Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Riki Ott witnessed first-hand the ecological destruction and social chaos from the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska––and became an “accidental activist” in its wake. A trained marine toxicologist and former commercial fisher woman, she has written two books on oil spill impacts to ecosystems, people, and communities and starred in Black Wave, an award-winning feature film. In 2009, Ott co-founded Ultimate Civics, a project of Earth Island Institute, and the national grassroots coalition MoveToAmend.org. In May 2010, Ott brought her expertise to the Gulf of Mexico, volunteering for one year to expose a public health crisis of chemical illness and to help with local community organizing. For her work in the Gulf, Huffington Post named Ott a 2010 Game Changer. On the one-year memorial of the BP disaster in 2011, she co-hosted a national webcast teach-in, Changing the Endgame, to expose the high costs of America’s fossil fuel dependency––and show how communities are reducing their carbon footprint. Ott advocates ending corporate rule and creating sustainable communities. She lectures nationally and internationally, inspiring students from fifth grade through universities and adults to take action and showing by example how one person can make a difference.

Academic Training

•      Doctorate of Philosophy (1985) from University of Washington, WA, School of Fisheries with emphasis on effects of heavy metals on benthic invertebrates
•      Masters of Science (1980) from University of South Carolina, SC, Baruch Institute in marine biology with emphasis on effects of oil on zooplankton
•      Bachelor of Science (1976) from Colby College, Waterville, Maine

Positions

•     Co-director of Ultimate Civics, a project of Earth Island Institute (May 2009–); www.ultimatecivics.com
•      Anacapa Scholar, The Thacher School (9-12), Ojai, CA (Nov. 2007–Feb. 2008); taught Ultimate Civics: Human Rights v. Corporate Rights
•      Expert witness in the State of Alaska on certain issues relating to effects, fate and transportation of marine oil spills, and environmentally sensitive areas in the Copper River Delta
•     Co-founder, vice chair of Oiled Regions of Alaska Foundation (2001–2009) to help Exxon Valdez oil spill claimants with financial management and charitable giving to rebuild oiled communities
•      Board member (1987–1999) of United Fishermen of Alaska; chair (1988-1997) of Habitat Committee
•      Member (1990–1996) of Technical Advisory Group to USEPA and Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation for federal (NPDES) ballast water discharge permit for Alyeska Pipeline Services Company
•      Fishing industry representative on Governor’s Task Force on Water Quality (1992–1996)
•     Co-founding board member (1993–1995) of Alaska Clean Water Alliance and staff (1995–1997) as manager of Copper River Delta Project
•     Co-founder of, volunteer lobbyist with, Oil Reform Alliance (1989–1992) to strengthen oil spill prevention and response laws in wake of Exxon Valdez spill
•      Fishing industry representative on Forestry Fishery Cooperative Research Group (1995–1997)
•      Fishing industry representative on Board of Forestry’s Science & Technical Advisory Committee (1996–1997)
•      Managing partner and designer for Hot Yotts, a commercial fiber art company (1990–)
•     Co-founder of, commercial fisherrm’am with, Ott and Carpenter, Inc., a commercial fishing business in Prince William Sound, Alaska (1986–1993)

Awards and Recognition

•      Nomination of Black Wave for Best Documentary by the Académie de la Télévision (the French Canadian Emmy Awards); selection pending as of 6/14/09; trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFSIwU32dg8&feature=related
•      Alaska Center for the Environment, Ocean Film Festival’s 2009 Ocean Champion Award
•      Cook Inlet Keeper’s 2008 Muckraker Award
•      Sound Truth and Corporate Myths finalist for:
√       2005 Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in Science and Environment
√        USA Book News Best Books 2005 Award in Science
•     “E-chievement” award from E-Town, a National Public Radio program (1997)
•      U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 10 Award (1997) for “recognition and appreciation of continued contributions to the ballast water treatment working group and technical advisory group”
•      Alaska Conservation Foundation’s Celia Hunter Award (1994) for exemplary volunteer service to the environmental movement in Alaska
•      National Wildlife Federation’s “People Who Are Making a Difference” (October 1993 issue of International Wildlife)
•      Thomas Watson Fellowship from Colby College (1976) for study of marine oil pollution fates and effects in Bermuda and Europe

Books

2008            Not One Drop: Betrayal and Courage in the Wake of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill (Chelsea Green)
2005            Sound Truth and Corporate Myth$: The Legacy of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, Dragonfly Sisters Press (Cordova, Alaska)
1998            Alaska’s Copper River Delta, University of Washington Press (Seattle, Washington)

Key Media Interviews including Documentaries

(We have not yet had time to update the numerous 2010 interviews)

2009            Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman, March 24, 2009
2008            C-Span Book TV, www.booktv.org/watch.aspx?ProgramId=PC-9989
2008            Black Wave: The Legacy of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. Produced by Macumaba International and Perception Cinema (Quebec). Feature film, 99 min.
2008            Voices from the Arctic. Produced by Stone Soup Films. Indy documentary, 52 min. www.stonesoupfilms.us
2006            Out of Balance: ExxonMobil’s Impact on Climate Change. Documentary DVD. Joe Public Films. www.worldoutofbalance.org/
2006            The Day the Water Died. Produced by Brave New Films in association with Sierra Club Productions. www.sierraclub.org/tv/episode-exxon.asp
2006            Endless Fallout. Produced by Robert Cornellier with Macumba International Films. www.macumbainternational.com/english/ (posting on April 24, 2006)
2005            “Oil on Troubled Waters.” Andy Rowell, The Independent, 1/31/05.
2005            Riki-Tiki-Savvy, Grist InterActivist, Grist Magazine. 14 March 2005. www.grist.org/comments/interactivist/2005/03/14/ott/index.html
2005            Riki Ott on the Paula Gordon Show: Conversations with People at the Leading Edge. Atlanta, GA, 14 May 2005. www.paulagordon.com/shows/ott/index.html
2004            Oil on Ice. Documentary DVD. A Dale Djerassi / Bo Boudart Production in association with Lobitos Creek Ranch. www.oilonice.org
2004            Extreme Oil: The Wilderness. Documentary broadcast by PBS and BBC, aired on WNET in New York. Paladine Invision Productions, London

Speaking Engagements, Research Reports & Articles

2009            “When Things Fall Apart: Lessons from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Disaster,” keynote, Public Interest Environmental Law Conference, University of Oregon, Feb. 26–Mar. 1, 2009, Eugene, OR
2008            “Oil Spill Effects on Community: Lessons from the Exxon Valdez,” keynote, International Symposium in Commemoration of the 1st Anniversary of Hebei Spirit Accident, Seoul National University, College of Medicine, Nov. 28, 2008, Seoul, South Korea
2008            “Oil Effects to Wildlife and Humans: Lessons from the Exxon Valdez,” keynote, International Symposium on Ocean Oil Pollution Prevention & Ecosystem, Community Restoration in Taean, Eco-Horizon Institute, Nov. 27, 2008, Seoul, South Korea
2008            “What’s Democracy Got to Do with It? Politics and Environment” and “Women, Science, and Nature,” Sessions at Bioneers, 19th Annual Conference, Oct. 17–19, 2008, San Rafael, CA.
2007            “Taking the “Co.” out of Community: Human Rights Based Organizing for Place-Based Issues.” Workshop at Bioneers in Alaska, Anchorage, October 19–21, 2007
2007            “Toxicological Paradigm Shifts after the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill.” Keynote at the 20th annual international symposium on Man and his Environment in Health and Disease sponsored by the American Environmental Health Foundation and the American Academy of Environment and Medicine. Dallas, Texas, 7–10 June 2007
2007            “Sociological Paradigm Shifts after the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill.” Keynote at the 20th annual international symposium on Man and his Environment in Health and Disease sponsored by the American Environmental Health Foundation and the American Academy of Environment and Medicine. Dallas, Texas, 7–10 June 2007
2006            “Reining in the Republic, Creating Democracy.” Workshop at Bioneers in Alaska, Anchorage, October 20–22, 2006
2005            “Beyond March 24, 1989. The Legacy of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill.” Lecture tour: Anitoch College, Bates College, Brandeis Univ, Brown Univ School of Public Health, California State Univ Chico, Colby College, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Univ, Lewis and Clark College, Middlebury College, Mississippi State Univ, Oberlin College, PACE Environmental Law Clinic, Pacific Univ, Portland State Univ, Prescott College, Quinnipiac Univ, Ramapo College of New Jersey, Rutgers Univ, Saint Mary’s College, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Southern New England School of Law, Stanford Univ, Suffolk Univ Law School, Tulane Law School, Univ of Alaska Anchorage, Univ of Alaska Fairbanks, Univ of California Santa Barbara, Univ of Florida (Gainesville and Miami),Univ of Miami, Univ of Nevada Reno, Univ of North Carolina, Univ of Oregon School of Law, Univ of Portland Oregon, Univ of South Alabama, Univ of South Carolina, Univ of Vermont, Univ of Washington Schools of Law and Fisheries, Univ of Wisconsin Madison, Western New England College, Yale Univ, Yavapai College. Also presented at 20 nongovernmental organizations, and one federal agency.
2005            “Dangerous Cleanup: Lessons Learned from the Exxon Valdez Spill.” HazMat Management 17(3): 20–22
2005       & nbsp;    “The Legacy of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill.” Keynote speaker at the 10th anniversary international symposium on the Sea Prince Oil Spill, sponsored by Korean Federation of the Environmental Movement. University of South Korea, Yeosu, ROK, July 22, 2005
2005            “Our Toxic Legacy––The Exxon Valdez Spill and Beyond.” Ocean 2(7): 20–29
2004            “The Legacy of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill.” Presented at the National Press Club, Washington DC. 24 March 2004
2003            “The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill and the $100 Million Reopener Clause.” Presentation to the EVOS Trustee Council, Anchorage, AK. 14 August 2003
2002            “Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Legacy: Natural Resources.” Keynote speaker at the 20th annual international symposium on Man and his Environment in Health and Disease sponsored by the American Environmental Health Foundation and the American Academy of Environment and Medicine. Dallas, Texas, 6–9 June 2002
2002            “Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Legacy: Cleanup Workers.” Keynote speaker at the 20th annual international symposium on Man and his Environment in Health and Disease sponsored by the American Environmental Health Foundation and the American Academy of Environment and Medicine. Dallas, Texas, 6–9 June 2002
2001            “Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Legacy: Shifting Paradigms in Oil Ecotoxicology.” Briefing paper prepared by Ott, C. Peterson (Univ. NC), and S. Rice (NOAA Auke Bay Lab, AK)
1999            “Cultivating Conservation in Our Communities and Our Conscious: Reflections from the Field.” Keynote address at Wisconsin Academy for Sciences, Arts and Letters conference, Building on Leopold’s Legacy: A New Century for Conservation. Madison, WI, 6 October 1999
1999             “Land Ethics, Private Property Owners, ANCSA and Economics: Shaping Alaska’s Forests of the Future Now.” Invited paper and presentation for Alaska Conservation Alliance’s conference on A Sustainable Economy for Alaska. Anchorage, AK, 22 July 1999
1999            “Exxon Valdez Aftermath.” Defenders, Spring 1999, 16–24
1993            “Lessons from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill.” Keynote speaker at the 1st anniversary international symposium on the Aegean Sea Oil Spill. Corunna, Spain, December 1993
1993            Status Report on Alaska’s Oil Industry: A Blueprint for Improving Performance. Distributed to Clinton Administration officials on behalf of the Oil Reform Alliance. March 1993
1989            “The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill: Accidental or Symptomatic?” Co-author Jeannine Buller. Presented on the East Coast Lecture Tour to 16 academic institutions (Boston College, Colby College, Harvard, Univ. South Carolina, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, others). 9 November–8 December 1989
1989            “Spilled Oil and the Alaska Fishing Industry: Looking Beyond Fouled Nets and Lost Fishing Time.” Keynote presentation at the International Oil Spill Conference on the Open Ocean and Coastal Spill Panel. San Antonio, TX, 12–15 February 1989

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