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Eben Kopp

Board of Directors

Eben Kopp

Steamboat Springs, Colorado

he, him, his


How do you spend your days? What are your passions? What is your occupation?

You can find me playing in the Rocky Mountains every chance I get. I'm lucky to live in an incredible mountain town with endless access to backcountry skiing, mountain biking, trail running, fly fishing, and rafting. Moving through and exploring the wild places that surround me brings the ultimate joy to my life. Better yet, I get to do these things with my amazing adventure partner and wife, Kenya. After a career in teaching and education administration, I now work as a Program Manager in the tech space.

Explain your connection to the ocean. How does it influence your life?

I never imagined myself living in a landlocked state, and miss the salty ocean breeze every single day. I grew up in midcoast Maine, where the ocean was my playground for the entirety of my childhood and into early adulthood (I kept close to the ocean and attended Bowdoin College after high school). The ocean was formative to my curiosity and love of adventure. I spent the summers throughout high school and college coaching sailing out of Camden Harbor and exploring Penobscot Bay in my free time every chance I had. My love of sailing and learning led me to a transatlantic crossing where I studied phytoplankton population dynamics aboard SSV Corwith Cramer. In my early teaching career, I brought students to the Maine coast as much as possible and always emphasized ocean education in all of my science curricula. I still enjoy coming home to Maine for a few weeks every summer & am always scheming how to maximize my time on the ocean.

The mission of Saltwater Classroom is to bring together young students, as well as learners of all ages, through an innovative approach to ocean education. How does this apply to your experience?

I have been fortunate to be both a student and teacher in ocean settings and believe in the fundamental power of ocean education, and the civil responsibility of its stewardship. The ocean is a tremendous conduit through which to learn about a myriad of ideas & concepts. Ocean education is the perfect platform to meet learners at all stages: from the shallow and engaging waters of marine megafauna and coastal ecology, to the deeper and murkier waters of ocean acidification and blue ecologies.

What are your earliest ocean memories?

My earliest ocean memories are of exploring the rocky coastline of the beautiful island of Islesboro where my family rented a little cottage every summer. The cottage was on an isthmus, and I so distinctly remember the smooth rocks, smell of beach roses, and blue water on one side, and the clay-beach, driftwood, and whipping wind on the other. A kid's paradise!

If you had to pick one thing, what is your favorite aspect of the ocean? We know, it's a broad question.

My favorite aspect of the ocean is the dichotomy of emotions it can present. While in one moment, the ocean is calm, friendly, and inviting, it can become fierce, intimidating, and ruthless in the next. The ocean demands reverence and respect, simultaneously. I love that.

Is there a dream ocean destination on your list? Where would you travel to next?

A ski-sail trip in Svalbard is a bucket list trip for me!

Anything else to add?

Trust, Standards, & Risk

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