CMBC Hosts Knowlton-Jackson Speaker Series

Group of people stand in an open space with a blue table in the middle.

On March 28th, CMBC hosted the Knowlton-Jackson Lecture, held at Scripps Seaside Forum. The Knowlton-Jackson Lecture series invites and awards distinguished practitioners for their work and accomplishments to advance marine biodiversity and conservation. At the Forum, CMBC gathered with over 100 attendees from the local community, UC San Diego, and Scripps Oceanography to celebrate our featured speakers. This year’s alumni speaker was CMBC graduate Dr. Jen Le, and our distinguished keynote speaker was Dr. Diva Amon. 

Lecture hall with projector featuring a blue screen and text. A crowd sits in the foreground of the image, and a woman (Dr. Jen Le) located on the lower left of the image is presenting.

Dr. Jen Le presents her talk at the Knowlton-Jackson 2024 lecture. Photo credit: Kayla Blincow

Dr. Jen Le was part of the PIER program at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, from which she graduated with a PhD in Oceanography in 2020. In 2022, she joined the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). At BOEM, Dr. Le engages in management of deep-ocean exploration and characterization, offshore wind energy development, an emerging program in geological carbon sequestration, critical minerals, and few interagency working groups, including the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network. Her work sits at the intersection of science, policy, and coordination, and she has garnered a number of competitive fellowships and awards.

Dr. Le’s talk, titled “Reinforcing the role of science in environmental decision-making,” touched on her career trajectory and her path to impact in marine science. She also explored responsible development, environmental regulations, and marine policy. In her discussion of both her personal path and current decision-making practices in environmental policy, Dr. Le illuminated the intersections of science and policy as a vehicle for change. 

In front of crowd in the foreground, a woman (Dr. Diva Amon) presents in a lecture hall. She stands to the left of a projector screen featuring a diagram of the deep ocean.

Dr. Diva Amon presents her keynote speech at the Knowlton-Jackson 2024 lecture.

Dr. Diva Amon, the Knowlton-Jackson featured speaker, was born in Trinidad and Tobago and received her PhD from the University of Southampton. She is currently a scientific advisor for the Benioff Ocean Science Laboratory at UC Santa Barbara, and directs the NGO SpeSEAS in Trinidad and Tobago, which she founded in 2017. Additionally, Diva has served as a diplomat for science at the international level. She serves on the leadership of the Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI), and is the co-lead of the DOSI Biodiversity task force. She was former lead of the DOSI Minerals Working Group, and is now a State Delegate at the International Seabed Authority (ISA) for Trinidad and Tobago.

Dr. Diva Amon’s talk, titled “The Deep Ocean: Out of Sight, Out of Mind, and Under Pressure,” covered the multitudinous values of the deep ocean, and the various anthropogenic pressures currently threatening benthic environments. Dr. Amon spoke about her many incredible voyages to the deep sea, sharing stunning visuals from her expeditions. Additionally, Dr. Amon advocated for representation in ocean sciences, and covered how much of deep ocean science is done in the waters of nations who do not ultimately have access to the science conducted in their territories. Finally, Dr. Amon covered the current threats to the deep ocean, speaking extensively about the proposed processes, potential risks, and policy surrounding deep seabed mining. 

In front of crowd in the foreground, a woman (Dr. Diva Amon) presents in a lecture hall. She stands to the left of a projector screen featuring a diagram of the deep ocean.

CMBC was thrilled to host both Drs. Jen Le and Diva Amon for this lecture series, and extends thanks for their presence and outstanding speeches. Also, CMBC extends gratitude both to Nancy Knowlton and Jeremy Jackson for making this wonderful event possible.