About Us

Our Story — Who We Are, What We Do, Where We Work

Oceanites (“ocean-eye-tees”) is a §501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. that operates internationally with the central mission of assisting science-based conservation recommendations in Antarctica and increasing the awareness of climate change worldwide.

Oceanites’ values are grounded, in science, education, stewardship, and transparency. Ongoing scientific work is the springboard for Oceanites’ climate change outreach, which uses penguins as avatars to explain how we humans, like all biological creatures, may or may not adapt when the warming of the planet comes our way.

Antarctica PenguinsFor more than two decades Oceanites has worked to protect the Antarctic environment, generating more than a quarter-century of penguin and seabird data collected in its Antarctic Site Inventory project, which are collated uniquely with all other Antarctic penguin data in its continent-wide, freely available database known as MAPPPD. These data underpin environmental protection and conservation measures for the 10% of our planet dedicated to peace and science under the 1961 Antarctic Treaty. Inimitably, over the past 27 years, Oceanites has made more than 2,100 site visits and collected data from more than 250 different Antarctic locations.

Oceanites’ work takes place on the “frontlines” of climate change in the Antarctic Peninsula, where it’s warmed faster than almost anywhere else — by an enormous 3˚C./ 5˚F. year-round and by 5˚C./ 9˚F. in winter — and where Adélie and Chinstrap penguin populations have dramatically plunged, while the Gentoo penguin population has soared.

Oceanites is the world’s only nonprofit, publicly supported Antarctic research program — monitoring the entirety of the vastly warmed Antarctic Peninsula region. Oceanites serves as an independent, non-governmental observer at meetings of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), which oversees and regulates fishing activities in Antarctica. The Antarctic Treaty system (54 countries) relies upon the data provided and collated by Oceanites, including Oceanites’ annual State of Antarctic Penguins reports (“SOAP”).

And of course, we work in the great Seventh Continent, Antarctica, whose many secrets help us better understand how our planet is changing.

Ron Naveen, Founder of Oceanites

Ron Naveen Oceanites Founder

Ron Naveen is the founder and CEO of Oceanites, Inc. and has been working in Antarctica for over 30 years — what amounts to more than six years in real time. He manages Oceanites’ 25-year-old Antarctic Site Inventory project and represents Oceanites as an independent, expert observer at annual Antarctic fishing meetings.

He’s the lead author and photographer of: Wild Ice: Antarctic Journeys (Smithsonian Press, 1990); and the author of Antarctica: A Biology Reader (Carolina Biological Supply Company, 1992); Waiting To Fly: My Escapades with The Penguins Of Antarctica (William Morrow & Company, 1999); The Oceanites Site Guide to the Antarctic Peninsula, 2nd edition (Oceanites, 2005); and the coauthor of the Antarctic Peninsula Compendium, 3rd edition (Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C., 2011).

Directors, Advisors & Scientific Colleagues

Board of Directors

Heidi Richardson, Chair (bio & photo)
Catherine Nicholson, Vice Chair (bio & photo)
Ron Naveen, President (bio & photos)
Sheldon Harris, Esquire (bio & photo)
R. Tucker Scully (bio & photo)
Ford Nicholson (bio & photo)
Dr. Grant Ferrier (bio & photo)
David W. Lippy (bio & photo)a
Thom Gilligan (bio & photo)
Jeff Adams (bio & photo)
Dylan Ogline (bio & photo)

Board of Advisors

Scott Deitz, Special Advisor to the Board (bio & photo)
Peter Carey (cv)
Peter Getzels (bio & photo)
Harriet Gordon Getzels (bio & photo)
Bob Hofman (cv & photo)
Lois Ingram (bio & photo)
Rocky Kistner (cv & photo)
Louis Naiman (cv & photo)
Paul Rodhouse (cv)
John Van Oudenaren (cv & photo)
Mark David Iden (bio & photo)
Saskia Hostetler Lippy (bio & photo)
Ray Arnaudo

Strategic Planning Meeting of the Board in Washington, D.C.
Hosted by Weber Shandwick

Scientific Colleagues

Dr. Grant Humphries, Oceanites Director of Science
Black Bawks Data Science (Scotland, UK)


Dr. Tom Hart
University of Oxford / Penguin Lifelines (UK)


MAPPPD External Advisory Board

Dr. Phil Trathan (UK)
Dr. Jefferson Hinke (US)
Dr. Mark Hindell (Australia)
Dr. Akinori Takahashi (Japan)
Dr. Grant Humphries (UK), ex-officio
Mr. Ron Naveen (US), ex-officio

Oceanites Expedition Team: Our Penguin Counters

Our Penguin Counters for this Season
Kate Blackwell (photo and bio)
Melissa Rider (photo and bio)
Noah Stryker (photo and bio)
Steven Forrest (photo and bio)

Oceanites Penguin Counters
Alex Borowicz
Clare Flynn
Grant Humphries
Julia Stepanuk
Lisa Prowant
Michael Wethington
Rachael Herman
Ron Naveen


To date, Oceanites has achieved much:

  • Publishes annual State of Antarctic Penguins (SOAP) reports describing changes in Antarctic penguin populations
  • Published the first Antarctic Traveler’s Code, which became the model for visitors’ guidance adopted by Antarctic Treaty countries that now pertains to all Antarctic visitors
  • Operates and maintains the seminal Antarctic Site Inventory project (ASI), which, since 1994 and for 27 consecutive field seasons, has singularly been monitoring the entirety of the vastly warmed Antarctic Peninsula
  • Maintains the Antarctic continent-wide penguin database known as MAPPPD (Mapping Application for Penguin Populations and Projected Dynamics), which has become the ‘go to’ repository for all Antarctic penguin data, and is relied upon by all Antarctic scientists and researchers examining climate change vs. human impacts in the Antarctic
  • As requested by the UK government, drafted the first ten site visitor guidelines adopted by Antarctic Treaty countries, which have served as the models for what are now more than 40 such guidelines used by all Antarctic visitors
  • Has published two editions of The Oceanites Site Guide to the Antarctic Peninsula and three editions of the Antarctic Peninsula Compendium,describingthe Antarctic Site Inventory and the particulars of various visitor sites.
  • Spreading climate awareness through distribution of the children’s e-book Ron Counts Penguins classroom webinars, zoo and aquarium appearances (e.g., Cincinnati, Baltimore, St. Louis), as well as public programs (e.g., Library of Congress Young Reader’s Program).