Mote Marine Laboratory is thrilled to welcome Ross Johnston as its new Virtual Learning Education Specialist and host of SeaTrek.TV.
Johnston will educate the public primarily through SeaTrek.TV interactive video lessons: Mote’s live, two-way virtual connections withschools and other organizations, focused on engaging and educating a range of ages on the Lab’s 60-plus years of marine research.
Johnston enriches Mote’s Education, Aquarium & Outreach Division with his diverse background of informal science education, most recently serving as the Conservation Interpretation Manager at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo. Johnston’s experiences include conservation curriculum development, animal enrichment and feeding narratives, and public programming with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s “Seafood Watch” and Aquarium of the Pacific’s “Seafood for the Future.”
Johnston has also traveled internationally, working on marine conservation policy and environmental education programming to engage local communities in ecological stewardship. Johnston holds a bachelor’s degree in Marine Policy from Brandeis University and a master’s degree in Sustainability Studies from New York University. His master’s thesis focused on Magellanic penguin population decline as the indicator for unsustainable overharvesting of baitfish stocks, for which he received grants to study in Patagonia and presented his research findings to Argentina’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development. Johnston has also coauthored nine publications with a diverse range of subjects, including environmental policy, species conservation and resource management.
“As a California native, I had the opportunity to develop a passion for marine science at a young age by visiting and volunteering at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories,” said Johnston. “With this new opportunity at Mote, I’m excited to leverage digital and visual learning platforms for contemporary educational opportunities that will continue to inspire more people to care about our oceans and their connection to them.”
Mote Marine Laboratory participated in distance learning demonstrations as early as 1994, allowing learners at sites as far away as England to drive an underwater drone in Mote Aquarium's shark habitat. In 1996, Mote began its own distance-learning program, which became known as SeaTrek. SeaTrek brings high-energy, multimedia science lessons right into the classroom using interactive video technology. Our lessons feature the 60+ years of marine research of actual scientists working at the Lab and are available in 25- and 50-minute lengths for preK-12 and Lifelong Learners.