About Saving Seas instructor Tora Johnson

Tora Johnson has a B. S. in Biology from University of Oregon (1988) and an M. Phil. in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic (2003). She also holds a U.S. Coast Guard captain’s license to operate vessels up to 100 gross tons. Before her son was born in 1996, Ms. Johnson made a career of teaching and crewing aboard several of the large sailing vessels that ply the coast of New England, as well as commercial fishing in Alaska. Since 1996, she has taught marine, environmental, and geographic information science at the college level, serving on the faculty of College of the Atlantic, University of Maine at Machias, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, and Cape Cod Community College.

Ms. Johnson’s current human ecological research focuses on conflicts between fisheries and marine mammal policy. She specializes in marine and hydrological applications of geographic information systems and explores innovative media and methods for conveying geographic information. For the past few years she has collaborated with installation artist and sculptor Frances Whitehead on large-scale, place-based installation art projects. To see Johnson's online portfolio, click here.

Also a writer and education consultant, Johnson was the marine reporter for the Martha’s Vineyard Times from 1998 to 2000. In addition to columns and feature articles for magazines and newspapers, she has published the Guide to Freshwater Animals without Backbones (with Arlene De Strulle; The Catskill Center, 1997). In her multidisciplinary graduate studies, Johnson focused mainly on writing nonfiction books, working closely with novelist and poet, Dr. William Carpenter, and literary scholar, Dr. Karen Waldron. Johnson's non-fiction book, Entanglements:The Intertwined Fates of Whales and Fishermen, was published in 2005 by University Press of Florida. Click here to see the website for Entanglements. To read about other current book projects, click here. Stephany Evans of Imprint Agency, Inc. in New York is Johnson’s literary agent.

Johnson's husband, Chris Mullen, is a boatbuilder and commercial fisherman. They live in Maine with their nine year old son.