Don Maruska brings enthusiasm and enjoyment to a cause that is so close to Aurora’s heart: climate action. A catalyst for global climate action, Don unites individuals from diverse backgrounds, fostering awareness and advocacy for natural resource stewardship. He thrives on grassroots initiatives, guiding businesses, communities and faith-based groups in greenhouse gas reduction strategies. His mantra is simple: “Act now, and don’t wait for others.”
Firmly believing in collective empowerment, offering a proven attraction model to engage individuals and effect change. He has authored many books, including Solve Climate Change Now. We are excited to have Don joining us as a Special Guest on Spirit of Antarctica, departing 11 December 2023.
We sat down with Don to find out more about his early career and what made him switch gears, habits and actions everyone can adopt to do their bit for the planet, and what fellow expeditioners can expect to learn from him on his upcoming trip to Antarctica.
Tell us about your early career in Silicon Valley.
I began my Silicon Valley career as Vice President of Marketing for the company that became E*Trade. We enabled investors for the first time to buy and sell stocks through their personal computers. This started a whole new industry. Afterwards, I was recruited to start a new company applying new technologies to healthcare and earned a National Innovator Award. I also began a boutique venture fund supporting startups that became public companies.
I switched gears when I found outstanding tools to help people make great decisions on even the toughest issues. I wanted to share them. That launched the next stage of my career in which I became a Master Certified Coach, the highest credential in professional coaching.
What's your biggest career success to date?
I was the first in my family ever to go to college. Through dedication and diligence, I’ve been blessed with many opportunities and have enjoyed converting them into results that have benefited me and many others.
Guiding people to be their better selves and enjoying the results together inspired me to write my first book. Humans need better ways to work together and solve the tough issues we face. While technologies race forward at warp speed, people flounder in increasing polarization.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to write their first book?
Only write a book if you have something fresh and of compelling value to offer. Writing and marketing a book takes commitment and discipline. It’s like having a child, only it often takes much longer than nine months to deliver.
What the key things people should take away from Solve Climate Change Now?
We – you, me, family members, friends, co-workers, community organisations, faith-based groups, and more — can solve climate change now and have fun doing so. The key is helping people match what they love to do with climate needs to find their “climate sweet spots” to make a difference.
Ever since my early work out of college in the U.S. Senate, I’ve had a deep passion for faithful stewardship of our planet. I apply that passion in my own actions and the ideas and opportunities I share with others.
What are three simple actions or habits people can adopt now to start doing their bit for the planet?
We’re already seeing the effects of climate change intensifying storms and droughts and straining the safety and livelihoods of communities around the globe.
First, become aware of the greenhouse gas emissions that arise from your own life so you understand our roles and opportunities in climate change. You can do this through free, online tools. It’s eye-opening.
Second, connect your passion (hobbies, sports, expertise) with one or more of the many ways to boost awareness, action, and advocacy for a healthy climate. This will keep you self-motivated for the sustained efforts needed to turn around a chronic problem like climate change.
Third, celebrate the difference you make.
What are you most excited about on your upcoming Spirit of Antarctica voyage?
The polar regions are critical to climate health. I’m eager to learn firsthand about them and share my insights with audiences around the world. I particularly value how the Aurora expedition offers opportunities to connect in profoundly personal ways through camping, snorkelling, and other exciting activities to experience Antarctica. The climate neutral voyage, citizen science opportunities, and ability to connect and learn from passengers and crew added to my enthusiasm for this voyage.
What can expeditioners expect to learn from you?
How each of us can make a difference. Key ways to make the most your talent and have fun doing it. A can-do spirit of adventure and entrepreneurship that sees opportunities and finds solutions in even the most challenging circumstances.
Join Don on our Spirit of Antarctica Expedition
Embrace the spirit of polar exploration on this classic expedition to the coveted white continent. Sail across the famed Drake Passage to and from Antarctica, admiring spectacular seabirds and approaching the ice as the explorers of old did: by sea. With a chance to Zodiac cruise through pack ice, set foot on the continent, choose from a range of adventure options and even perhaps camp under pastel polar skies, this is the quintessential Antarctic voyage for adventure-lovers.
Browse More Antarctic Voyages
Imagine a place so pristine and remote that you can hear snowflakes hitting the water. We offer a range of itineraries of varying dates, durations, optional activities and Antarctic regions. Discover which Antarctic expedition is right for you.
Welcome to AE Expeditions’ Spirit of Antarctica featuring the Chilean Fjords expedition. As Antarctica laps up the last of the summer sun and the landscape bathes in dappled light, its inhabitants show no signs...
From USD $13,116.00/pp