Sam SielenSam Sielen
Director of Photography - United States

Born and raised in Milwaukee, WI, I developed a strong desire to help protect this planet at an early age.  I have volunteered in schools, at the local bicycle cooperatives, built latrines in the Dominican Republic, campaigned with the League of Conservation voters, and regularly partake in river, park, and beach cleanups.

With a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Film, I have produced various short films advocating bicycling, activism, and respect for nature.  I moved from Milwaukee to New York City on my bicycle, riding over one thousand miles through some of the US's most extreme environments - from fields of oil refineries to the snowy mountaintops of the Appalachians - all of which reinforced my yearning to protect this delicate balance here on planet Earth.  Practicing veganism in both diet and lifestyle for over seven years, I have come to learn just how important of a choice this is to better the health of this planet as a whole and for all of its inhabitants.

I worked in the Visual Evidence Unit in New York City's District Attorney's office for three years before joining The Bob Barker in 2010. I overhauled much of the plumbing on The Bob (thanks to skills acquired from helping with my sister's and brother-in-law's plumbing business back in NYC), while also shooting video and taking photos year-round for Sea Shepherd's website and media outlets.

During Operation Divine Wind, Carolina Castro and I (The Bob's still photographers) were asked to film the second leg of the campaign. Our footage of The Bob Barker crew finding the Nisshin in the middle of the night quickly spread around the globe and was used for the season finale of Whale Wars. Since then, I have been asked to return as Director of Photography and Camera Operator for Operation Zero Tolerance and Operation Relentless.

Often I am asked how others can help protect the oceans.  My advice for all is to give up eating seafood (and all animals for that matter) and to stop supporting animals in captivity by not visiting aquariums and zoos. I am optimistic for the future, as I have seen progress in cultures all around the world and will continue doing everything in my power to help our co-inhabitants of this beautiful planet we call home.

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Sea ShepherdSea Shepherd is the world's leading direct-action ocean conservation organisation.