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Mark J. Spalding, President, The Ocean Foundation, is a member of the Steering Committee of the Western Hemisphere Migratory Species Initiative. Mark is an active participant in the marine working group, Ocean Acidification collaborative, Baja California group, and coral reef group of the funders' organization, the Consultative Group on Biological Diversity. He serves on the International Bering Sea Forum, and he was the chair of the Council of the National Whale Conservation Fund. He has consulted for the Alaska Conservation Foundation, San Diego Foundation, the International Community Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Fundacion La Puerta, and a number of family foundations. He designed and managed the Orca Fund. He has served as a member of the Environmental Grants Advisory Committee of FINCOMUN (Tijuana’s Community Foundation).

Mark, who has been practicing law and acting as a policy consultant for 25 years, was the chair of the environmental law section of the California State Bar Association from 1998-1999. He holds a B.A. in history with Honors from Claremont McKenna College, a J.D. from Loyola Law School, and a Master in Pacific International Affairs (MPIA) from IR/PS. From 1994 to 2003 Mark was the Director of the Environmental Law and Civil Society Program, and Editor of the Journal of Environment and Development, at the Graduate School of International Relations & Pacific Studies (IR/PS), University of California at San Diego. In addition to lecturing at IR/PS, Mark has taught at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD's Muir College, UC Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy, and University of San Diego's School of Law. Mark has helped design some of the most significant ocean conservation campaigns in recent years. He is an experienced and successful facilitator at the international level. He brings his extensive experience with the legal and policy aspects of ocean conservation to the Foundation's grantmaking strategy and evaluation process.

Ocean Acidification from Domestic to International

  Since the industrial revolution began, we have released 2 trillion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere, and about one-third of it went into the ocean. We initially thought that the ocean taking up CO2 was a good thing – because it took it out of the atmosphere. Unfortunately, we were wrong.  There…

Working Towards Sustainable Coastal Tourism

It is a little hard to admit that I was sitting on a plane when I wrote this.  I was flying home from a symposium in Grenada that was cosponsored by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), the Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association, and the Grenada Tourism Authority, with support…

Open Letter on the Occasion of the “Our Ocean” Conference

We thank Secretary Kerry and the US Department of State for their leadership in getting the US public and world community to focus on the importance of the ocean in addressing the challenges of Climate Change in general, and ocean acidification in particular.

More, Bigger, Better Marine Conservation

Recently one of my peers referred to doing more conservation as addressing the problem of how to take marine protection to scale.  Covering nearly 70% of the planet and home to thousands of species of plants and animals, the ocean certainly represents a huge management problem. For some marine conservation funders, global scaling of marine…

Drought and Flood Effects

It is a tale of too much and too little right now in the Northern Hemisphere.  Communities are suffering weather-induced miseries.  Crop production is way off, and the future of food production in the region is looking worse.  Ecosystems are under stress and so too the animals that depend on them.  Experts are unable to…

How Ocean Philanthropy Can Change the Tide

By Catharine Cooper and Mark Spalding It’s hard to imagine anyone who has not been changed by an experience of the sea.  Whether it is to walk by her side, swim in her cooling waters, or float on her surface, the vast expanse of our ocean is transformative.  We stand in awe of her majesty.

Stop the Trash

We once believed that the ocean was too big to fail, that we could take out as much fish, and dump in as much trash, debris and pollution as we wished.  Now, we know we were wrong.  And, not only were we wrong, we need to make it right.  One good place to start?  Stopping…

Gone Wild in Salamanca

The 10th World Wilderness Congress themed “Making the World a Wilder Place” took place over the last week in Salamanca, Spain. This is a centuries-old Spanish city where walking the streets is a living history lesson.  2013 marks its 25th year as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It was an amazing setting for this event – a…

Planning for Our Ocean Future

Summer in the Northern Hemisphere is winding down and, the tenth Pacific storm of the season (Juliette) crossed the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula with gusts of more than 80 miles an hour, and elsewhere, folks are remembering where they were eight years ago when Hurricane Katrina swept up the Gulf of Mexico…

Glowing in the Dark

“Radioactive Plume in the ocean” is the kind of headline that ensures people will pay attention to the news story that follows. 

Sustainable Ancient Aquaculture

Written by: Mark J. Spalding, Kathryn Peyton and Ashley Milton   Phrases like “lessons from the past” or “learning from ancient history” are apt to make our eyes glaze over, and we flash to memories of boring history classes or droning TV documentaries.  But in the case of aquaculture, a little historical knowledge can be both…