National Geographic Events

Speakers Bureau

Barton Seaver Chef, Conservationist

Photo: Seaver throws salmon remains back

Photograph by Mark Rutherford of Wild River Guides

Photo: Barton Seaver
Photograph by Katie Stoops

“There’s this scientific approach to sustainability. And then there’s a human one. You start talking about fish, and it’s automatically some empirical formula, which takes a Ph.D. to understand. I’m not trying to save the fish. I’m trying to save dinner.”—Barton Seaver quoted in The Washington Post

Barton Seaver is working to restore our relationship with the ocean, the land, and with each other—through dinner. As the Director of the Healthy and Sustainable Food Program at the Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard School of Public Health, his work is unified by the belief that food is a crucial way for us to connect with the ecosystems, people, and cultures of our world. His projects will aim to highlight the important connection between environmental resiliency and human health while ensuring the profitability of local food producers. Complementary to his role at Harvard, the New England Aquarium named Barton their first Sustainability Fellow in Residence to help relate the Aquarium’s conservation messages with our dinner plates.

As a National Geographic Fellow, Seaver has worked with National Geographic’s Ocean Initiative to create the Seafood Decision Guide. The guide compiles sustainability, Omega-3, and mercury data in an interactive manner to help consumers make seafood choices that are best for both personal and environmental health. He is also helping the State Department with their diplomacy abroad as a member of the American Chef Corps.

A celebrated chef and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Seaver has cooked in cities all over the world and was named “Chef of the Year” by Esquire magazine in 2009. After graduation Seaver found work in southern Spain at a small family restaurant. Their casual, ingredient-based cooking style proved to be an important influence in his perception of food as an essential part of community. When the off-season arrived, Seaver hopped on a boat to Morocco and landed in the small seaside village of Essaouira. There, he took part in generations-old fishing methods, becoming a part of a community whose survival was directly linked to the oceans. This experience showed him that sustainability is not just an ecological but also a humanitarian matter.

His book For Cod and Country (Sterling, Spring 2011) is a book of recipes that inspires ocean conservation through the experience that we all share—dinner. Seaver’s second cookbook, Where There’s Smoke, will be released in April 2013.

Popular Presentation

Delicious Is the New Environmentalism
Learn how environmental issues translate through the lens of dinner into everyday cultural concerns such as health, jobs and community. The compelling narrative of conservation is a story of responsible consumption. Seaver shares insight into how sustainable food is not just about what products we use, but just as importantly, how we use them.

Learn More About Barton
Barton Seaver’s Website
Ocean Hero: Barton Seaver
Boston Herald Q&A With Barton Seaver
Washington Post Profile
Huffington Post Profile
NG Traveler: One on One: A Fisher of Men
Seafood Decision Guide

Photo: Lionfish by Raymond Pauly, National Geographic My Shot

Listen to Radio Interview With Barton Seaver

Boyd Matson Interviews Barton Seaver for NG Weekend Radio Show

National Geographic Speakers

Speaker name
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William Albert Allard
   Photographer, Writer Photo of William Albert Allard
Casey Anderson
   Naturalist, TV Host Photo of Casey Anderson
Peter Athans
   Mountaineer, Filmmaker Photo of Peter Athans
Robert Ballard
   Underwater Explorer Photo of Robert Ballard
Brady Barr
   Reptile Expert, TV Host Photo of Brady Barr
Angela Fisher and Carol Beckwith
   Photographers, Writers Photo of Angela Fisher and Carol Beckwith
Keith Bellows
   Editor in Chief, National Geographic Traveler Photo of Keith Bellows
Melina Bellows
   Publisher, Editor Photo of Melina Bellows
Don Belt
   Former Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, National Geographic Photo of Don Belt
Lee Berger
   Paleoanthropologist Photo of Lee Berger
Joel K. Bourne Jr.
   Contributing Writer Photo of Joel K. Bourne Jr.
Kobie Boykins
   NASA Engineer Photo of Kobie Boykins
John Bredar
   Senior Executive Producer, National Geographic Specials Photo of John Bredar
Kenny Broad
   Cave Diver, Environmental Anthropologist Photo of Kenny Broad
Dan Buettner
   Author, Explorer Photo of Dan Buettner
Andy B. Casagrande
   National Geographic Cameraman Photo of Andy B. Casagrande
Barry Clifford
   Underwater Explorer Photo of Barry Clifford
Jodi Cobb
   Photographer Photo of Jodi Cobb
Michael Davie
   Filmmaker Photo of Michael Davie
Wade Davis
   Cultural Anthropologist, Author Photo of Wade Davis
Dennis Dimick
   Executive Editor, National Geographic Magazine Photo of Dennis Dimick
David Doubilet
   Underwater Photographer Photo of David Doubilet
Sylvia Earle
   Marine Biologist Photo of Sylvia Earle
Frans Lanting and Chris Eckstrom
   Photographers, Filmmakers, Writers Photo of Frans Lanting and Chris Eckstrom
Andrew Evans
   Travel Journalist Photo of Andrew Evans
Michael Fay
   Conservationist, Biologist Photo of Michael Fay
Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher
   Photographers, Writers Photo of Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher
John Francis
   Planetwalker, Conservationist Photo of John Francis
Jerry Glover
   Agricultural Ecologist Photo of Jerry Glover
Annie Griffiths
   Photographer Photo of Annie Griffiths
Kevin Hand
   Planetary Scientist and Astrobiologist Photo of Kevin Hand
Zahi Hawass
   Archaeologist Photo of Zahi Hawass
Fred Hiebert
   Archaeologist Photo of Fred Hiebert
Peter Hillary
   Mountaineer, Author Photo of Peter Hillary
Nizar Ibrahim
   Paleontologist Photo of Nizar Ibrahim
Donald Johanson
   Paleoanthropologist Photo of Donald Johanson
Beverly & Dereck Joubert
   Photographers, Filmmakers, Naturalists Photo of Beverly & Dereck Joubert
Karen Kasmauski
   Photographer Photo of Karen Kasmauski
Mattias Klum
   Photographer, Filmmaker, Conservationist Photo of Mattias Klum
Emory Kristof
   Photographer Photo of Emory Kristof
Tim Laman
   Field Biologist, Wildlife Photojournalist Photo of Tim Laman
Chris Eckstrom and Frans Lanting
   Photographers, Filmmakers, Writers Photo of Chris Eckstrom and Frans Lanting
Albert Yu-Min Lin
   Research Scientist and Engineer Photo of Albert Yu-Min Lin
Greg Marshall
   Biologist, Inventor, Filmmaker Photo of Greg Marshall
Boyd Matson
   Journalist, Adventurer Photo of Boyd Matson
Mireya Mayor
   Primatologist Photo of Mireya Mayor
Steve McCurry
   Photographer Photo of Steve McCurry
Kim McKay
   Environmentalist, Author Photo of Kim McKay
Mark Moffett
   Ecologist, Photographer Photo of Mark Moffett
Nalini Nadkarni
   Forest Ecologist Photo of Nalini Nadkarni
Cathy Newman
   National Geographic Senior Writer, Author Photo of Cathy Newman
Michael "Nick" Nichols
   Photographer, Conservationist Photo of Michael "Nick" Nichols
Paul Nicklen
   Photographer, Biologist Photo of Paul Nicklen
Børge Ousland
   Polar Explorer Photo of Børge Ousland
Bob Poole
   National Geographic Cameraman Photo of Bob Poole
Victoria Pope
   Deputy Editor, National Geographic Magazine Photo of Victoria Pope
Chad Pregracke
   Environmentalist Photo of Chad Pregracke
   Photojournalist and Humanitarian Photo of  Reza
Jim Richardson
   Photographer Photo of Jim Richardson
Enric Sala
   Marine Ecologist Photo of Enric Sala
Joel Sartore
   Photographer, National Geographic Fellow Photo of Joel Sartore
Barton Seaver
   Chef, Conservationist Photo of Barton Seaver
Paul Sereno
   Paleontologist Photo of Paul Sereno
Brian Skerry
   Underwater Photographer Photo of Brian Skerry
Bryan Smith
   Adventure Filmmaker Photo of Bryan Smith
Will Steger
   Polar Explorer Photo of Will Steger
Maria Stenzel
   Photographer Photo of Maria Stenzel
Ed Viesturs
   Mountaineer Photo of Ed Viesturs
Spencer Wells
   Population Geneticist Photo of Spencer Wells
Rory Wilson
   Aquatic Biologist Photo of Rory Wilson
Andrew Zolli
   Futurist Photo of Andrew Zolli

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