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Mission Statement:
O'Seas Conservation Foundation, Inc. is a well-established Montauk-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that integrates shark conservation efforts with youth education.  Our mission is to protect the future of our marine life, and more specifically, our oceans through our local shark research efforts that directly involve youth as a means to educate, inspire, and train these future leaders of marine conservation.
General Background:
Established in 2013, O’Seas Conservation Foundation (OCF) is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization that actively participates in wildlife conservation projects all over the world.  Founded by Dr. Craig O’Connell and Dr. Nicole O'Connell, OCF was established to conduct local and global conservation engineering, population dynamics, and other field studies focusing on some of the most endangered species on the planet.  However, with a home base in New York, OCF’s key focus is to characterize the shark, skate and ray fauna in local waters to help obtain valuable population dynamics and structure-related data for several critical species.  Besides this, OCF is unique in that it runs summer programs for 6th-12th graders, giving them the opportunity to be part of shark research projects and inspiring them to pursue a career in the field of conservation/marine biology.

Key Objectives of OCF:


  • Educate and inspire our youth through innovative and engaging hands-on field activities
  • Survey local (Southern Long Island, NY) waters to establish a sound understanding of  the status of fish populations
  • Establish collaborations to aid in conservation projects on a global scale
  • Develop and implement conservation engineering tactics that will prove vital in wildlife management



Craig O'Connell, Ph.D.
Founder and Director

Dr. Craig O'Connell earned his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (2013).  When he is not writing, there is no telling where you will find Craig.  Sometimes it is in the middle of South American tropical rainforests, or diving with great white sharks in South Africa.  Either way, Craig has traveled the world and through his travels has learned a substantial amount about animal behavior and conservation.  Through these experiences, he has enlightened the minds of many through his teachings to both K-12 and undergraduate students.  Feel free to contact Dr. Craig O'Connell at

Stacey Krauss
Nicole O'Connell, M.D.

Dr. Nicole O'Connell earned her M.D. from SUNY Downstate Medical College (2012).  She currently is a pediatrician in NYC.  Upon meeting Nikki, you will immediately learn that she has an innate ability to put a smile on the face of anybody she meets.  In addition, Nikki has traveled all over the world and has been exposed to many different cultures.  Throughout her travels, she has shared water with massive sharks, worked with monkeys in the middle of the Amazon rainforest, and even conducted research on rats while conducting her undergraduate degree at Boston University.  Feel free to contact Dr. Nicole O'Connell at

Ryan Caribbean Reed
President of Operations

Ryan “Caribbean” Reed has travelled all over the world with O’Seas Conservation Foundation.  He is an expert herpetologist and a great friend of ours.  Currently Ryan is a Shellfish Officer in South Carolina and we are very excited to have him as a member of our team. 


Stacey Krauss has been part of O’Seas Conservation Foundation since its inception.  Stacey is a great friend, who is extremely selfless and passionate about her work.  We are very excited to have Stacey as part of our team. 


Dane Larsen
Board VP

Dane first discovered his love for all things aquatic aboard the Veera, his grandfather’s ‘fastest’ rowboat at the age of four.  Since then he has spent every possible moment in or on the water. Dane is a licensed captain and has extensive experience boating on the Great Lakes, South Florida, Bahamas and even a cruise down to Cuba. Dane owned and managed a transportation business in the Chicago area for 37 years. In 2015, he sold the business and decided to spend more time giving back to the community and causes he cares deeply about. Dane met Craig O’Connell on his travels to the island of Bimini in The Bahamas and easily became a fan and took great interest in his impressive shark research, work ethic and environmental conscience.



Dane has a BA in Business from DePaul University, holds a 100 ton Master USCG License, a PADI open water scuba diver, and while not current in either he obtained an ASE Master Diesel technician certificate and is a private pilot. We are beyond grateful to have Dane on our team!

Marcella Uchoa
Research Assistant

Marcella is from Brazil and is most passionate about marine life, traveling, and adventure. She received her B.Sc. (2012) in Biology from the Federal University of Sao Carlos - Brazil and her M.Sc. (2015) in Marine Science through the Erasmus Mundus program.  Marcella’s most recent work focused was conducted in Bimini, Bahamas and assessed how weak direct current electric fields may influence the behavior of three shark species.  

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