Following her first wilderness paddling expedition as a teen, Deb recognized the power of immersive experience in motivating individuals to value and protect the natural world. She is passionate about creating opportunities for the inquisitive of all ages to engage with remote places and underexplored marine environments. Over the years, Deb has worked as a sailor, educator, and research scientist in the North and South Pacific, the North and equatorial Atlantic, and the Caribbean.
Deb received a bachelor’s degree in earth system science from Carleton College, a self-designed degree that integrated regional geology, ecosystems, and environmental challenges. Thereafter she guided wilderness expeditions for youth in a variety of locations, taught secondary math and science, and designed maps. It took but stepping foot onboard a tall ship to shift her attention to the oceans. Coastal sailing ventures and the marine phenomena they introduced motivated Deb to complete a master’s in biology at the University of Washington, followed by a PhD in oceanography and advanced degree in education from the University of New Hampshire.
As Assistant Professor of Oceanography and Chief Scientist with Sea Education Association (SEA), Deb spends half of each year on the water combining her love of inquiry with expedition travel. She takes undergraduates on extended voyages aboard SEA’s sailing research vessels, training them in scientific techniques, traditional navigation, dynamic leadership, and environmental and cultural stewardship. Deb’s own research efforts include mapping the distribution and abundance of marine plastic pollution and examining its ecological impacts on marine creatures; she is also investigating the recent unusual mass wash-up events of Sargassum macroalgae in the Caribbean.
Wholeheartedly in support of more questions than “answers,” Deb is endlessly curious about adaptations of tiny plankton, the glacier-ocean interface, and landscape evolution. She loves the unique perspectives offered while discovering new places by ship and hopes to continue exploring the world this way.
Join us for updates, insider reports & special offers.