John Racanelli | WYPR

John Racanelli

Host, A Blue View

As chief executive officer, John Racanelli leads a team of 600 full and part-time employees and 1,000 volunteers in pursuing the National Aquarium’s mission to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures.  More than 1.5 million people annually visit the Aquarium’s venue in Baltimore, Maryland, while millions more are touched by the Aquarium’s education programs, outreach activities, social media campaigns and conservation initiatives.

A passionate advocate for the ocean, John strives to drive conservation action worldwide, ensure the success of one of the nation’s leading aquarium enterprises, and fundamentally change the way the world views the ocean and aquatic systems.

John joined the National Aquarium in July 2011 after 10 years as president of Racanelli Partners, Inc. The San Francisco-based consulting firm served the needs of nonprofit leaders nationally and globally, focusing on cultural and conservation organizations including Mission Blue/Sylvia Earle Alliance, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and the Surfrider Foundation.

After co-founding Mission Blue with author and oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle, John assisted her in developing and launching Google Ocean, Google’s most significant enhancement of Google Earth, the most popular earth visualization tool in existence.

Prior to founding his firm, John spent 16 years in leadership positions at U.S. aquariums. He was the first CEO of the Florida Aquarium in Tampa, where he built the facility, team and vision for Tampa Bay’s leading cultural attraction.  He also served for nine years on the leadership team of the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium as its vice president of marketing and development, joining the aquarium a year before its opening. While in college, John began his career as a diver and aquarist, an experience that he credits with giving him great appreciation for the work of everyone on the aquarium team.

Fluent in Spanish, John holds a degree in strategic management from Dominican University of California. He is a SCUBA diver, open-water swimmer, sailor and surfer. His weekly radio show and podcast on WYPR public radio, “A Blue View,” explores important issues related to the aquatic world. John and his family are proud residents of Canton, Baltimore’s historic waterfront district.

Water Snakes

Aug 2, 2017
David Byron Keener/Shutterstock.com

As part of our continuing look at life in the Inner Harbor, learn more about northern water snakes and the important role they play in this ecosystem. 

All About Algae

Jul 26, 2017
Kichigin/Shutterstock

All over our blue planet, wherever you find water, you’ll find algae. From tiny microorganisms to forests of kelp that grow a foot a day, algae are useful and fascinating—but often undervalued and misunderstood.

This episode first aired in April 2017. 

Sondes

Jul 19, 2017
The National Aquarium

When we talk about improvements in local water quality, what does that mean? Moreover, how can we be sure? Take a listen to learn more about the technology at work in assessing the Inner Harbor. 

This episode originally aired in April. 

A Green Kitchen

Jul 11, 2017
The National Aquarium

When looking to make a positive conservation impact, start in the heart of your home. Your kitchen is full of opportunities for going greener. Here are some simple suggestions. 

Mallards

Jul 4, 2017
The National Aquarium

As part of our continuing look at life in and around Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, we’re learning about mallards. Listen in to find out how they support plant life and a diverse waterfront ecosystem. 

The National Aquarium

Summer is here, and over 60 million Americans are beach bound. Take a listen to learn some simple, helpful suggestions for leaving the beach better than you found it. 

The American Eel

Jun 20, 2017
Theresa Keil, National Aquarium

They’re seldom seen, but Baltimore’s Inner Harbor plays an important role in their lifecycle. Learn more about American Eels.

This episode aired in February 2017. 

Jellyfish

Jun 11, 2017
THE NATIONAL AQUARIUM

Mysterious, misunderstood jellyfish are swimming right in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Let's take a look at what their presence indicates and how climate change is playing a role. 

This episode originally aired in March 2017. 

Mad About Menhaden

Jun 8, 2017
BRIAN GRATWICKE/FLICKR

Why are Atlantic Menhaden in demand? Listen to find out!

The Night Heron

May 30, 2017
The National Aquarium

As a variety of public and private organizations strive to improve the water quality of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, we are seeing a resurgence of native species not only below the water’s surface, but soaring high above as well, like the graceful night heron. 

Manatees

May 23, 2017

These gentle giants have rebounded in recent years, making their way off the endangered species list, but we must be vigilant to protect their resurgence. Let’s check in with manatees. 

The Buzz About Bees

May 17, 2017
DOELAY/FLICKR

John Racanelli shares the latest information about the health of bees.

This episode originally aired on December 13, 2016.

Aquaculture

May 10, 2017
Bytemarks/flickr

We all want to do what's best for our ocean planet but we're drowning in choices. And consumers are asking 'what is best?' In this episode, John sheds some light on seafood and aquaculture.

This episode originally aired on Dec. 27, 2016. 

Dunes

May 2, 2017
The National Aquarium

They might just look like piles of sand, but ocean sand dunes play a critical role in protecting our waterfront communities from the devastating effects of storm systems while providing important natural habitat for dozens of species. Let’s take a closer look!

Climate Change

Apr 24, 2017
The National Aquarium

With 2016 on the books as the hottest year on record after a string of increasingly warm years, let’s take a look at the simple things that each of us can do every day to make a positive difference in the fight against climate change. 

Sondes

Apr 19, 2017
The National Aquarium

When we talk about improvements in local water quality, what does that mean? Moreover, how can we be sure? Take a listen to learn more about the technology at work in assessing the Inner Harbor. 

All About Algae

Apr 11, 2017
Kichigin/Shutterstock

All over our blue planet, wherever you find water, you’ll find algae. From tiny microorganisms to forests of kelp that grow a foot a day, algae are useful and fascinating—but often undervalued and misunderstood.

A Green Kitchen

Apr 4, 2017
A Blue View

When looking to make a positive conservation impact, start in the heart of your home. Your kitchen is full of opportunities for going greener. Here are some simple suggestions. 

Jellyfish

Mar 28, 2017
The National Aquarium

Mysterious, misunderstood jellyfish are swimming right in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Let's take a look at what their presence indicates and how climate change is playing a role. 

Urban Conservation

Mar 22, 2017
NATIONAL AQUARIUM/FLICKR

John and Curtis Bennett, Conservation Project Manager at the National Aquarium discuss urban conservation efforts. 

This segment originally aired on Jan. 3, 2017.

Dunes

Mar 14, 2017
The National Aquarium

They might just look like piles of sand, but ocean sand dunes play a critical role in protecting our waterfront communities from the devastating effects of storm systems while providing important natural habitat for dozens of species. Let’s take a closer look!

Blue Crabs

Feb 28, 2017

Their Latin name means beautiful swimmers and they are not only our state crustacean, but also an excellent indicator of the health of the Chesapeake Bay. Let’s take a closer look at blue crabs.

Climate Change

Feb 21, 2017
The National Aquarium

With 2016 on the books as the hottest year on record after a string of increasingly warm years, let’s take a look at the simple things that each of us can do every day to make a positive difference in the fight against climate change. 

The National Aquarium

Each winter the National Aquarium rehabilitates sea turtles that have been 'cold stunned.' Jennifer Dittmar, the Aquarium's Marine Animal Rescue Manager joins John to discuss why her team has been seeing more of these turtles over the past few years.

The American Eel

Feb 8, 2017
Theresa Keil, National Aquarium

They’re seldom seen, but Baltimore’s Inner Harbor plays an important role in their lifecycle. Learn more about American Eels.

George Grall, National Aquarium

Each fall, the National Aquarium’s Animal Rescue team takes in cold stunned turtles from the northeast region. Learn more about what this condition means in these endangered animals.

It's Electric!

Jan 24, 2017

This segment originally aired on May 10, 2016.    

There's no better word to describe the electric eel than, well, shocking. Part of that shock, as it turns out, was the discovery that it isn't a real eel at all. While it exhibits a long, smooth, snake-like body, the electric eel is scientifically classified as a knifefish, a cousin to the carp and catfish-only with maximum voltage.

The electric eel's charge is like that of a Taser, except while a Taser delivers 19 high-voltage pulses per second, the electric eel produces an astounding 400 pulses per second.

Fish That Make Sound

Jan 17, 2017
AQUA.ORG

This segment aired on Feb. 16, 2016

When you think of an animal that purrs, grunts, croaks or hums, I’ll bet it’s not a fish. But, I’ll let you in on a secret: More than 150 species of fish on the East Coast of the U.S. are what scientists call “somniferous.” They make noise. Lots of it.

The Dumbo Octopus

Jan 10, 2017
OCEAN.SI.EDU

In the vast midwaters of the open ocean, there’s an animal so adorable that the Smithsonian Institution’s website said, "If this video doesn't inspire a whole cadre of budding teuthologists, we don't know what will." Any amateur teuthologists out there want to hazard a guess as to what group of animals they’re referring? Here’s a hint: teuthology is the study of squids and octopuses.

National Aquarium/flickr

John and Curtis Bennett, Conservation Project Manager at the National Aquarium discuss urban conservation efforts. 

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