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Cliff  Kapono

Cliff Kapono

Professional Surfer & Phd Scientist


Dr. Cliff Kapono is a professional surfer, chemist and journalist. Born on the eastern shores of Hawai‘i, his life involves equal parts science as it does surf. Read More >

While contributing several peer-reviewed publications to the fields of molecular bioscience, he has also produced a handful award-winning films that discuss indigenous activism, ocean conservation, global food security and virtual reality.

He has been profiled in publications such as The New York Times, NBC, CBS, Surfer Magazine, and more. Cliff is currently based in Hilo, Hawai‘i and can be found tinkering in the lab when not chasing the best waves on the planet. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Finding My Wave

Speech Topics

Nature & Me

An exploration into the connection between humans and nature through a scientific and indigenous lens.

Up White Mountain

A story of what it was like to go in a submarine 5000m to the base of Mauna Kea and summit the tallest mountain on Earth.

Finding My Wave

A reflective conversation around how Kapono became the first professional surfer with a PhD in chemistry.