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.
Bio to come...
| 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.
Lani has more than 12 years experience in the digital media and technology realm in a variety of roles including television producer, community manager, and videogame producer. Her professional background includes working with award-winning companies such as NCsoft as a producer on their massive, multiplayer online (MMO) game, Aion. In 2011 she was hired by 343 Industries based in Kirkland, Washington as the Franchise Creative Producer to work with Microsoft Game Studios internal Halo team.
Lani has been a lifelong supporter of Sea Shepherd and has crewed on three major campaigns. She was therefore very pleased and honored to be asked to sit on the Board of Directors. Lani saw this as an opportunity to combine her deep concerns for the world’s oceans with her passion for online communication and communities. Lani is the youngest crewmember to have served on a Sea Shepherd ship. She first participated when she was 10 years old on a voyage from San Diego to Key West Florida via the Panama Canal to protect dolphins from the tuna industry.
Sea Shepherd looks to her expertise in these fields to link Sea Shepherd to the growing youth movement who are attracted to its direct action strategies. Lani’s goal is to continue building Sea Shepherd’s online presence through social media, video games, and community interaction. She is currently collaborating with volunteers in the UK to develop a Sea Shepherd video game.
Lani has been an avid gamer since she was a teenager, earning her a spot on the first fully sponsored Canadian female Halflife: Counter-Strike team, a fast-paced tactical action game. She recently worked with a team of men and women to plan and execute the successful 2011 inaugural GeekGirlCon in Seattle.
In addition to being drawn to the world of Sci-Fi, Lani loves all things related to water activities; therefore it was natural for her to take up as a lifeguard to put herself through college. Growing up on the Pacific coast she has spent time hiking the North Shore mountains and skiing Blackcomb/Whistler. Between her professional life and family commitments, Lani finds time to volunteer for an animal rescue organization fostering abandoned dogs looking for their ‘forever’ home.
She is also the daughter of Captain Paul Watson.
ROBERT WINTNER (Snorkel Bob)
Robert Wintner has worked for years to protect Hawaii’s reefs. He led legislative campaigns at the Hawaii State Capitol and in Maui County. His anti-aquarium campaign brought aquarium plunder and reef destruction to the surface and showed the grim reality of empty reefs.
Robert Wintner and the Snorkel Bob Foundation were crucial members of a coalition formed to protect the northwestern Hawaiian Islands Papahanaumokuakea Marine Monument. Wintner has also been involved with Monk seal protection, resulting in state laws to protect critically endangered Hawaiian Monk seals from abuse by enacting felony penalties. The Snorkel Bob Foundation underwrote litigation through Earthjustice, the nonprofit, public-interest law firm, to stop the National Marine Fisheries Service from expanding the Hawaii longline swordfish fishery. An expansion would have tripled the incidental “take” on Loggerhead, Giant Leatherback, and Hawksbill sea turtles. Through Earthjustice, Wintner personally underwrote litigation against the state of Hawaii for the state's failure to assess environmental impact prior to issuing permits for aquarium collecting. These irresponsible permits legally allowed any collector to take every fish from any given reef.
Known in the Hawaii tourism business for media against the grain, Wintner also produced a video on gillnet fishing, which proved effective in banning gillnets on Maui. Through the Snorkel Bob Foundation, Robert Wintner has been a lead advocates for eliminating the aquarium trade in Hawaii and around the world. Wintner has been a voice for marine mammals, turtles, reefs and reef citizens for many decades and vows to continue on. “It’s a long march. We have no choice but to take the next step,” says Wintner.
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.