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Hi! My name is Emi. I'm a former professional surfer from San Diego, California, who used my sponsorship to start a nonprofit supporting local surfing for youth engagement and community well-being in fishing villages around the world. I discovered photography and audiovisual storytelling while dodging surfboards to capture program participants riding waves as part of coaching sessions and also to get their amazing stories of resilience out for the world to appreciate. When GoPro came out, students could document their own waves, and we began giving point-and-shoot cameras to students to highlight their lives on land.


Everyone has a voice, and cameras serve as a microphone, especially for those who often lack a seat at the table.  

Today, I am a social ecologist based in Northern Peru, where I am the co-founder of Coast 2 Coast, a community-based nonprofit that weaves investigation with imagination, engaging young learners and rural educators in small-scale fishing villages to explore their built-natural surroundings through the power of enchantment - gathering, illustrating, and mobilizing intergenerational knowledge for social-ecological well-being and epic futures.


I am honored to be an Explorer with National Geographic and the Scientific Exploration Society and a Fulbright Fellow.


I earned my undergraduate degree in Psychology from Georgetown University, with a focus on Anthropology and Justice and Peace Studies. I recently graduated with my Master's from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation. 


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