Ayana Elizabeth Johnson

Using Data to Democratize Ocean Philanthropy

Given the swirling, complex, synergistic, and increasingly dire threats to the ocean (from climate change, to overfishing, to pollution), and the smaller and smaller investments the federal government is making in solutions, it is critical to effectively leverage philanthropic dollars. ...

Top 20 Ocean Conservation Wins of 2017

In this time of unnatural disasters, international conflict, and social injustice, we still need to work on ocean conservation. A healthy ocean is critical to food security, economies, cultures, and (thank you, phytoplankton) the very oxygen to breathe. Although it ...

Will the Ocean Ever Run Out of Fish?

By Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Jennifer Jacquet   What’s the deal with overfishing? What’s at stake? And what can we do about it? We teamed up with the good folks at TEDEd on this animated short to explain. ...

Reflections on the March for Science

It’s been three months since the March for Science, when over a million people, in over 600 cities, with almost 300 partner organizations took to the streets to champion science for the common good. It was an incredible day. From the ...

Climate, Oceans, the United Nations, and What’s Next

For many of us jaded New Yorkers, the United Nations is merely a reason that traffic is periodically terrible on the Upper East Side, when world leaders gather. Perhaps now, after the US Administration has announced it will take steps ...

How to Use the Ocean Without Using it Up

This TED talk was developed while I was in residence at TED headquarters in New York City. Watch it here, and the transcript and slides are is below. _______________ When I was five, my parents took me from Brooklyn, NY to ...

Top 10 Ocean Conservation Victories of 2016

From wars, to politics, to the deaths of eminent artists, 2016 was a year many people were eager to see end. It was also another record breaking year for the dangerous warming of our planet. Yet, despite that thick layer of ...

Hey Developers, Wanna Make an App to Help the Ocean?

We have a lot of data about the ocean, but much of it is in obscure databases – unintegrated, unanalyzed, and largely inaccessible for the public. There is so much we could do with all that information if it was easy ...

Reframing Ocean Conservation in this Post-Election Era

Given the election, it seems wise to relinquish expectations of US federal leadership on ocean or climate policy. Our anti-science (among other deeply concerning antis) president-elect and his appointees have sent clear signals about their disregard for our environment and ...

Solving Humanity’s Grand Challenges Requires a Healthy Ocean

Human well-being and human rights are inextricably tied to the health of the ocean, yet ocean conservation work is often isolated. Last month, as the United National General Assembly focused on tackling the grand challenges represented by the Sustainable Development ...

U.S. Ocean Leadership: Getting from 1% to 30% Marine Protection

The U.S. Department of State is set to host the third annual Our Ocean conference this week. This gathering of political leaders, philanthropists, scientists, diplomats, NGO executives, filmmakers, and private sector leaders, will be focused on the themes of ...

Top 15 Ocean Conservation Wins of 2015

Overfishing, climate change, habitat destruction, and pollution remain major threats to the world’s ocean. But amidst all that there is some seriously good ocean conservation news worth celebrating. So, to continue the tradition started last year with listing 14 Ocean ...

Saving Coral Reefs Requires Halting Climate Change

Local conservation efforts are important to restoring and protecting coral reefs. However, if we don’t halt climate change those efforts will not be enough to save them. That’s why marine biologists and ocean lovers have their eyes on ...

6 Lessons for Effective Science-based Ocean Conservation

Ocean conservation is hard. You fight the challenges of “out of sight, out of mind,” of largely unregulated high seas, and of waters so vast people find it hard to believe humans could actually overfish it (or as the saying ...

4 Steps to Improve Ocean Conservation Research in Small Island States

To be effective, marine conservation must be based on rigorous and targeted science. The large and growing threats to ocean ecosystems — overfishing, climate change, pollution, and habitat destruction — coupled with the limited scientific capacity of most small island states make ...