WHO WE ARE
Lauren Esposito and Eric Stiner are the co-founders and co-directors of Islands & Seas. Collectively, they have travelled around the world, organizing and leading field expeditions to research and discover biodiversity on every major continent (except Antarctica). Between them, they have spent thousands of hours trekking through remote landscapes and working to better understand life on our planet and how to best protect and conserve it. After meeting at the American Museum of Natural History, Lauren and Eric began a friendship forged through a commitment to scientific discovery and environmental stewardship. Islands & Seas was formed to honor to that commitment: supporting discovery and conservation. You can learn more about them here.
WHAT WE DO
Islands & Seas is creating a network of small field stations worldwide. These dual purpose stations:
serve as a research facilities for scientists working in the area
The locations for our field stations are selected because they are in or near ecologically unique and sensitive areas of the world. These areas meet the following criteria: proximity to ecosystems with high levels of endemic organisms and/or unique geological formations; proximity to local communities; on or near islands, shores, and coasts.
We believe that as scientists and educators, we should strive for minimal impact on the environments we work in. The design for our field stations has a carbon minimal footprint, and are built using local resources, a small footprint, are unobtrusive in the environment, harness green energy for power, and reuse greywater.
Our local education programs are designed to create environmental stewards who will make decisions about the sustainability and practices of their community. We are enabling citizens to make informed and educated decisions about development that has direct impacts on the unique environments they live in. This is achieved through: field-based education programs for school children, research apprenticeships for teenagers, and field guide training programs for young adults. By emphasizing the value of ecotourism and training local communities to become informed and effective ecotourism business owners and proprietors, we hope to encourage sustainable development where the environment is seen as a resource for economic growth.
Our global education programs provide rich and engaging opportunities for the global community to learn about the wonderful places we are working in. These “discovery tourism” trips focus on combining adventure with education. Examples include surfing and coastal ecosystems; and sailing and cetacean education and observation. Additional programs specifically target undergraduate students.