I work with creative leaders in a wide range of business, government and non-profit sectors to help change conversations for good. The insights from my book, Blue Mind, and decades of leading successful change across many fields can help accelerate success and have been shared in the following nine industries in the form of keynotes, workshops, marketing and media:
~ Water infrastructure & management
~ Environment & conservation
~ Technology & innovation
~ Health & wellness
~ Education & parenting
~ Arts, design & architecture
~ Real estate & planning
~ Travel & leisure
~ Sports & recreation
Price Range: $5,000 (non-profit) to $10,000+
Gig Length: 45 - 500 minutes
Languages: English, Spanish
What to Expect
"J Nichols is one of the very best at engaging an audience, sparking meaningful thought and debate, and linking his message to your key objectives."
--Shane Toohey, Founder, Peak Teams
"Honestly, I have never witnessed the level of awe and inspiration that J's talk appeared to have imparted to the student interns, and I have been to dozens of trainings and lectures given by internal and external speakers. His talk provided them with something much more than information, it gave them pause to think about the world and their connection to it in a different way than they had before. J. made it so genuinely relevant. I think he may have positively changed the course of some lives when he spoke to them."
--Roberta Brett, Senior Science Specialist, California Academy of Sciences
"[Dr. Nichols] really understood our interdisciplinary interests and that made him the ideal CMBC speaker going beyond marine biology to economics, communication, health sciences, neurology and more. It was incredibly engaging for our students and a most entertaining presentation. I'm sure the blue marbles will be a reminder and inspiration for all of us as we continue to love our water!"
--Penny Dockry, The Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at Scripps Institution of Oceanography
"Your 'outside the box' collaboration resulted in a very insightful and thought provoking presentation that would have stood on its own as one of the highlights of the festival [BLUE Ocean Film Festival]."
--Matthew Spiegl, Esq.
“In an era when so many of us -- especially young people -- are concerned about our environment and what we can do to improve it -- J's message is powerful, persuasive and personable. He inspires his audiences to dream big when they consider what to do with their lives, and to also consider that small gestures can have a major impact on our planet over time. He also took the time to meet with a great many of our graduates after his commencement speech. They left our campus with a great sense of possibility as well as responsibility, and I'm confident they'll carry J's message (and his blue marble) with them for many years as they help to build a better future.”
--Ken Owen, Executive Director of Media Relations, DePauw University
"We were thrilled to have J. speak on the Google Campus for Earth Day. His work is bridging a critical gap in our understanding of how the human mind makes decisions in terms of ocean conservation. For cognitive scientists that seek to discover the science that underlies what we all know to be an incredibly powerful connection between humankind and our blue planet, I believe J.'s message is a critical and compelling one. I'm encouraged by the radical shift in marine conservation efforts that can result from the research that J. advocates for, to better understand the neurological processes that occur when we are in the presence of water."
--David Bennett, Green Team Operations & Innovations Lead, Google
"Warm and engaging, Dr. Nichols' anecdotal speaking style captures his audience, inviting them to share his passion for the ocean and drawing their attention to the plight of this critical cause."
--Elizabeth Borelli, co-Director Race Against Global Warming
"Everyone in the room was inspired and completely mesmerized by J's talk on the linkages between neuroscience and marine conservation. A friend even told me that J's message reminded him of why he was studying marine biology in the first place. Being able to inspire any person whether it be at Every Body Eats eight months ago or at a small panel last Wednesday is truly a gift, and I am so glad that Dr. Nichols was able to bring positivity to the work we do and share that true conservation requires a person entirely--their intellect, time, physicality, empathy, and love."
--Natalie Tran, Food Systems Education and Research Coordinator, University of California, Santa Cruz
“J participated as our special guest at the First Youth Conference for the Conservation of the Gulf of California at the Mazatlan Aquarium. His visit awoke a feeling of great pride, sense of identity and place in the 100 kids from more than 30 coastal communities who attended from the region (Sonora, Sinaloa, Nayarit and Baja California Peninsula, Mexico).
All were touched in their hearts and minds in an irreversible way by the knowledge and love that J feels for this unique part of our planet. J's commitment and dedication for conservation moves the consciousness of adults and children in favor of the necessary fight for our future, so that the magical mystery called LIFE continues to be the primary food of our body, soul and spirit of ours and future generations.”
--Raquel Briseno, Advisor, Children’s Conservation Education Program, Mazatlan Aquarium
"When planning Ecomentum's launch party, we wanted to create a special and memorable evening for Monterey Bay's sustainability community. Wallace 'J' Nichols was the first person who came to mind, and he did not disappoint. J connected with the audience, inspiring a group of overachievers to do even more to save our planet. I look forward to working with him again in the future, and highly recommend him if you're looking for an engaging and motivating keynote speaker."
--Peter Brumis, MBA; CEO, Ecomentum Consulting
"J has the gift to make a person listen and pause for thoughtful contemplation, and realize the importance of the preservation of our natural environment. Our lives can move so quickly that we lose track of the movement of the world we live in. J brings us back to Earth with compassion and insight. Giving us the chance to realize the opportunities at our doorsteps to reconnect with, and sustain our ecosystems and the species within them. He is a rare and brilliant visionary for the protection of our natural world."
--Barbara D. Andrews, California Academy of Sciences
"I had the honor of inviting Dr. Wallace J. Nichols as an Earth Day keynote speaker at Duke University. Dr. Nichols, a former graduate of our Nicholas School of the Environment program, is an inspiring example of how one can use his or her formal education to spearhead movements and affect change in environmental science and conservation. His humble yet powerful presentation - a presentation that combined a wealth of knowledge with a sense of commitment and passion for his work – provided a wonderful example for the Duke community and a most appropriate message for Earth Day. We all left with a renewed desire to participate in creating a more sustainable future. I would not hesitate to invite Dr. Nichols to give a lecture at Duke University again in the future."
--Dr. Bill Chameides, Dean, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University
“J. provided a clarity of vision and clear communication about the state of the world’s oceans for our film, The 11th Hour. He speaks from the heart and is a new leader and peaceful warrior for the planet. When listening to J. one falls in love with the ocean and with the wildlife that lives there; and he makes you feel like you can made a difference. J. needs to be in front of as many people as possible, it would be best for all of us and especially for the oceans.”
--Leila Conners, Director, The 11th Hour, President, Tree Media Group
"J always provides an inspiring, well-focused, dynamic presentation. Students fully engage in what he has to say – leaving the classroom eager to get involved and make things happen. Many of these students seek J out with the goal of working with him on his projects. He has served as an important role model and motivator for young eager minds. And this is why I cajole J into talking to my class every year since I first started teaching it. I can think of few individuals with this gift."
--Dr. Don Croll, Univ. of California, Santa Cruz
“I’ve known Wallace “J” Nichols for 10 years. I had heard of him from others, but it wasn’t until we met that I fully understood why others find him so engaging.
Our bond took only minutes, but has lasted for years.
J is a passionate advocate for the environment who lives his creed. J is as authentic as anyone in the field—creative, entrepreneurial, bold, and innovative. He is an inspiration to everyone he meets—he is constantly inventing new environmental initiatives and enlisting others in his causes.
But he is most influential and inspirational when he speaks. I have heard him speak in front of high school and college students, scientists, and the general public. He holds audiences spellbound with his stories; he is a master of the metaphor. People are engaged by his sense of adventure and by his love of nature and people who interact with nature. Students often leave this experience saying, “I wanna be like J!”
So do I!”
--Dr. Larry Crowder, Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University
“Eight Adventure Travel World Summits later, only two of our featured speakers out of more than 60 have received overwhelming call-backs by the incredibly demanding and progressive audience that is the adventure tourism sector - and J's one of 'em. So, what did we do? We called him back to pick up where he left off in 2009, and he'll keynote the 2010 Adventure Travel World Summit. His talent's simply too hard to find these days - sure, he speaks year-round at conferences worldwide, but his tone, style and meaningful messages resonate in visceral ways, his talks are always fresh with every word uttered, and his accessible storytelling is packed with science...and heart and soul above all else.”
--Chris Doyle, Vice President, Adventure Travel Trade Association, Director of ATTA's Annual Adventure Travel World Summit events
"It’s rare to meet someone in your life that helps your brain work better, makes your courage grow, and makes your struggles and sacrifices seem small. We’ve had plenty of brilliant thinkers in the world of environmental conservation. There have been lots of excellent organizers. But, only a few times in our lives do we hear someone speak from the heart, with facts, wisdom, and humor on how to make decisions that define and drive the vision of the world we want to live in."
--Tim Dykman, co-Director, Ocean Revolution
"Wallace “J” Nichols is an amazing person with an incredible mission whose engaging and eloquent style captures an audience’s interest and attention. As travel radio broadcasters we know that it requires a special communication skill to paint a picture that would allow a listener to visualize a scene. This task is easier to accomplish when the speaker has a passion about his/her subject matter. Indeed, J clearly has a passion for his work and experiences and he shares this with a sense of compassion and urgency which encourages action and involvement from his audience.
--Ian and Tonya Fitzpatrick, Esqs., Hosts + Producers, Travel’n On Radio Show
Wallace J. Nichols: Changing Conversations For Good.
Dr. Wallace "J." Nichols, called “Keeper of the Sea" by GQ Magazine and “a visionary" by Outside Magazine is an innovative, silo-busting, entrepreneurial scientist, cross-sector leader, movement maker, renown marine biologist, voracious Earth and idea explorer, wild water advocate, bestselling author, sought after lecturer, and fun-loving Dad. He also likes turtles (a lot).
His experiences as a field research scientist, government consultant, founder and director of numerous businesses and nonprofit organizations, teacher, mentor, parent, and advisor all support his quest to build a stronger and more diverse blue movement.
Formerly a Senior Scientist at Ocean Conservancy, Nichols holds a B.A. degree from DePauw University in Biology and Spanish, an M.E.M. degree in Natural Resource Economics and Policy from Duke University, and a Ph.D.degree in Wildlife Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Arizona. He received a Bradley Fellowship to study the impacts of sea level rise at Duke University Marine Lab, a Marshall Fellowship to study at the University of Arizona, and a Fulbright Fellowship to study at the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico marine station in Mazatlan. In 2010 he delivered the commencement address at DePauw University where he also received an honorary doctorate in science. In 2011 he was inducted as a Fellow National member of the Explorers Club. In 2014 he received the University of Arizona's Global Acheivement Award.
He has authored more than 200 scientific papers, technical reports, book chapters, and popular publications; lectured in more than 30 countries; and appeared in hundreds of print, film, radio, and television media outlets including NPR, BBC, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, National Geographic, Animal Planet, Time, Newsweek, GQ, Outside Magazine, Elle, Vogue, Fast Company, Surfer Magazine, Scientific American, and New Scientist, among others.
His research interests span ocean and aquatic ecosystems, migratory species, marine protected areas, fisheries management, and plastic pollution with special emphasis on building new action networks and developing novel interdisciplanary solutions, sometimes involving so-called enemies. He takes a slow, collaborative approach with leaders in businesses, government, non-profits, and academia to inspire a deeper connection with nature and inventive approaches to pressing issues ranging from supplies of fresh water to improved hospice care for our aging population.
His current focus is on what he refers to as Blue Mind, a powerful new universal story of water. In this story society accurately describes all of the physical, ecological, economic, cognitive, emotional, psychological, and social benefits of healthy oceans and waterways. By connecting neuroscientists and psychologists with aquatic experts and artists to ask and answer exciting new questions his work is transforming many sectors, including: health and well-being; education and parenting; arts, architecture and design; real estate and urban planning; travel and leisure; and sports and recreation.
His book Blue Mind, published in summer 2014 by Little, Brown & Company, quickly became a national bestseller and has been translated to numerous languages and inspired a wave of media and practical application.
J. knows that inspiration comes sometimes through adventures, or simply by walking and talking. Other times through writing, images, and art. Science and knowledge can also stoke our fires. But he also knows that what really moves people is feeling part of and touching something bigger than ourselves. At every turn he encourages people to disconnect from the grid and reconnect with themselves, those they love, and the special places they care about.
His research, expeditions, and work as a guide have taken him to coasts and waterways across North, Central and South America, to Asia, Africa, Australia, and Europe where he continually finds that the emotional connection to waters of all kinds—rather than force or financial gain—is what keeps his colleagues and collaborators working hard to understand and restore our blue planet.
J. is currently a Senior Fellow at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies' Center for the Blue Economy, a Research Associate at California Academy of Sciences and co-founder of Ocean Revolution, an international network of young ocean advocates, SEEtheWILD, a conservation travel network, Grupo Tortuguero, an international sea turtle conservation network, and The Blue Mind Fund a global campaign to reconnect people to water.
He advises a motivated group of international graduate students and serves as an advisor to numerous non-profit boards and committees as part of his commitment to building a stronger, more progressive and connected environmental community.
J. lives with his partner Dana, two daughters and some cats, dogs and chickens on California's SLOWCOAST, a rural stretch of coastal mountains where organic strawberries rule, mountain lions roam and their motto is "In Slow We Trust". The Nichols chose to settle down in this area after trekking the entire 1,800 kilometer coast from Oregon to Mexico. "We liked it here", Nichols said.
Additional Booking Notes
I typically prefer to plug my MacBook in at the podium. That's it!
Past Booked Events
|February 02, 2018 • 5:00pm - 7:00pm||Episcopal School - Lynchburg, VA|
|January 13, 2018 • 7:00pm - 9:00pm||One Hundred Miles, Jekyll Is., GA|
|December 01, 2017 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm||Daytona State College|
|November 29, 2017 • 7:00pm - 9:00pm||Blackbird Books, San Francisco, CA|
|November 29, 2017 • 3:00pm - 5:00pm||Santa Catalina School|
|November 28, 2017 • 7:00pm - 9:00pm||Middlebury Inst. of Intern'l Studies, Monterey, CA|
Short fundrasing speech
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