July 12, 2016

Board Members

4Daniel Weinstein – BCI President of the Board

Honorable Daniel Weinstein (Ret.) is one of the nation’s preeminent mediators of complex civil disputes. He is a pioneer in the development of mediation and teaches and lectures to fellow mediators and lawyers throughout the United States. Judge Weinstein is recognized as one of the premier mediators of complex, multi-party, high-stake cases, both in the United States and abroad.


7Debra Zeyen – BCI Executive Director

As Executive Director of Baja Coastal Institute, Deb oversees BCI project development and fundraising. Deb is a recognized expert in broadcasting and marketing having worked for over 30 years for CBS Network and Westinghouse Television.  After retiring from that career, Deb received a masters degree in Coastal Management and worked on coastal ocean health.  With professional experience in business, marketing, and ocean conservation, Deb specializes in translating academic research into language and action that is usable by a broad spectrum of stakeholders.

5Christopher Sliney – BCI Treasurer

Christopher Sliney is a results-oriented senior executive with 20 years’ experience launching and nurturing businesses in the digital media, content creation and branding/strategy spaces including Website/Internet Utilization and Optimization; Optimized Media Creation, Transfer and Archiving Protocols; and Web 2.0 Mobile Application Development. Christopher has extensive experience in: Social Media; Interactive Experiences; Cross-Functional Team Development and Motivation; Senior Contract Negotiations; International Business Integration; and Media/Technology Consulting.

1Patricia Wright – Secretary/ Vice-President of the Baja Coastal Institute

Pat is widely known as a formidable legislative and policy strategist for the disability civil rights community throughout both Democratic and Republican Administrations.  Widely acknowledged as “the General” who coordinated the campaign to enact the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), Wright also worked to establish acceptance of disability as a legitimate civil rights cause within the broad civil rights community as well as within traditional disability services organizations.

Dr.Octavio Aburto - Director of the Gulf of California Marine Program

Octavio is the Director of the Gulf of California Marine Program. He is an Assistant Professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) and a professional photographer associate with the International League of Conservation Photographers.

Dr. Aburto obtained his PhD at the Center of Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at SIO and was honored with the Jean Fort Award by the University of California, San Diego for his significant contribution to an issue of public concern through his doctoral research. As a Kathryn Fuller and Hellman Fellow, his research and photographs have focused on marine protected areas and commercially exploited marine species in Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Ecuador and the U.S. His photographs have been part of several conservation projects worldwide and have won international photography contests including a gold place in the Our World Underwater 2016.

3David L. Cooper – BCI Board Member

With over 15 years directing the acquisition, financing, ownership and disposition of group companies, David has a track record of profitable investing, long-standing relationships with key industry participants, multi-cycle acquisition, financing and disposition experience and established operating and reporting systems and procedures.

2Dr. Michael Kavanaugh – BCI Board Member

Internationally recognized water quality, water treatment, and groundwater remediation expert Mike Kavanaugh, PhD, PE, is a chemical and environmental engineer and currently a Senior Principal with Geosyntec Consultants based in the firm’s Oakland, Ca., office.  With more than 40 years of consulting experience, contributions to over 80 technical publications, and more than 150 presentations to audiences that included congressional and state committees, Mike is a proven leader in the water, water quality, and groundwater engineering industry.  He was elected into the National Academy of Engineering in 1998.

6Edgardo Ochoa – BCI Board Member

Scientist and scientific dive expert, Edgardo spent many years in Baja California.  Born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, Edgardo move to La Paz to study Marine Biology at Universidad Autonoma de Baja California Sur.

Edgardo co-authored many papers including papers on the White tip shark in the west coast of Mexico; range extension of Psammocora stellata in the Gulf of California, Mexico; Sedimentation of coral reefs; the reefs of Cabo Pulmo; and several papers and presentations on scientific diving.

Dr. Héctor Reyes Bonilla

Dr. Reyes is currently a professor-researcher in the Academic Department and Coastal Sciences of the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur (UABCS), Dr. Reyes has published more than 40 scientific articles and more than ten books and book chapters. He has directed 50 bachelor's, master's and doctoral thesis of national and foreign students. His research career includes macroecology and functional dynamics of coral reefs.

Dr. Reyes has been invited as an expert for the analysis of data from the national parks of the Mesoamerican reef system. He is the scientific and technical advisor of the coral reefs of Mexico. Since 2011, it belongs to level III of the National System of Researchers, and it also has the Desirable Profile PROMEP Desirable profile.

Linda Asuma-Weinstein Filmmaker

Independent film/documentary producer, director, actor. She started in front of the camera as teenager with television work in Japan, Singapore and Thailand then behind the camera with production companies such as Orion Pictures and various independent production houses. She is the founder of Akamai films, an independent film and documentary production company that creates and supports films on social and environmental justice. She is currently producing and directing a documentary about world wide conflict resolution with an international advocate for peace winner. Filming has taken them to 28 countries the past 2+ years. Along with producing an Ethiopian human rights story and an environmental documentary dealing with conquering our planets environmental issues.