Hillary has been a writer/journalist/news reporter since 1968, with published books about the sea and underwater exploration, and magazine articles including National Geographic, Geo, Islands, The Surfer’s Journal, Reader’s Digest and the Los Angeles Times. From 1969 through 1977 she was West Coast stringer for Ocean Science News, Washington D.C., and from 1981-1986 was ocean/marine reporter for the Santa Barbara News-Press. She also was the former music critic for the Santa Barbara News-Press and is a long-time classical pianist.
Jean-Michel has spent his life with his family exploring the world's oceans aboard the research vessels Calypso and Alcyone, communicating to people of all nations and generations his love and concern for our water planet. The eldest son of the late ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, Jean-Michel is President of Ocean Futures Society, where he continues his life's work of educating, especially the young people of the world, to foster a conservation ethic for our water planet.
Heather Hudson, a supporter of HTO since our inception, is a long-time ocean lover and surfer (you’ll find her almost every morning at Rincon!), and she and her husband Keith Crummer are avid outdoors people. After receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from UCLA in 1984, she worked in advertising until she became a full-time mother in 1991. She is currently runs her film production company, Graciegirl LLC. Heather has served on HTO’s Advisory Board as well as every HTO Annual Gala Committee, and now she is overseeing the reinstatement of the great annual HTO party tradition.
Thomas Dabney is a native Santa Barbarian and lobster fisherman with deep appreciation for the ocean and all it affords, and comes to Heal the Ocean with valuable directorial experience as a long time board member of his family foundations.
Sam Scranton, who was for over 30 years the moving force behind the Santa Barbara Bowl (Manager 1978-1980; Founding Board Member (with Steve Cloud and Patrick Davis) of the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation (1980); General Manager (Feb 91-Feb 94); Executive Director Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation(Feb 94-Dec. 31, 2010). As the Foundation’s executive director raised $25 million for Bowl renovation and improvement. He has built and operated a number of music production companies (i.e. Full Circle Productions, and founded the shows that evolved into the Christmas Unity events and telethons. In 1990 Sam became artist manager for Christopher Cross, and as a musician himself, he has performed with Kenny Loggins, Jim Messina, Joe Walsh, Joe Cocker and others in New Years Eve parties he organized to raise funds for the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation. Sam has many ocean connections (including being on HTO’s advisory board for many years), but one outstanding feather in his cap is that he was, in the early 1970s, the personal assistant to Elisabeth Mann-Borgese, director of Planning Council, International Ocean Institute, Malta, and in this position, Sam did the preliminary editing of text and photographs for Elisabeth Mann-Borgese’s historic book, The Drama of the Oceans.
Charles Vinick has been a friend of HTO since our beginnings. He set up our 501c3 under the wing of the Jean-Michel Cousteau Institute in Santa Barbara (before it became Ocean Futures) so that we could hit the ground running with non-profit status in 1998. He was on the Board of HTO for 12 years, then took a break to head up a number of environmental non-profit organizations focusing on ocean policy, environmental policy and solutions and marine energy technology development. Charles gives us strong guidance, and we’re glad to have him back!
Francoise is an artist and author of cookbooks and children's books who worked many years in real estate in Santa Barbara and Malibu. She is devoted to community service in Santa Barbara -- in addition to serving on the Heal the Ocean board, she serves on the board of Girls, Inc. and Direct Relief International.
As Heal the Ocean’s Operations Coordinator, Corey Radis is responsible for keeping our offices running smoothly and assisting on policy research and advocacy. Concerned by the California drought and fascinated by water, Corey earned a master’s degree in Environmental Fluid Mechanics and Hydrology at Stanford. During graduate school, Corey conducted research on the use of reservoir sediment as agricultural soil and she collaborated in the development of a new water-saving faucet, the Lean Sink. Corey is a native Santa Barbarian and passionate water resources scientist. When not working, Corey can be found surfing, trail running, or playing with clay in the ceramics studio.
Julia grew up hiking, snowboarding, and camping in Pacific Northwest which helped spark her passion for the environment and the outdoors. Concerned about recent trends in air and water pollution, and how these impact ecosystems, Julia decided to get her B.S. in Environmental Science at California Lutheran. Julia is especially interested in plastic pollution in the ocean and what effect this will have on marine life.
James O. Hawkins
As Heal the Ocean’s strategic analyst, James Hawkins is responsible for coordinating HTO’s research projects and working with Hillary Hauser, HTO’s executive director, on our key policy priorities and positions, in addition to organizing our eLetters and Newsletters and managing our social media accounts. James received a B.A. from UC Santa Barbara in political science and environmental studies with his senior thesis focusing on climate change. A Santa Barbara native, James enjoys spending his free time playing ultimate Frisbee, swing dancing, and just hanging out with friends.
Ruston Slager has been with HTO since the beginning days, and in fact can be credited with “starting” the organization, because he organized the public demonstration on the steps of the County Administration Building after Hillary’s “Genesis” article came out, lamenting the problem of Santa Barbara beaches being closed because of pollution. You will always see Ruston alongside Ava Everett at public events where HTO is involved – Earth Day, the Harbor Festival, and of course our own events. Ruston instructs adults and children with learning and developmental disabilities in community and school settings. He is a local musician and landscape artist.
Sailing, swimming, surfing, paddling...if it’s a sport done in or on the water, Laura has probably tried it! Laura grew up in three coastal environments: Delaware, Florida, and Santa Barbara. Her father, a marine biologist and professional diver, started her early with fresh water and marine adventures. He also taught her about the fragility and risks in these environments. Her career focuses on communication and the arts, and she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Brown University and a Master’s in International Business from Pepperdine. She is passionate about water issues based on her interests at home and her experiences living and traveling in Africa, Europe, Indonesia, North, Central, and South America and the Caribbean.