As people change the world, Carl Safina’s work reveals how the future of living nature and the durability of human dignity are increasingly intertwined. His work probes the science as well as the ethics of our moment with nature.
Safina’s childhood by the shore launched a life-long passion, lending a distinct ocean flavor to much of his work. He has studied nature as a scientist, stood for it as an advocate, and conveyed his travels among sea creatures and coastal people in lyrical non-fiction writing.
Studies of seabirds and fishes led to his PhD in Ecology from Rutgers University. Witnessing rapid declines in sea turtles, sharks, tunas, and many other ocean creatures, he realized that a “last buffalo hunt” was underway in the sea.
Responding, Safina helped lead campaigns to ban driftnets, overhaul fisheries law, achieve a United Nations fisheries treaty, and reduce seabird and sea turtle drowning on commercial fishing lines. Along the way, his writings made him a leading voice on humanity’s relationship with nature.
Safina is author of 6 books and roughly 200 scientific and popular publications, including features in The New York Times, and National Geographic and a new Foreword to Rachel Carson’s The Sea Around Us.
His first book, Song for the Blue Ocean, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.
Eye of the Albatross won the John Burroughs Medal and the National Academies’ Science Communication Award for year’s Best Book.
Voyage of the Turtle was a N.Y. Times Editors’ Choice. So was The View From Lazy Point; A Natural Year in an Unnatural World, which won the 2012 Orion Award.
Nina Delmar and The Great Whale Rescue is his children’s book. In A Sea in Flames Safina chronicled the 2010 Gulf oil blowout.
Carl Safina has been profiled in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, and on Nightline; and he has been featured on PBS television; National Public Radio; Democracy Now; Bill Moyers’ special Earth on Edge; Martha Stewart; and not least: The Colbert Report.
Safina is founding president of The Safina Center, (formerly Blue Ocean Institute), at Stony Brook University, where he also co-chairs the University’s Center for Communicating Science.
Audubon magazine named Carl Safina among its “100 Notable Conservationists of the 20th Century.” In 2011, Utne Reader listed him among “25 Visionaries Changing the World.” Among other laurels, he has won a Pew fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the John Burroughs Medal, the Rabb Medal from Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo, the James Beard medal, the Lannan Literary Award, two honorary doctorates, and a MacArthur “genius” Prize.
He hosts Saving The Ocean on PBS television.