meet the team

Linda Cabot
Founder and President

Linda is a visual artist who credits a lifetime of sailing for her love affair with the ocean. She founded From the Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs to inspire and support the next generation of ocean caretakers. She believes in the power of art, prose and film to raise awareness about ocean conservation and enjoys seeing all the tremendous works of creativity and ingenuity that are submitted to the program. She serves on the Board of Women Working for Oceans (W2O) and is a trustee of the New England Aquarium.

Linda is also devoted to educational reform and values quality education for all children. She serves on the boards of the Neighborhood House Charter School and Horizons, a summer enrichment program for underserved youth. She is co-chair of the education cornerstone committee and an overseer at the Isabella Stuart Gardener Museum.

Alyssa Irizarry
Program Director

Originally from the suburbs of New York, Alyssa attended Tufts University and double majored in Environmental Studies and Art History. She spent a semester abroad in Baja California Sur, Mexico, where she studied coastal and marine ecosystems and discovered a way to combine her two passions—environmental advocacy and art—by conducting research on the use of sea turtle murals as an education tool by conservation groups.

Alyssa has been an educator at The Science Barge and The Florida Aquarium, and she participated in a teaching fellowship at The Island School in The Bahamas, where she co-taught a Land & Environmental Art course and led community outreach activities. Prior to Bow Seat, Alyssa managed the marketing department at The School for Field Studies, an environmental study abroad provider.

Anne Leslie
Operations Manager

The desire to make a difference and to be inspired has guided Anne’s career path in the social sector. Her experience includes managing special projects for a youth development organization; creating Cause Branding programs for national companies; and providing administrative support for a high school debate program. Anne is the doting mother of three young sons. She volunteers as their school’s grant writer and programs coordinator, and loves spending time with them at her “happy places” – the beach and baseball fields.

Hilary Hanson Bruel
Graphic Designer and Website Manager

Hilary has been a part of the From The Bow Seat team since 2010, when she designed the original website and marketing materials for the film. Since then she has continued to expanded and redesign the website and print materials to keep pace with the growing contests and other FTBS initiatives. Hilary graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. in Visual and Environmental Studies, and has over 20 years of design experience working for a wide range of clients — from small businesses and non-profits to large corporations.

contest judges

Karen Alexander

Karen Alexander, M.A., came to ocean science through history. Since 2001 she has participated in the new field of historical ecology, and is now at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Karen investigates the oceans’ living past using historical documents, old maps and objects. Then she collaborates with scientists to analyze this evidence in order to tell a more complete, more human story about the changing ocean. Her articles have appeared in scientific and historical journals and in books, and she has contributed to numerous documentaries, including the PBS film Cod Comeback? Her edited volumes include Shifting Baselines, the Past and Future of Ocean Science, and she paints in her spare time.

Ellen Bechtel

Ellen graduated from Wellesley College with a degree in Environmental Studies and Geoscience, along with a healthy obsession with all things watery. For three months she sailed across the Pacific Ocean as a researcher and crew member on the SSV Robert C Seamans studying how climate changes makes the surface of the ocean form layers, and how it affects tropical storm formation.

Tim Carey

Tim taught English for 50 years at a variety of schools including Roxbury Latin, Nobles, Middlebury College and the Thatcher School in Ojai California. Recently retired, he spends his time volunteering at Nativity Preparatory School in Boston and at Boston Children's Hospital. I spend much of my free time photographing local sports events, and most recently shot for the BU Women's Soccer team this past fall.

Mik Cooper

Mik Cooper grew up in New York City and attended Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine where she received her BA in Visual Arts. After graduating, Mik moved to Eleuthera, The Bahamas to work as the on-island Communications & Alumni Relations associate for The Island School where she also served as a faculty member. There she was responsible for producing, editing and managing visual content used to market, celebrate and engage the various branches of the organization with external constituents. During her tenure there, Mik was able to create work for the United Nations, Jack Johnson and also contributed to a piece for CNN. Mik now lives and works in New York City as a producer for a small production house called All:Expanded. There she helps produce and coordinate projects ranging from commercial digital content to music videos to short films.

Betsy Edie

Betsy Edie has been involved in education for 30 years. She has taught English at several independent schools, and most recently has focused on urban students by tutoring at Epiphany School, Bridge Boston, and Beacon Academy. Along with her husband, Rick, and their three daughters, Betsy spends her summers in Jamestown, RI, enjoying all the beauty of Narragansett Bay.

Sara Ellis

Sara Ellis, Ph.D. has studied marine biology since 1981, researching a wide variety of animals of including whales, seals, lobsters, and octopus. She enjoys sharing her passion about the ocean with people of all ages and has taught teenagers intertidal sampling techniques through the Summer Science in New England Program. Sara has written and edited articles on marine science and policy, including marine mammals, fisheries, oceanography, and biodiversity. Her publications have appeared in magazines, newspapers, and scientific journals. She currently works for the Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation and serves as a Board member of the Gulf of Maine Marine Education Association.

Jennifer Jean

Jennifer Jean is a poet, educator, and activist. Her most recent poetry collection is The Fool; her poetry chapbooks include: Fishwife, In the War, and The Archivist. She’s released a collaborative CD called Fishwife Tales which is comprised of rock ballads, art songs, and accompanied recitations. Her poetry and essays have appeared in over 60 journals and anthologies, including: Rattle Magazine, Waxwing, Tidal Basin Review, Mud City Journal, Solstice, Green Mountains Review, and more. Jennifer is Poetry Editor for The Mom Egg Review, Managing Editor of Talking Writing Magazine, and Co-director of Morning Garden Artist Retreats. She teaches poetry workshops at Free2Write and writing at Boston-area universities.

Ellen Giradeau Kempler

Ellen Girardeau Kempler, M.A., is an award-winning nonfiction writer and poet whose work has been extensively published both in print and online. A solo writing trip to Ireland inspired her to launch her website, Gold Boat Journeys (Creative Cultural Travel). She is certified as an Amherst Writers and Artists workshop leader and is a member of the American Association of Writers and Writers Programs. She has 25 years of experience directing marketing communications programs for museums, aquariums and environmental organizations. She lives near a Marine Protected Zone in Laguna Beach, California.

Sharon Lax

Sharon Lax is a writer and teacher, living just north of Montréal, and currently teaching English to elementary-school age children and to adults. She's active in environmental justice, working in human rights and in sensitizing people to issues regarding other sentient non-human animals and the inter-connection of all Earth's inhabitants. Sharon's fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry has been published in various journals. Her true love - nature - is a constant companion and finds its way into her stories and poetry.

Brenda Leong

Brenda, an Artists For Humanity (AFH) alumna, continued intensive study in the arts in college, earning a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Interior Design from Syracuse University. Following her passion with the arts, Brenda returns to AFH as the Exhibition Manager to coordinate exhibitions by curating teen-created artworks for individuals and businesses in the Greater Boston Area. In her endeavor, she combines her love for design and her passion for social enterprise as a vehicle for youth development.

Holly Morin

Holly Morin is a Marine Biologist and Education Specialist at the the University of Rhode Island’s Inner Space Center(ISC) located at the Graduate School of Oceanography in Narragansett, RI. Her work at the ISC involves the development, coordination, and promotion of interactive, ocean science websites, as well as public outreach and education initiatives, including oceanography and underwater exploration camp programs for middle through high school students, tours, and other educational programs offered through the ISC. Prior to her position at URI, Holly worked on large whale conservation and management issues with NOAA Fisheries, and she is currently an active member of the Mystic Aquarium Marine Mammal Stranding Network. Holly graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a Bachelor of Science (marine biology focus) and a minor in Art. She then went on to receive her Master’s Degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from Texas A&M University (marine mammal focus). Holly’s graduate work focused on the diving behavior and movement patterns of young Steller sea lions in Prince William Sound, Alaska.

Rebecca Givens Rolland

Rebecca Givens Rolland, Ed.D., is a writer, educator, speech-language pathologist, and consultant. Her full-length book of poetry, The Wreck of Birds, won the May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize. She also has a chapbook out through Dancing Girl Press and another forthcoming in 2017. Her poems have appeared in dozens of national periodicals, including the Kenyon Review, Cincinnati Review, and Gettysburg Review, and she won the Dana Award in Short Fiction. She serves as a poetry manuscript consultant through Grub Street and teaches at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Wesley Rothman

Wesley Rothman grew up in Los Angeles, earned a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of San Diego, as well as a Master of Fine Arts from Emerson College in Boston. He is now a doctoral candidate at The Catholic University of America. He has lived no more than thirty minutes from the ocean throughout his life—an essential relationship. The author of the forthcoming poetry collection, SUBWOOFER, Rothman’s poems and criticism have appeared in publications including Gulf Coast, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest,New England Review, Callaloo, Boston Review, Publishers Weekly, and Harvard Review, among others. He has served in editorial and advising roles for Ploughshares, Salamander, the Mass Poetry Festival, Copper Canyon Press, Narrative, and Tupelo Quarterly. After having taught writing to students from ages 12 to 75 for the past five years in Boston, he now teaches in Washington, DC, and is dedicated to improved education of creative writing and social justice.

Sarah Dickenson Snyder

Sarah Dickenson Snyder has been teaching English for thirty-seven years in middle and high schools. Her poems have been published in Bloodroot Literary Magazine, Comstock review, Broken Bridge Review, Zeugma Magazine, Senior Times, & Mothering Magazine, among other places. Though she would pick the mountains if made to choose between the sea and mountains, Sarah loves the ocean and all its inhabitants.

Peter C. Stone

Author/artist/educator Peter C. Stone’s work explores the evolutionary wisdom and interconnectedness of endangered creatures, cultures, and ecosystems. Since 1983 he has presented more than sixty solo shows and over one hundred group exhibitions at galleries and museums in the United States, Canada, and England. His Art & Science (STEM/STEAM) Journaling workshops bring his contagious enthusiasm for observing and understanding the natural world to students of all ages. His recent book, Waltzes with Giants, The Twilight Journey of the North Atlantic Right Whale (Skyhorse, 2012), is a moving portrait of one of earth’s largest endangered mammals, Winner of the USA Best Book Awards for Children’s Hardcover Non-Fiction, and a selection of the Children’s Book-of-the-Month Club.

Jason Talbot

Jason Talbot is a co-founder and alumnus of Artists For Humanity (AFH), a South Boston non-profit organization that combines art and entrepreneurship to address society’s most challenging social, economic and racial issues. The largest employer of Boston teens, AFH provides some of the city’s most under-resourced youth with the keys to self-sufficiency through paid employment in art and design. Born and raised in Roxbury, Jason is an advocate for inner-city teens. Currently serving as Special Projects Director and member of AFH’s Board of Directors, Jason has dedicated the last 25 years of his life ensuring that these young people are not ignored by encouraging their self-expression through art, and by serving as an example of how to create a bright future. Jason’s reach in the Boston area extends beyond the walls of AFH’s EpiCenter. In 2009, he participated in the cohort of the prestigious Emerging Leaders Program at the University of Massachusetts Boston. In 2012, Jason was chosen as one of Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders, and the following year he received the Mentor of the Year Award from Youth Design. Jason is also a member of WGBH’s Board of Overseers.