Speaking Testimonials

Some feedback from events where I have spoken recently

[Dr. Nichols addresses a sold out crowd gathered at the Frost Science Museum in Miami, Florida.]

If you'd like me to work with you at your event, please contact us by email for details.

"J Nichols is one of the very best at engaging an audience, sparking meaningful thought and debate, and linking his message to your key objectives."

--Shane Toohey, Founder, Peak Teams

"Honestly, I have never witnessed the level of awe and inspiration that J's talk appeared to have imparted to the student interns, and I have been to dozens of trainings and lectures given by internal and external speakers. His talk provided them with something much more than information, it gave them pause to think about the world and their connection to it in a different way than they had before. J. made it so genuinely relevant.

Alumni of this program have told us that interactions with engaging scientists like J. can be the pivotal moment when they decide what they want to do, and I think he may have positively changed the course of some lives when he spoke to them."

--Roberta Brett, Senior Science Specialist, California Academy of Sciences

"[Dr. Nichols] really understood our interdisciplinary interests and that made him the ideal CMBC speaker going beyond marine biology to economics, communication, health sciences, neurology and more. It was incredibly engaging for our students and a most entertaining presentation.  I'm sure the blue marbles will be a reminder and inspiration for all of us as we continue to love our water!"

--Penny Dockry, The Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at Scripps Institution of Oceanography

"Your 'outside the box' collaboration resulted in a very insightful and thought provoking presentation that would have stood on its own as one of the highlights of the festival [BLUE Ocean Film Festival]."

--Matthew Spiegl, Esq.

“In an era when so many of us -- especially young people -- are concerned about our environment and what we can do to improve it -- J's message is powerful, persuasive and personable.  He inspires his audiences to dream big when they consider what to do with their lives, and to also consider that small gestures can have a major impact on our planet over time.  He also took the time to meet with a great many of our graduates after his commencement speech.  They left our campus with a great sense of possibility as well as responsibility, and I'm confident they'll carry J's message (and his blue marble) with them for many years as they help to build a better future.”

--Ken Owen, Executive Director of Media Relations, DePauw University

"We were thrilled to have J. speak on the Google Campus for Earth Day. His work is bridging a critical gap in our understanding of how the human mind makes decisions in terms of ocean conservation. For cognitive scientists that seek to discover the science that underlies what we all know to be an incredibly powerful connection between humankind and our blue planet, I believe J.'s message is a critical and compelling one. I'm encouraged by the radical shift in marine conservation efforts that can result from the research that J. advocates for, to better understand the neurological processes that occur when we are in the presence of water."

--David Bennett, Green Team Operations & Innovations Lead, Google

"Warm and engaging, Dr. Nichols' anecdotal speaking style captures his audience, inviting them to share his passion for the ocean and drawing their attention to the plight of this critical cause."

--Elizabeth Borelli, co-Director Race Against Global Warming

"Everyone in the room was inspired and completely mesmerized by J's talk on the linkages between neuroscience and marine conservation. A friend even told me that J's message reminded him of why he was studying marine biology in the first place.  Being able to inspire any person whether it be at Every Body Eats eight months ago or at a small panel last Wednesday is truly a gift, and I am so glad that Dr. Nichols was able to bring positivity to the work we do and share that true conservation requires a person entirely--their intellect, time, physicality, empathy, and love."

--Natalie Tran, Food Systems Education and Research Coordinator, University of California, Santa Cruz

“J participated  as our special guest at the First Youth Conference for the Conservation of the Gulf of California at the Mazatlan Aquarium.  His visit awoke a feeling of great pride, sense of identity and place in the 100 kids from more than 30 coastal communities who attended from the region (Sonora, Sinaloa, Nayarit and Baja California Peninsula, Mexico).  

All were touched in their hearts and minds in an irreversible way by the knowledge and love that J feels for this unique part of our planet.  J's commitment and dedication for conservation moves the consciousness of adults and children in favor of the necessary fight for our future, so that the magical mystery called LIFE continues to be the primary food of our body, soul and spirit of ours and future generations.”

--Raquel Briseno, Advisor, Children’s Conservation Education Program, Mazatlan Aquarium

"When planning Ecomentum's launch party, we wanted to create a special and memorable evening for Monterey Bay's sustainability community.  Wallace 'J' Nichols was the first person who came to mind, and he did not disappoint.  J connected with the audience, inspiring a group of overachievers to do even more to save our planet.  I look forward to working with him again in the future, and highly recommend him if you're looking for an engaging and motivating keynote speaker."

--Peter Brumis, MBA; CEO, Ecomentum Consulting

"J has the gift to make a person listen and pause for thoughtful contemplation, and realize the importance of the preservation of our natural environment.  Our lives can move so quickly that we lose track of the movement of the world we live in.  J brings us back to Earth with compassion and insight.  Giving us the chance to realize the opportunities at our doorsteps to reconnect with, and sustain our ecosystems and the species within them.  He is a rare and brilliant visionary for the protection of our natural world."

--Barbara D. Andrews, California Academy of Sciences

"I had the honor of inviting Dr. Wallace J. Nichols as an Earth Day keynote speaker at Duke University. Dr. Nichols, a former graduate of our Nicholas School of the Environment program, is an inspiring example of how one can use his or her formal education to spearhead movements and affect change in environmental science and conservation. His humble yet powerful presentation - a presentation that combined a wealth of knowledge with a sense of commitment and passion for his work – provided a wonderful example for the Duke community and a most appropriate message for Earth Day. We all left with a renewed desire to participate in creating a more sustainable future. I would not hesitate to invite Dr. Nichols to give a lecture at Duke University again in the future."

--Dr. Bill Chameides, Dean, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University

“J. provided a clarity of vision and clear communication about the state of the world’s oceans for our film, The 11th Hour. He speaks from the heart and is a new leader and peaceful warrior for the planet.  When listening to J. one falls in love with the ocean and with the wildlife that lives there; and he makes you feel like you can made a difference.  J. needs to be in front of as many people as possible, it would be best for all of us and especially for the oceans.”

--Leila Conners, Director, The 11th Hour, President, Tree Media Group

"J always provides an inspiring, well-focused, dynamic presentation.  Students fully engage in what he has to say – leaving the classroom eager to get involved and make things happen.  Many of these students seek J out with the goal of working with him on his projects.  He has served as an important role model and motivator for young eager minds.  And this is why I cajole J into talking to my class every year since I first started teaching it.  I can think of few individuals with this gift."

--Dr. Don Croll, Univ. of California, Santa Cruz

“I’ve known Wallace “J” Nichols for 10 years. I had heard of him from others, but it wasn’t until we met that I fully understood why others find him so engaging.

Our bond took only minutes, but has lasted for years.

J is a passionate advocate for the environment who lives his creed.  J is as authentic as anyone in the field—creative, entrepreneurial, bold, and innovative. He is an inspiration to everyone he meets—he is constantly inventing new environmental initiatives and enlisting others in his causes.  

But he is most influential and inspirational when he speaks.  I have heard him speak in front of high school and college students, scientists, and the general public. He holds audiences spellbound with his stories; he is a master of the metaphor.  People are engaged by his sense of adventure and by his love of nature and people who interact with nature.  Students often leave this experience saying, “I wanna be like J!”  

So do I!”

--Dr. Larry Crowder, Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University

“Eight Adventure Travel World Summits later, only two of our featured speakers out of more than 60 have received overwhelming call-backs by the incredibly demanding and progressive audience that is the adventure tourism sector - and J's one of 'em. So, what did we do? We called him back to pick up where he left off in 2009, and he'll keynote the 2010 Adventure Travel World Summit. His talent's simply too hard to find these days - sure, he speaks year-round at conferences worldwide, but his tone, style and meaningful messages resonate in visceral ways, his talks are always fresh with every word uttered, and his accessible storytelling is packed with science...and heart and soul above all else.”

--Chris Doyle, Vice President, Adventure Travel Trade Association, Director of ATTA's Annual Adventure Travel World Summit events

"It’s rare to meet someone in your life that helps your brain work better, makes your courage grow, and makes your struggles and sacrifices seem small. We’ve had plenty of brilliant thinkers in the world of environmental conservation. There have been lots of excellent organizers. But, only a few times in our lives do we hear someone speak from the heart, with facts, wisdom, and humor on how to make decisions that define and drive the vision of the world we want to live in."

--Tim Dykman, co-Director, Ocean Revolution

"Wallace “J” Nichols is an amazing person with an incredible mission whose engaging and eloquent style captures an audience’s interest and attention.  As travel radio broadcasters we know that it requires a special communication skill to paint a picture that would allow a listener to visualize a scene.  This task is easier to accomplish when the speaker has a passion about his/her subject matter.  Indeed, J clearly has a passion for his work and experiences and he shares this with a sense of compassion and urgency which encourages action and involvement from his audience.  

The mission of the Travel’n On Radio Show (www.traveln-on.com) is three-fold:  to encourage cross-cultural understanding, global citizenship and sustainable tourism and “J” embodies all three elements of our mission.  What turned out to be a wonderful interview with a “guest” and fellow traveler has turned into a life-long friendship with a beautiful humanitarian and we are pleased that he is now a part of our Travel’n On family.

--Ian and Tonya Fitzpatrick, Esqs., Hosts + Producers, Travel’n On Radio Show

“I’d describe J as a “surround sound system”… once you get inside the room where he is speaking, there is no way you won’t hear what he’s saying. From the first time I heard J giving a public speech in Mexico, I knew he was a man that could speak to all kinds of people, no matter the diversity of backgrounds, countries or realities they had.

At first I thought of this as a great ability, and I figured out J was the person we needed at the Universidad de las Américas to convince students to stand up and act for the Ocean. This was, at first, the reason why I invited him to give at talk at our International Congress: GAIA.

After being around J a little bit more, and watching him interact with people, I realized it was not necessary to have him standing on a scene giving a speech to convince people; you just need to have him in a boat, at a party, at dinner… you just need to have him around, no matter where, since J actually speaks from his heart, about things that represent his passion for life all the time. That’s the key!

Having J at GAIA was a great experience, he connected with students and passed along his message.  As an organizer of this conference I’ll say without hesitating that J’s talk was the most outstanding at our event!  It’s always pleasant to have him around, since no matter how, his “”surround sound system” always gets you!”

--Egle Flores, Universidad de las Américas, Puebla, Mexico

"As the Director at Save Our Shores for the past few years, I have had the pleasure of working with J Nichols several times as we share similar passions in our work and personal life for ocean protection.  J was kind enough to speak at one of the first fundraising events I put on. He engaged a very diverse crowd of several hundred people who might have been more interested in all the activities going on at the festival, but stopped to listen to his message about the importance of ocean health.

We then were fortunate to have him present to our group of dedicated volunteers for a 2 hour session through use of a very effective powerpoint presentation that impacted all the audience members with his simple to remember, but powerful message of, "Our ocean, we're putting too much in, taking too much out, and destroying the edges".  Folks still recite that to me even though the presentation took place almost a year ago.  J gave the most inspiring presentation I have seen at our recent training of volunteers.  He demonstrated with great photos, which really kept the crowd entertained, but most importantly his passion came across throughout the entire presentation He is very skilled at leaving the crowd feeling inspired, as he gives them easy suggestions for how they can make changes to help improve the health of the ocean.

Finally, I saw J speak at an event to raise awareness about climate change.  Many of the other presenters were very informative but not very charismatic.  When J got up to speak, he put a very humorous spin on the topic.  He asked people, "To do nothing".  Don't drive your cars, don't pollute, don't consume resources.  It was quite a different approach that certainly got people's attention.  Out of all of the presenters we have had for SOS, I must say that J was the most dynamic and interesting speaker - a very tough act to follow - which is why, as happened in this event, he's most often asked to speak last."

--Laura Kasa, Executive Director, Save Our Shores

"Wallace J. Nichols is my eco hero.  At Environmental Charter High School, Nichols gave one of the most inspiring speeches to have occurred on our campus.  He spoke to raise funds  at our "Green Gala" Event.  J also appeared with us on a national public radio station as a featured guest.  Because Nichols' gregarious influence he attracted lots of guests to our campus.  During his presentation the entire audience was silently engaged and besides the organic, local food Nichols was the hit of party.  Numerous guests were inspired by Nichols way of presenting and he was asked to present at other events in Los Angeles.  Nichols not only raised funds for us, he raised awareness of our organization, and he left our audience inspired to be eco-daredevils."

--Sara Laimon, Green Ambassadors Founder

"I have had the pleasure to work with Wallace J. Nichols on several occasions, and he has proven himself to be an exceptionally strong and influential speaker.  J has been a guest on my radio program, Tomorrow Matters,  I have heard him at lectures and we've spoken together on panels... at every opportunity J was prepared, informed, lively and motivating.  Audiences take well to Dr. Nichols as his speaking style is relaxed but compassionate. He is able to adjust his material from professional to layman and gives equal value and effort to both.  I highly recommend Dr. Wallace J. Nichols for your event."

--Deborah Lindsay, Producer and Radio Host Tomorrow Matters KRXA 540 AM “Talk Radio for a Better Tomorrow”

“As a conservation ecologist, I have attended many seminars and research presentations.  While most speakers are able to effectively explain their findings and discuss the science with interest and enthusiasm, few presenters have demonstrated the passion and dedication that is so apparent in Dr. Nichols when he speaks about his work.  

"J’s presentations go beyond the scientific research itself. They offer a picture of how science can and should be combined with community outreach, cooperation and environmental education.  In doing so, J truly connects with a wide audience, not just academic researchers.  For me, his discussion of the results that such an integrated approach to conservation can produce was both exciting and highly motivating.”

--Hannah Lucas, Western Washington University

"When we got the email that Dr. Nichols was coming to discuss the merger of the ocean and neuroscience, I was ecstatic to hear how he planned to make that work, and I must say, it was the most inspiring lecture I've ever attended at the Georgia Aquarium."

--Erika Stuebing, Senior Animal Care and Training Specialist, Georgia Aquarium