The Gray Whale Migration Route Expedition Team
The Cousteau team has been on expeditions almost continuously for the past sixty years. Team members have come and gone and many have come back continuously for the next adventure. This list represents those team members who have been a part of the past, the present and may well be a part of future expeditions.
JEAN-MICHEL COUSTEAU, PRESIDENT, OCEAN FUTURES SOCIETY
Explorer, environmentalist, educator, film producer---for more than four decades Jean-Michel Cousteau has communicated to people of all nations and generations his love and concern for our water planet. The son of ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, Jean-Michel founded Ocean Futures Society in 1999 to carry on this pioneering work and to honor his heritage. Jean-Michel serves as an impassioned diplomat for the environment, reaching out to the public through a variety of media, producing over 75 films, receiving Emmy awards, the Peabody Award, the 7 d'Or, and the Cable Ace Award, and authoring hundreds of articles and several books. Jean-Michel travels the globe, meeting with leaders and policymakers at the grassroots level and at the highest echelons of government and business, educating young people, documenting stories of change and hope, and lending his reputation and support to energize alliances for positive change.
CÉLINE COUSTEAU, TEAM MEMBER
Whether Céline is free diving, horse riding, hiking through the Andes or swimming with sharks in the South Pacific, the daughter of ocean explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau and granddaughter of legendary oceanaut Jacques-Yves Cousteau is an adventurer in her own right. With a master’s degree in international and intercultural management from the School for International Training in Brattleboro, VT., Céline served as regional coordinator for Africa and the Middle East for the Earth Council Alliance. She also led excursions as travel guide and regional director for Butterfield & Robinson, an exclusive adventure travel company based in Toronto. She first joined her father during the filming of The Gray Whale Obstacle Course and has been working on documentaries around the world ever since. She acted as associate producer, expedition diver and logistics coordinator for Return to the Amazon, during which she led a small team 4,900 metres up into the Andes and negotiated access to an indigenous conference never before filmed by a foreign crew. She lives in New York City.
CHUCK DAVIS, DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Chuck Davis has worked as a director of photography and/or camera operator on several IMAX and IMAX-DOME feature documentaries including the Academy Award-nominated Alaska: Spirit of the Wild, and the Academy Award-nominated The Living Sea. Davis worked as an underwater camera operator on the Warner Brothers feature film, Sphere, and his production experience includes work on C.L.I.O. award-winning commercials and CINE Golden Eagle award-winning documentaries. Davis has worked on films with both Jacques and Jean-Michel Cousteau for more than twenty years. "I will miss many wonderful friends we made along the journey. As anyone who films in remote exotic locations knows, to be effective in these faraway places, you need the help of local folks who really know the waters—the lay of the land, so to speak—and who can speak the language and act as liaison to bridge the differences between cultures. We were very fortunate to have the help of many local folks—scientists, naturalists, conservationists, interpreters, boat operators, local business operators and government officials—who, in many cases, went the extra distance for us to make our film a reality."
LORI KALLESTAD, ASSISTANT CAMERA OPERATOR
Kallestad Davis, a Minnesota native holds a BA in Visual Journalism from Brooks Institute of Photography. Her commitment to support the X-Team has landed her multiple roles. She worked on three episodes of the series as: A.C., additional camera operator and location sound engineer. In addition to working on The Ocean Adventures series for PBS, she has worked as a camera operator for A&E, Discovery Times, TBN, NRB and various independent film and video projects. Currently she is staff editor/videographer for Joni and Friends International Disability Center, a ministry that collects and restores used wheelchairs and distributes them, free of charge, to people in developing countries worldwide. In 2002 her love for the ocean, sailing and diving compelled her to move aboard her sailboat full time in Ventura, CA.
MATTHEW FERRARO, STILL PHOTOGRAPHER/ASSISTANT CAMERA OPERATOR/CAMERA OPERATOR/MARINE OPERATIONS
Matt graduated from California State University Monterey Bay in 1999 with a degree in earth system sciences and policy. As an original expedition member for Jean-Michel Cousteau’s six-part Ocean Adventures PBS series, Matt’s duties have encompassed research, still photography, second unit camera operation, underwater lighting and marine operations. Currently he is staff cinematographer and in charge of diving operations for Ocean Futures Society.
JIM KNOWLTON, CAMERA OPERATOR
Editor and cameraman Jim Knowlton has helped create films for Ocean Futures Society since 1999. In addition to working as Post Production Supervisor on the Ocean Adventures series, his credits include editor and associate producer on "Sea Ghosts", cameraman and associate producer on "The Gray Whale Obstacle Course", co-editor and associate producer on "America’s Underwater Treasures", and associate producer on "Sharks at Risk". Knowlton previously worked on shark documentaries for the Discovery Channel, including "Sharks of the Deep Blue" (underwater cameraman and editor), "Sharks in a Desert Sea" and "Sharks of the Atlantic" (underwater cameraman).
BLAIR MOTT, CHIEF DIVER
As Ocean Futures Society’s chief diver, Blair’s expert skills have enabled him to lead and supervise diving teams in 45 countries in a vast array of conditions, in environments as remote and unforgiving as the polar regions and the Amazon. He is responsible for training the expedition team in advanced diving techniques, and helps to design, test and maintain a wide variety of critical marine operations equipment. A graduate of Santa Barbara City College’s world-renowned Marine Diving Technologies Program, Blair has logged thousands of hours underwater, including time spent working on the Keiko Project in Iceland. He lives in Santa Barbara with his wife Aime.
ANTOINE ROSSET, CAMERA OPERATOR
Born to a French family in Hong Kong and growing up on the pristine beaches of the Philippines, Rosset has a cameraman’s eye and a sense of adventure. A resident of Normandy, France, he also spends time in his darkroom, often in order to send images back to those people who are the subjects of his camera but never have the chance to see themselves. He believes in giving back and one way is to work on missions like Voyage to Kure for Ocean Futures Society. Working as an assistant cameraman, Rosset has worked on Cousteau documentaries around the world for the past 20 years.
DON SANTEE, DIRECTOR OF EXPEDITIONS
Santee has worked side by side with both Jean-Michel Cousteau and Jacques Cousteau for over three decades. Assuming diverse duties as expedition leader and production manager, he coordinates everything from diving expeditions to film logistics. An underwater photographer for books and magazines, he has also worked on over 26 television documentaries. In addition to acting as the team's medical officer, Santee is also responsible for training the Ocean Futures team on advanced technical dive procedures and working with state-of-the-art closed circuit rebreathers. Santee makes his home in Santa Barbara, California, with his wife Hilary and son Edward.
PAMELA STACEY, CO-PRODUCER/WRITER
Pamela Stacey is an Emmy-nominated writer for a variety of film projects, including work as producer and writer of a one-hour ABC network special on dolphins, writer and producer of films for Ocean Futures Society/PBS productions, Cousteau Society/Turner Broadcasting, and IMAX feature films. Pam served as chief editor for the Cousteau Society’s "Dolphin Log" magazine for children and is an author/editor of books about water, coral reefs and ocean protection. Ms. Stacey has written and co-written several episodes of the Ocean Adventures series including "The Gray Whale Obstacle Course", "Sharks at Risk", "America’s Underwater Treasures", and "Return to the Amazon". She resides in Southern California.
BYRON THOMPSON, CO-PRODUCER/CREATIVE DIRECTOR/EDITOR
Creative Director and Editor for the Ocean Adventures series, Thompson is also a writer, producer, and director of feature films and television programs. His editing credits for Ocean Adventures include "Return to the Amazon", "Voyage to Kure" and "Sharks at Risk", as well as co-editing "The Gray Whale Obstacle Course" and "America's Underwater Treasures". His other projects have included the features "Warrior Angels", with Golden Globe winner Rutger Hauer (2002, director and screenplay), and "Stonebrook", with teen choice nominee Seth Green (1998, director and producer).
CARRIE VONDERHAAR, EXPEDITION PHOTOGRAPHER/ASSISTANT CAMERA OPERATOR
As chief expedition photographer for Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Adventures PBS series, Carrie was the first woman to dive Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary on a closed-circuit rebreather and to work with Jean-Michel as both a topside and underwater camera operator. She is also the only expedition member to travel the entire length of the Amazon from the Andes to the Atlantic for Return to the Amazon. Her degrees in French, political science and fine arts from Wittenberg University in Ohio and advanced studies at the Université Rennes 2 in France led to studies at the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara. Carrie was the photographer and photo editor for Jean-Michel’s award-winning, limited-edition book America’s Underwater Treasures, and her images have been published in DIVER, Worth, Sublime, Santa Barbara Magazine, Outside, Men’s Journal, Outdoor Enthusiast, Reader’s Digest, SAVEUR and Discover, as well as various international magazines.