Mike Weinzierl ’15
You’d be hard-pressed to sum up Mike Weinzierl ’15 in just one word. Since leaving Hamilton less than a decade ago, he has pursued many paths: captain, divemaster, educator, scientist, and entrepreneur in places ranging from Saudi Arabia to Florida to Colombia. 

Diverse as it may seem, Weinzierl’s résumé is not random. All his work thus far has revolved around two things, he said: the ocean and the “intersection between science and spirituality.”

Following his graduation from Hamilton, Weinzierl began working for the U.S. Geological Survey in Florida before studying marine science and engineering at Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. Though the program was oriented toward a doctorate, Weinzierl decided to leave after earning his master’s degree. From there, he became certified as a dive master, taught and coached at his high school, and managed a plant nursery, all the while asking himself: “How can my skills be best used?” 

Steve Wulf"s Sports Illustrated Michael Jordan cover story
Photo courtesy of Mike Weinzierl ’15

This led to jobs in boating and teaching, as well as the creation of a business, Oceanstone Collections, that sells minerals, gems, and crystals. Weinzierl’s latest project took him to the Sierra Nevada region of Colombia, where he purchased land for an off-grid permaculture farm and indigenous conservation effort.

“I’m trying to create an oasis for scientists, spiritualists, and humanitarians to come study the Sierra Nevada, which is a very understudied biological hotspot,” he said. Aside from this, Weinzierl hopes to assist the conservation of indigenous tribes who live in that mountain region, groups that he says were “pushed there during the colonization process.” For this project, he hopes to attract researchers, investors, humanitarian workers, or otherwise interested parties from the Hamilton community and beyond.

Guiding Weinzierl is his belief that “there’s been such a disconnected view, historically, that science and spirituality are two different things … my job is to show they are one and the same.” He traces this idea to time working as a researcher, writing and publishing papers geared toward a community of experts. “It prompted me to be, like, okay, science is great, but we need people communicating it and going out into the public,” he said.

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