Trey Highton

Save The Waves Film Festival Director


Born and raised in Virginia Beach, VA, Trey grew up around Hobie Cats and fishing boats and made frequent surf trips to the islands of the Outer Banks, NC. He followed an unconventional path of studies as an undergraduate that saw him through four universities on both coasts of the United States. This experience only fueled a sense of wanderlust and adventure that remains unabated today. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz in ’08 with a degree in Creative Writing, Trey traveled the South Pacific and Central America working as a surf guide to pay his way. These experiences would serve as field studies for his graduate research. Trey is currently pursuing a PhD from UCSC centered on surfing and globalization – examining surfing as an agent of change among developing countries throughout the Pacific. While pursuing his PhD, Trey is teaching several courses related to the history and culture of surfing. Along with his work as a Research Fellow for Save The Waves, Trey is also the UCSC Liaison for the Santa Cruz Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, as well as the Founder of the UCSC Sea Slugs.