Board of Directors
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's Board of Directors make all strategic short and long term decisions for the organization. Directors serve without compensation or other tangible incentives.
| ROGER PAYNE
Dr. Roger Payne has spent his career studying whales and working for their conservation. He is best known for his discovery, made jointly with Scott McVay, that humpback whales sing songs, and for his demonstration with Douglas Webb that the sounds of fin and blue whales can be heard across oceans. He obtained a BA degree from Harvard, and a PhD from Cornell. His earliest work investigated directional hearing in bats, and his Ph.D. dissertation examined how owls locate mice in total darkness based only on hearing them move. He also completed post-doctoral work on insect hearing at Tufts. Payne spent the next eighteen years in a dual appointment from the Wildlife Conservation Society and Rockefeller University. In 1983, he left these positions in order to lead Ocean Alliance, the institute that he founded in 1971.
Payne attended numerous international meetings regarding whale conservation, including meetings of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). From 1968-1990 he was a member of the IWC Scientific Committee, often as Science Advisor to the Antigua/Barbuda delegation. He was part of the committee that established the Indian Ocean Whale Sanctuary—at the time, the world’s largest sanctuary. Payne pioneered many of the benign research techniques now used in more than sixty countries to study free-swimming whales. He has trained many current leaders in whale research, both in the U.S. and overseas. He founded the longest continuous study of known, individual, baleen whales; it now tracks the lives of more than 2,300 Right whales found along the Atlantic coast of Patagonia. He has led more than one hundred expeditions to all oceans and studied every species of baleen whale in the wild. His institute’s research vessel, The Odyssey, recently completed a five-and-a-half-year research voyage around the world and brought back 955 sperm whale biopsy samples obtained with a benign technique that is not harmful to the whale. Analysis of these samples has provided the first global baseline measurements of toxic metals, synthetic contaminants and brominated flame-retardants in Sperm whales. Ocean Alliance has just helped to create the first Sperm whale genome.
Ocean Alliance is now working with Sea Shepherd USA on a five-year study of the effects on Gulf of Mexico ocean life caused by the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, as well as of the toxic chemical dispersants used by BP to sink the oil out of sight and out of mind.
Payne is author of more than one hundred publications intended for both scientific and general audiences. His article written in 1979 for National Geographic Magazine contained a phonographic record of whale sounds for which 10.5 million copies were printed. It remains to this day the largest single print order in the history of the recording industry. His humpback whale recordings are on the Voyagers I and II golden records now leaving the solar system. His publications include the books: Among Whales (1995) and The Song of the Whale (in Japanese, written to accompany the film, Gaia Symphony 8 by Jin Tatsumura). In 2008 The Song of the Whale was included on a reading list of books Japanese students could choose to review for their participation in Japan’s required annual book report contest. He has published three recordings: Songs of the Humpback Whale (1970), Deep Voices (1975), and Whales Alive (1989—works composed by whales but arranged and played by humans). Payne has appeared in more than forty documentaries, some of which he wrote and/or presented. He co-wrote and co-directed the IMAX film, Whales. The recent film, A Life Among Whales, chronicles his work.
Payne's honors and awards include: a knighthood in the Netherlands; a MacArthur Fellowship; the similar Lyndhurst Prize Fellowship; the Albert Schweitzer Medal of the Animal Welfare Institute (shared with his former wife, Katy Payne); the Joseph Wood Krutch Medal of the Humane Society of the United States; the James Duggan Memorial Award of the American Littoral Society; the University of Massachusetts Writing and Society Award; WWF Member of honor; the Earthwatch Lifetime Achievement Award; the United Nations (UNEP) Global 500 Award; and Oxford University’s Dawkins Prize. He was a finalist for the Indianapolis Prize in 2006 and 2008. The Earth Society named him its Earth Trustee during its 2008 International Earth Day in New Zealand. His appearance on One-On-One With Charlie Rose won the Emmy for Best Interview.
Ethan Wolf joined the Board of Directors of Sea Shepherd USA in June 2014. A graduate of Brandeis University in 2001 with a Bachelor’s degree in politics and sociology and a 2005 graduate of the University of District of Columbia — David A. Clarke School of Law, Ethan has more than 17 years of organizing experience for various grassroots animal protection campaigns, including the anti-fur and anti-animal experimentation campaigns.
In 2010, Ethan founded the New York City Chapter of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and has worked to build the most active Sea Shepherd chapter in the United States in fundraising and outreach events. In 2011, Ethan joined Operation Infinite Patience, Sea Shepherd's annual dolphin defense campaign in Taiji, Japan, as a Cove Guardian and rejoined the campaign in 2012 and 2013. In addition, he joined Sea Shepherd’s 2013 sea lion defense campaign at the Bonneville Dam, serving as a Dam Guardian to monitor the harassment of sea lions on the Columbia River.
Ethan has worked as a child protection attorney in New York City for the past six years.
| ANN PREZYNA
Secretary / Treasurer
Ann Prezyna is an attorney who presently serves as General Counsel to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Ann previously worked as the Deputy Regional Counsel for the United State Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10, in Seattle, Washington, a position she held since 1995. In a prior life she was an Assistant Attorney General in the Alaska Attorney General’s Office working on oil, gas, mining, natural resources, and fisheries issues, and in-house environmental counsel for BP Alaska. Ann has been a floating home resident in Seattle since 1986 and owns a ranch in Arizona dedicated to wildlife conservation. She is actively involved in many habitat and wildlife protection efforts in both the Pacific Northwest and the desert Southwest. She is profiled in the book Staying Afloat by Jeri Callahan.
During his lifetime (1921 – 2014), author Farley Mowat was Canada's Living Treasure. A naturalist and expert on indigenous people, he has penned many masterpieces, among them are Never Cry Wolf , A Whale For The Killing , and Sea of Slaughter. Unfortunately, we lost this wonderful friend and conservationist on May 7, 2014. His body returned to the Earth but his spirit lives on within all of us at Sea Shepherd. RIP dear friend.