Our People

We are a boutique team of outstanding practitioners, coaches, strategists, and scholars who work on the intersection of science, policy, business, and human behaviors. We come from different professionals and cultural backgrounds, and share the same passion for helping the emerging leaders for the benefits of our ocean.

Anne Kapuscinski

Professor, Environmental Studies

Director, Coastal Science & Policy Program & Blue Pioneers Accelerator, UC Santa Cruz

Anne is an interdisciplinary scholar committed to finding scientifically and socially robust solutions to a major challenge: how to perpetuate healthy aquatic ecosystems while sustaining resource uses that support human wellbeing. Her past research examined impacts of dams, fish hatcheries, aquaculture and genetic engineering on fish conservation. Her current research aims to shift aquaculture, the world’s fastest growing food sector, towards sustainability. Her team uses marine microalgae to achieve fish-free feeds, thus decouple aquaculture from ocean-caught forage fish, reduce nutrient and carbon emissions and improve food security. She also pursues ecological aquaculture strategies to close water and nutrient loops and conserve biodiversity. Anne participates actively in the science-policy interface, presently as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Union of Concerned Scientists and member of the Ocean Protection Council Science Advisory Team, and has been a scientific advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (under three administrations), U.S. Food and Drug Administration, World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, Global Environment Facility, European Union Food Safety Agency, state of Minnesota, and on four U.S. National Academy of Science committees. She is Editor-in-Chief of the Sustainability Transitions domain of the open-access journal, Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene. Her awards include a 2019 Ocean Award in Innovation, Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation, and Distinguished Service Award from the Society for Conservation Biology, among others.


Yuwei Shi

Visiting Professor, Coastal Science & Policy Program, UC Santa Cruz

Academic Director, Blue Pioneers Accelerator Program


Yuwei is also professor emeritus at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. His current research and practice interests center on impact management in social enterprise, corporate sustainable strategy, and ESG and impact investing. His publications include over three dozen papers in peer-reviewed journals, seven books and book chapters and dozens of articles in popular media. He is an award-winning teacher known for architecting innovative pedagogy, course and program design. He pioneered the raw-case method of learning and led the development of impactful programs including the Frontier Market Scouts Fellowship Program and the Blue Pioneers Program. At Middlebury Institute he was professor of strategic management and key faculty member of its MBA in global impact management program. Also at Middlebury he served two terms as the Dean of the Graduate School of International Policy and Management. He had twenty years of experience as founder of a tech venture, advisory partner at a venture capital firm, and consultant to well-known management consulting firms. He holds Bachelor of Engineering from Shanghai Jiaotong University, Master of Comparative Laws from the Dedmen School of Law at Southern Methodist University,and Ph.D. in Organization, Strategy and International Management from the Naveen Jindal School of Management at the University of Texas at Dallas.


Shiyu Rachel Wang

Assistant Director, Blue Pioneers Accelerator Program, UC Santa Cruz

Shiyu Rachel Wang is a strategist and a connector who is passionate about creating “ecosystems” for ocean talents and solutions to thrive. She oversees the design and the evaluation of the Blue Pioneers Accelerator Program and is dedicated to empowering emerging ocean leaders with the right tools, network, and resource. In her role, she also works to enhance the overall impact of the program on building the capacity for China’s ocean conservation field by connecting players across sectors, creating initiatives to fill gaps, advising foundations, and acting as a co-chair for the China Marine Funders Alliance. Being widely connected to funder groups and ocean NGOs and skillful in engaging various stakeholders, Rachel aims to create synergies and bring collaborative opportunities to CSP students and the Blue Pioneers.

Before joining UCSC, she worked at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation under a philanthropic partnership with the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. In this role, she managed the foundation’s China Marine Grantmaking Strategy with a portfolio of 25 grantee NGOs and research institutes, and led several initiatives including marine aquaculture and women in conservation. Rachel also brings her expertise on policy-making from her experience at NOAA’s National Fisheries Service, where she worked on marine aquaculture policy on the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone. Rachel holds a Master’s degree in Marine Sciences from the University of Georgia with a research focus on coastal blue carbon ecosystems and a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the Ocean University of China. Grew up in China and living in the U.S., Rachel enjoys serving as a cross-culture bilingual bridge across countries to tackle the pressing global challenges. In her free time, she likes to try new musical instruments, go on a hike along the coast, or play with her dog-like cat at home.


Sarah Eminhizer

Assistant Director, Coastal Science and Policy, Liason to Blue Pioneers Accelerator Program, UC Santa Cruz


Sarah Eminhizer is a California native. She is passionate about working with key actors to find innovative solutions to today’s biggest social and environmental problems and improve organizational effectiveness to enhance performance. As part of the CSP program, Sarah has helped launch a new innovative course “Hacking4Oceans,” facilitated the 2019 Climate Conference focused on Climate Justice, launched the CSP seminar series, and enhanced programing for students, faculty, and partners.


Sarah brings a breadth of experience in a range of sectors from her time working as an Associate Program Director for a nonprofit addressing coral reef adaptation potential as well as overseeing their Fiji and Indonesia conservation programs, a Director for Blue Earth Consultants (a management consulting firm focused on white water to blue water issues and innovations), and as an Environmental Planner in American Samoa. Sarah is a Board member of Wild Gift, a non-profit ​that connects and empowers environmental entrepreneurs through immersive wilderness experiences. Sarah holds a Master of Environmental Management from Duke University and a Bachelor of Science in Aquatic Biology from UC Santa Barbara.


Ashley Bay

CEO & Co-Founder, Verdant Seas Inc

Ashley Bae is CEO and Co-Founder of Verdant Seas, a company dedicated to making aquaculture feeds more sustainable. Ashley is thrilled to work at the intersection of science, business, and seafood, all in the name of sustainability. Prior to launching Verdant Seas, she assisted with adaptation and resilience strategies at the World Bank, conducted product-level supply chain emissions analysis with CoClear and CDP, and helped plan the Global Climate Action Summit with the Office of the Governor of California. Ashley is a 2020 Wild Gift Fellow and an Environmental Studies PhD student at UC Santa Cruz where her research focuses on the role of seafood in developing resilient food systems. Ashley holds an M.A. in Climate & Society from Columbia University and a B.S. in Biology from the University of St. Andrews.



Larry Crowder

Edward Ricketts Provostial Professor, Hopkins Marine Station & Senior Fellow, the Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University

Larry is also Affiliated Faculty at Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions. Previously, he was the Stephen Toth Professor of Marine Biology at Duke University. His research centers on predation and food web interactions, mechanisms underlying recruitment variation in fishes, population and food web modeling in conservation biology, and interdisciplinary approaches to marine conservation. Larry has studied food web processes in both freshwater and marine ecosystems, and has used observational, experimental, and modeling approaches to understand these interactions in an effort to improve management. He was principal investigator for a number of large interdisciplinary research projects including the South Atlantic Bight Recruitment Experiment (SABRE), OBIS SEAMAP (Spatial Ecological Analysis of Megavertebrate Animal Populations), and Project GLOBAL (Global Bycatch Assessment of Long-Lived Species). He has also directed and participated in a number of research, analysis, and synthesis groups at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) and for the National Research Council’s Ocean Studies Board. His recent research has focused on marine conservation, including research on bycatch, spatial ecological analysis, nutrients and low oxygen, sustainable seafood, ecosystem-based management, marine spatial planning, and governance. Larry is a AAAS Fellow and was awarded Duke University’s Scholar/Teacher of the year award in 2008-2009.

Kent Glenzer

Associate Professor, Middlebury Institute of International Studies

Kent has extensive work and research experience in sub-Saharan Africa, having spent 28 years prior to coming to the Institute with international NGOs such as Oxfam America, CARE, PATH, and also with the Peace Corps. His work, teaching, and research focuses on the intersections of culture, organizational behavior, monitoring and evaluation, decision making, and strategy. He specializes in understanding how power dynamics, identity politics, and structural exclusion influence organizations, public policy, philanthropy, and the relationships between public, private, and nonprofit actors. Currently, he is helping launch a nationwide living wage employer certification initiative for the United States, which brings together the private sector, public policy, unions, social movements, and nonprofits. He is co-founder of the Community Solutions Lab (CoLab), an initiative bridging academic institutions and communities in the Monterey Bay area.







Eri Hartge

Research Development Manager, Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions

Eric splits his time between addressing organizational management tasks and leading programmatic research areas at the Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions. His recent project work includes a collaborative effort with the Palauan International Coral Reef Center to aid the Palauan National Government to facilitate the implementation of its Palau National Marine Sanctuary. Eric previously worked with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation as the education program manager for Baltimore Harbor with a focus on the human impact on the water quality and fisheries of the Chesapeake Bay. This followed extensive experience in environmental education in the Leeward Islands, Mexico, Costa Rica and Hawai’i. He also gained enough sea time aboard research ships with the Sea Education Association to earn a USCG Near Coastal Master's and Ocean Mate's License. Eric received his M.S. in environmental sciences and policy from Johns Hopkins University and his B.S. in marine biology from the College of Charleston. His professional and academic experience includes estuarine science, coral reef ecology, natural resource management, resilient coastal livelihoods, stakeholder engagement, project management, portfolio management, environmental education, decision analysis, data visualization, grant writing, project portfolio management and environmental education. Eric holds certificates in Advanced Project Management, Strategic Decision and Risk Management and Decision-Making for Climate Change.

Jim Leap

Senior Fellow, the Woods Institute of the Environment & Co-director, Center for Ocean Solutions, Stanford University

Through research, writing and direct engagement with private and public sector leaders, Jim looks at how to drive large-scale systemic shifts to sustainability, with particular interest in expanding private sector leadership on sustainability globally. Jim has more than three decades of conservation experience, spanning a broad range of conservation issues on every continent. From 2005 to 2014, he served as Director General of WWF International and leader of the global WWF Network. Previously, he directed the conservation and science initiatives of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and served as executive vice president of WWF-US in Washington, D.C., as a lawyer for the United Nations Environment Programme in Nairobi, Kenya, as a law professor, and as a litigator for the National Audubon Society and for the U.S. Department of Justice. Jim serves on the boards of the Marine Stewardship Council, Mission 2020 and the Luc Hoffmann Institute, and on the Global Future Council for the Food Security and the Environmental Stewards Board of the World Economic Forum. From 2007 to 2017, he was a member of the China Council for International Cooperation in Environment and Development, which advises the Premier of China. He is also a Distinguished Fellow at the ClimateWorks Foundation. Jim received an A.B. with honors from Harvard College and a J.D. with honors from Harvard Law School.


Daniella Russo

Founder & CEO, Think Beyond Plastics Foundation

Daniella founded TBP, an innovation accelerator with focus on plastic pollution. She believes that intractable global challenges can be addressed by harnessing the forces of innovation and entrepreneurship, and the power of the markets to do good. Since 2009, she has led the development of an innovation ecosystem to reduce the impact of plastic pollution on the environment and public health, with special focus on ocean plastic. Daniella is a serial entrepreneur. Her experience includes executive management of businesses from start-up phase through an IPO, as well as within Fortune-500 companies such as Frame Technology, Infoseek, Sun Microsystems, and Xerox PARC. Daniella is a member of the Founders Board of Advisors at StartX Stanford Student Startup Accelerator. She is an Adjunct Professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies Graduate School of International Policy and Management. Daniella co-founded and led Plastic Pollution Coalition to become the world's largest NGO dedicated uniquely to ending plastic pollution. She serves on the Board of numerous NGOs and Businesses.





Frances Wang

CDR Program Manager, ClimateWorks Foundation

Carbon Dioxide Removal Program Manager at ClimateWorks. Frances leads the strategy and grantmaking for technological and ocean CDR governance. Before joining ClimateWorks, she worked in interdisciplinary environmental research with a focus on action-oriented solutions. At McGill University, she helped to lead and design innovative monitoring and evaluation frameworks for climate adaptation governance. She previously worked as part of Oxford University’s Low-Carbon Futures Program and on green growth strategies at the United Nations Environment Program in Switzerland. She is the author of multiple academic and U.N. flagship publications. Frances holds an M.Sc. in Environmental Change and Management from Oxford University and a B.A. in Economics from McGill University.