A trained marine biologist and an accomplished campaigner, explorer, and marine scientist, John has helped win several major victories for marine conservation since becoming the director of Greenpeace's oceans campaign in 2004.
John has been featured on many national TV and radio networks, including CNN, BBC, ABC, NBC, Fox, and NPR, and has been quoted in the New York Times, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, Science, New Scientist, Salon, Washington Post, The Times of London, and many others. John is also a regular presenter at refereed scientific meetings, such as the International Deep Sea Coral Symposium, Marine Conservation Congress, Alaska Marine Science Symposium, and the annual meetings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
John directed a campaign that secured the first cap on factory fishing for menhanden in the Chesapeake Bay (menhanden is the second largest fishery in the United States). He then led a successful campaign to persuade the Bush administration to scrap its plans to eliminate important fisheries protections. During the past three years, facing multi-million dollar opposition from the fishing industry, John's team won successively lower catch levels for the pollock fishery, the world's largest food fishery.
In 2007, John led an expedition to the Bering Sea that employed submarines to conduct the first manned exploration of the world's largest underwater canyon. He and his team discovered a new species of sponge, and documented many corals and sponges that were not previously known to live in the Bering Sea.
In 2010 John helped lead Greenpeace's response to the BP Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. John put together the scientific program for a three month-long research expedition to assess the true scope and impacts of the disaster, involving scientists from over a dozen independent institutions.
On the international level, John helped persuade the United Nations to protect coral reefs and other sensitive ecosystems from bottom trawling and other destructive fishing practices, and helped secure an agreement from eight Pacific island nations to prohibit fishing in large areas of the Pacific Ocean. He has also played a leading role in Greenpeace's global anti-whaling campaign, successfully persuading the Japanese to drop plans to hunt humpback whales and to end all private investment in Japan's whaling industry.
Prior to joining Greenpeace, John was involved in several environmental projects including the Sea Turtle Nesting Project in Florida, Coral Cay Conservation in Belize, and as an environmental educator for Marine Science Under Sails in Florida. He is a graduate of the Green Corps organizing fellowship, a program dedicated to training the next generation of environmental leaders and previously worked at Corporate Accountability International. He is a co-founder and former executive director of Students for a Free Tibet.