Team Marine 2011 – 2012

Team Marine has, for the second time, split into two groups. While one group primarily focuses on the electric car conversion of a 1971 Volkswagon Beetle, the other group focuses on the ban of the plastic bag, backing up this ban with two years of research. Team Marine went to support the Sustainability Bill of Rights Resolution for Santa Monica by speaking in front of the city council board. We visited schools in order to teach and spread awareness about plastic bag pollution and the effects of tailpipe exhaust. The two teams collaborated on a common project: working with the district board to make our schools more environmentally friendly.

Achievement Archive


Benjamin Kay, marine scientist and Marine Biology teacher at Santa Monica High School and Santa Monica College, dedicates his life to teaching his students about aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and the anthropogenic impacts that threaten their fragile existence.  Benjamin’s courses integrate rigorous curricula with inquiry-based methods, hands-on labs, field trips, expert guest speakers, and frequent civic engagement opportunities.  As coach of the multi-award winning environmental science teen action group, Team Marine ( and, and lead advisor of the Solar Boat team, Heal the Bay Surfrider Club, and Teach & Test Ocean Water Quality Monitoring Program, Benjamin engages youth in real research, service learning, and educational outreach activities focused on environmental sustainability.  Students also compete in several regional science competitions including the QuikSCience Challenge, Edison Challenge, Solar Cup, and most recently the LA County Science Fair.  Through a myriad of experiences in field, laboratory, and community settings, Benjamin’s students hone their higher-order thinking and communication skills, bolster their academic resumes, win scholarships and awards, and receive training in the latest sustainable technologies.  Simultaneously, students cultivate both internal and community awareness about effective solutions to modern-day challenges, such as the global plastic pollution, climate, and ocean acidification crises. Read more…


Alexis Saez
My name is Alexis Saez and I am a senior at Santa Monica High School and Co-captain of Team Marine’s “bag team”. As a young girl, I was never really interested in the environment’s health. I hate to admit it, but I used to think climate change was a hoax. However, I did love trees, bugs, plants, mud, the ocean, and all things nature-related. But once I realized that all the things I loved in nature were being threatened by my own species, I decided to take a stand. Team Marine has helped me take a stand and has sparked interests I never knew I had. It has helped me appreciate nature even more, and yes, it has helped me realize that climate change is in fact a problem that threatens all organisms on the planet. Now that I am aware of all the dangers threatening our Earth, I’ve made it a personal commitment to help put an end to them all! By telling as many people as I can through Team Marine, I can only hope that some will make a personal commitment and do their part also.


Justin Tavaf
Hey my name is Justin Tavaf. I am a junior at  Santa Monica High School. My love for scuba diving inspired me to join Team Marine. Seeing plastics in beautiful places, and learning about ocean acidification really aggravated me. I  joined the car team because tail pipe pollution angers me the most!! My goal is to get electric cars onto the streets and have our oceans not be demolished by negligence. I want to say thanks to every one that gave me my environmental education, such as Mr. Kay and my parents.


Talal Alabdali
Hello, my name is Talal Alabdali, I am a junior at Santa Monica high school. My whole life I have lived close to the ocean, and have seen the pollution in it get worse and worse as the years go by. Being an avid surfer, I knew I wouldn’t rest until I was actively helping the ocean and its helpless residents. For that reason I joined team marine, and will continue to play a major role in influencing the entire world to switch to electric and stop poisoning the sea.



Kalon Cheung
My name is Kalon Cheung. I’m a junior at Santa Monica High School. I was influenced by my family and community the most when growing up. Both of my parents have always been in support of being green when possible. From them, I have developed good habits such as turning off lights when they are not in use, and watching my water usage. In elementary school, I remember hearing talks and going to assemblies about reducing consumption, reusing materials, and recycling items that don’t fit into the other two categories. My parents and the talks have had an effect on me, causing me to rethink the way I use products in my life. I agreed with the presentations and kept the three R’s important through middle school and in high school. I joined Team Marine in my junior year, eager to not only help convert a gas car to an EV, but also spread environmental awareness and help ensure our future turns out well.

Ivan Morales
Hello there. My name is Ivan Morales and I am a junior at Santa Monica High School and a member o  the Car Team. I have lived in Santa Monica my entire life and I have witnessed first hand how people dump trash into the ocean. Through my Marine Biology class I learned about the First Flush and the chemicals in plastic bottles. These facts only reinforced the idea that I should try and make a difference in the world. I continue to apply the ideas I have learned from Team Marine with my family and I continue to learn more through Team Marine. It is because of my experience with the ocean that I joined Team Marine and I am excited to carry out more sustainable works as the year progresses.   


Maykel Pernia
Yo what’s up guys, my name is Maykel, I’m 17 years old, I’m a junior in high school, I play sports and I’m an active member of Team Marine. I joined Team Marine mainly because I like action when it comes to saving the planet from uncool pollutants and all of the harmful anthropogenic impacts. So guys remember to recycle, reuse and REthink. It’s going to take a while to recover what’s left of our planet but every bit can help, so stay cool and do your best because it will pay off in the future.


Annie Wiesenfeld

My name’s Annie Wiesenfeld and I am a member of Team Marine’s Car Team. I heard about TM through a friend of a friend, and wasn’t really sure what it was all about, neither was a sure of what I really wanted
to focus on school-related. I played a little tennis here, worked with some animal groups there, but overall I had not found my true calling. Only until I reached the TM headquarters and spoke with the other
dedicated students did I realize that this is exactly what I wish to do with the rest of my life. No matter what it is I decide to study further, I know it will be with either the environment or the protection of wildlife. I can’t imagine doing anything else more important with my time. TM has opened so many doors of opportunity for me and I couldn’t be more grateful for all that I’ve learned in the process and all I will continue to learn next year. My goal for this coming year is to raise enough money to send an efficient amount of solar ovens abroad to those in need of some solar power! Can’t wait for next year!

Edie Cote

Hey, my name is Edie Cote and I am a junior at SAMOHI. I have always been a lover of nature and the environment, but I never knew how to help once i realized how in danger it was. However, through Team Marine I was able to accomplish things that I had previously thought impossible for someone as young as me. I, as well as my teammates, have been able to teach the community about plastic pollution, climate change, and other environmental issues. As an active member of the bag team, I conducted grocery bag research and educated students about our mission and our goals for the future of the environment. Ultimately, Team Marine has given me amazing opportunities to advocate for the betterment of our planet.