With more than 20 years experience in environmental non-profit work —including marine conservation, coastal watershed management, community relations, and bilingual and sustainability education — Anna Cummins is an expert in the field. Her “Synthetic Sea, Synthetic Me” TEDx talk has been viewed and shared by thousands. Anna received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University, and a MA in Environmental Policy from the Middlebury Institute for International Studies.

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Hometown: Santa Monica, CA

Education: M.A. in International Environmental Policy

Occupation: Environmental educator

Expeditions: Completed the first global survey of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans, across the North Pacific, North Atlantic, South Pacific, South Atlantic, and Indian Ocean gyres

Favorite Place to Be: A lush, coastal redwood forest, the ocean in sight, and my husband by my side

Accomplishments: Founding the 5 Gyres Institute, with Dr. Marcus Eriksen, to study plastic pollution in the world’s 5 subtropical gyres 

Favorite Items in the Field: UGG boots, cycling arm warmers, documentaries, books, and my mother’s chocolate biscotti 

Personal Heroes: Rachel Carson, Wangari Maathai, Vandana Shiva, and the millions of unsung heroes working every day to protect our planet

Hobbies: Cooking, hiking, cycling, playing tango violin, traveling with a purpose, organizing big dinner parties for friends, time with my family

Website: www.5gyres.org

Advice: Enjoy every moment with your loved ones – our time together is fleeting. 


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