Jose Alfredo Giron Nava
Alfredo is an André Hoffmann Fellow at the Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions and the World Economic Forum Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. His work focuses on the use of technology to support sustainable fisheries management and the reduction of Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported catch at a global scale. His previous experience includes projects for sustainable fisheries management in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Palau, Solomon Islands, the European Union, and a series of studies at a global scale. He has more than 10 years of experience thinking of ways to better communicate science and display data in meaningful ways, such as in the platform dataMares, which he co-founded in 2014. Since May 2019, Alfredo is one of the co-founders of the Early Career Ocean Professionals (ECOP) working group for the IOC-UNESCO, which seeks to give opportunities for ECOP to engage in international ocean sustainability conversations.
Alfredo is the first recipient of the Walter Munk Scholar Award by the Marine Technology Society and the Walter Munk Foundation for the Oceans in recognition of his work on using science and technology to improve the state of the ocean. He is also an EthicalGEO Fellow by the American Geographical Society for his work on developing methods to characterize poverty in fishing communities around the world.
MTS and Other Association Experience
2020 – Member. MTS ECOP working group to create: ECOP section, VP position and membership rate.
2020 – Attendee. Global OCEANS 2020: Singapore.
2020 – Co-organizer. Webinar: Supporting MTS Students in the Age of COVID-19.
2019 – 2020 – Walter Munk Scholar Award, Marine Technology Society & Walter Munk Foundation for the Oceans. Awarded to an Early Career scholar in honor to Walter Munk’s legacy of daring exploration and discovery through ocean science and technology research.
2019 – Attendee. Global OCEANS 2019, Marseille
2019 – Attendee. OCEANS 2019, Seattle
What qualities and experience do you possess that make you a strong candidate for this position?
Since May 2019, along with 4 colleagues, I co-founded and have led the Early Career Ocean Professionals (ECOP) Programme for the UN Decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development. Through global consultations with support from the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, we identified the key areas where the global ECOP community would like the Decade to have a long-lasting impact in their careers, including: (1) networking, mentoring and training, corporate sustainability, ocean literacy and youth engagement. Additionally, we identified specific regional capacity development needs, ranging from access to research facilities, to opportunities to travel and present their work at conferences. As such, the ECOP Programme has focused on identifying key partners that can attend to specific communities and make sure that intergenerational diversity is a given in ocean sustainability conversations. Through my involvement with this initiative, I have acquired leadership skills to curate a global community of ECOPs with different professional backgrounds, cultural practices and interests. This extremely challenging task has helped me to develop skills on how to listen and consolidate ideas to drive action.
I also have a strong scientific background in the use of new techniques and technology to solve research questions that are relevant to real-world problems. This has led me to establish a wide network of collaborations across academic institutions, NGOs, professional societies, governments, and intergovernmental organizations. As the VP of ECOP I will leverage these networks to make opportunities available to MTS ECOP members that want to explore different career paths.
In combination, my experience with the ECOP Programme and my action-oriented background, pose me as a strong candidate to support our ECOP community to find opportunities, share knowledge, and learn the ropes of how to drive sustainable action in their communities.
What are the key goals you hope to accomplish in this position?
As the VP of ECOP, I will pursue 3 main objectives. (1) Position MTS as a global hub for ECOP networking, mentoring programs, and capacity development for action-oriented communities. I plan to accomplish this by engaging partner organizations, growing our ECOP membership and ECOP section, and untapping the exceptional potential of our senior members to mentor ECOP members to pursue diverse career paths and projects. (2) I will also work towards ensuring that MTS members have a natural transition from being students, to ECOPs, and then to senior members. This model will offer value for each career stage and allow the retention of our collective knowledge on how to mentor the next generations and build a community that recognizes everyone’s contributions. (3) Finally, I will make sure that MTS becomes a key partner to the UN Decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development, especially regarding ECOP activities. It is my hope that in 2 years, I can leave the VP of ECOP position knowing that MTS has found a model to support ECOP that is tailored to its community, truly helps to advance careers and is adaptable to the new challenges to come.