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island and worked in Coastal Management for seven years in the San Francisco Bay. After her first 5 Gyres Voyage in 2011, a 33-day trip across the Atlantic, she decided to change course and apply her science and organizing background to fight plastic pollution. Carolynn has traveled over 15,000 miles on seven 5 Gyres Expeditions. She’s contemplating a swallow tattoo.
Haley Jain Haggerstone
Haley Jain Haggerstone has a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Conservation from the University of British Columbia and a Master of Arts in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the University of San Diego. She was with the Surfrider Foundation, Vancouver and San Diego County Chapters, before joining 5 Gyres team. In addition to being 5 Gyres Development Director, Haley is a member of Surfrider Foundation Canada’s Board of Directors, and volunteers with STOKED Mentoring.