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JULY 20, 2014 – Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

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eriksenDr. Marcus Eriksen was Algalita’s Education Director from 2004 through 2010.  He is currently Executive Director and Co-founder of the 5 Gyres Institute.  Marcus has been Expedition Leader on several of Algalita research voyages, most recently Algalita’s 2012 voyage through the Japanese Tsunami debris field . He brings his wealth of knowledge and experience in the 5 major gyres of the world to the Panel as Moderator.  He received his PhD in Science Education at the University of Southern California.

BacklarShelly Backlar has worked at Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR) for over 10 years. Initially she was Executive Director and now she is Director of Education Programs. She was appointed to the Los Angeles River Plastics Industry Task Force and to the Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan’s Advisory Committee by then Councilmember Ed Reyes.  For the past two years, Shelly has supervised the building of a mobile visitor and education center. “The Los Angeles River Rover”  will support FoLAR’s public and school education programs.  She enjoys sharing the Los Angeles River, and especially it’s abundant bird-life with people of all ages.

kellyDr. Kevin Kelley is a Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of California Long Beach.  He also serves as Associate Dean for Research in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.  He is a comparative animal physiologist and toxicologist with research interests in environmental endocrine disruption in fishes.  He is further interested in the development of biomarkers to understand and monitor environmental impacts of human-derived contaminant chemicals.   He received his A.B. in Zoology and M.S. and PhD in Comparative Endocrinology from the University of California Berkeley.

terryBeth Terry is an active environmentalist who lives in Oakland, CA. In June of 2007, while recovering from surgery, she read the article and saw the photo that changed her life. The article was entitled, “Our Oceans Are Turning Into Plastic… Are We?” and the photo showed the carcass of a dead sea bird, its belly full of plastic pieces: bottle caps, cigarette lighters, even a toothbrush. Beth looked at her own life and realized that through her unconscious overconsumption, she was personally contributing the the suffering of creatures she hadn’t even known existed. That week, Beth committed to stop buying new plastic, and a passion and blog were born: My Plastic-free Life (known originally as Fake Plastic Fish).