Franklin Viola - Media Advisor

Houston, Texas


Franklin Viola, a professional photographer, has worked with the Gulf of Mexico Foundation as a volunteer on diving expeditions for several years. Viola has received numerous national and international awards for his underwater photography over the past two decades.

In July 2009, Viola starts a new job as Field Station Manager for The Nature Conservancy on Palmyra Atoll, part of an isolated group of islands in the Pacific Ocean located about 1,000 miles south of Hawai’i. He will be responsible for the operation, maintenance and safety of all facilities and equipment - generators to boats, runway to galley, dive gear to fly tackle; manage five select team members; and act as liaison to TNC guests and working scientists.

After receiving a BS in Marine Science & Marine Transportation at Texas A&M University at Galveston in 1982, Viola served four years in the U.S. Merchant Marine, sailing aboard huge cargo ships as a U.S. Coast Guard Licensed Third Mate (Unlimited Tonnage).

Returning to terra firma (“the beach”) in 1986, he focused his love of water — salt or fresh, ocean or pond, river or lake — through the optics of a camera. Viola produces still photography and digital video for clients who use water to tell their story or to sell their product. His clients include Audubon, National Geographic, Travel Holiday, Islands, Discovery Channel Online, Sport Diver, The Nature Conservancy, American Express, Epson, BP Oil & Gas, Turner Broadcasting, Hitachi and Delta Airlines. To view Franklin’s photography visit