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Paola Espitia

Paola Espitia, M.Sc. is inspiring meaningful change for a better, bluer planet. Originally from the mountains of Bogotá, Colombia, Paola’s world changed when she relocated to the United States with her family and discovered reruns of The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau. Following her newfound love for the ocean, Paola earned a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Conservation and Photography and later, a Masters in Science in Marine Biology where she focused her efforts on coral restoration. Her work as a Research Scientist and Scientific Diver led her to dive Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Belize’s Barrier Reef, Cuba’s Jardines de la Reina National Park, and Florida’s Coral Reef, among others. Although coral restoration was important work, Paola realized she needed to bring the underwater world to the surface to inspire real change. So, she turned to communications to re/connect people to the ocean.

To date, Paola has voyaged nearly 30,000 nautical miles connecting thousands of passengers to the ocean through the Panama Canal, along Colombia’s Caribbean Coast, around Cuba, up Alaska’s Inside Passage, and in and out of Maine’s harbors. When not onboard, Paola teaches Oceanography at the Florida Institute of Technology, conducts coral and seagrass surveys throughout Florida as a Scientific Diver and Underwater Videographer, and helps environmental organizations meet their outreach and fundraising goals through the multimedia she produces. Paola says, “a day on the water adds two to your life” and there’s no mistaking that for her, life is better in, on, under, and near water.