Katy Croff Bell

Founder and President of the Ocean Discovery League

Katy Croff Bell

Dr. Katy Croff Bell is the Founder and President of the Ocean Discovery League and a National Geographic Explorer. She is on a mission to break down barriers to the deep sea by combining low-cost technologies, AI-driven data analysis and capacity building to make access to the deep sea more efficient and accessible to all, especially those historically excluded from the field.

Bell was previously the Founding Director of the Open Ocean Initiative at the MIT Media Lab, which was dedicated to developing programs for low-cost, distributed deployment of new and emerging technologies for ocean exploration and community building. As Vice President of the Ocean Exploration Trust, she led the development of exploration, research and educational outreach activities for Exploration Vessel Nautilus.

Bell was Vice Chair of the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee from 2017 to 2019. She was a 2001 John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellow in the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration, 2006 National Geographic Emerging Explorer, 2014 MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow, 2017-2020 National Geographic Fellow and 2019 AAAS IF/THEN Ambassador.