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

When most of us think of volcanoes, we think of mountains, rising and looming over flat plateaus. Cone-shaped and spewing burning ash and molten rock in flows of hot orange-red rock. Washington State's St. Helen's and Italy's Mount Vesuvius are famous volcanic explosions. 


wikipedia.com

What animals do you think exhibit the most kaleidoscopic variety of colors and patterns, in the wildest diversity of forms in the animal kingdom? Tropical birds? Rainforest frogs?

baltimorewaterfront.com

Walk along the Jones Falls near Pier 6 in Baltimore's Inner Harbor and you're bound to notice an unusual contraption floating in the water. Called the Water Wheel, it's a strange combination of old and new technology that has been collecting and disposing of the Inner Harbor's trash and debris since May 2014. 

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.

semesteratsea.org

The largest turtle on Earth is the leatherback sea turtle, with a shell that’s up to 8 feet wide and a weight of more than 2,000 pounds. Sound big? Well, it is—until someone mentions Archelon, an ancient genus of monster turtles that once lived in a shallow sea covering what’s now South Dakota. Extinct for 80 million years, Archelon turtles made the leatherback look like, well, a shrimp.  

zmescience.com

Cascading tendrils of blue-green tentacles and a translucent, neon bell give the Portuguese man-of-war its otherworldly appearance.

aqua.org

The Greenland ice sheet is melting. Global temperatures are increasing. Sea level is rising. We've known this for awhile. So what's news? It's the pace of these changes.

Did you know? One out of every three bites of food you eat comes from pollinators. Without them, we wouldn’t have foods like blueberries, apples, chocolate and almonds.

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.

aqua.org

Manatees made headlines this winter when a group of them, including a mother and calf, became marooned in a Florida storm drain and had to be rescued by marine biologists with backhoes and earth-moving equipment. Why such heavy machinery?

aqua.org

Each year, over 2,300 pieces of legislation are introduced into the Maryland General Assembly. This year, one bill has the potential to make an impact on reducing the amount of pollution that enters our waterways.

aqua.org

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.

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. 

Wikipedia

The sea lamprey looks like the stuff of nightmares. An eel-like fish with a suction-cup mouth, 100-plus teeth and file-like tongue, it’s easy to imagine it searching the ocean, bays and lakes for its next meal.

cbf.org

Large, silvery-brown, snout-nosed, scute-covered, prehistoric-looking Atlantic sturgeon have been swimming the seas and coming up East Coast rivers to breed since dinosaurs roamed the Earth.

climate.org

You’d have to drive from California to New York and back—TWICE—to fully appreciate the distance traveled by the gray whale every year. This species takes the credit for longest migration route of any mammal, traveling 12,000 miles from the icy waters of the Arctic to the warm lagoons of Baja, Mexico, and back again.

Wikipedia

We have five senses; ask any schoolchild and they can rattle them off on the fingers of one hand: hearing, taste, smell, touch and sight.

livescience.com

When it comes to biodiversity, the Amazon is practically unrivaled. Spanning 6.7 million square kilometers, this South American region is twice the size of India and houses at least 10 percent of the world’s known species. Twelve hundred new species of plants and vertebrates were discovered between 1999 and 2009 alone.

Wikipedia

Tridacna gigas, the giant clam of the Indo-Pacific, is the largest bivalve mollusk on Earth and the world's only sun-powered clam. It hosts a thick layer of zooxanthellae in its tissues and gets up to 90 percent of its nutrition from their photosynthesis.

aqua.org

Where does your seafood come from? You may be thinking about your favorite restaurant or your local grocery store. But the fact is, some seafood takes a circuitous route to get from the sea to your plate, and along the way can get a little, well, lost.

www.nationalgeographic.com

Its eye is the size of your head. It lives more than 3,000 feet deep in oceans around the world and is 30 feet long, yet it lacks a backbone. With eight arms and two tentacles, it is the origin of the myth of the Kraken.

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