Expedition Team

Thomas Young - S-185/S-191


Thom Young is an organic farmer and marine ecologist from Oregon.  He is an SEA alumnus from SEA Semester classes S-185 and S-191, and served as a deckhand aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans for OSCB (Oceanography of the Southern California Bight) in 2005.  He earned a master's degree in ecology, evolution, and marine biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he studied kelp forests and marine reserves.  With over 800 research dives in Oregon, California, and the Bahamas, Thom is quite possibly more comfortable underwater than underway, but he is looking forward to the challenge of sailing a tall ship once again.  His most important underwater discovery was a young fisheries biologist named Alia, with whom he shared air while studying alternate stable states in the Santa Barbara Channel Islands. 

After spending half a year living in a small coffee and dairy farming community in Costa Rica, Thom eventually decided to leave academia and pursue a career in organic farming.  He proposed to Alia underwater at the same site where they met, and the two of them moved to Maine to start a small diverse farm, growing berries, apples, vegetables, maple syrup, eggs, dairy, and firewood.  Thom has spent the past year growing organic vegetables and berries in Washington and working with his wife to publish her research about groundfish in the Gulf of Maine.  In addition to growing much of his own food, Thom all but refuses to drive his car to work or to other places, preferring to run or bike.  For recreation, he enjoys sleeping, playing the piano, trail running, rappelling, and ocean swimming.  He is committed to kicking his addiction to fossil fuels and hopes to eventually be able to declare himself "sober and clean" from oil, coal, and natural gas.