Tracey Weiss is a non-profit Executive Director with 16+ years of experience in environmental education. She uses her passion for environmental education to inspire and engage youth and their adults to take stewardship of California’s natural world. Tracey excels in executive leadership, grant management, fund development, strategic vision and engagement, Board management, and developing pathways to better engage students in environmental education.
Working on a regional and statewide scale, Tracey possesses in-depth knowledge and experience in leading both the complex day-to-day operations of an organization as well as guiding its vision, growth, and financial reserves. Tracey currently is affiliated with the California Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (AEOE) network, and California Marine Sanctuary Foundation. Tracey is thrilled to join the O’Neill Sea Odyssey team and looks forward to getting out on the water and seeing the joy on the faces of the participating students.
Tim has been a surfer and sailor for most of his life, learning to surf and sail at age five. Tim graduated from Soquel High School, and worked at the O’Neill surf shop both during and after his years at Soquel High. Tim started running the Team O’Neill catamaran when it was launched in 1983 and received his 100 ton skipper’s license in 1992. Tim also serves as President of Team O’Neill, is the Board President of O’Neill Sea Odyssey, and oversees the Team O’Neill fleet of ocean-going vessels. He lives in Santa Cruz with his wife Lisa O’Neill, his sons Riley and Connor, and daughter Bridget.
Abby Newman started at O’Neill Sea Odyssey (OSO) in 2015 as an Instructor/Deckhand and transitioned into the Program Manager role in 2021. She was drawn to the OSO program for the opportunity to engage and motivate the next generation of ocean stewards to make conscious choices on land that affect our health and oceans. Abby has two master’s degrees in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, and Social Work from San Jose State University. Abby’s background in environmental justice and advocacy, policy development, and climate resiliency has forged a career path of fighting for healthy communities.
Born and raised in Fresno, California, Mike’s connection to the ocean began while spending time at his family’s summer home in Santa Cruz. He has lived on the Central Coast since 1982. Mike attended Bullard High in Fresno, and Orange Coast College near Newport Beach, California, where he raced sailboats. Mike worked for O’Neill Yacht Center for five years, holds a 100 ton skippers license, and has been skipper of the Team O’Neill Catamaran for 27 years. He is married to his wife Jill and has two grown children, Ashley and Zachary. An avid fitness enthusiast, Mike runs marathons and participates in Spartan races in his free time.
Liz arrived at OSO after working as a deckhand on the Team O’Neill catamaran. She is an avid sailor and in the middle of a journey to learn all things boats. She’s passionate about the stewardship of the land and the ocean. She has a BA in literature from UCSC and a professional background in HR, finance, and development.
Darci Bogdan was born in Santa Cruz, CA, was raised on a sailboat, and as a teenager, sailed from the west to the east coast of the United States. This upbringing inspired her to pursue a maritime career and she has been working as a captain for a little over a decade. Not only does Darci have a passion for captaining boats, but she also has a degree in Illustration from Savannah College of Art and Design and creates handmade cloisonné jewelry inspired by nature and conservation.
Lake Tahoe native Riley Chapman brings a deep passion for Mother Earth and a love of the great outdoors. With degrees in Legal Studies and Spanish from Chico State University, she studied abroad in Spain, and also earned minors in Ethics, Justice and Policy and Environmental Studies. Riley is an avid soccer player, skier and is learning to surf. She works to engage youth in education and environmental advocacy and is thrilled to be part of the O’Neill Sea Odyssey team to help foster future ocean stewards in protecting our natural environment.
Joey was born and raised in central California. He holds a B.S. in Kinesiology from California State University Monterey Bay with a subdiscipline in outdoor recreation, education and administration. He is an American Canoe Association certified Level 4 Coastal Kayaking Skill Instructor and has over a decade of professional water experience. His connection to the sea was cultivated at a young age, inspiring Joey to pursue a life as involved with the ocean as possible. His infatuation with the sea has led him to introduce and educate the general public about the wonders that have molded his personal connection with our mother ocean. Joey currently resides in Moss Landing on his sailboat with his dog-friend Merle and is excited to be a part of O’Neill Sea Odyssey.
Breanne is a lover of all things ocean-related; when not working on boats she can be found surfing, kayaking, swimming, or just relaxing on the local Santa Cruz beaches. Breanne holds a 100-ton Masters Captains’ license and has an Able Body Special endorsement with the USCG. Growing up on the water, she has made a career of working on a variety of boats in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, Baja, Costa Rica, Panama, and Belize. From heaving lines in the Panama Canal to kayaking glacial fjords, or assisting in leading tours in Magdalena Bay for the annual Gray Whale migration, Breanne has always encouraged people to explore the oceans and waterways around them. She is beyond excited to join the O’Neill Sea Odyssey program and share her love and knowledge of the ocean with a new generation of ocean explorers!
Jennifer is honored to be living out her childhood dream as a marine biologist. In addition to working as a Marine Science Instructor for O’Neill Sea Odyssey, she is an active whale watching naturalist/deckhand and a whale entanglement rescue responder with 10+ years of experience as a steward working on many conservation projects in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Recently retiring from her State Park Ranger career, she is now focused and committed to using her B.S. Marine Biology degree to continue Jack O’Neill’s mission to educate our children that our ocean is alive and mentoring them to understand how they can play a significant role in taking care of our ocean.
Emily is from the Bay Area and attended a marine science magnet school as a kid. She grew up coming to the Santa Cruz beaches in the summer and duck hunting with her father in the San Francisco Bay. She is a Level 2 Coastal Kayaking Instructor with the American Canoe Association and previously spent winters teaching water sports at an eco-resort in Belize. Emily holds a master’s degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Washington, where she wrote her thesis on ocean literacy and inclusion in marine science education. She currently volunteers as a school programs instructor at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center and is endlessly fascinated with everything about the ocean. She lives in Santa Cruz with her dog Arrow, who is afraid of waves and loves eating kelp.
Jessica loves exploring the natural world. Always curious, she wants to know all about what she is seeing and enjoys sharing what she has learned with others. Jessica holds the ocean in awe and is passionate about healthy seas and watersheds. She feels fortunate to work on the Sea Odyssey to spread this message. She is a proud mother to two adventurous daughters.
Jasmine is an Eckerd College Alumna with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies &
Political Science. She has been scuba diving for the past ten years, holding her PADI Rescue
Diver certification with over 200 dives on her belt. She has been involved in ocean
conservation/restoration work all along the east coast, ranging from New York City to the Florida
Keys, and The Bahamas. When she isn’t scuba diving or working at the harbor, she loves to
read, swim in the Santa Cruz waters, and hang out with her tuxedo cat, spooky papa.
Gracie was born and raised in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and grew up as an outdoor enthusiast, athlete, and conservationist. Her passion for marine biology started while traveling and scuba diving with her family throughout the Caribbean, Central America, and the Hawaiian Islands. Before graduating high school she was a PADI Divemaster. She has a degree in Secondary Education-General Science with an emphasis in Marine Biology from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. While living in Hawaii she worked as a scuba instructor, was a middle school science teacher and co-founded a non-profit focused on conservation through participation in underwater cleanups. She was introduced to sailing through her husband Jacques. They have two young daughters. You can find them visiting tidepools, beachcombing, paddle boarding, surfing, freediving, hiking, biking, or skiing in their spare time.
Anisa attended UC Santa Cruz and graduated in 2020 with a BS in marine biology and an
AAUS scientific diver certificate. Since then she has used her degree to teach at the Catalina
Island Marine Institute. She always knew that she wanted to pursue a life that revolved around
the ocean, and is grateful to be here! In her free time she enjoys hiking, surfing, diving, and
keeping busy with crafts. She look forward to watching students have their ‘lightbulb moments’
when learning cool new things about marine life!
Shannon was born and raised in the Bay Area and is excited to be a part of the O’Neill Sea
Odyssey team. She received her B.S. in Biology from Saint Mary’s College of California where
she played on the Division 1 softball team. She continued on to get her M.S. in Marine Biology
from James Cook University in Australia. After completing her master’s degree, she returned
back to California to pursue her passion for marine science. Shannon is an avid animal lover,
especially sea otters, and loves going on outdoor adventures. In her spare time, Shannon can
be found scuba diving, backpacking, rock climbing, and skiing.