Danielle Wood leads the Space Enabled Research Group at the MIT Media Lab, seeking to advance justice in earth's complex systems using designs enabled by space. She is a scholar of societal development with a background that includes satellite design, earth science applications, systems engineering, and technology policy for the US and emerging nations. In her research, Danielle applies these skills to design innovative systems that harness space technology to address development challenges around the world. Previously, she worked as the Applied Sciences Manager within the Earth Science Division of Goddard Space Flight Center and served as Special Assistant and Advisor to the Deputy Administrator of NASA.
Margarita Mora is passionate about empowering local groups in their efforts to manage their territories. She has dedicated the past 15 years to devising and implementing strategies for integrating conservation into a positive vision of the future for these communities. As the Managing Director of the Conservation Stewards Program of Conservation International, Margarita has been involved in conservation agreement initiatives in 19 countries around the globe. She is applying the lessons and experiences from this work to shape Nia Tero’s approach to building partnerships with indigenous peoples and local communities worldwide. Margarita believes that if ecosystems that are vital for humanity’s well-being are to thrive, the people who have sustained these places and are most knowledgeable about them must also thrive. She is a Director’s Fellow at the MIT Media Lab.
Mark Pierce has been invested in national service and education since his first volunteer year as an AmeriCorps member with City Year in 2010. City Year partners with urban school districts to place volunteers in service alongside classroom teachers to bolster student access to tutoring and mentoring. They also create after-school opportunities for students in which they can investigate topics outside their regular class day. Serving as City Year Boston's Senior Manager of Student Engagement Programs, Mark supports teams by connecting them to meaningful extra-curricular programming. Mark is looking forward to seeing students engage with an ocean exploration unit through collaboration with MIT.
Tierney Thys, PhD
Tierney Thys is a National Geographic Explorer, biologist, filmmaker and Research Associate at California Academy of Science. Her work involves satellite tracking marine megafauna, mapping connections between nature and human wellbeing through brain imaging, quantifying nature’s effect on incarcerated populations, and serving as Daily Explorer in the popular online game, Animal Jam, boasting 170 million registered players. As past Director of Research for Sea Studios Foundation, she helped produce PBS documentaries Strange Days on Planet Earthand Shape of Life.Thys is a TED All-star speaker, frequent TEDed contributor and serves on the science advisory board for the innovation think tank, ThinkBeyondPlastic.
Madeleine Foote is an Associate Director at National Geographic, where she runs the science and exploration community, Open Explorer. Open Explorer connects Nat Geo audiences directly with the expeditions and projects of researchers, citizen scientists and students. In October, Open Explorer announced the S.E.E. Initiative, which will donate 1,000 ROVs to projects working on ocean conservation, education and exploration.