Lover of the Oceans

Jim Hart is an experienced photographer and oceanographer who since 1981 has led recreational, scientific and research expeditions worldwide. Through his studies at Louisiana State University in oceanography, and via extensive travel, Jim's adventures across the planet have allowed him to follow his childhood passion for conservation of the ocean and marine life.

After graduation, he lived and worked in Europe for several years in the petroleum field. In 1976, he spent two years hitchhiking across the planet, spending much of the time exploring Asia, Borneo and sailing across Indonesia. He returned to the U.S. in 1978 and became an award-winning builder, and he later developed oil and resort projects in Belize. In 1987, he designed and patented the first electronic underwater communication device for divers.

Jim later earned a professional certification in Volunteer Administration from the University of Colorado and helped design, and then manage, 1,200 volunteer naturalists and divers at the Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans. While there, he created and led reef research expeditions for the United Nations, designed and conducted sea turtle protection protocols for the Army Corps of Engineers, and developed ocean awareness educational programs for schools in Central America. Those ocean awareness programs became the seed for the "Animal Protector "program ,he would later develop for African Children.
Working with blacktip sharks in the Bahamas


Working with blacktip sharks in the Bahamas


Working with blacktip sharks in the Bahamas


Shark research in the Red Sea


Shark research in the Red Sea


Oceanographic Expeditions

Jim started Oceanographic Expeditions LLC in 1995 to enable volunteer divers from public aquariums across the U.S. to become involved in marine research and conservation programs. That year, he was among the NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Advisory board members who established the Flower Gardens National Marine Sanctuary in the Gulf of Mexico. As a member of the Global Interactive Marine Animal Experience Council, he helped establish parameters and guidelines for shark, manta ray, manatee and porpoise interactive experiences around the world. Today, he is an also an active member of the East African Environmental Education Board of Directors.

In 1996,working with the Aquarium of the Americas, the US Department of Marine Fisheries and Walkers Cay Marine park, he developed and ran the first electronic tagging/scanning program for Caribbean Reef Sharks and Black Tip Sharks in the wild.

In 1996, Jim planned and implemented "Project Reef Spawn," which involved 200 volunteer divers in the first hemisphere wide study of mass coral spawning. A year later, he was asked to address the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to discuss the role of volunteers in scientific research. Jim later established the first coral growth study in Panama, and in 2010 he helped to develop Marine Sanctuaries in Tanzania.

Jim has published scientific papers on mass coral spawning and lobster tagging in the Western hemisphere, filmed shark feeding habits, studied white sharks in South Africa and whale sharks off Tanzania, and led numerous conservation and biological study expeditions to Central America, Micronesia, southern Africa and Egypt.

Dive Instructor

Jim is also a P.A.D.I. Divemaster who, in 1991, was one of the founders of the American Association of Diving Program Administrators. As president of that national organization of Public Aquarium staff for it's first eight years, he worked to expand the membership to include aquariums worldwide.

Jim often volunteers with the Diveheart Foundation, an organization that teaches diving to disabled veterans and children and then takes participants on diving expeditions. In 2009, he trained and guided the first blind, deaf and mute diver through a dive expedition to Mexico. He was a contributor to Diveheart's new "Adaptive Diver Manual," which has become the bible of teaching divers how to train and work with other divers with disabilities.
A divemaster for 25 years, Jim is certified to use the latest in electronic communications gear and enriched air mixtures
In 2010, Jim trained Erica, the first known blind, deaf and mute diver in the world. They dove for a week in up to 80 feet of water in Cozumel, Mexico. She loved touching the marine life!

A divemaster for 25 years, Jim is certified to use the latest in electronic communications gear and enriched air mixtures
In 2010, Jim trained Erica, the first known blind, deaf and mute diver in the world. They dove for a week in up to 80 feet of water in Cozumel, Mexico. She loved touching the marine life!

Diveheart Foundation
Helping a disabled diver into the water

Diveheart Foundation
Helping a disabled diver into the water

Training a young girl with cerebral palsy to dive in the Florida Keys.
Jim enjoys the teamwork involved in training disabled divers. The folks he meets through Diveheart are always inspiring.

Training a young girl with cerebral palsy to dive in the Florida Keys.
Jim enjoys the teamwork involved in training disabled divers. The folks he meets through Diveheart are always inspiring.

Jim and Anne make a good team
Her forte is art, while his is conservation education

Jim and Anne make a good team
Her forte is art, while his is conservation education

Jim's travels have taught him that the key to wildlife conservation lies in teaching children to become aware adults.


Jim's travels have taught him that the key to wildlife conservation lies in teaching children to become aware adults.


A Shared Passion

Jim met Anne London in 2009 while working on a marine park in Tanzania. Their relationship blossomed and Anne's passion for land animal preservation changed his focus from marine conservation to wildlife conservation programs. Sharing Anne's desire to make the planet a better place, he and Anne continue to work with disabled veterans and children both with Diveheart and New Heights, a therapeutic riding facility near their home in Louisiana.

From the hidden valleys of Afghanistan and the mountains of Nepal to the depths of the Red Sea and reefs of Palau, Jim has explored and photographed much of this planet and its cultures and wildlife. His photographs, artwork and videos have appeared in the Washington Post, several wildlife conservation and SCUBA diving magazines, National Marine Sanctuary publications and on national broadcast television. His "thermonuclear art" and outdoor, acoustic art piece entitled "The Singing Oak" have earned him artistic praise in the New Orleans area.

Jim feels blessed to be a part of Arts For Animals and its work. "It's amazing to me how many of my past experiences with marine conservation issues prepared me for what I am doing today," he says. "The key to preserving the wildlife of our planet, whether in the ocean, on the plains of Africa or the forests of Asia lies in the minds of the children everywhere!"
Explaining fish behavior and Aquatic conservation issues to aquarium visitors
Jim was Volunteer Coordinator for over 1000 volunteers ,as well as, curator of education for the Aquarium of the Americas when it opened.

Explaining fish behavior and Aquatic conservation issues to aquarium visitors
Jim was Volunteer Coordinator for over 1000 volunteers ,as well as, curator of education for the Aquarium of the Americas when it opened.

Jim's underwater photographs have appeard in several SCUBA magazines


Jim's underwater photographs have appeard in several SCUBA magazines


The Red Sea, Sudan, 2009
Visiting the site of Cousteau's Conshelf II (man's first underwater "habitat") was one of Jim's bucket list items. He first read about the project in National Geographic magazine as a kid in the 1960s, never imagining he would ever visit in person.

The Red Sea, Sudan, 2009
Visiting the site of Cousteau's Conshelf II (man's first underwater "habitat") was one of Jim's bucket list items. He first read about the project in National Geographic magazine as a kid in the 1960s, never imagining he would ever visit in person.

Atop Mount Kilamanjaro
For his 60th birthday, Jim set his sights on climbing the highest mountain in Africa.

Atop Mount Kilamanjaro
For his 60th birthday, Jim set his sights on climbing the highest mountain in Africa.

Studying orangutans in Borneo
Having lived in Indonesia in the 1970s, Jim has seen the decimation of orangutan habitat first hand. He and Anne visited orangutan orphanages with hundreds of young orangutans in 2011.

Studying orangutans in Borneo
Having lived in Indonesia in the 1970s, Jim has seen the decimation of orangutan habitat first hand. He and Anne visited orangutan orphanages with hundreds of young orangutans in 2011.

"Kazoo Diplomacy" at the Rosa Orphanage in Zimbabwe
Years ago, Jim discovered kazoos were the easiest instrument to play, the most bulletproof musical instrument you could give a child or adult. No matter the age, the kazoos always elicit a big smile as people play their first tune!

"Kazoo Diplomacy" at the Rosa Orphanage in Zimbabwe
Years ago, Jim discovered kazoos were the easiest instrument to play, the most bulletproof musical instrument you could give a child or adult. No matter the age, the kazoos always elicit a big smile as people play their first tune!