Director, Conservation & Outreach, Sea of Change Foundation
Samantha is Director of Conservation & Outreach for the Sea of Change Foundation and for Aggressor Adventures®. Samantha’s work includes developing GREEN THE FLEET™ operations for Aggressor Adventures™ and curriculum for the M/V Oceans for Youth, a classroom-at-sea vessel operating in Cuba’s Gardens of the Queen National Park. Over the past 20 years, as a marine conservation biologist, Samantha has worked from the field, lab, and office to protect the oceans’ ecosystems. Researching biodiversity, sustainable fisheries, and the illegal wildlife trade has taken her to the Amazon with National Geographic, to the Mesoamerican reef with NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program, and to some of the most remote islands of the Pacific to develop citizen science and sustainable ecotourism while promoting ocean literacy. Samantha has served on the Water Resources Advisory Commission for the South Florida Water Management District, on the Sanctuary Advisory Council of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, and the board of the New England Aquarium’s Beach Teach Program.
Samantha graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor’s in Natural Science with a concentration in marine conservation biology and earned her Master’s of Marine Affairs and Policy at the University of Miami. She has taught formally at Miami Dade College and the University of Hawaii on the subjects of environmental ethics, traditional ecological knowledge, and coral reef ecosystems. After the Gulf oil spill, she was recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce/NOAA Fisheries with a national award for exceptional service in response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Whitcraft was also one of twenty women selected for the Women’s Environmental Leaders Forum – Miami with the White House Council on Environmental Quality, principal environmental advisor to the President. She has produced award-winning short environmental films, researched and reported on the impacts of the illegal wildlife trade, and is an avid photographer and published nature writer. She is a Platinum Pro 5000 Diver, recognized by the scuba diving industry as an “elite water explorer”.