"Passionate QUESTioning" - Dylan Vecchione

Dylan is the founder of ReefQuest, the global organization that fosters marine stewardship in kids through citizen science. Despite his young age of 14, Dylan leads the development of the ReefQuest website and is the creator of its centerpiece, the "Virtual Reef," the leading digital underwater panoramic photographic record of global coral reefs.


Dylan Vecchione

Dylan is the founder of ReefQuest, the global organization that fosters marine stewardship in kids through citizen science. Despite his young age of 14, Dylan leads the development of the ReefQuest website and is the creator of its centerpiece, the "Virtual Reef," the leading digital underwater panoramic photographic record of global coral reefs. Dylan has engineered and built specialized 3D underwater camera systems and Remote Operated Vehicles to capture the Virtual Reef images. He has traveled around the world to image underwater coral reefs for scientific monitoring. The Virtual Reef is being used as a platform for citizen science environmental programs in 48 countries, and over 60,000 students have participated in ReefQuest sponsored research. Dylan is currently authoring a text book for middle and high school environmental science programs. In both 2011 and 2012, Dylan received commendations for his work on ReefQuest from President Barack Obama. Dylan was selected as a 2012 Three Dot Dash Global Teen Leader, the prestigious mentoring program created and hosted by by the We Are Family Foundation in New York. As a result, Dylan and ReefQuest are currently mentored by ocean conservation organization Oceana's Sr. Scientist, Margot Stiles. Dylan was also nominated a Jr. Ocean Hero finalist by Oceana in 2011, and the youth organization Kid's Heroes recognized Dylan as one of its Heroes that same year. Dylan is a certified advanced scuba diver and an avid sailor. Dylan attends the 8th grade at Wildwood School in Los Angeles, CA.

2013Valerie Grant