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Over the years, Watson has exhibited a remarkable diversity in his activism. Aside from being a co-founder of Greenpeace in 1972, Greenpeace International in 1979, and founder of Sea Shepherd in 1977, Watson was a Field Correspondent for Defenders of Wildlife between 1976 and 1980. He was a field representative for the Fund for Animals between 1978 and 1981, and a representative for the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals in 1979. He co-founded Earthforce Environmental Society in 1977 and Friends of the Wolf in 1984. Watson’s first affiliation with the Sierra Club was in 1968 and he has remained a Sierra Club supporter ever since. Watson was elected to the National Board of the Sierra Club USA serving as a director from 2003-2006.
Watson majored in communications and linguistics at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. He has lectured extensively at universities around the world, and was a professor of Ecology at Pasadena College of Design from 1990 through to 1994. Watson also was an instructor in UCLA’s Honors Program for 1998 and 1999. Currently, Watson is a registered speaker with William Morris Endeavor Entertainment (WME), and regularly gives presentations at colleges and universities in the United States and at special events throughout world.
Watson has received many awards and commendations over the years. In 1996, Watson was awarded an honorary citizenship to the French town of St. Jean Cap Ferrat. Previous to that he was made an honorary citizen of the Florida Keys in 1989. Other awards include Toronto City TV’s Environmentalist of the Year Award for 1990, the Genesis Award in 1998, and he was enrolled in the U.S. Animal Rights Hall of Fame in 2002. He was also awarded the George H.W. Bush Daily Points of Light Award in 1999 for his volunteer efforts with conservation activism. He was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the environmental heroes of the 20th Century in the year 2000.
Watson is a prolific writer and author. His published titles include: Shepherds of the Sea* (1979), Sea Shepherd: My Fight for Whales and Seals* (1982), Cry Wolf* (1985), Earthforce!, (1993), Ocean Warrior (1994), and Seal Wars (2002
Watson has served as Master and Commander on seven different Sea Shepherd ships since 1978. He continues to lead Sea Shepherd campaigns to protect defenseless marine wildlife around the world – click here to read all about the Sea Shepherd years.