Staff Spotlight – Marine Science Instructor & Deckhand – Gracie

O’Neill Sea Odyssey has a diverse and talented team of Marine Science Instructors. Today we are excited to introduce you to another member of OSO.

Join us in welcoming Gracie!

Gracie Pillons joined the O’Neill Sea Odyssey team this winter as one of our Marine Science Instructors. Gracie grew up in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and has been an outdoor enthusiast, athlete, and conservationist her whole life. She has a degree in Secondary Education-General Science with an emphasis in Marine Biology from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. We are lucky to have her on our team! Learn more about Gracie and her passion for the great outdoors and our shared ocean below. 

“Knowing that we are etching a memory that will last a lifetime is something I personally value and cherish” – Gracie


Why do you feel environmental education is so important today? Environmental education is the first step in understanding the environmental impact of our day-to-day choices.  Participating in hands-on activities helps in understanding how our choices and actions, even when inland, can directly affect our oceans and our health.   

How did you become interested in ocean conservation?  While traveling, it is hard to ignore the vast amounts of trash that has accumulated on every shoreline.  At age 10 I began scuba diving, and when I saw how the ocean and specifically reefs were equally affected by us, I had to take action. In college, I worked as a scuba instructor and began hosting underwater cleanups where we cumulatively removed 1000’s of plastic bottles and spent 100’s of hours freeing corals of fishing line.  This inspired me to teach conservation through participation from the trees to the seas. 

What do you enjoy most about working at OSO? Giving students the opportunity to get out on the ocean and actively participate is absolutely incredible! Students are so engaged and genuinely excited to be here.  Many of them have never had the opportunity to be on the ocean or on a boat. Knowing that we are etching a memory that will last a lifetime is something I personally value and cherish.

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