Dr. Riki Ott, PhD

Founder & Director

[email protected]


Riki Ott, PhD, is a marine toxicologist and former commercial fisherma’m who experienced the trauma and devastation of the Exxon Valdez oil spill firsthand. This became a vehicle for personal growth and her work in front-line communities to enhance public awareness of the enormous socio-economic costs of our oil dependency.

Ott blogs for Huffington Post, has written several books on socio-economic impacts of oil disasters, and appeared in award-winning documentaries on the nation’s largest maritime oil disasters ('Black Wave' and 'Dirty Energy').

In 2010, Ott was runner up for Huffington Post’s Game Changer in the Environment award for her volunteer work in Gulf coast communities after the BP disaster. In 2015, she received the Grace Lee Boggs Award from the Make It Safe Coalition for her work empowering people to have a voice in energy choices in their own backyard.

Ott directs two projects for the Earth Island Institute: UltimateCivics.org towards a healthy democracy; and AlertProject.org towards a healthy energy future.

Ott earned her doctorate in 1985 from the University of Washington School of Fisheries with an emphasis on the effects of heavy metals on benthic invertebrates. She earned her Masters of Science from the University of South Carolina, SC, Baruch Institute in marine biology with emphasis on effects of oil on zooplankton.


Leslie Pacey

Outreach Coordinator

Saskia Hatvany

Saskia Hatvany

Media and Communications


Our Allies

National Tribal Emergency
Management Council

Alaska Community Action on Toxics

Alaska Inter-Tribal Coalition

Prince William Sound Regional
Citizens’ Advisory Council

Center for Biological Diversity

UC Berkeley Law School
(Berkeley, CA)

Earth Island Institute
(Berkeley, CA)

Government Accountability Project

SE Environmental Task Force
(Chicago, IL)

Breakfree Midwest
Response Network

Dunelands Environmental
Justice Alliance

Alliance for the Great Lakes

Southeast Side Coalition
to Ban Petcoke
(Chicago, IL)

350 Indiana

350 Kishwaukee
(DeKalb, Illinois)

Texas Environmental Justice
Advocacy Services

Achieving Community
Tasks Successfully

(Pleasantville, TX)

Arkansas Environmental
Justice Network
(Conway, AR)

Mobile Environmental Justice
Action Coalition

(Mobile, AL)

NAACP Mobile County Branch #5044
(Mobile, AL)

Sierra Club Delta Chapter,
Acadian Group
(Lafayette, LA)

South Bay Communities Alliance
(Coden, AL)

Steps Coalition
(Biloxi, MS)

Apalachicola Riverkeepers

Healthy Gulf

Louisiana Shrimpers Association

Vietnamese Boat People – SOS