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The Cloister is Expanding

We are adding 63 rooms, a pool and a junior ballroom on the outer edges of the Cloister property.

Creativity Conference

Expand your horizons and stimulate your mind by engaging with extraordinary thinkers and innovators from the arts, sciences, and media during Sea Island's creativity weekend. The two-day program includes talks, Q&As, activities, and socializing with visionaries across many different fields. We expect this inaugural event to quickly become a tradition.

Hosts:

Ecologist Dr. Mark Moffett and his wife and frequent expedition partner, Melissa Wells, will serve as conference hosts. “Sea Island is a gorgeous spot surrounded by nature (golden marsh lands, protected oyster beds, and sea turtles), with amenities for a rejuvenating and stimulating weekend. We were impressed with our experience at Sea Island and jumped at the chance to help create a conference of like-minded creatives.”

Individual reservations are required for each lecture day and the dinner.



  • Mark W. Moffett, Ph.D

    Mark W. Moffett, a.k.a. "Doctor Bugs," has discovered new species and behaviors from the tops of the world's tallest trees to sink holes a quarter-mile deep. He has writing and photography credits for more than 30 articles for National Geographic and is the recipient of the highest honor in exploration, the Lowell Thomas Award from the Explorers Club.

    An entomologist at the Smithsonian Institution, he created a solo exhibition, “Farmers, Warriors, Builders: The Hidden Life of Ants.” He is a 2008 Yale Poynter Journalism Fellow with three books, The High Frontier: Exploring the Tropical Rain Forest Canopy, Face to Face with Frogs, and Adventures Among Ants, which The New York Times said was written “with an entertainer’s instinct for hooking a restless audience.” He is the recipient of the highest honor in exploration, the Lowell Thomas Award from the Explorers Club.

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  • Melissa Wells

    Melissa Wells is an expert at managing healthcare systems in the US and abroad. When on expeditions with fellow explorer Moffett, she also captures the work and inspiration of scientific researchers through photography and film.


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    • Irene Pepperberg

      Pepperberg received her SB from MIT (1969) and MA (1971) and Ph.D. (1976) from Harvard. She is currently a Research Associate and Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Harvard.

      She has been an Adjunct Associate Professor at Brandeis University's Psychology Department, and a visiting associate professor at MIT's Media Lab, later accepting a research scientist position there, leaving a tenured professorship at the University of Arizona. She has also taught at Northwestern and Purdue Universities. She has been a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study, won a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, was an alternate for the Cattell Award for Psychology, won the 2000 Selby Fellowship (Australian Academy of Sciences), won the 2005 Frank Beach Award for best paper in comparative psychology, was nominated for the 2000 Weizmann, L'Oreal, and Grawemeyer Awards, the 2001 Quest Award (Animal Behavior Society) and was renominated for the 2001 L'Oreal Award. She has also received fellowships from the Harry Frank Guggenheim and Whitehall Foundations, and numerous grants from the National Science Foundation. Her book, The Alex Studies, describing over 20 years of peer-reviewed experiments on Grey parrots, received favorable mention from publications as diverse as the New York Times and Science. Her memoir, Alex & Me, was a New York Times bestseller. She has presented her findings nationally and internationally at universities and scientific congresses, often as a keynote or plenary speaker, and has published numerous journal articles, reviews, and book chapters. She is a fellow of the Animal Behavior Society, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, the American Ornithologists' Union, AAAS, the Eastern and Midwest Psychological Associations, and presently serves as consulting editor for three journals and as associate editor for The Journal of Comparative Psychology. She is president of The Alex Foundation, has been a board member of Thinking Animals and currently serves as a board member of the Eastern Psychological Association.

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    • Dr. Rodney Brooks

      Founder, Chariman, and CTO of Rethink Robotics

      Rodney Brooks is the founder, chairman, and CTO of Rethink Robotics, a company that is deploying low cost, safe, and easy to train interactive humanoid robots in manufacturing and packaging applications.

      He was also cofounder, CTO, and board member of iRobot Corporation (nasdaq: IRBT) and is the emeritus Panasonic Professor of Robotics at MIT, where he was director of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) until 2007. Earlier he was on the faculty at Stanford University and a member of research staff at both Carnegie Mellon and MIT. He received his PhD in Computer Science from Stanford in 1981, after earning degrees in mathematics at the Flinders University of South Australia. He is a member of both the US National Academy of Engineering and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and also a Fellow of the IEEE, ACM, AAAI, and AAAS.

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