How We Operate

Big Ocean is an informal network, in which members and partners participate voluntarily. As a non-binding entity, the activities and commitments made by the network (or subset of the network) are also non-binding and carried forward voluntarily by members and partners who find value in the effort.

No formal charter or operating agreement has been developed. This decision was made at the inaugural meeting with the understanding that this could change over time as the network grows.


Peer Learning

General communication with and between members is conducted mostly through e-mail and the Big Ocean web site. Business meetings, held coincidentally to international meetings and conferences that members are likely to attend, provide an opportunity for direct engagement and relationship building. Business meetings allow managers and partners to offer site updates, share lessons-learned, discuss current and potential initiatives, and make decisions that support the aims of Big Ocean. Various other network activities, from hands-on workshops to product development, are also employed to build capacity and further professionalize the field of large-scale MPA management.

Planning Team & Organization

Big Ocean is administered through its Planning Team and Coordinator. The Planning Team was established at the inaugural meeting with the acknowledgment that Team members would agree to carry a large share of the workload and costs of operations. Originally comprised of the co-founders, NGO partners, and the Coordinator, at the fourth business meeting an additional site representative was added to build organizational capacity and ensure long term sustainability. Planning Team meetings are held via conference call to organize projects, activities and initiatives. Through this deliberation, recommendations are made to the full membership.

The Coordinator serves as the liaison between the Team and network members; fields inquiries from the public; and manages the web site and network communications among other functions.

Planning Team Members:
ʻAulani Wilhelm, Chair – Senior Vice President, Conservation International’s Center for Oceans
Tukabu Teroroko, Vice Chair – Phoenix Islands Protected Area
Athline Clark, Papapahānaumokuākea (Alternate – Kalani Quiocho)
Sue Taei, Conservation International (Alternate – Schannel vanDijken)
Carlos Gaymer, Universidad Católica del Norte
Vacant slot, Site Manager
Vacant slot, Site Manager
Vacant slot, NGO/Partner

Nai’a Lewis

ʻAulani Wilhelm
Tukabu Teroroko