Enric Sala

photo credit Manu San Félix

Dr. Enric Sala is a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence dedicated to restoring the health and productivity of the ocean. His more than 120 scientific publications are widely recognized and used for real-world conservation efforts such as the creation of marine reserves. Enric is currently working to help protect the last pristine marine ecosystems worldwide, and to develop new business models for marine conservation. He founded and leads National Geographic’s Pristine Seas, a project that combines exploration, research, and media to inspire country leaders to protect the last wild places in the ocean. To date, Pristine Seas has helped to create 13 of the largest marine reserves on the planet, covering an area of over 4.5 million square kilometers.

Enric has received many awards including 2008 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, 2013 Research Award from the Spanish Geographical Society, 2013 Lowell Thomas Award from the Explorers Club, and a 2013 Hero Award from the Environmental Media Association. He is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Enric’s experience and scientific expertise contributes to his service on advisory boards of international organizations and governments.

3 words to describe Nature? 

Life. Support. System

3 things Nature taught you? 




3 most treasured Nature spots? 

Millennium Atoll (Kiribati)

Volcanoes National Park (Rwanda)

Any ancient forest 

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...? 


When you see a forest, it makes you feel...? 


When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...? 


When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...? 


When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...? 


When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...? 

It depends if I’m on land or at sea! I prefer not to hear that when I’m at sea.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person? 

All of them, even though my work has been mostly on oceans

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being? 


Share with us a childhood nature memory? 

First time I saw a starfish in the Mediterranean of my childhood while I was doing my first attempts at snorkeling. It was the most beautiful thing I saw, and memory that still lives with me.