Leaders for Sea Change Program


As climate change accelerates, the challenges facing the Pacific coast of North America are growing in scope and scale. We are building a strong network of diverse ocean scientist leaders to advance durable, innovative solutions and create a better future for the Pacific and the millions whose lives depend on it.

Leaders for Sea Change is a year-long program that prepares you for meaningful change within yourself, your community, and society. At one of our world-class retreats, you gain strategic communication skills that you can apply right away, and the confidence to use them. You’ll also set specific goals for the changes you want to see in the world, identify your role in contributing to those changes, and plan out meaningful actions over the course of the year. After the retreat, we continue our partnership with you, providing ongoing learning and support and linking you with opportunities to create real change in collaboration with community leaders, journalists, resource managers, and policymakers. This program will help you to connect to your purpose, take on new leadership roles, and build connections and relationships that are lifelong and transformative.

Leaders for Sea Change is generously supported by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Sitka Foundation.

2020 Leaders for Sea Change

Juliano Palacios Abrante

University of British Columbia

Natalie Ban

University of Victoria

Fiona Beaty

University of British Columbia

Gustavo Daniel Danemann

Pronatura Noroeste A.C.

Santiago Dominguez-Sánchez

Gulf of California Marine Program

Inés López Ercilla

Comunidad y Biodiversidad AC

Paula Ezcurra

Scripps Institution of Oceanography & Climate Science Alliance

Kristin M. Hardy

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Lekelia Jenkins

Arizona State University

Francis Juanes

University of Victoria

Iain McKechnie

University of Victoria & Hakai Institute

Hem Nalini Morzaria-Luna

CEDO Intercultural / Long Live the Kings / NOAA

Katharine Nalven

Defenders of Wildlife

Kerry J. Nickols

California State University Northridge

Kiva Oken

University of California, Davis

Thomas A. Okey

Broughton Aquaculture Transition Initiative; Kwikwasut’lnuxw Haxwa’mis First Nation, Mamalilikulla First Nation, ‘Namgis First Nation

Charlotte Regula-Whitefield

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Ana K. Spalding

Oregon State University

Sonni Tadlock

Washington Sea Grant

Vivitskaia Tulloch

University of British Columbia

Becoming a Leader of Sea Change includes:


All natural, physical, and social scientists working at the nexus of climate change and the ocean across the Pacific coast of North America (Canada, United States, and Mexico) are eligible for this program. Applicants can be from any affiliation (academia, government, industry, and NGOs).

We are committed to building a cohort that encompasses a diverse blend of perspectives, fields of study, geographies, backgrounds, and career stages. We value multiple identities, voices, values, and ways of knowing, and seek applicants at the graduate level, or beyond, who embody and express the many ways of being a scientist. A spirit of open-mindedness and generosity, in addition to a willingness to contribute to a collaborative, mutually supportive network of your peers, is highly desirable.

How To Apply

Applications for the 2020 cohort are now closed. We will post instructions here when soliciting applications for the next cohort. Typically the application includes brief background information and several short-answer questions.

Download PDFs of the 2020 application materials below.

Need more info? Please contact opportunities@COMPASSscicomm.org.


FAQ: Líderes para el Cambio Oceánico. Download a copy of these FAQs:


How do I know if I’m eligible? / ¿Cómo puedo saber si soy elegible?

If you are a natural, physical or social scientist working at the nexus of climate change and Pacific ocean within Canada, the United States, and Mexico, we encourage you to apply. We welcome applicants from any affiliation (academia, government, industry and NGOs) and career level. We seek scientists whose career trajectory and impact will benefit from the training, network, and competencies garnered through this program. We expect those selected to be fully committed to dedicating the time and energy necessary to fully participate in the in-person retreat and to follow through on the aspirations and goals that will come out of this experience. Please review other questions regarding eligibility below. If you are still unclear about whether or not to apply, contact us at opportunities@COMPASSscicomm.org.

Si usted es un científico/a estudiando las ciencias sociales, naturales, o físicas, trabajando en el nexo del cambio climático y el océano Pacífico a lo largo de la costa de Norteamérica (Canadá, Los Estados Unidos, y México), le alentamos que entregue una aplicación. Invitamos a solicitantes de cualquier nivel de carrera y cualquiera afiliación (sector académico, gubernamental, corporativo, y de organización no gubernamental, ONG). Buscamos a científicos/as cuya trayectoria profesional e impacto se beneficiará de la capacitación, la red y las competencias adquiridas a través este programa. Esperamos que los seleccionados/as estén dispuestos a estar plenamente comprometidos, que dediquen el tiempo y la energía necesaria para participar plenamente durante el retiro en persona, y que puedan seguir adelante con sus nuevas aspiraciones y metas que resultaran de esta experiencia. Por favor revise otras preguntas sobre elegibilidad a continuación. Si aún no tiene claro si puede aplicar, por favor contáctenos al opportunities@COMPASSscicomm.org.

What career stages are eligible? / ¿Cuáles etapas de carrera conforman elegibilidad?

We welcome scientists from all career stages—graduate students to senior scientists—and relevant experience is accepted in lieu of a PhD. We have found that having a mix of career stages results in a much richer experience for all, as everyone has something to learn and everyone has something to teach.

Invitamos a científicos/as de todas etapas de carrera – de estudiantes de posgrado o licenciatura (por ejemplo, estudiantes de maestría o doctorado) hasta científicos senior – o personas con experiencias pertinentes y en lugar de un Ph.D. Hemos encontrado que teniendo una mezcla de personas en diferentes etapas de su carrera resulta en una experiencia mucho más rica para todos, como todos tenemos algo que aprender y algo que enseñar.

Does it matter where I live? / ¿Importa dónde vivo?

We are looking for scientists currently residing within North America (Canada, United States, and Mexico); however, it is not a requirement to be a citizen or permanent resident of any of these countries. Your research, however, must be focused within the Pacific coast of North America (any or all parts of the extent of this geography, from the coastal margins to offshore).

Estamos buscando a científicos/as que residen dentro de Norteamérica (Canadá, Los Estados Unidos, y México), pero no es requisito ser un ciudadano o residente permanente de cualquiera de estos países. Sin embargo, sus estudios tendrían que ser enfocados dentro de la costa Pacífica de Norteamérica (cualquiera o todas las partes del alcance de esta geografía, desde los márgenes costeros hasta la costa).

What happens over the 12 months, in addition to the in-person retreat? / Además del retiro en persona, ¿qué pasará durante los 12 meses?

This year-long program will include individualized coaching, small group peer mentoring, and additional training opportunities through virtual sessions on strategic science communication, engagement, and leadership. The particulars of these additional sessions will be determined by the group’s needs and interests. At a minimum, be prepared to commit approximately 4 hours/month for peer coaching and webinars, plus the time you dedicate to achieving your specific development and engagement goals.

Este programa de un año incluirá entrenamiento individualizado, la tutoría de un grupo pequeño de mentores compuesto de sus colegas, y traerá oportunidades para otros tipos de entrenamientos como sesiones virtuales y mini-talleres sobre estrategias de la comunicación científica y efectiva, el compromiso científico, y el liderazgo. Las particularidades de estas sesiones serán determinadas a través de la necesidad de cada grupo y sus intereses. A lo mínimo, prepárese a comprometer aproximadamente 4 horas al mes para recibir coaching de sus colegas, entrenamiento a través de seminarios de web, y además, el tiempo que usted dedique a lograr sus propios objetivos y el desarrollo de sus metas.

What criteria will be used to evaluate my application? / ¿Qué criterios se utilizarán para evaluar mi solicitud?

In addition to eligibility requirements listed above, we will be considering:

  • Relevant experience, both in terms of your scientific research and your engagement with non-scientific audiences to-date (or your vision for what engagement could look like given the opportunities presented by this program).

  • Articulation of a tangible goal or action you intend to pursue over the course of the year (even if preliminary).

  • Generosity in your approach to working with others, as peer learning, sharing, and support are fundamental to the program.

  • Commitment to being an active and engaged member of the cohort over the duration of the program.

  • Capacity to lead change in response to the social and environmental challenges presented by climate change for people and nature along the Pacific coast of North America.

  • Unique perspectives that you would bring to the full group, as we seek to build a cohort that is inclusive of multiple identities, affiliations, disciplines, topics, and geographies.


A demás de los requisitos de elegibilidad mencionados arriba, estaremos considerando:

  • Experiencia relevante, en términos de sus estudios científicos y su compromiso con audiencias que no sean científicas (o su visión sobre lo que significa el compromiso científico dadas las oportunidades presentadas por este programa).

  • La articulación de objetivos tangibles o acciones que usted desea desarrollar sobre el curso del año (aunque sean preliminares).

  • La generosidad en su enfoque y su disponibilidad en trabajar con otras personas – su habilidad y motivación en compartir, aprender, y apoyar a sus colegas son fundamentales para este programa.

  • Su compromiso de ser un miembro activo y comprometido a su cohorte a través de la duración del programa.

  • Su capacidad de liderar el cambio en respuesta a retos sociales o ambientales presentados en la cara del cambio climático y cómo estos cambios afectan a la gente y la naturaleza a lo largo de la costa Pacífica de Norteamérica.

  • Perspectivas únicas que usted pueda traer a este grupo entero, mientras buscamos construir una cohorte que incluye una multitud de identidades, afiliaciones, disciplinas, temas, y geografías.

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