Wallace J. Nichols (“J”)

Country: U.S.A.

Occupation: Marine biologist, ocean activist, writer

Specialty: Pacific sea turtles, community-based conservation

Best part about my job: Long days in small boats out on the Pacific Ocean looking for loggerhead turtles with my pals

Biggest challenges I face:Staying positive when the animals we tag are caught in fishing nets and/or eaten

The most unusual or exciting thing that’s happened to me while working in the field: Back in 1996 the first loggerhead turtle we tracked in Baja California swam 12,000 km back to Japan where she was born. At the time it opened up a whole new world of understanding to us and those tracking “Adelita” on the Internet.

Why I like being a member of the MTSG: Opportunities to get schooled by Kartik Shanker on the basketball court between serious discussions about sea turtle biology and conservation.

Turtle researcher / conservationist I most admire: The fishermen / conservationists in Baja California. Fishermen like Rodrigo Rangel and Javier Villavicencio who grew up hunting and eating sea turtles and now work daily to bring them back. Biologists like Antonio and Bety Resendiz, for their persistence and perseverance.

When I’m not working on turtles I like to: Hike the California coast, talk and read to my daughter Grayce, try to keep my 1958 International pickup running and our fruit trees alive.

Ten years from now, I hope I will be doing: Useful and creative work with the ever-growing network of ocean-loving people around the world.

Relevant links to find out more about me and my work: Blue Ocean Institute