On January 15, 2019, Rachel Kippen will begin work as Assistant Executive Director for O’Neill Sea Odyssey and when Executive Director Dan Haifley retires on March 20 she will assume leadership of the organization, which was founded in 1996 by Jack and Tim O’Neill and has provided free, ocean-going science and environmental education for more than 100,000 youth.
“Rachel Kippen has worked closely with O’Neill Sea Odyssey’s team since 2012, and she’s a perfect fit to lead our organization,” said Dan Haifley. “She’s an environmental educator and ocean advocate who possesses a wonderfully collaborative style of leadership, and I am so pleased that our Board of Directors has selected her. With Rachel Kippen at the helm, our future is bright.”
Rachel Kippen is an environmental advocate and artist. With her experience as Director of Programs at Save Our Shores and her tenure coordinating environmental initiatives at the City of Watsonville, she understands regional priorities for environmental education and the effort to stem ocean pollution, 80% of which comes from land via rivers and storm drains, or blown by wind.
Kippen’s background also includes experience increasing public accessibility to complex science and conservation research at the California Academy of Sciences and work as an environmental educator at the Marine Science Institute on San Francisco Bay, The Wetlands Institute, and Catalina Island Marine Institute.
Ms. Kippen holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from University of Redlands and a Certificate in Strategic Leadership and Nonprofit Management from San Francisco State University, and has focused her graduate research in environmental justice education through place and arts-based curriculum development, primarily in agricultural and immigrant communities.
Of mixed cultural heritage including Hawai’ian, Rachel endeavors to create inclusive educational opportunities for youth that incorporate diverse perspectives and are representative of the dynamic community she serves. In her free time, Rachel enjoys creating artwork from plastic pollution and spending time on the water with friends and loved ones.