Jemma is a Marine Scientist from Australia who is passionate about conserving and protecting ocean ecosystems, and restoring those that are damaged. Having spent plenty of time at sea conducting ecosystems research over the past 15 years, she has witnessed the marine plastics crisis worsen and a notable change in the sheer volume of plastics now in our reefs and mangroves. Jemma is also a strong advocate for seeing increasing participation of women across STEMM, but particularly in Science, and frequently presents and talks to school-aged girls about science professions and what is possible, with the hope of empowering them and motivating them to pursue a career traditionally reserved for the boys.
United States of America
Owner of a Small Inn
Ellen earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies, with a focus in Marine Ecology from the University of North Carolina. In the years following she worked in Alaska as a Commercial Fisheries Biologist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, and then as a Product Assurance Scientist for a chemical plant on the coast of Maine.
In 2017, Ellen earned her Master’s Degree in International Logistics Management from Maine Maritime Academy.
Ellen is the mother of two boys, ages 3 & 5, and has been married to Casey, a Marine Engineer, for seven years. Ellen and Casey own and operate a small seasonal inn on the coast of Maine, and are working to create a business model that is both financially and environmentally sustainable.
Ellen is passionate about art, writing, experiential learning, outdoor exploring, and all things ocean-related.
Elementary School Teacher
Melissa Donich is an elementary school teacher and graduate student in Environmental Education in British Columbia. She has worked on various local initiatives across the province to prevent harmful, unnecessary plastics from entering the environment. Today, she is the founder of Drop the Plastic Society, an organization dedicated to finding sustainable solutions to the plastic pollution problem in Canada. While at sea, Melissa will be continuing her graduate studies and excited to bring inspiration, stories and research back to shore. She has a passion for the outdoors and loves being in the sun and in the water.