Our Team

Jess Ponting PhD

Jess Ponting PhD

Director

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Jess Ponting was born in Wales, grew up in Australia, and lived in Papua New Guinea ,Indonesia, and Fiji before joining San Diego State University as an assistant professor in sustainable tourism in 2008. He fell in love with the ocean at an early age and pestered his parents long and hard enough to get him his first foam surfboard at the age of 10. With dreams of being a marine biologist Jess began a science degree at Sydney University and finished a degree in Resource and Environmental Management three years later at the Australian National University. While a community development worker in Papua New Guinea he realized the potential for sustainable tourism to be an economic driver for remote communities in need and formed the links to surf tourism in a subsequent extended surf trip through the eastern island of Indonesia. He worked on a surf charter boat off the north west coast of Sumatra before carrying out the first empirical research into sustainable surf tourism in his Masters degree, and completing the world’s first PhD to focus on sustainable surf tourism management. He has subsequently worked as a sustainable surf tourism consultant in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Fiji – where he authored the Fiji surf tourism development plan, and Mexico. Jess believes that effectively planned and managed surf tourism can positively change the world for thousands of coastal communities around the world, and that well informed passionate and motivated surfers can be game changing leaders for a sustainable future. Through the Center for Surf Research he aims to inspire a new generation of surfers and travelers to be humanitarian and conservation activists in the places they visit, and to be responsible global citizens committed to a sustainable future.

Greg Borne PhD

Greg Borne PhD

Visiting Fellow

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Gregory is a Lecturer in Public Policy Management at Plymouth University, UK. His research focuses on the many ways that sustainable development is being integrated into governance frameworks at the international, national, local, and individual levels. He has a particular interest in ideas around complexity, uncertainty, reflexivity, and the relationship between global and local risk. The aforementioned areas are developed in his recent book ‘A Framework for ‘Sustainable Global Development and Effective Governance of Risk’ (2010).  More recently, Gregory has combined his passion for surfing and sustainable devleopment and founded the Plymouth Surfing and Sustainability Research Group.

Dr. Borne holds a BSc (Hons) in Sustainable Development, an MSc in Social Research and a PhD in Sustainable Development. He is a member of the Institution of Environmental Sciences, a registered Chartered Environmentalist with the Society for the Environment, and a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

Carl Kish

Carl Kish

Certification Coordinator

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Carl Kish, a San Francisco native, graduated with honors from San Diego State University with a Bachelors of Science in Sustainable Recreation and Tourism Management. During his senior year at SDSU, Carl interned for the Center for Surf Research and assisted Dr. Jess with the development of various research programs, primarily focused in the surf resort industry. After consulting for Tavarua Island Resort, Fiji, and Casa Tucan Hotel, Costa Rica, Carl became the Sustainability Director for Safari Surf, LLC in Costa Rica upon graduation and went on to create the Sustainability Management System for Turtle Bay Resort in Hawaii. Carl is now the Project Manager for the development of Olas Verdes Surf Resort in Nosara, Costa Rica—a LEED Certified project. Having completed the Global Reporting Initiative Certified Sustainability Reporting Course (G4), as well as the Green Globe Certified Auditor Course, Carl is well-versed in the benchmarking, certification, and sustainability reporting processes. As Certification Coordinator, Carl serves as the liaison between the Center and its partner organization, STOKE Certified, to expand the STOKE Surf Certification Program in the global surf tourism industry. Carl is excited to share his passion for sustainability and surfing with SDSU and affiliate university students in hopes of providing more opportunities for graduates and researchers in the field, as well as accelerating innovation in surf resource management practices.

Sean Brody

Sean Brody

Research Assistant

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Sean Brody was born and raised in San Diego, California where he grew up surfing the beaches of La Jolla. When he was 21 years of age he needed a break from the daily grind of college and he took off to surf and photograph his way around the world. This trip eventually lead to a career in surf photography, a plethora of world travels, and a position as staff photographer for Rusty Surfboards. Brody graduated San Diego State University with a degree in Communication and a minor in Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation. Currently, in addition to his photography, Brody conducts research on sustainable surf tourism for the San Diego State University Research Foundation. It is Brody’s goal to combine his surf photography trips with surf philanthropy and, in addition, to be able to study the interaction between surfers and wave rich communities. In 2010 Brody founded the Surf Resource Network to help change lives in surf communities across the globe.

Sim Barhoum

Sim Barhoum

Digital Media Director

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Sim Barhoum was born in Chicago and grew up traveling the world at a young age. Because his father was in the hotel business, Sim lived and traveled to Jakarta, Nairobi, Singapore, Australia, and New York, all before the age of 12. He learned a great deal about how tourism affects cultures and habitats. After that, he lived in Hermosa Beach for six years before moving to San Diego. Sim studied English and Writing and worked at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla for many years furthering his knowledge of the hospitality industry. Sim eventually became a writer and editor for various magazines, including Surfer and Longboard, and then a College Writing Instructor.

Sim surfs as often as he can, which is usually at Cardiff, Oceanside, and Lowers. Because of his love for surfing, he frequents exotic locations around the globe and is conscientious of surf travel’s impact. Sim is now an Instructor in the Rhetoric and Writing Department at SDSU and is CSR’s media coordinator for various digital and social platforms.