John Racanelli | WYPR

John Racanelli

Host, A Blue View

As chief executive officer, John Racanelli leads a team of 600 full and part-time employees and 1,000 volunteers in pursuing the National Aquarium’s mission to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures.  More than 1.5 million people annually visit the Aquarium’s venue in Baltimore, Maryland, while millions more are touched by the Aquarium’s education programs, outreach activities, social media campaigns and conservation initiatives.

A passionate advocate for the ocean, John strives to drive conservation action worldwide, ensure the success of one of the nation’s leading aquarium enterprises, and fundamentally change the way the world views the ocean and aquatic systems.

John joined the National Aquarium in July 2011 after 10 years as president of Racanelli Partners, Inc. The San Francisco-based consulting firm served the needs of nonprofit leaders nationally and globally, focusing on cultural and conservation organizations including Mission Blue/Sylvia Earle Alliance, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and the Surfrider Foundation.

After co-founding Mission Blue with author and oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle, John assisted her in developing and launching Google Ocean, Google’s most significant enhancement of Google Earth, the most popular earth visualization tool in existence.

Prior to founding his firm, John spent 16 years in leadership positions at U.S. aquariums. He was the first CEO of the Florida Aquarium in Tampa, where he built the facility, team and vision for Tampa Bay’s leading cultural attraction.  He also served for nine years on the leadership team of the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium as its vice president of marketing and development, joining the aquarium a year before its opening. While in college, John began his career as a diver and aquarist, an experience that he credits with giving him great appreciation for the work of everyone on the aquarium team.

Fluent in Spanish, John holds a degree in strategic management from Dominican University of California. He is a SCUBA diver, open-water swimmer, sailor and surfer. His weekly radio show and podcast on WYPR public radio, “A Blue View,” explores important issues related to the aquatic world. John and his family are proud residents of Canton, Baltimore’s historic waterfront district.

The Buzz About Bees

May 17, 2017
DOELAY/FLICKR

John Racanelli shares the latest information about the health of bees.

This episode originally aired on December 13, 2016.

Aquaculture

May 10, 2017
Bytemarks/flickr

We all want to do what's best for our ocean planet but we're drowning in choices. And consumers are asking 'what is best?' In this episode, John sheds some light on seafood and aquaculture.

This episode originally aired on Dec. 27, 2016. 

Dunes

May 2, 2017
The National Aquarium

They might just look like piles of sand, but ocean sand dunes play a critical role in protecting our waterfront communities from the devastating effects of storm systems while providing important natural habitat for dozens of species. Let’s take a closer look!

Climate Change

Apr 24, 2017
The National Aquarium

With 2016 on the books as the hottest year on record after a string of increasingly warm years, let’s take a look at the simple things that each of us can do every day to make a positive difference in the fight against climate change. 

Sondes

Apr 19, 2017
The National Aquarium

When we talk about improvements in local water quality, what does that mean? Moreover, how can we be sure? Take a listen to learn more about the technology at work in assessing the Inner Harbor. 

All About Algae

Apr 11, 2017
Kichigin/Shutterstock

All over our blue planet, wherever you find water, you’ll find algae. From tiny microorganisms to forests of kelp that grow a foot a day, algae are useful and fascinating—but often undervalued and misunderstood.

A Green Kitchen

Apr 4, 2017
A Blue View

When looking to make a positive conservation impact, start in the heart of your home. Your kitchen is full of opportunities for going greener. Here are some simple suggestions. 

Jellyfish

Mar 28, 2017
The National Aquarium

Mysterious, misunderstood jellyfish are swimming right in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Let's take a look at what their presence indicates and how climate change is playing a role. 

Urban Conservation

Mar 22, 2017
NATIONAL AQUARIUM/FLICKR

John and Curtis Bennett, Conservation Project Manager at the National Aquarium discuss urban conservation efforts. 

This segment originally aired on Jan. 3, 2017.

Dunes

Mar 14, 2017
The National Aquarium

They might just look like piles of sand, but ocean sand dunes play a critical role in protecting our waterfront communities from the devastating effects of storm systems while providing important natural habitat for dozens of species. Let’s take a closer look!

Blue Crabs

Feb 28, 2017

Their Latin name means beautiful swimmers and they are not only our state crustacean, but also an excellent indicator of the health of the Chesapeake Bay. Let’s take a closer look at blue crabs.

Climate Change

Feb 21, 2017
The National Aquarium

With 2016 on the books as the hottest year on record after a string of increasingly warm years, let’s take a look at the simple things that each of us can do every day to make a positive difference in the fight against climate change. 

The National Aquarium

Each winter the National Aquarium rehabilitates sea turtles that have been 'cold stunned.' Jennifer Dittmar, the Aquarium's Marine Animal Rescue Manager joins John to discuss why her team has been seeing more of these turtles over the past few years.

The American Eel

Feb 8, 2017
Theresa Keil, National Aquarium

They’re seldom seen, but Baltimore’s Inner Harbor plays an important role in their lifecycle. Learn more about American Eels.

George Grall, National Aquarium

Each fall, the National Aquarium’s Animal Rescue team takes in cold stunned turtles from the northeast region. Learn more about what this condition means in these endangered animals.

It's Electric!

Jan 24, 2017

This segment originally aired on May 10, 2016.    

There's no better word to describe the electric eel than, well, shocking. Part of that shock, as it turns out, was the discovery that it isn't a real eel at all. While it exhibits a long, smooth, snake-like body, the electric eel is scientifically classified as a knifefish, a cousin to the carp and catfish-only with maximum voltage.

The electric eel's charge is like that of a Taser, except while a Taser delivers 19 high-voltage pulses per second, the electric eel produces an astounding 400 pulses per second.

Fish That Make Sound

Jan 17, 2017
AQUA.ORG

This segment aired on Feb. 16, 2016

When you think of an animal that purrs, grunts, croaks or hums, I’ll bet it’s not a fish. But, I’ll let you in on a secret: More than 150 species of fish on the East Coast of the U.S. are what scientists call “somniferous.” They make noise. Lots of it.

The Dumbo Octopus

Jan 10, 2017
OCEAN.SI.EDU

In the vast midwaters of the open ocean, there’s an animal so adorable that the Smithsonian Institution’s website said, "If this video doesn't inspire a whole cadre of budding teuthologists, we don't know what will." Any amateur teuthologists out there want to hazard a guess as to what group of animals they’re referring? Here’s a hint: teuthology is the study of squids and octopuses.

National Aquarium/flickr

John and Curtis Bennett, Conservation Project Manager at the National Aquarium discuss urban conservation efforts. 

Aquaculture

Dec 27, 2016
Bytemarks/flickr

We all want to do what's best for our ocean planet but we're drowning in choices. And consumers are asking 'what is best?' In this episode, John sheds some light on seafood and aquaculture.

Mad About Menhaden

Dec 20, 2016
Brian Gratwicke/flickr

Why are Atlantic Menhaden in demand? Listen to find out!

The Buzz About Bees

Dec 13, 2016
DoeLay/flickr

John Racanelli shares the latest information about the health of bees. 

animals.howstuffworks.com

It’s unusual for people to have an incredible sense of smell. In the perfume industry, these people are called "noses." But in reality, you don't smell with your nose, you smell with your brain. Our sense of smell increases until we’re about eight years old, then plateaus and declines as we age. Yet even the best "noses" pale in comparison to others in the Animal Kingdom.

 

    

Hidden just beneath the surface of the Inner Harbor in five distinct locations is a new type of garden: an oyster garden.

These installations are the product of the Great Baltimore Oyster Partnership, a collaboration between the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, local businesses and area schools.

aqua.org

Don’t be deceived by the desolate look of a mudflat. These areas of mud or sandy mud, which line thousands of miles of Chesapeake Bay shoreline, are hiding a rich variety of life.

Put your sturdy hip-wader boots on, because today we're wading into ... the mud. If you’ve spent any time on the Chesapeake Bay, you’ve felt mud between your toes. That’s because our watershed consists of miles and miles of mudflats.

ocean.nationalgeographic.com

    

The deep ocean is an extreme habitat, challenging and expensive to get to and to study. It is cold, under tremendous pressure from the weight of all the water above, and so very dark. It's mysterious, and completely foreign to us light-loving landlubbers. We know more about the surface of the moon than we do the bottom of the sea. The deep sea is not deserted, though, as was once thought.

animalpicturesociety.com

With a multiplicity of thin wafer-white triangles, each one dangerous and serrated, we know a top predator when we see one. The great white shark is the largest predatory fish alive.

WWW.CHESAPEAKEBAY.NET

Many Chesapeake Bay locals have felt the sting of a sea nettle at least once in their life; it’s sometimes an unfortunate consequence of the activities we enjoy on our waterways.

aqua.org

    

When Captain John Smith first explored the Patapsco River in 1608, it was ringed by natural wetlands that provided habitat to native wildlife and filtered the water. It may be hard to imagine, but before Baltimore became a thriving seaport, the Inner Harbor was likely vibrantly colored with a plethora of lush green vegetation resting on the water’s surface.

aqua.org

There's no better word to describe the electric eel than, well, shocking. Part of that shock, as it turns out, was the discovery that it isn't a real eel at all. While it exhibits a long, smooth, snake-like body, the electric eel is scientifically classified as a knifefish, a cousin to the carp and catfish-only with maximum voltage.

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