Staff & Contributors


Peter Neill, Director

Peter Neill, Director, World Ocean ObservatoryPeter is founder and director of the World Ocean Observatory and serves as host of World Ocean Radio, a weekly podcast about the health of the ocean. In 2016 he received an appointment with the Climate Change Institute and represents the W2O as a Research Associate; he previously served 20 years as President of the South Street Seaport Museum, New York; is co-founder of The Sound School and The Harbor School; and has dedicated his career to marine affairs. He is the author of many non-fiction books related to ocean issues,  available wherever books are sold. He lives in downeast Maine with his partner Mary, a visual artist.



Trisha Badger, Managing Director

Trisha serves as the Managing Director for the World Ocean Observatory. She is Project Manager for World Ocean Explorer, Associate Editor of World Ocean Observer and World Ocean Journal, and is Producer of World Ocean Radio. Trisha majored in Creative Writing and 19th century British Literature at Hunter College in New York City; she brings years of maritime, experiential education and administrative experience to W2O, as well as board administration and relations, graphic design, book design and independent book publishing. For many years Trisha served as Director of Communications for The Apprenticeshop, a school for traditional wooden boat building in Rockland, Maine. In her free time she is a private chef, enjoys baking, gardening, rowing, paddleboarding, winter sports and anything else that gets her outdoors with friends family and dogs. She lives in midcoast Maine with her husband Kevin, an educator and builder of traditional wooden boats.


Benjamin Barrows, Director, World Ocean Explorer

We are thrilled to welcome Maine native Benjamin Barrows to the World Ocean Observatory team as the new Director of the World Ocean Explorer project. With a 15-year career in international social and economic development, Ben's expertise is a perfect fit for our mission. His experiences as a Founder, Strategic Advisor, Project Director, and Mentor to startup founders showcase his leadership and project management acumen. Coupled with his deep commitment to social impact and the natural world, Ben will lead our effort to bring the innovative, immersive W2O digital platform to learners around the world.


Bjorn Grigholm, PhD, Platform & Educational Developer

Jose Picas Do Vale | World Ocean Radio PortugueseBjorn is the Owner and Creative Director of Visual Solutions Lab and serves as content and platform developer and creative consultant for the World Ocean Observatory, creating an educational gaming experience (World Ocean Explorer) for students ages 10 and beyond. Bjorn is a research assistant professor at the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine, focusing on reconstructing past climate and environmental variability from ice core records stored in glaciers from around the world. As such, he actively works to introduce climate science and share climate data with the public in an approachable way via educational websites, applications, brochures, blogging, animations and short films. His interests also include resilience and vulnerability assessments, working with organizations such as the Union of Concerned Scientists, to help inform national-to-local scale climate adaptation and mitigation policy. He lives in Orono, Maine with his wife and their twin daughters.


John Smith

John is long-time web master, web developer and technical advisor for W2O. He is proprietor of Whitelancer Web Development and has been a programmer since the age of 14, and continues to expand his knowledge after having graduated with a degree in computer science in 2002. In 2007, he transformed Whitelancer Web Development into a full-time business, serving many midcoast Maine businesses and non-profit organizations.