Born in Wales, raised in Australia, Dr. Jess Ponting now lives in San Diego by way of Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and Fiji. Jess fell in love with surfing the first time he saw it at age 8 and set to work on his non-surfing Welsh parents for a surfboard, it took a couple of years. Going through the Australian version of Peace Corps in Papua New Guinea he began to see the potential for sustainable tourism to support remote communities in a way that didn't need to wreak untold havoc on local culture and environments. A subsequent extended overland trip through the eastern Indonesian Islands joined the dots and got him thinking about the potential of sustainable surf tourism. Jess went back to college and completed to world's first Masters Degree and PhD to look specifically at sustainable surf tourism. He has worked as a sustainable surf tourism consultant in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Spain and in 2011 founded the world's first Center for Surf Research at San Diego State University which he now Directs. Jess' evil plan is to change the way we travel when we surf so that surf tourism is a wholly and completely positive influence on the communities and environments we encounter in surf tourism destinations.
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