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Synergetic Press Founders – 50 years of ecology, innovation, and exploration

By Chloe Buzzotta

The most unique sailing vessel for planetary and cultural studies ever built.

The founders of Synergetic Press have a wide ranging background that connects ecology, innovation,culture, and cutting edge exploration of our natural world and consciousness – beginning almost 50 years ago. Their sister organization, Institute of Ecotechnics, is responsible for ground-breaking research and projects. Read on to learn more.

Many have heard of the notable Biosphere 2 project, the world’s largest laboratory for studying our global ecology and climate with seven recreated biomes; rainforest, coral reefs, agricultural areas, and more; initiated and guided by the Institute of the Ecotechnics. 

However, far less have heard about the Heraclitus, the ferro-cement sailing ship  that was born out of the need to study the biomes implemented in the Biosphere 2 project while also realizing the importance of the world’s oceans, and of the sea-people cultures which live with it.

John Allen on the Heraclitus

In Me and the Biospheres by visionary John Allen, writes;

 “In 1973, I saw that the next step toward understanding our biosphere was for our creative group to master highly technical design and construction skills…Two-thirds of the atmospheric surface of the biosphere touches the ocean, and without the water cycle driven by sun and ocean, the rest of Earth would be desert…..We needed to build an ocean-going ship, which could deal with coral reefs, rivers, and Antarctic waters.” 


The Heraclitus was built in 1975. Not only were the crews of the R/VH responsible for crucial research for the Biosphere  2 project, the ship has been a part of the following: 

➢  Sailed over 270,000 nautical miles throughout every ocean except the Arctic

➢ Collected coral reef cores for Lamont- Doherty Earth Observatory research and placed into paleo-climates to understand climate change

➢ Sailed on a 2 year Ethnobotanical Expedition in the Amazon

➢ Genetic whale studies in Antarctica

➢ The first captive dolphin release to the wild

➢ Hosted educational programs in seamanship, diving and citizen science. 

 The ocean biome is facing the brunt of the impact of the planetary crisis with rising temperature and ocean acidifcation. We are needing to seek solutions that supersede the impacts on people and the planet. For these reasons, the Institute has rebuilt the RV Heraclitus to continue their dedication to planetary stewardship and be a platform for critical ocean research and education. They hope to continue the research to mitigating the climate crisis through their work.

For the last decade, the ship has been in dry dock for a major rebuild, replacing the majority of the hull with a stronger, longer lasting one, working with Mapei Corporation who manufactures specialized cement and sealing materials.  As it is nearing the end of its reconstruction, the Heraclitus team is putting out a call to action for this last push.

Help our sister organization raise the necessary funds to paint and seal the hull and get the ship back into the ocean.  They need to raise $250,000 in funds to accomplish this. 

Please visit the crowdfunding page for more information on the future mission of the ship and, if you can, contribute to this worthy cause. 








Chloe Buzzotta

Marketing & Community Engagement Coordinator

Chloe is a pivotal voice within the Ecovillage movement. For 10 years, she has traveled to ecovillages worldwide as a consultant. With her strength in organizational development, she has implemented clarity and infrastructure for 15+ organizations and communities. She’s involved with the Global Ecovillage Network, Austin Permaculture Guild, and more.


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