“Johnny Ocean and Me” is the collective title for 3 TV Series: Johnny Ocean in the English Language, Juanito Oceano in the Spanish Language, and Johnny Dà Hǎi in the language of Mandarin Chinese.
Johnny Ocean and Me seeks to teach children about the ocean and marine life, using the three most prominent languages in the United States and in the world.
Wikipedia cites that–according to the American Community Survey 2011, endorsed by the United States Census Bureau—English is spoken by 230 million Americans. 37.58 million people in the US, speak Spanish, making the US the 5th largest Spanish-speaking population in the world. Chinese is the third most common US language, spoken by 2.88 million people.
It is important for the ocean’s environment that all Americans are able to learn about the ocean, even if they are not native English speakers. Marine life is fascinating – from dolphins and whales to fish and sharks, from sea lions to walruses, from corals in the shallow oceans to newly discovered life in the great depths.
The need for people of other languages to understand Marine Science in schools has now been addressed by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. For the first time, NOAA has made part of their Ocean Exploration Website–which connects students directly to scientists with lesson plans, video and pictures–available to students and teachers in Spanish.
Johnny Ocean and Me seeks to bridge the cultural and linguistic gaps between English, Spanish and Chinese speakers by offering Johnny Ocean and Me in each of these languages. We have the possibilities of delivering this material in schools and on Television; and over the Internet, which is a fast-growing venue for TV shows and videos.
One newscaster likened Barron to the legendary teacher Jaime Escalante,
whose work was highlighted as the subject of the 1988 Oscar-nominated
Hollywood film “Stand and Deliver” starring Edward James Olmos and Lou Diamond Phillips.
Jonathan Barron is the producer, host and narrator of the Johnny Ocean and Me episodes, in his roles as Johnny Ocean, Juanito Oceano and Johnny Dà Hǎi. He is the composer of the soundtrack music and of the theme songs, where he performs vocally together with the children.
Education and Credentials
Barron holds a Masters of Environmental Studies from the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and English from the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB). He received a California Single-Subject Teaching Credential in the Biological Sciences from National University. He is an Eagle Scout and has a certified Open Water SCUBA diver certification through the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI). Barron is a trained public speaker. He served on the Saratoga High School student Speech and Debate team for 4 years, ranking among California’s top 14 Impromptu Speakers during his junior year.
Background in Education
Barron worked as a Marine Biology, Biology, General Science and Algebra teacher from 2002-2009.
While a marine biology teacher, he was selected as a recipient of the 2007 NOAA Teacher-At-Sea Award. He was also the recipient of two grants. A 2005 grant of computers from Seiler and Company Certified Public Accountants of Redwood City allowed the creation of a Science Department Computer Lab. This was featured in a local newspaper article. While a marine biology teacher, he was selected as a recipient of the prestigious 2007 Fund For Teachers Grant, which brought Barron to the Solomon Islands. Working there under the Roviana and Vonavona Lagoons Marine Resource Management Program, he taught a field course in Coral Reef Ecology to a group of select college-age indigenous students from a region of neighboring seashore villages. Barron was interviewed in a KLCS Los Angeles evening news television program about the grant.
Barron’s classrooms were featured in the news on several occasions, three of them in televised newscasts. In a Univision Channel 67 newscast which has garnered over 8,000 YouTube views, one newscaster likened Barron to the legendary teacher Jaime Escalante, whose work was highlighted as the subject of the 1988 Oscar-nominated Hollywood film “Stand and Deliver”starring Edward James Olmos and Lou Diamond Phillips.
Barron designed a classroom educational method named “Barron Anatomical Models® of Fish,”during the time in which he worked as a marine biology teacher. He was sponsored by SeaWorld San Diego to show the project as part of the Southwest Marine Educators Association (SWMEA) at the 2007 National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Conference in St. Louis and to present the project as a workshop at the California Science Teachers Association (CSTA) Conference in Long Beach. The project was featured in the SWMEA CSTA post-conference publication.
After seeing the anatomical fish models’ success in the classroom, Barron teamed up with the University of Hawaii Curriculum Research Development Group and the Los Angeles Natural History Museum to create a series of videos showing how to build the project. The fish models went on display in the Children’s Center at the Museum, and were mentioned in the Museum’s publication. Barron is currently seeking a publisher for this classroom method.
Background in Music
Barron has studied voice for opera for the past 9 years, most notably from instructor Weiguang Dang. Barron studied classical piano for 13 years starting at age 5, most notably from instructor Edmund Correia. Barron writes music, and his compositions are available on the web at iTunes, Amazon Music, and other online venues, as well as at http://www.jonathanbarronmusic.com. His compositions include new-age type music that can be used as film scores. He also writes love songs and light rock. Barron’s compositions, which he performs in collaboration with other artists, make up the soundtrack of the Johnny Ocean and Me episodes.
Separate and unrelated to Johnny Ocean and Me Webisode Productions LLC, Barron presently owns and operates his own insurance and financial services agency, which his principal occupation.
May Yam is an award-winning, international filmmaker with over 15 years of experience across media genres including Emmy-winning TV news segments, award winning short films, marketing videos and documentaries. She has performed as producer, director, writer, actor, and editor across her career. May’s eye for detail and experience in production have given her the tools needed to create visually engaging pieces that not only deliver empowering messages but also make them stand apart.
Notable works include contributions to KRON Channel 4’s 2013 Emmy-winning and Emmy-nominated series Office Crashers and Fireside Chats, respectively. She created 1 hour TV shows for broadcast on Sony Entertainment TV with a viewership of over 300 million. Maywon the 2017 Best Cinematography Award for Headwind at the Glendale International Film Festival, 2017 Achievement in Documentary Short Film for Healing Hands at the Silicon Valley African Film Festival and 2015 and 2016 Audience Choice Awards at the International San Jose Short Film Festival 3DFCs for Popped and Carrier 3.
Jonathan Barron talks about his influences that led him to create Johnny Ocean, Juanito Oceano and Johnny Dà Hǎi. He discusses his outdoor influences, starting in childhood and adolescence. He reflects on his educational and professional experiences, and shares some outdoor adventures. Jonathan discusses how he learned first-hand the importance of respecting and honoring nature’s predators. He elaborates on his growth and background as a musician, his successes as an educator, and the need for more people to understand the ocean and the threats it faces. Jonathan’s reflections reveal the inspiring path of his long-term intention of creating a nature documentary series and how, over the course of time, it became a reality. He discusses the unique musical collaboration in the Johnny Ocean and Me theme songs, and thanks numerous participants. He talks about how all of us can be part of conservation, and has a few words of advice.