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Director of the Centre for Surf Research, San Diego State University

Jess Ponting was born in Wales, grew up in Australia, and lived in Papua New Guinea ,Indonesia, and Fiji before joining San Diego State University as an assistant professor in sustainable tourism in 2008.

He fell in love with the ocean at an early age and pestered his parents long and hard enough to get him his first foam surfboard at the age of 10. With dreams of being a marine biologist Jess began a science degree at Sydney University and finished a degree in Resource and Environmental Management three years later at the Australian National University.

While a community development worker in Papua New Guinea he realised the potential for sustainable tourism to be an economic driver for remote communities in need and formed the links to surf tourism in a subsequent extended surf trip through the eastern island of Indonesia.


  • –present
    Director of the Centre for Surf Researc, San Diego State University