The directors manage Deep HOPE and ensure that the organization is fulfilling its vital mission every day. They are constantly looking to the future and finding ways to support the development of the most cutting-edge technology for exploring the ocean depths.
Conservation and preservation of the ocean environment have been the guiding principles of Michael AW’s professional life for over 30 years. As an author, explorer and photographer he has become the recipient of over 65 international awards for his work. Michael’s photographs and essays have been featured in publications such as BBC Wildlife, National Geographic, the Smithsonian, Nature, Ocean Geographic, Asian Geographic, Nature Focus, Times and Discovery among others. Outdoor Photography named Michael one of the 40 most influential nature photographers on the planet and he has been the principal author of 31 books as well as a contributing author and/or photographer in 11 others. In addition, he has been a principal consultant for dozens of marine projects and has published a variety of instructional diving programs for NAUI. Michael AW is project director for the groundbreaking work Elysium Epic. This highly ambitious undertaking began in 2011 with a 57-member international team that travelled to the Antarctic retracing the
steps of Ernest Shakleton’s famous 1914 trans Antarctic journey in order to document global climate change. In 2015, the saga continued to the Arctic with a 65-member international team of artists, scientists, musicians and explorers including Dr. Sylvia Earle, David Doubilet, Jennifer Hayes, Ernie Brooks, Dr. Cabell Davis, Howard Shaw, and Leandro Blanco. The mission for this project is to promote understanding and awareness of the rapid climate changes our planet is experiencing and to highlight the plight of the species that are most at risk using images, art, music and solid science in order to be better able to influence critical climate policies globally. Look for the release of the film in the near future.
Tom Gruber is a researcher, designer, and entrepreneur, with a focus on technology to augment human intelligence. He was cofounder, CTO and VP Design for Siri, which created the first intelligent assistant for everyone. Siri was started in 2008, launched in early 2010, and soon after became part of Apple. Siri is now intrinsic to the Apple ecosystem, available on every new iPhone, iPad, Watch, Apple TV, and Mac. Siri is used around the world over 2 billion times a day. At Apple, Tom leads Advanced Development to bring AI to the UI for current and future products. Tom has also applied AI to support collective human intelligence. His research at Stanford in AI, particularly ontology engineering, helped lay the groundwork for semantic information sharing and the Semantic Web. He has created several products and companies that support human collaboration and knowledge sharing. He invented HyperMail, the widely used open-source application that turns email conversations into collective memories on the Web. He was founder and CTO of Intraspect
Software, which pioneered the space of Collaborative Knowledge Management — software that helps large communities of professionals contribute to and learn from a collective body of knowledge. He designed and built RealTravel.com, a popular collective knowledge system where travelers from around the world share their experiences. Tom has been involved in an advisory role with LinkedIn, Internet Archive, SocialText, Mindjet, (Radar Networks), and Powerset (now Microsoft). Tom is passionate about underwater photography and ocean conservation.
Heather Brown’s professional career has spanned over three decades, but her passion for marine conservation issues began early. At the age of 16, she successfully lobbied the seafood buyers at local supermarkets to stop selling shark meat. Since then she has worked on dozens of conservation, restoration and sustainability projects in both the public and private sectors. These have included beach and wetland restoration, harbor and waterfront cleanups, coral reef surveys, fish counts, grey water reclamation systems, urban aquaculture systems, polyculture farming systems and initiatives designed to introduce and educate children about their local marine environments. Her experience has been gained through the entertainment, tourism, hotel & resort, academic and non-profit industries while having worked for both the public and private sector. She has designed educational curriculums and materials for adult ESL classes as well as serving as a technical editor on several published works.
Heather Brown specializes in project management having experience in company formation, administration, management, mediation, PR, marketing, advertising, fund-raising and grant writing. She is bilingual in both English and Spanish utilizing this knowledge in community outreach programs addressing childhood nutrition, recycling and waste management. Heather has an AA degree in business and she is finishing her BA in Emergency & Disaster Management in order to better attend to and help manage the increasingly frequent anthropogenic environmental changes that are affecting us all. She is an SSI Scuba Instructor with advanced technical dive training in the areas of cave diving, mixed gas diving, ice diving and fast water rescue. Heather is based in Northern California where her partnership with her retired racehorse, Hestia, keeps her from spending too much time on Facebook.