Dr. Riki Ott

Dr. Riki Ott witnessed first-hand the ecological destruction and social chaos from the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska – and became an “accidental activist” in its wake. A trained marine toxicologist and former commercial fisher woman, she has written two books on oil spill impacts to ecosystems, people, and communities and starred in Black Wave, an award-winning feature film. In 2009, Ott co-founded Ultimate Civics, a project of Earth Island Institute, and the national grassroots coalition MoveToAmend.org. In May 2010, Ott brought her expertise to the Gulf of Mexico, volunteering for one year to expose a public health crisis of chemical illness and to help with local community organizing. For her work in the Gulf, Huffington Post named Ott a 2010 Game Changer. On the one-year memorial of the BP disaster in 2011, she co-hosted a national webcast teach-in, Changing the Endgame, to expose the high costs of America’s fossil fuel dependency – and show how communities are reducing their carbon footprint. Ott advocates ending corporate rule and creating sustainable communities. She lectures nationally and internationally, inspiring students from fifth grade through universities and adults to take action and showing by example how one person can make a difference.

December 10, 2017