Vermilion Sea Institute

Empowering communities for a sustainable future

aka VSI   |   BONITA, CA   |  https://www.vermilionseainstitute.org/

Mission

The mission of the Vermilion Sea Institute is to foster sustainable and enriching relationships between human societies and the ecosystems that support them. Because we recognize that these relationships are complex and multi-dimensional, VSI supports and implements programs that address not only ecological, but also cultural, economic, and sociopolitical aspects of environmental issues.

Ruling year info

2007

Executive Director

Meghann K McDonald

Community Outreach Coordinator

Katie Dell

Main address

PO BOX 1904

BONITA, CA 91908 USA

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EIN

20-8381814

NTEE code info

Biological, Life Science Research includes Marine Biology, Physiology, Biochemistry, Genetics, Biotechnology, etc.) (U50)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (B05)

Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (C60)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Aventureros

Aventureros is a youth program in the town of Bahia de Los Angeles in Baja California, Mexico. There is no cost for children or families to participate. The objective is to help local youth develop an interest in conservation and the natural world to prepare them to make future choices that protect local species, preserve their marine environment, and if applicable, use safe and sustainable fishing practices

The Aventureros are a group of young “ecowarriors” who eagerly team up with local and international conservation efforts to learn about, participate in, and promote one another’s missions. They have contributed to ongoing research on whale sharks with VSI, sea turtles with Grupo Tortuguero , microplastics with The Big Microplastic Survey. In these instances Aventureros are often trained citizen scientists who contribute local data to worldwide research efforts. The Aventureros have also worked with ProNatura and the Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas to learn and grow local conservation efforts.

Despite the incredible biodiversity in the area, local youth have traditionally had very limited access to the waters of the Sea of Cortez outside of fishing. Recognizing that access to the study of this environment and species should not be limited to stationed and visiting scientists, VSI created Aventureros to help local youth and teens discover Bahia’s marine and terrestrial ecosystems, learn how humans impact these ecosystems, and most specifically, learn deeply about whale sharks and the work that goes into protecting this endangered species. To achieve these purposes, young people living in Bahia are invited to participate in programs concurrently with visiting scientists, participate in data collection, and help design educational activities. Additionally, a structured curriculum is actively being created by a team of volunteer educators and scientists, to support these students throughout the school year, and to offer enrichment activities during the summer months.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
At-risk youth

The Wildbook for Whale Sharks project aims to combine innovative technology that applies spot pattern recognition algorithms – used by astronomers to recognize celestial patterns in the night sky – to identify individual whale sharks via their unique, behind-the-gill spots. Through a week-long field-based program, VSI seeks to provide an incredible educational experience for volunteers who will learn how to correctly capture photographs of whale sharks visiting Bahia de los Angeles, upload these photos to whaleshark.org, and help share the project findings with the local community and beyond.

Population(s) Served
Age groups
Ethnic and racial groups
Social and economic status
Work status and occupations

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Financials

Vermilion Sea Institute
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Vermilion Sea Institute

Board of directors
as of 5/10/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

T'Noya Thompson

North American Association for Environmental Education

Term: 2020 -

Aaron Hirsh

University of Colorado

Veronica Volny

Meadow Lark Farm DInners

Joshua Maximon

Mann & Maximon Attorneys At Law

Joseph Kennedy

UCSD Extension

D. Burnett

Princeton University

Dimitri Petrov

Stanford University

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 05/10/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Multi-Racial/Multi-Ethnic (2+ races/ethnicities)
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Decline to state

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability