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.

aqua.org

Many of us have a romantic image of fishing: a weather-beaten waterman aboard a small fishing boat, hauling in a handmade rope net as a sou’wester approaches.

aqua.org

Our planet is misnamed. With 71 percent of it underwater, what we call Earth is really a water planet. For us earthlings, who can only thrive on land, that’s a problem, one compounded by our inability to live where it’s too cold, hot, dry or wet for us.

aqua.org

For most fish, the line Dory utters in the popular Disney movie “Finding Nemo” is no exaggeration. Sounds exhausting, right? But you’re unlikely to catch a fish closing its eyes for a quick catnap.

seathos.org

Imagine if the air you breathed changed your behavior. You might become reckless or disoriented, even experience loss of sight or sound. Yet, what if you had to breathe that bad air anyway, just to survive? This is a scenario that many fish and other aquatic animals could actually face in the near future, with the very seawater that they rely on to exist.

aqua.org

Zooplankton, the microscopic invertebrates consisting of small animals and the immature stages of larger animals, move up and down the water column in a type of migration called diel vertical migration.

pbs.org

Need an icebreaker for your next dinner party? Here’s one you can share while nibbling hors d'oeuvres: “Did you know your skull and head is organized like an extinct jawless fish?” Take your philtrum, for example. That’s the groovy indentation on your top lip just beneath your nose.

aqua.org

"This is the ship of pearl, which poets feign, sails the unshadowed main / and its dim dreaming life was wont to dwell /as the frail tenant of its growing shell." Oliver Wendell Holmes described this remarkable creature in his 1858 poem “The Chambered Nautilus.”

It's easy to think of science as clear, clean and linear - the progressive accumulation of information driving a steady increase in our understanding of the world.  But, in truth, it's messy.  There are fits and starts. Bafflement. Wrong turns. Dead ends.  Head-scratching questions that defy answers. There are also a lot of happy accidents, often made by people not even in science - as the workers on an oil and gas rig off the coast of Angola discovered in August of 2015.

nytimes.com

If you had to guess the most common vertebrate on the planet, you might say deer or squirrels. Maybe mice or factory-farmed chicken? Even humans? 

 

aqua.org

Earth’s ice is expansive. In fact, 10 percent of the planet’s land mass is covered in ice—like glaciers, ice caps and ice sheets—spanning more than 5 million square miles. 

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