Dr. Elin Kelsey is a recognized leader in engaging communities in sustainability and conservation issues. Elin has worked on public participation in marine reserves in Britain, Australia, Canada, U.K. and the USA and she wrote the scientific brief for Pew Global Oceans that led to the dedication in 2009 of one of the world’s largest marine reserves, the Marianas Trench National Monument. Dr. Kelsey recently worked with a coalition of more than 40 aquariums and visitor centers on a multi-year empowerment evaluation of communicating climate change and the oceans. She is currently leading the development of a new social media program for the Monterey Bay Aquarium that invites teens to use their online skills to communicate ocean conservation though a range of social networking platforms. She regularly consults on research projects with Dr. Nicole Ardoin’s Social Ecology Lab at Stanford University.
Elin is an influential leader in the Conservation Optimism movement. A spokesperson for the themes of hope, resilience and environment, Elin travels the world giving keynote and plenary addresses. Elin championed the need for hope and the environment through prestigious fellowships at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Germany in 2013, and the Bellagio Rockefeller Foundation in Italy in 2014. The #oceanoptimism twitter campaign she co-launched on World Oceans Day in June 2014 went viral reaching more than 70 million accounts to date. In November 2013, the World Conservation Union (the largest international assemblage of government and non-governmental environmental organizations) recognized Elin for her work on hope in their “Inspiring People” campaign.
Elin obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology (Honours) from the University of Guelph and a Master of Arts in Science Learning in Informal Settings from the University of British Columbia. She completed her doctoral studies at King’s College London in 2001, where she pursued a multi-disciplinary research program in science communication and international environmental policy. She received support for her work through a King’s College London Alumni Association Research Scholarship (1998–2001) and from the Goodenough Trust (1998–2000). She currently holds an adjunct faculty position with the School of Sustainability at Royal Roads University in Canada where she teaches courses in environmental communication and environmental education at the graduate level. She is a Research Fellow at the Cairns Institute at James Cook University in Australia.
Her consultancy, Elin Kelsey & Company, works with environmental organizations to create and evaluate innovative ocean engagement projects. Prior to establishing her consultancy, Elin served as Manager and Chief of Science Education at the Canadian Museum of Nature; Director of Exhibits and Interpretation at the Vancouver Aquarium; and Manager of Interpretive Services at the Calgary Zoo, Botanical Garden and Prehistoric Park. Through these positions she led teams of staff, volunteers and contractors, established strategic plans and marketing campaigns, and managed institutional level budgets.
Elin is a popular keynote presenter and media guest who works well with audiences of all kinds. She is the award-winning author of You Are Stardust, Wild Ideas, Not Your Typical Book About the Environment, and more than a dozen books for children and adults. Her books have received rave reviews from the Economist, the Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Brain Pickings and Kirkus Review. In addition to her books, academic publications and professional reports, her work has been published in New Scientist, Hakai Magazine, BBC Wildlife, Conservation Magazine, Bay Area Parent, Green Teacher, and numerous online sites.
In 2009, Elin founded the writing program at the Osher Life Long Learning Institute at California State University, Monterey Bay. She continues to facilitate sessions in a range of writing genres. In January 2015 she launched a podcast series of interviews with writers emerging from this program. She is currently developing a podcast series featuring internationally-acclaimed thought-leaders for the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society. She has been awarded writer-in-residence posts at: Hedgebrook, Berton House, Conservation International, Crofton House and, Mesa Refuge.
Dr. Kelsey serves on the alumni board of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Munich, Germany. She also sits on the Education and Communication Commission of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and is a fellow of LEAD International, an international sustainability leadership program. An avid international traveller, Dr Kelsey has led eco-tours to Africa, India, Indonesia, Micronesia, Malaysia and the Canadian Arctic. She facilitates learning experiences with groups of international high school students on expeditions to Antarctica through Students on Ice.
For more about Elin and her work please visit www.elinkelseyandcompany.com