Dr. Cliff Kapono - Hawai'i
Dr. Cliff Kapono is the world’s only professional surfer with a PhD. Born on the eastern shores of Hawai‘i, his life involves equal parts science as it does surf. While contributing several peer-reviewed publications to the fields of molecular bioscience, he has also produced a handful award-winning films that discuss indigenous activism, ocean conservation, global food security and virtual reality. He has been profiled in publications such as The New York Times, NBC, CBS, Surfline, and more. Cliff also co-founded The MEGA (Multi-scale Environmental Graphical Analysis) lab with his partner John Burnes, specializing in studying coral health. It is a global consortium of scientists, athletes, and artists who use science to improve our planet. Cliff is currently based in Hilo and can be found tinkering in the lab when not chasing the best waves on the planet.