They say there are ocean people and mountain people; science people and story people. But Gianna finds her sweet spot in the liminal spaces where everything is interconnected.
An award-winning producer, writer and professor with two decades of experience in Science and Natural History Filmmaking, Gianna uses her penchant for powerful storytelling to dive into some of the most critical conservation issues on the planet. Her Emmy-nominated work has been featured on PBS, National Geographic, Discovery and the BBC, as well as in theatrical documentaries and in print and web publications. In order to pay it forward and inspire the next generation of environmental storytellers, she is the Director of Filmmaking in the Department of Science Communication at the University of Otago.
She and Jeff Reed founded OMI in 2014 as a global creative hub for collaborative work among scientists, communities and media makers. From the Far North to the Wild South, OMI threads together an inclusive and diverse array of voices, enriching the science and story of the ocean and deepening the connection to our blue world.
Jeff is an EMMY® winning cinematographer and producer. His time as a filmmaker has taken him around the world among amazing colleagues. He is most passionate when exploring unknown or overlooked stories in science and nature. His work can be found on PBS, National Geographic, Smithsonian Channel, History Channel, across the web, and on demand.
Passionate about science since she first declared it age 4, Erica has always been up for an adventure. She has been scuba diving since age 12 and is thrilled by every opportunity to get under the waves. Erica has over 20 years experience designing, developing and implementing marine and environmental education courses. Her specialty is ocean exploration with remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and she has worked in the U.S. and abroad partnering with a multitude of environmental organizations. Her favorite project involved an aquaculture experiment on board the Space Shuttle STS 95 with Astronaut John Glenn and her current obsession is finding the most unique places to pop up a swimming pool to demonstrate ROVs.
Erica’s passion is in helping others understand science and loves every opportunity to teach people how to work in the underwater world. It is hard to beat the feeling she gets when watching someone’s face light up after she helps them turn a plastic coat hanger into an underwater robot!
Before moving to Montana in 1989, Kristen spent three years living on the coast of Southern California and at the wise age of 9 had decided her future would make her a marine biologist.
The move to Montana and other international adventures got in the way of those plans, but a love of the ocean and an intensive marine science course in the Sea of Cortez in Mexico, swimming with sea lions and Finn whales and studying intertidal ecology and zoology ingrained an infatuation with oceans. Always dabbling in sports, travels and lines of work that were connected with water, Kristen has settled into a career in booking international fly fishing trips to many saltwater destinations – primarily Cuba, Costa Rica and Guatemala. As a mother of a growing boy, the need to engage and educate about the challenges that marine environments (especially plastics) are facing has become a priority for Kristen.
Alexa Elliott has 26 years of experience as a content creator working in public media. Her work has garnered multiple awards, including the prestigious Communication Award from the National Academies of Sciences, as well as eleven Suncoast Regional Emmys.
For the last fifteen years Alexa has focused on writing and producing television documentaries about science and the environment, showcasing her ability to communicate complex topics to general audiences.
Alexa coordinates logistics for multifaceted field shoots at sea and in remote, international locations, involving topside and underwater videography. She works on multiple projects in various stages of production simultaneously, while always remaining on time and on budget.
As the creator of the “Changing Seas” public television series, Alexa also actively engages in science communication outreach to maximize impact and facilitate public engagement. She organizes regular in-person and virtual screenings with expert panels, and gives presentations to audiences ranging from Road Scholars to school children.
Jeff’s deep passion for the oceans began in his youth, exploring Caribbean waters on a modest 33’ sailboat. Since those wonderfully formative days, Jeff has continued to search the world for remote and pristine environs- primarily on or under the water’s surface.
Jeff is excited to be part of the OMI team because the power of a story can change the course of lives. OMI has the right tools and talent to tell the stories that so desperately need to be heard now.
Jeff lives in Bozeman, Montana with his wife and their three children, spending their free time enjoying the bountiful recreational opportunities, sneaking away to the ocean every chance they get.
Australian born George Potter has traveled the world as a conservation biologist and filmmaker. He has produced documentaries such as the first film on all twelve Native tribes of Montana, and he has produced commercials for the likes of Vasque Footwear and The Conservation Alliance. He started one of the world’s first video podcasts – before iPods could even play video – winning a Webby Award at SXSW in the process. George has also been nominated for the prestigious BBC Panda Award at the Wildscreen Film Festival and has been nominated for awards at the Jackson Hole International Wildlife Film Festival.