CHOW 2018 Speakers

Igniting Ocean Conservation through Media and Art

Ms. Julie Phillips – Moderator

Vice President, Content Strategy and Herschend Studios - Herschend Family Enterprises

As Vice President of Content and Herschend Studios, Julie is responsible for building new growth opportunities for the company through expansion into television, film, publishing, digital media, licensing and more. This diversification strategy includes the development and execution of projects based on existing IP, as well as new IP through partnerships and strategic acquisitions. Julie began her career at Herschend in high school, when she developed the entertainment department at Stone Mountain Park. Prior to returning to Herschend, she held business and creative roles with Miramax, NBC, Raytheon, and SeaWorld. ...Read More Julie received her BS in Business Administration from Pepperdine University and her MBA from Harvard Business School. She and her husband, Jake, live in Atlanta, GA with their two children and two dogs. Herschend Studios is the media arm of Herschend Enterprises. Committed to developing and producing family entertainment for television, film, digital and publishing, Herschend Studios harnesses the power of storytelling to create positive, personal, and lasting connections. Splash and Bubbles, the hit series on PBS Kids, is the Studios’ first production, created in partnership with The Jim Henson Company. Herschend Enterprises is a family of companies who focus on family entertainment. For nearly six decades, Herschend Enterprises has operated with the purpose to bring families closer together by Creating Memories Worth Repeating®. Herschend Enterprises also includes the world famous Harlem Globetrotters and Herschend Family Entertainment. The Harlem Globetrotters entertain millions of fans and families each year with their legendary basketball magic. Combining athleticism, theater and comedy they have been thrilling audiences worldwide since 1926. Herschend Family Entertainment owns and operates entertainment, tourism and hospitality properties across the country, including award-winning theme parks like Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO, and Dollywood, a partnership with Dolly Parton in Tennessee's Great Smoky Mountains, top tier aquariums, water parks, hotels, and other highly entertaining standalone attractions. For more information, visit

    Mr. Mark Brownlow – Speaker

    BBC - Producer

    Mark Brownlow is an EMMI-award winning producer/director with over twenty years experience making wildlife documentaries. From series producing 'Ocean Giants', the BBC/PBS three parter on whales and dolphins, to producing on 'Planet Earth'- 'Shallow Seas' & ' Freshwater' episodes for BBC/Discovery, ...Read More Mark has specialized in underwater film-making. As the series producer of the BBC’S recent hit series ‘Blue Planet 2’, Mark led the creative vision, employing ground-breaking technology to give an entirely new understanding of life beneath the waves. BP2 has become the most watched TV programme of the year in the UK, gained an audience of over 200 million in China alone, and changed the public conversation around ocean plastics. Mark also co-directed its accompanying 3D giant screen production ‘Oceans: Our Blue Planet’, now on general release in the US. Other film credits include director/producer of the award winning giant screen 'Tiny Giants'. Originated in 3D, it is the most successful BBC giant screen to date and winner of multiple awards- Best Immersive Program 2015 Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival.

    Ms. Asher Jay – Speaker

    National Geographic Explorer - Creative Conservationist

    Asher Jay is an international adventurer and public figure whose compelling paintings, sculptures, installations, animations, ad campaigns, and films all have a single purpose: to incite global action on behalf of wildlife ...Read More conservation. Asher's travels to the frontline have made her witness and storyteller, combating illegal wildlife trafficking, promoting habitat sanctuaries and illuminating humanitarian emergencies. Her core message, again and again: biodiversity loss during the Anthropocene – the Age of Man. Jay just opened two permanent exhibits at National Geographic Encounter in New York's Times Square -- a large scale wall-mounted installation entitled Piece of the Planet, and an immersive, soundscaped installation called "Message in a Bottle." Much of her best-known work spotlights the illegal ivory trade. In 2013, grassroots group March for Elephants asked her to visualize the blood ivory story on a huge, animated digital billboard also in main hub of the Big Apple, Times Square. Viewed by 1.5 million people, the internationally crowd-funded initiative aimed to provoke public pressure for revising laws that permit ivory to be imported, traded and sold. Asher also participated in the Faberge Big Egg Hunt in New York, where her oval ornament helped raise money for anti-poaching efforts in Amboseli. A nomadic globe trotter who fell in love with New York while studying at Parson’s New School of Design, Asher Jay is determined to motivate you to understand you have real power in determining nature’s fate, and your – our – wild future. “Conservation can no longer afford to be marginalized,” she asserts. “Today, we need everyone.”

      Mr. John Tartaglia – Speaker

      Actor, Puppeteer

      Two-time Emmy nominated John Tartaglia, began his career in children’s television when he was cast as a puppeteer on Sesame Street. Tartaglia went on to create, executive produce and star in the preschool series Johnny and the Sprites. ...Read More The series was nominated for 8 Emmy Awards, including a nomination for “Outstanding Performance in a Children’s Series” for Tartaglia. He earned a Tony Award Nomination for his Broadway debut in the dual roles of Princeton and the Rod in the hit musical Avenue Q. Most recently, Tartaglia was nominated for an Emmy for “Outstanding Performance in a Children’s Series” for his work on Splash and Bubbles where he serves as its creator and co-executive producer. As a director, Tartaglia helmed the national tours of Dinosaur Train Live and Sid the Science Kid Live, Claudio Quest New York Musical Theatre festival (winner of 6 awards including "best of the fest"), and more.

        Mr. Jim Toomey – Speaker

        Sherman's Lagoon - Syndicated Cartoonist

        Jim Toomey is an award-winning ocean conservationist who created the popular comic strip Sherman’s Lagoon, which appears in over 250 daily newspapers, in 20 countries and six languages. The strip’s underwater theme explores environmental issues in a way that appeals to adults and children alike. ...Read More Sherman the Shark inhabits a sunny lagoon in the South Pacific, relishing his tropical paradise with other ocean friends. Sherman's Lagoon combines two of Jim’s life-long passions: art and the sea. In addition to creating the daily comic strip, Jim is an award-winning videographer. He produces ocean conservation videos that combine on-camera hosting with animations of his undersea characters. Jim has a degree in mechanical engineering from Duke University, received his Master of Arts at Stanford University, and returned to Duke to get his Masters of Environmental Management. Jim Toomey has been twice warded the Environmental Hero Award, given by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration “for using art and humor to conserve and protect our marine heritage.” He has given talks at a variety of venues, from his April 2010 TED Talk, to the Royal Society in London, to Harvard University to his children’s kindergarten class. Jim has been featured in many of his client newspapers, as well as Wired Magazine, and National Public Radio.
        Recovering Coral Reefs

        The Honorable Madeleine Z. Bordallo – Opening Remarks

        U.S. House of Representatives - Congresswoman

        Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D-GU) is the first woman to represent the U.S. territory of Guam in the U.S. House of Representatives, serving since 2003. The Congresswoman currently serves on the House Armed Services Committee —where she is the top Democrat (Ranking Member) ...Read More on the Readiness Subcommittee—and the Natural Resources Committee, of which she is also a senior Democratic member. A longtime leader on ocean conservation issues, Congresswoman Bordallo (D-GU) has sponsored legislation in the House since 2009 to reauthorize and update the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000. To coincide with this year’s Capitol Hill Ocean Week (CHOW), Congresswoman Bordallo reintroduced her “Coral Reef Conservation Reauthorization Act.” This bipartisan bill promotes coral reef conservation nationwide, including across the National Marine Sanctuary System and Marine National Monuments. Congresswoman Bordallo continues to build support for her bill and encourages all CHOW attendees to urge their House Members to cosponsor.

        Dr. Nancy Knowlton, Ph.D. – Moderator

        Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

        Dr. Nancy Knowlton has held the Sant Chair in Marine Science at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC since 2007. She worked at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama from 1984-1998, as well as at Yale from 1979-1984 and the Scripps Institution of ...Read More Oceanography from 1998-2007, where she founded the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation. She is a winner of the Peter Benchley Prize and the Heinz Award, and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2013. Dr. Knowlton’s research centers on the diversity and conservation of life in the ocean. In addition to her research, she has long been interested in the public communication of science and conservation. She is the author of National Geographic’s best-selling Citizens of the Sea, she serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Smithsonian’s Ocean Portal website, and she contributes regularly to the global ocean conversation via @seacitizens. In April 2017 she co-hosted the Smithsonian’s inaugural Earth Optimism Summit, a global celebration of what’s working in conservation.

        Greg Asner, Ph.D. – Speaker

        Carnegie Institution for Science, Department of Global Ecology - Dr

        Dr. Greg Asner serves on the faculty of the Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution for Science, and in the Department of Earth System Science, Stanford University. He is an ecologist recognized for his exploratory and applied research on ecosystems and climate ...Read More change at regional to global scales. His research spans the areas of spatial ecology and biodiversity, terrestrial carbon cycle, animal-habitat interactions, and climate change. He develops scientific approaches and technologies for investigation and conservation assessments of large ecoregions. He leads the CLASlite forest monitoring project, Spectranomics biodiversity project, and the Carnegie Airborne Observatory. Dr. Asner has published hundreds of scientific articles and has served in numerous national and international programs with NASA, the U.S. State Department, and the United Nations. Dr. Asner is a recipient of multiple scientific awards, including the 2017 Heinz Award for the Environment, and is an elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

          Erinn Muller, Ph.D. – Speaker

          Mote Marine Laboratory - Science Director of the International Center for Coral Reef Research and Restoration

          Dr. Muller received her undergraduate degree in 2003, her Master of Science degree in 2007, and her Ph.D. in 2011 from Florida Institute of Technology. She has worked for the US Geological Survey, the National Park Service, ...Read More taught High School Science in Brevard Public Schools and helped co-create a research-based after school program for high school students in the Florida Keys and US Virgin Islands. Dr. Muller received the prestigious Mote Marine Laboratory Postdoctoral Fellowship from 2012 to 2014. She became a Staff Scientist in 2015 and the Coral Health and Disease Program Manager at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, FL in 2016. She is now the Science Director of Mote Marine Laboratory’s Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research and Restoration. Dr. Muller has studied coral health and disease for the last 15 years in many places throughout the world including the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the FL Keys, and as far away as Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. She has published 20 peer-reviewed publications on the subject of coral health and disease and two book chapters. Dr. Muller’s research is funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Park Service, NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and through philanthropy. She received the prestigious Young Scientist of the Year Award from the International Society for Reef Studies in 2015; only one recipient is recognized worldwide each year.

          Luiz A. Rocha, Ph.D. – Speaker

          California Academy of Science - Follett Chair of Ichthyology

          Luiz A. Rocha is the Follett Chair of Ichthyology at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. His major research interests include evolution, conservation, taxonomy, and community ecology of coral reef fishes. He ...Read More frequently tries to combine these fields, linking ecology to evolution and using molecular tools to answer biogeographic, taxonomic, and conservation questions. The overall objective of this interdisciplinary research is to explain what generates and maintains the extremely high biodiversity in tropical coral reefs and to help sustain it, both shallow and deep. He has spent more than 5,000 hours underwater, and published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles. In addition, his work has been featured in many popular media outlets including the New York Times, Wired, National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, among others, and supported ocean conservation efforts across the globe.
          Adaptive Management for Shifting Populations

          Mr. Patrick Ramage – Opening Remarks

          Director of Marine Conservation - International Fund for Animal Welfare

          As IFAW’s Director of Marine Conservation, Patrick leads efforts to protect our ocean planet and promote sustainable solutions to pressing challenges including habitat loss, impacts from commercial shipping, entanglement in fishing gear, ocean noise pollution, and continued whaling for commercial purposes by Iceland, Norway, and Japan. ...Read More Patrick has worked on international environmental issues for more than two decades. He has led IFAW delegations to 15 meetings of the International Whaling Commission and served as an accredited representative to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, the U.N. Conference on Population and Development, the World Trade Organization, the International Maritime Organization, and the Arctic Council. Patrick is a frequently quoted conservation advocate and has testified before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs and Natural Resources Committees. Prior to joining IFAW, he worked closely with then-Senator John Kerry and a bipartisan group of U.S. legislators active in the Global Legislators Organization for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE). Early in his career, Patrick served in the U.S. Army as a Russian and German linguist and survived Survival, Evasion, Resistance to interrogation, and Escape (SERE) training with the British Special Air Service (SAS).

            The Honorable Chellie Pingree – Opening Remarks

            U.S. House of Representatives - Congresswoman

            In 2008, Chellie was elected to Congress from Maine’s 1st Congressional District—the first woman elected to Congress from that District. She has served on the House Rules Committee, Armed Services Committee, and Agriculture Committee. ...Read More She currently sits on the powerful House Appropriations Committee, serving on the Subcommittee on Agriculture and the Subcommittee on Interior and the Environment. Among other issues important to Mainers, Chellie has been an advocate in Congress for reforming federal policy to better support the diverse range of American agriculture—including sustainable, organic, and locally focused farming. Many provisions from comprehensive legislation she introduced to make these reforms were passed in the 2014 Farm Bill. She has also introduced two pieces of legislation—the Food Recovery Act and the Food Date Labeling Act—to help reduce the staggering amount of food waste in the United States. She has been chosen to receive a 2017 James Beard Leadership Award for her national leadership in food system reform. Chellie has also been recognized for her leadership on a number of other issues, including assisting survivors of military sexual trauma and helping coastal communities address threats to their future.

              Steve Roady, J.D. – Moderator

              Duke University School of Law - Professor

              Steve Roady holds appointments as Professor of the Practice of Law at Duke University School of Law, Professor of the Practice for Marine Science and Conservation at the Duke Nicholas School of the Environment, and Faculty ...Read More Fellow in the Duke Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. Prior to joining Duke in 2016, he devoted more than three decades to enforcing the conservation, public health, and environmental protections provided in various United States laws through litigation and advocacy. Steve has focused on ocean policy and litigation since 1998, when he launched the Ocean Law Project. During 2001-2002, he was the first president of Oceana, a non-profit, international ocean conservation organization. He was managing attorney for oceans at the public interest law firm known as Earthjustice before joining the faculty at Duke. Steve has taught ocean law and policy, and environmental litigation, at several schools, including Duke, American University Law School and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He has received a Professor of the Year Award from the Duke School of the Environment and was named a Public Interest Fellow by Harvard Law School. His recent writings examine Public Trust Doctrine ocean stewardship.

                Mr. Robert Beal – Speaker

                Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission - Executive Director

                Robert E. Beal is the Executive Director of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) in Arlington, Virginia. He has worked for ASFMC for more than twenty years, previously serving as Director of the Interstate ...Read More Fisheries Management Program, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, and Acting Science Director. In his current role as Executive Director, Mr. Beal guides ASMFC’s day-to-day operations such as policy development and implementation as well as providing leadership to all of its programs. He represents ASMFC at the New England, Mid-Atlantic and South Atlantic Regional Fishery Management Council Meetings and ensures Congressional support for ASMFC and its member states. Mr. Beal also serves on a number of fisheries management bodies including the NOAA’s MRIP Executive Steering Committee and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ Fisheries and Water Resources Policy Committee. Mr. Beal received his B.S. degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Maryland and went on to receive his M.S. in Coastal Environmental Management from Duke University.

                Kristin M. Kleisner, Ph.D. – Speaker

                Environmental Defense Fund - Senior Scientist

                Kristin Kleisner is a Senior Fisheries Scientist with EDF’s Fisheries Solutions Center ( Her work investigates the utility of applying spatial management in combination with rights-based ...Read More management measures in fisheries around the world, applying bio-economic models to understand the potential for fisheries management to improve the biomass, harvest, and profits of fisheries, and understanding the implications of climate change on the distribution of fish stocks and the implications for fisheries management. Kristin worked previously as a joint research scientist for NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole and The Nature Conservancy working on ecosystem based fisheries models and exploring the effect of climate change on fish stock distributions in New England. She also led research on the development of fisheries, food security, and ecosystem status indicators with indiSeas (, FAO, UNESCO, and the Sea Around Us project. She holds a PhD in Marine Biology and Fisheries from the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami.

                Ms. Patrice McCarron – Speaker

                Maine Lobstermen's Association - Executive Director

                Patrice McCarron is the executive director of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association (MLA). Patrice has been with the MLA since 2000 and has extensive knowledge of the lobster industry. She travels throughout coastal ...Read More Maine conducting education and outreach with the industry and serves as the liaison for state and federal policy issues working closely with the Maine Department of Marine Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, state Legislature and Congressional delegation. She serves on several boards including the Lobster Research, Education and Development Fund and Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team. She is President of the Maine Lobstermen’s Community Alliance, a non-profit sister organization to the MLA. Ms. McCarron formerly served as executive director to the Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation, worked on fisheries issues for the New England Aquarium and was Director of the Marine Environmental Research Institute’s Resource Center. The MLA was founded in 1954 and is the oldest and largest fishing industry association on the east coast. Representing 1,200 members, the MLA advocates for a sustainable lobster resource and the fishermen and communities that depend on it.

                Andrew Pershing, Ph.D. – Speaker

                Gulf of Maine Research Institute - Chief Scientific Officer

                Dr. Andrew Pershing is the Chief Scientific Officer of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland, ME. His research focuses on the causes and consequences of changing conditions in the Gulf of Maine, and he is an expert ...Read More on how climate variability and climate change impact the ecosystems in the northwest Atlantic. He uses a variety of techniques, including analysis of past changes in the physical and ecological conditions, as well as advanced mathematical and computer models of how marine populations change through time. Andy has worked primarily on zooplankton, especially rice grain-sized crustaceans called copepods, but he has also studied lobsters, herring, cod, salmon, bluefin tuna, and right whales. He is actively involved in regional efforts to understand and adapt to climate change, and he is the lead author for the “Oceans and Marine Resources” chapter of the 4th National Climate Assessment.
                Open innovation to Drive a Sea Change

                Sandeep Patel, Ph.D. – Moderator

                Open Innovation Manager - US Department of Health and Human Services

                Sandeep Patel is currently the HHS Open Innovation Manager and leads the Department's use of prizes, crowdsourcing, accelerators, and other open innovation tools. Since 2010, HHS has run 180+ prizes to solicit solutions to ...Read More problems integral to its mission (such as flu prediction, foodborne pathogen detection, peer review, and Medicaid management), developed cutting-edge technology (such as disease diagnostics, health IT products, wearables), and helped foster the next generation of biotechnology companies (through as startup challenges and business plan competitions). Sandeep is a nanotechnologist by training and has built his career around understanding and guiding scientific and technological insights to building products and services that ultimately improve lives on a global scale. Previously he has served in a number of science policy roles, including as a Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Academy of Sciences and as a scientific consultant for Thomson Reuters. He also founded a company in Uganda focused on democratizing manufacturing through 3D printing.

                Mr. Shaharris Beh – Speaker

                HackerNest - CEO

                Shaharris is the CEO of HackerNest, a nonprofit and global movement that builds tech communities, helps local tech get discovered, and promotes social good - all in the name of economic development. HackerNest has produced ...Read More 800+ tech and innovation events (hackathons!) in 60+ cities across 30+ countries so far with sponsors and partners that include the likes of the Canadian, UK, Irish, and US governments, Facebook, Amazon, Dove, Stanford, and the Royal Bank of Canada.

                Tanya Berger-Wolf, Ph.D. – Speaker

                Wild Me & University of Illinois at Chicago - Director & Professor

                Dr. Tanya Berger-Wolf is Director of the tech for conservation non-profit Wild Me and a co-founder of the conservation software project Wildbook, which recently enabled the first-of-its-kind complete species census of the ...Read More endangered Grevy's zebra, using photographs taken by ordinary citizens in Kenya. Wildbook’s work has been featured in popular media, including New York Times and National Geographic. Dr. Berger-Wolf is also a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she heads the Computational Population Biology Lab. As a computational ecologist, her research is at the unique intersection of computer science, wildlife biology, and social sciences. She creates computational solutions to address questions such as how environmental factors affect the behaviors of social animals (humans included). Berger-Wolf holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has received numerous awards for her research and mentoring, including the US National Science Foundation CAREER Award, Association for Women in Science Chicago Innovator Award, and the UIC Mentor of the Year Award.

                Alex Dehgan, J.D., Ph.D. – Speaker

                Conservation X Labs - Chief Executive Officer

                Alex Dehgan is the CEO & co-founder of Conservation X Labs (CXL), a tech startup focused on harnessing exponential technologies, open innovation, and entrepreneurship for creating a pipeline of innovations that address the ...Read More underlying drivers of extinction. CXL’s work includes launching the first Grand Challenges for Conservation, creating the digital makerspace, a mass collaboration platform for engineering new solutions for conservation, and inventing a new field based handheld microfluidics rapid DNA scanner for combating wildlife trafficking, detecting pathogens & invasive species, and supporting traceability. Alex is also the Chanler Innovator at Duke University where he teaches within the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Program. Dr. Alex Dehgan most recently served as the Chief Scientist at the U.S. Agency for International Development, with rank of Assistant Administrator. Alex founded and headed the Office of Science and Technology, and created the vision for and helped launch the Global Development Lab, the Agency’s DARPA for Development. Prior to USAID, Alex worked in multiple positions within the Office of the Secretary of State, and the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, at the Dept. of State, including overseas service in Iraq under th...Read More e Coalition Provisional Authority rebuilding science, and leading the Obama Administration’s initial scientific diplomacy with Iran under Amb. Dennis Ross. Alex was the founding country director of the Wildlife Conservation Society Afghanistan Program and helped create Afghanistan’s national park system. Alex is the author of the forthcoming book, The Snow Leopard Project, through Public Affairs, an imprint of Perseus Books Group, on setting up the first national park in Afghanistan.

                Mr. Matthew Mulrennan – Speaker

                Director, Ocean Initiative - XPRIZE Foundation

                Matthew Mulrennan is the Director of the Ocean Initiative at the XPRIZE Foundation working on prizes for innovations that solve the ocean’s grand challenges. He is also the co-founder and CEO of KOLOSSAL an ocean exploration and conservation non-profit based in Venice Beach, California. Matt has worked as a marine scientist at ocean conservation group Oceana in Washington, DC, ...Read More as a lab researcher at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, and as an advocate on environmental campaigns. Matt is a passionate ocean advocate, scientist, surfer, and ocean technology enthusiast who believes in the power of the crowd, and the new blue economy to help save our oceans. Matt holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Miami University and a Masters in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego.

                  Andrew Thaler, Ph.D. – Speaker

                  CEO - Blackbeard Biologic: Science and Environmental Advisors

                  Andrew Thaler is a deep-sea ecologist and conservation technologists that works on human impacts in the deep-sea and on developing open-source ocean technologies. He is the CEO of Blackbeard Biologic, ...Read More an environmental consulting firm focused on education, technology, and policy as well as the founder and lead-developer of Oceanography for Everyone, an open-source collective dedicated to developing low-cost, open-source oceanographic instruments. His work includes assessing the potential environmental impacts of deep-sea mining on hydrothermal vent ecosystems, teaching underwater robotics to students and marine ecology through hands-on workshops, and developing the OpenCTD, an open-source CTD for water quality monitoring.
                  NOAA's Vision for the Blue Economy

                  Timothy C. Gallaudet, Ph.D., USN Ret. – Speaker

                  Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere

                  RDML Tim Gallaudet, Ph.D., USN Ret. is the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere. Timothy Gallaudet, Ph.D., was confirmed by the U.S. ...Read More Senate on October 5, 2017, as the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere for the Department of Commerce in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Dr. Gallaudet was previously a Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy, where his most recent assignment was Oceanographer of the Navy and Commander of the Navy Meteorology and Oceanography Command. During his 32 years of military service, Dr. Gallaudet has had experience in weather and ocean forecasting, hydrographic surveying, developing policy and plans to counter illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, and assessing the national security impacts of climate change. He has led teams of Navy Sailors and civilians performing such diverse functions as overseeing aircraft carrier combat operations, planning and conducting humanitarian assistance and disaster response efforts, assisting Navy SEAL Teams during high visibility counter-terrorism operations, and developing the Navy's annual $52 billion information technology, cyber security and intelligence budget. Dr. Gallaudet holds a bachelor's degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and master’s and doctoral degrees from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, all in oceanography.
                    Offshore Aquaculture: Rewards and Risks of Ocean Farming

                    Ms. TJ Tate – Moderator

                    Seafood.Life - CEO/Founder

                    Tj Tate is the Founder of Seafood.Life a strategic company focused on the defining, implementing and executing solutions to secure the future needs of our seafood consumption. Seafood.Life collaborates on solutions ...Read More surrounding the importance of a life with Seafood. Her goal is to unify cross-sector messaging regarding responsible aquaculture on a global scale. Tate believes that aquaculture is the future of seafood as a direct complement to our well managed but limited resource based wild fisheries. Consumer awareness and consumption of responsibly farmed fish, shellfish and sea vegetables is key to the future of healthy bodies and oceans. Tate is rooted in her beliefs that an responsible ecosystem of wild and farmed seafood holds the power to change our futures and attain goals of food security, economic gains and maintaining cultural connections to the ocean. Tate has worked in the world of fisheries for over 18 years beginning her career in Aquaculture and fisheries working at Hubbs Research Institute while pursuing her Masters of Marine Science at USD. She was previously the founder and Director of the first brand of responsibly harvested and traceable wild caught fish from the Gulf of Mexico, Gulf Wild, is a Seaweb Seafood Summit Champion, part of the White House Task Force for Sustainable Seafood focused on the future of Aquaculture, a Fish 2.0 Impact Advisor, on the Steering Committee for the Coalition for U.S. Seafood Production and holds key stakeholder commitments. Tate deems it imperative to speaks globally on the importance of balanced ecosystems, managed fisheries and the role that responsibly harvested and farmed fish play into that equation.

                    Mr. Omar Alfi – Speaker

                    Co-CEO - Pacifico Aquaculture

                    Omar Alfi is the Co-CEO of Pacifico Aquaculture, where he oversees sales and business development functions along with his partner and fellow Co-CEO Dan Farag. Pacifico was founded in 2010 and is based in Baja California, Mexico. The company's farm site is located 8 miles offshore from Ensenada, Baja California, on the protected lee-side of Todos Santos Island. ...Read More The farm's location, alongside a 250 meter submarine canyon with strong currents and pristine oceanic water is ideal for open-ocean aquaculture. Omar and Dan came across the business in March of 2013 and immediately the stars aligned. Pacifico was in financial difficulty and in need of new ownership. After 4 months of diligence, Omar and Dan were in love; with the industry, the business and the region. They made the decision to purchase the majority of the company with an investor group made up of their friends and family. As the new owners, Omar and Dan quickly realized that determining the best species that would thrive, one that would provide economic support to the region and create strong market demand were the keys to their possible future success. Soon he and Dan landed on striped bass, a beautiful fish with a long history among US fishermen and consumers, but one that had led to the species being devastated by overfishing. The major difficulty with striped bass is the challenge of growing them in a hatchery. Omar and Dan invested heavily in research, hired a team of experts and made trips to the Mediterranean to see how branzino was raised. They went to Scotland and Canada to study best-in-class processes for sustainable aquaculture. Not bad for two “non-fish” guys, as they call themselves. Omar has always loved the ocean and feels privileged to have the opportunity to contribute to a global solution for food security and environmental protection through the continued development of the sustainable aquaculture industry. Pacifico Aquaculture is the world’s only producer of ocean raised striped bass and is proud to be the only aquaculture facility in Mexico to hold a 4-star certification from the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s BAP (Best Aquaculture Practice) program. Prior to Pacifico, Omar worked in the mining industry in South Africa, as a private equity investor in Dubai and in investment banking in Los Angeles, California. Omar holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California.

                      Daniel Benetti, Ph.D. – Speaker

                      Professor and Director of Aquaculture - University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science

                      Dr. Daniel Benetti is a Professor and the Director of Aquaculture at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, where he was the Chairman of the Division of Marine Affairs and Policy from 2003 to 2008. He has over 30 years experience in aquaculture worldwide. ...Read More Besides his academic responsibilities at RSMAS, he carries out scientific and R&D projects on technology development and environmental issues related to aquaculture. He specializes in hatchery and open ocean growout technologies of marine finfish species, including, most recently, cobia, Seriola (yellowtail jacks), snapper, tuna, mahimahi and flounder. He has published over 100 articles in aquaculture science and technology, has extensive experience with the industry and has been a consultant for the private and government sectors in Latin America, U.S., Europe, Asia, Caribbean and Australia, where he has partnered with the government and the industry to spearhead advanced technology for hatchery and sustainable offshore aquaculture development. He is the scientific coordinator of several offshore aquaculture projects and operations in the US and abroad. He is consulting for technology transfer of marine fish hatchery and growout for the government and private sector of a number of countries in 5 continents in project development for sustainable aquaculture and environmental monitoring programs with focus on open ocean and coastal mariculture operations. His work is centered on innovative research to ensure that seafood production through mariculture is wholesome, environmentally sustainable and economic viable.

                        Mr. Max T. Holtzman – Speaker

                        Pontos Aqua Advisory - Principal

                        Max Holtzman is a principal at Pontos Aqua Advisory, part of the Pontos Aqua platform, a unique financing and de-risking ecosystem for the global aquaculture industry. He is also a founding officer of Stronger America ...Read More through Seafood, which focuses on the increased U.S. production of healthy, sustainable and affordable seafood. In addition to his work with Pontos, Mr. Holtzman is the Vice Chairman of Capitol Peak Asset Management, where he joined in November, 2014. Capitol Peak provides capital, advice and solutions to companies and projects that spur economic growth and job creation with a focus on Rural America. Prior to joining Capitol Peak, for six years, Mr. Holtzman was the Senior Advisor to the United States Secretary of Agriculture. Mr. Holtzman advised the Secretary on the development of new public-private partnerships, aquaculture, trade, biotechnology and international food security. He also served as Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services and as Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Marketing and Regulatory Programs. In these roles, Mr. Holtzman represented the United States in its negotiations with the Peoples Republic of China as a four-time Delegate on the Joint Committee on Commerce and Trade, was regularly involved with a multitude of international trade issues, trade missions and trade negotiations. He also served as the United States Chairman of the North American Biotechnology Initiative, which includes the United States, Canada and Mexico. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Holtzman, an attorney for over 20 years, provided strategic consulting to multi-national companies related to transportation infrastructure, project finance, public-private partnerships, health care and government procurement. He also served as a City Attorney and Special Counsel to several municipalities. Mr. Holtzman is a Board member of K Street Capital, the Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture and is the Founding Chairman of Adopt-A- Classroom. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and his law degree from the University of Miami.
                          Reducing Risk in Coastal Communities

                          W. Russell Callender, Ph.D. – Moderator

                          National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - Assistant Administrator, National Ocean Service

                          Dr. Russell Callender is the Assistant Administrator for NOAA's National Ocean Service. The National Ocean Service (NOS) addresses evolving economic, environmental and social pressures on our oceans and coasts. ...Read More As Assistant Administrator, Dr. Callender provides strategic vision for NOS. He leads the implementation of activities to promote safe and efficient transportation and commerce, support preparedness and risk reduction, and advance stewardship, recreation, and tourism. Dr. Callender actively establishes and grows partnerships with other federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, academia, and industry. Dr. Callender has more than 20 years of science, policy, and management experience that includes senior positions throughout NOAA and the Virginia Sea Grant Program. Dr. Callender holds a Ph.D. in Geology from Texas A&M University and was a Sea Grant Knauss Fellow.

                          Alan Blumberg, Ph.D. – Speaker

                          Jupiter - Co-Founder and Chief Scientist, Hydroscience Risk Analysis

                          Alan F. Blumberg is an urban oceanographer who studies the interaction between cities and their offshore coastal waters. He is cofounder of Jupiter, a Silicon Valley startup company that is deeply committed to the practical ...Read More application of the world’s best hydroscience, weather prediction and climate modeling. The Princeton Ocean Model, developed by Blumberg and George Mellor, is utilized by scientists and institutions throughout the world. For 15 years, he was George Meade Bond Professor of Ocean Engineering and Director of the Davidson Laboratory at Stevens Institute of Technology where he led several major studies to predict and assess storm flooding events. He is the recipient of the 2001 Karl Emil Hilgard Hydraulic Prize from the American Society of Civil Engineers and the 2007 Denny Medal from the Institute of Marine Engineering. A fellow of both the American Meteorological Society and the American Society of Civil Engineers, Dr. Blumberg is the author of more than 150 journal articles. Because of his extensive research expertise, he is highly sought after by the media during unusual weather conditions.

                          Mr. Chip Cunliffe – Speaker

                          XL Catlin - Director, Sustainable Development

                          Chip set up and manages XL Catlin’s Ocean Risk Initiative which works to promote both research and understanding of the implications of ocean change on the future risk landscape. He led the development and execution of ...Read More the first Ocean Risk Summit which took place in Bermuda last month, bringing together leaders from across the political, economic, environmental and risk sectors to identify short and long-term exposures to ocean-driven hazards and consider how to use new approaches, tools and technologies to find solutions that will build resilience at local and global levels. Chip helped to establish and manage the Catlin Arctic Survey (2009-2011), and subsequently the XL Catlin Seaview and Deep Ocean Surveys (2012-2016). In 2012 he launched XL Catlin’s Oceans Education program, designed to increase ocean literacy to students around the world. So far over 3.5 million children from 96 countries have taken part, with a target to reach 10 million by 2020.

                          Ms. Paula Pagniez – Speaker

                          Director, Capital, Science & Policy Practice - Willis Towers Watson

                          Paula Pagniez is a Director of the Capital, Science & Policy Practice at Willis Towers Watson. Paula joined CSP in January 2018 from the Global Partnerships team at Swiss Re, dedicated to origination and placement of solutions for the public sector. Working along multilateral organizations and governments, ...Read More Paula served as Senior Microinsurance Specialist with the mandate to expand insurance availability and accessibility to the world's most vulnerable populations. This included the co-management of the initial operations and programs of the Micro Insurance Catastrophe Risk Organisation (MiCRO), where she also served as Central America Steering Committee member and as an Observer to the Board. Paula has over 10 years international experience in microfinance, microinsurance, international development, and the private and public sectors. Prior to joining Swiss Re, she worked with a number of well-known development organizations including Planet Finance and Malaria No More, as well as held positions in the Government, NGO and Banking sectors.

                          Ms. Elizabeth Wheaton – Speaker

                          City of Miami Beach - Environment & Sustainability Director

                          Elizabeth Wheaton has been working with the City of Miami Beach since 2008 and over the last ten years has served in the Public Works Department, Building Department, and the Office of the Mayor and Commission. In 2015, ...Read More the Environment & Sustainability Department was created and Elizabeth was appointed as the Director. The City’s Environment & Sustainability Department, focuses on climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts through the lens of sustainability, environmental resources management and urban forestry. Elizabeth also represents Miami Beach on the South Florida Climate Change Compact’s staff steering committee. In 2014, Elizabeth was selected to participate in The Miami Foundation’s Class VIII Miami Fellows Program, a prestigious leadership focused on community engagement and impact. Most recently, Elizabeth was selected to participate in the Harvard Business School’s Young American Leader’s program. Elizabeth graduated from University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science with a Masters in Marine Affairs and Policy and now serves on the RSMAS Alumni Board.
                          Cultural Connections and the Environment

                          The Honorable A. Donald McEachin – Opening Remarks

                          U.S. House of Representatives - Congressman

                          Congressman A. Donald McEachin was elected to represent the 4th Congressional District of Virginia in the United States House of Representatives on November 8, 2016. Thus far in Congress, McEachin has been elected to serve as co-president of the Freshman class, appointed as Regional Whip, and serves as a member of the Leader’s Environmental Messaging Team. ...Read More Representative McEachin proudly represents his district on the House Armed Services Committee and House Committee on Natural Resources. As a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, Mr. McEachin serves as the top Democrat of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee and sits on the Subcommittee on Federal Lands. Mr. McEachin also sits on both the Readiness and the Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittees under the House Armed Services Committee. He was also appointed by House Leadership to serve on the Franking Commission. Mr. McEachin is the son of an Army veteran and a public school teacher who proudly grew up in the area that he now represents in Congress. Prior to his service in Congress, Mr. McEachin served as a legislator in Virginia’s General Assembly for most of the last twenty years. First he served as a delegate and then as a senator. Throughout that time, he has fought to protect our most vulnerable citizens — and to defend the rights of all Virginians. Mr. McEachin is dedicated to being a progressive champion who leads efforts that will promote equality, curb gun violence, protect our environment, and advocate for military personnel and their family members.

                          Ms. Monica Barra – Moderator

                          Anthropologist - The Water Institute of the Gulf

                          Monica Barra is a cultural anthropologist and research scientist at the Water Institute of the Gulf. Her research with the Water Institute focuses on the impacts of climate change and environmental restoration on geographically and socially marginalized ...Read More coastal communities in south Louisiana. Collaborating with colleagues in the natural sciences and engineering, she has designed several cross-disciplinary projects that aim to cultivate a two-way exchange of knowledge between scientists and life-long coastal residents to better understand the stakes of environmental change and design of environmental modeling tools. This works strives to democratize the production of scientific knowledge and generate more equitable solutions to the challenges of climate change. Monica is also a doctoral candidate in the Ph.D. Program in Cultural Anthropology at the City University of New York and is currently completing her dissertation, which is an ethnographic examination of environmental change, the politics of racial difference, and their relationship to the application of science and engineering of coastal areas in the lower Mississippi River Delta.

                          Mr. William Alia Jr. – Speaker

                          Deputy to the Chairman of the Department of the Hawaiian Home Lands - Department of the Hawaiian Homelands

                          William J. Aila Jr., Deputy to the Chairperson of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and former Chairperson of the Department and Board of Land and Natural Resources, grew up on the Wai`anae Coast, on the island of O’ahu and worked on his family’s cattle ranch. ...Read More He learned to love the ocean fishing and diving near his great-grandmother’s beach home, learning from her the values of respect for the ocean and conservation of its resources. He gained a degree in General Tropical Agriculture from the University of Hawai`i, and for 24 years served as the harbormaster for the Wai`anae Small Boat Harbor. He has served on numerous appointed and volunteer boards, and helped create the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. He is an environmentalist, Hawaiian cultural practitioner and is dedicated to preserving Hawaii’s land and ocean for future generations.

                            Mr. Curtis Bennett – Speaker

                            Director of Conservation and Community Engagement - National Aquarium

                            As Director of Conservation Community Engagement, Curtis works collaboratively with community residents and stakeholders to develop relatable environmental programs and projects which meet the needs of the community, and ultimately facilitating and implementing these efforts, ...Read More directly where people are, within their communities. One of the programs that he coordinates is the Urban Conservation & Education Summer Internship Program, designed to provide opportunities for local Baltimore college students to experience environmental stewardship and to expose students to career options in the conservation sector. Additionally, through his involvement in the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program’s Diversity Workgroup as well as the State of Maryland’s Project Green Classrooms, we frequently discuss career pathways and pipelines within the environmental field, especially through a diversity, equity and inclusion lens, in order to ensure that students not only have opportunities for entry into the field but for matriculation as well. Curtis is also the 2018 Robert Finton Outdoor Educator of the Year Award Recipient, by the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education. Curtis has a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science and Policy, Wildlife Ecology and Management concentration, from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Master of Science degree in Wildlife Conservation from the University of Delaware. Curtis has over 10 years of experiences in environmental education and community engagement, through naturalist positions with the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC) and Delaware Nature Society respectively.

                              Mr. Les Burke – Speaker

                              Founder - Jr. Scientists in the Sea

                              Les Burke has been diving since 1980. He grew up watching Disney and Jacque Cousteau. Les was one of the eight African Americans to complete the Navy’s school for Deep Sea Diving and Salvage. Famed US Navy Master Diver, Carl Brashear, mentored Les in the early years. As one of the Navy’s elite Salvage divers, Les took part in many Salvage operations throughout the world. Les spent 33 years in the Navy, including a combat tour in Iraq. ...Read More Over the years Les learned that he had the patience to work with kids. He has been honored by the State of Florida, for his Kids oriented prevention programming. He was listed in the 2003 edition of “Who’s who in Florida Drug Prevention Leadership.” He was a two term Chair of the Jefferson County Juvenile Justice Council, and was the founder of the Jefferson County Teen Summit. He noticed, while working at criminal defense firm, that it was easier to keep kids out of the juvenile justice system, than is was to get them out of the system. Falling back on what he enjoyed the most, he combined being an “Imagineer” with diving. Les founded the Junior Scientists in the Sea (JSIS) in 2005.

                                Ms. Kathryn MacCormick – Speaker

                                Pamunkey Indian Reservation Living Shorelines Project Coordinator - Pamunkey Indian Tribe

                                Kathryn MacCormick earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the Arizona State University in 2007. She is grateful for the opportunity to have an education and has been working to share that opportunity with others since her days as an undergraduate student, during which she taught science to underprivileged schoolchildren in Phoenix, Arizona. ...Read More Kathryn moved to Virginia in 2011 and started teaching Virginia history as a program assistant for the Jamestown Settlement Museum in Williamsburg. She also started volunteering for Omnicity, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health of Virginia’s Native American communities. Kathryn received her Master of Science degree from the College of William & Mary in 2015. Since graduation she has joined the faculty of both the College of William & Mary and Rappahannock Community College as an instructor of Geographic Information Systems and Biology respectively. Kathryn is an enrolled member of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe; she resides on tribal land alongside the Pamunkey River in East-Central Virginia and contributes to her tribal community by volunteering as an environmental planner. She also represents the Pamunkey Tribe on the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body for the Ocean and sits on the Virginia Health Commissioner’s Advisory Council on Health Disparity & Health Equity.
                                  Margaret Davidson Emerging Leaders Roundtable

                                  The Honorable Jimmy Panetta – Opening Remarks

                                  U.S. House of Representatives - Congressman

                                  Congressman Jimmy Panetta proudly serves California’s 20th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. First elected to Congress in 2016, he was sworn in as member of the 115th Congress on January 3, 2017. Growing up in Monterey County, Congressman Panetta knows what makes the Central Coast a special place. ...Read More Travelers from around the world visit CA-20 and contribute to the $3 billion tourism economy. They explore the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Pinnacles National Park, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Fort Ord National Monument, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Clear Creek Management Area, and other natural, recreational, historical, scenic and educational attractions in Santa Cruz and Santa Clara Counties. Anchored around the unique Monterey Bay ecosystem are more than 40 world-class universities and marine research institutions working to better understand climate change, ocean acidification, rising sea levels, harmful algal blooms, deep ocean environments, marine mammals, and more. Congressman Panetta knows how valuable these institutions are and before attending law school, served aboard a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research vessel and more recently as an Advisory Council member for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Congressman Panetta graduated from the University of California at Davis with an undergraduate degree in International Relations and received his law degree from Santa Clara University. He is married to Carrie McIntyre Panetta, a Superior Court judge in Monterey County, and they have two daughters, Siri and Gia.

                                    Mr. Adam Lowry – Moderator

                                    Ripple Foods, PBC - Co-Founder & co-CEO Ripple Foods

                                    Adam Lowry is co-founder & co-CEO of Ripple Foods. Ripple is disrupting the $100+ billion global dairy market with plant-based milks that are high in protein, low in sugar, and delicious. Prior to Ripple, ...Read More Adam was co-founder and Chief Greenskeeper of Method Products, PBC, the leading innovator in sustainable home cleaning products. Adam has also worked as a climate scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science, where he developed software products for the understanding of climate change. Adam has been honored as one of Fortune’s 40 Under 40, and received the 2013 Clinton Global Citizen Award from the Clinton Global Initiative. Adam is a Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum, and a Catto Fellow at the Aspen Institute. Adam serves on the boards of urban agriculture company AeroFarms and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, which creates and preserves the nation’s marine sanctuaries. Adam is the author of two business books, including “The method Method, Seven Obsessions that Helped Our Scrappy Startup Turn an Industry Upside Down”. He holds a B.S., Chemical Engineering from Stanford University.

                                    Bridget C. Coughlin, Ph.D. – Speaker

                                    Shedd Aquarium - President and CEO

                                    Dr. Bridget Coughlin is President and Chief Executive Officer of Shedd Aquarium – the fourth in the institution’s distinguished 88-year history and first scientist to hold the position. Her experience and ...Read More expertise are directed at long-term planning that advances the aquarium’s mission to spark compassion, curiosity and conservation for the aquatic animal world. Dr. Coughlin has been at the forefront of developing innovative experiences that educate, entertain and enhance the guest experience, and her many accomplishments have established her as one of the brightest leaders in the field. Her commitment to learning extends well beyond the walls of Shedd. She is an active member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Museums in the Park consortium and is a founding member of the Aquarium Conservation Partnership. Additionally, she serves on the boards of After School Matters, mindSpark Learning (Denver) and the Alaska SeaLife Center. Last year, Dr. Coughlin was a member of the U.S. delegation to the Our Ocean Conference in Malta. Along with leaders from Monterey Bay Aquarium and the National Aquarium, she represented 19 U.S. aquariums in the commitment to reduce and ultimately eliminate the use of single-use plastics across all business operations. Before joining Shedd, Dr. Coughlin served as vice president of strategic partnerships and programs and adjunct curator at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science (DMNS). Prior to that, she spent five years with the National Academy of Sciences, where she served as managing editor of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. She has also led research teams funded by the National Institutes of Health, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory. Dr. Coughlin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Knox College, a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Iowa and an executive MBA certificate from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

                                    Ms. Karrie Denniston – Speaker

                                    Walmart Foundation - Senior Director-Sustainability

                                    Karrie Denniston serves as Senior Director of Sustainability with the Walmart Foundation. In this role, Karrie manages the strategy and grant making for the Walmart Foundation’s efforts to help create environmentally and socially ...Read More sustainable supply chains globally. Her portfolio includes elevating dignity in work through empowerment of workers and driving market access for smallholder farmers, creating more sustainable product chains from production to end of life, and addressing hunger, food safety and nutrition issues. Prior to joining Walmart, Karrie served as the Vice President of National Programs at Feeding America, the largest hunger relief organization in the US. She also worked in public service as a Policy Analyst at the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service - Child Nutrition Division. Karrie received a B.A. in International Relations from the State University of New York at Geneseo, and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from George Mason University focused on Non-Profit Management.

                                    Doug McCauley Ph.D. – Speaker

                                    University of California Santa Barbara, Benioff Ocean Initiative - Associate Professor, Director of Benioff Ocean Initiative

                                    Douglas McCauley began his career as a fisherman in the Port of Los Angeles before transitioning to marine science. Dr. McCauley now serves as an Associate Professor at the University of California Santa Barbara. ...Read More Dr. McCauley is the Director of the Benioff Ocean Initiative, a center based at UC Santa Barbara that is dedicated to using science and technology to solve ocean problems. The Benioff Ocean Initiative crowdsources ideas for ocean problems that urgently need to be addressed. It convenes and funds coalitions of world experts from academia, business, and technology sectors to fix these issues. Prof. McCauley has a degree in political science and a degree in biology from the University of California at Berkeley. He did his PhD at Stanford University and postdoctoral research at UC Berkeley, Princeton University, and Stanford. Prof. McCauley’s science is motivated by the belief that we must better understand how complex ocean ecosystems work if we want to better protect them from threats like overfishing, climate change, and pollution. Prof. McCauley is a Sloan Research Fellow in the Ocean Sciences, special advisor to the World Economic Forum on Oceans, and was named by Vice Media as a “Human of the Year.”

                                    Ruth Perry, Ph.D. – Speaker

                                    Marine Scientist and Regulatory Policy Specialist - Shell Exploration and Production Company

                                    Dr. Ruth Perry joined Shell Oil Company as a Marine Scientist and Regulatory Policy Specialist in 2014. She integrates marine science and ocean technology into regulatory policy advocacy and decision-making in the areas of marine sound, marine spatial planning, renewable offshore energies, ocean observing, and marine mammal ...Read More and life science in the Americas. Ruth is also responsible for helping Shell to develop public-private science and data collaborations, such as real-time monitoring programs with deep-sea ROVs and buoys and autonomous technology, to improve industry’s knowledge of the offshore marine environment. Ruth has nearly 15 years of ocean technology research and system implementation, field experience, and ocean policy and regulatory analysis and advocacy. She was recently awarded the Marine Technology Society’s Young Professional Award for 2017 and is a member of many scientific steering committees and Boards, a few including the National Academy of Sciences Ocean Studies Board and Gulf Research Program Loop Current Committee, a Board Member of NOAA Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System and on the Science Advisory Board for The Nature Conservancy Gulf Migratory Species program and Texas OneGulf RESTORE Center. She earned a doctorate in Oceanography from Texas A&M University in 2013.
                                    The Value of Protected Places

                                    Tundi Agardy, Ph.D. – Speaker

                                    Sound Seas - Executive Director

                                    Dr. Tundi Agardy is the Executive Director and founder of Sound Seas, an independent group working at the nexus of policy and science to promote marine conservation. As an internationally renowned marine conservationist, ...Read More Tundi has had the opportunity to gain extensive field and policy experience in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, North America and the Pacific. Her specialties include coastal planning and assessment, marine protected areas, fisheries management, marine spatial planning, and ocean zoning, and she has published widely in these fields. At Forest Trends, she created the MARES Program, which focuses on identifying marine values and protecting marine ecosystem services through market-based mechanisms. Tundi previously served as Senior Scientist for WWF and began Conservation International’s Global Marine Program, which she oversaw as Senior Director. She also led the coastal portion of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment – a 3 year global analysis released in 2005 that represents the consensus of over a thousand scientists on the state of the world’s ecosystems. She received her Ph.D. in biological sciences and Masters in Marine Affairs from University of Rhode Island, was postdoctoral fellow at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and completed her undergraduate work at Wellesley and Dartmouth Colleges.

                                      Tracy Rouleau, Ph.D. – Moderator

                                      TBD Economics, LLC - President

                                      Tracy Rouleau is the President and Founder of TBD Economics, LLC which brings bring clear, high-quality and understandable economic analysis to government, private and non-profit firms. ...Read More She is a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Blue Economy and Editorial Board Member for the Journal for Ocean and Coastal Economics. Previously, she was Deputy Chief Economist for NOAA, the nexus for coordinating, empowering, and catalyzing the integration of Social, Behavioral and Economic sciences across the Agency. Her interests center on valuing benefits provided by nature, specializing in natural coastal infrastructure and restoration; developing innovative, value-based tools to support sustainable fisheries; and the intersection of climate change, risk, and coastal resilience. She has served on/advised committees and subcommittees for the Council for Environmental Quality, Office of Science and Technology Policy, National Ocean Council, and other interagency bodies. Tracy established and chaired NOAA’s Social Science Committee, and NOAA’s Ecosystem Services team, and won awards for work in the Arctic, the Gulf of Mexico and on NOAA’s Social Science Needs Assessment. She holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies/Coastal Resource Economics from San Jose State University, and completed her Ph.D. coursework and exams in Marine Policy/Fisheries Economics at the University of Delaware.

                                      Mr. Will Benson – Speaker

                                      FKNMS Advisory Council, Lower Keys Guides Association, World Angling - Captain

                                      Will Benson spends over 250 days a year charter fishing in the Florida Keys national marine sanctuary. He serves on the FKNMS Advisory Council and was the chairman of the Blue Star Fishing Guide working group in 2018. ...Read More Will is also a member of the Lower Keys Guides Association and served on the Board of directors as Vice President until 2018. Will is an outspoken conservationist and has produced several acclaimed documentaries about fly fishing and the issues affecting the sport. His films have been showcased throughout the country on the Fly Fishing Film Tour. Will is not only a passionate voice for a healthy environment and sustainable fishing he is more importantly a devoted husband and father of two young children.

                                      Mr. Matt Liddle – Speaker

                                      REI Outdoor Programs and Outreach - Mid-Atlantic Manager

                                      Matt Liddle is the Mid-Atlantic Manager for REI Outdoor Programs and Outreach, overseeing outdoor education and recreation programs serving nearly 20,000 registered participants annually in the greater Washington DC area. ...Read More He leads the team responsible for REI’s events portfolio and philanthropic partnerships for the region. Matt has worked in the outdoor industry since 2001, serving in leadership roles in youth, international, and collegiate programs prior to his role at REI. Matt has a Master’s Degree in Outdoor Education from the University of New Hampshire and a Bachelor’s in Chinese and in Anthropology, both from the University of Pittsburgh. Matt serves on the Board of Directors for City Kids Wilderness Project, the Washington Area Bicyclists Association, and the NoMa Business Improvement District. Matt was recently appointed by Governor Larry Hogan to the newly formed Maryland Outdoor Recreation Economic Commission. Matt lives in Takoma Park with his wife Jill and their two boys. The four of them live for climbing, skiing, cycling, camping, paddling, swimming, running, surfing and anything that keeps them outside.

                                        Mr. Jim Ritterhoff – Speaker

                                        FORCE BLUE, INC - Executive Director / Co-Founder

                                        Working as a professional writer for over 25 years, Jim has penned and directed award-winning advertising campaigns, screenplays, teleplays and documentaries. As Founder and Creative Director of NYC-based advertising and ...Read More content production company Chowder, Inc., Jim wrote and produced the theatrically released feature film, Cayman Went and the children’s book, Tuke the Specialist Turtle. An avid SCUBA diver and lifelong environmentalist, Jim previously served on the Board of Directors of the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) on Little Cayman.
                                        Predicting, Detecting, and Preparing for Increasing Acidification

                                        Luiz A. Rocha, Ph.D. – Opening Remarks

                                        Associate Curator and Follett Chair of Ichthyology - California Academy of Sciences

                                        Luiz A. Rocha is the Follett Chair of Ichthyology at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. His major research interests include evolution, conservation, taxonomy, and community ecology of coral reef fishes. He frequently tries to combine these fields, linking ecology to evolution and using molecular tools to answer biogeographic, taxonomic, ...Read More and conservation questions. The overall objective of this interdisciplinary research is to explain what generates and maintains the extremely high biodiversity in tropical coral reefs and to help sustain it, both shallow and deep. He has spent more than 5,000 hours underwater, and published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles. In addition, his work has been featured in many popular media outlets including the New York Times, Wired, National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, among others, and supported ocean conservation efforts across the globe.

                                        The Honorable Salud Carbajal – Opening Remarks

                                        U.S. House of Representatives - Congressman

                                        Congressman Salud Carbajal proudly represents the 24th Congressional District of California. The District includes the entirety of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties, and a portion of Ventura County. Prior to representing the Central Coast in Congress, Salud served as Santa Barbara ...Read More County’s First District Supervisor for twelve years. As County Supervisor, Salud championed the development of the Blue Ribbon Budget Task Force to examine our county operations and budget process. He has also advocated for health and social service safety net programs for our most vulnerable residents, co-sponsoring an initiative to provide health insurance for all the County's children and spearheading the creation of a job skills and mentorship program for at-risk youth throughout the County. In Congress, Salud has demonstrated a strong commitment to protecting our natural environment and resources, enhancing public safety, creating economic opportunities, and working regionally to address our transportation, housing, and workforce challenges. A long-time advocate for our environment, Salud’s first act in Congress was the California Clean Coast Act which bans future offshore oil and gas drilling on California’s coast. He also is a member of the bi-partisan Climate Solutions Caucus, which works across the aisle toward developing strategies for mitigating the effects of climate change. Salud sits on both the House Committee on Armed Services and the House Committee on the Budget. Salud has used his role in the House Committee on Armed Services, to ensure the men and women serving in the military have the resources and support they need. Most recently, the Congressman has offered amendments in the National Defense Authorization act that would direct the Department of Defense to research the effects of climate change on military operations, develop educational partnerships between the Department of Defense and local colleges, and ensure female service members have adequate body armor suited to fit their needs. Salud served eight years in the United States Marine Corps Reserve, including active duty service during the Gulf War in 1992 where he was mobilized to Jacksonville, North Carolina. As a veteran, Carbajal has worked to ensure the needs of our nations veterans are met. He successfully secured $1 million for the Santa Barbara Veterans Treatment Courts and introduced legislation to combat veteran homelessness. Carbajal graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) and also holds a Master's Degree in Organizational Management from the Fielding University. Carbajal is married to Gina and they are proud parents of Natasha and Michael.

                                        Ms. Alexis Valauri-Orton – Moderator

                                        The Ocean Foundation - Program Manager

                                        Alexis Valauri-Orton serves as Program Manager at The Ocean Foundation where she manages the International Ocean Acidification Initiative. Her focus on ocean acidification began at age 16 when ...Read More Elizabeth Kolbert's article in the New Yorker sparked a passion, and followed her as she completed a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship studying how ocean acidification might affect marine communities in Norway, Hong Kong, Thailand, New Zealand, The Cook Islands, and Peru. At The Ocean Foundation she delivers training workshops for scientists and policy makers around the world to build their capacity to monitor, understand, and respond to ocean acidification. A core focus of this work is developing and delivering low-cost kits of equipment that enable scientists to collect high quality ocean chemistry data at a fraction of the cost of previously recommended systems. To build these systems, The Ocean Foundation works closely with a number of partners, including the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network, the International Atomic Energy Agency's Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre, and NOAA's Ocean Acidification Program. She holds a degree in Biology and Environmental Studies from Davidson College, and when she is not busy thinking about ocean acidification, she enjoys playing flute and ultimate frisbee.

                                        Ms. Jan Newton – Speaker

                                        University of Washington & NANOOS - Senior Principal Oceanographer

                                        Dr. Jan Newton is a Senior Principal Oceanographer with the Applied Physics Laboratory of the University of Washington, and affiliate faculty with the UW School of Oceanography and School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. ...Read More Jan is the Executive Director of the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems, NANOOS, which is the regional association of U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System, IOOS, for the Pacific Northwest. Her work through NANOOS seeks to bring knowledge of ocean conditions to stakeholders for their use in decision making in myriad contexts, safeguarding public economy, health, and safety. Jan is a biological oceanographer who continues to study multidisciplinary dynamics of Puget Sound and coastal Washington waters, including understanding effects from climate and humans on water properties. An appointee to the Washington Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification (OA) and the West Coast Panel on Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia, Jan is now co-Director of the Washington Ocean Acidification Center at the University of Washington and researching ocean acidification and its effects in local waters with colleagues from NOAA and elsewhere. Jan works on OA from local to global scales. Locally she works with west coast tribes and shellfish growers, facilitating use of observing technologies, forecast models, and data portals; globally she is a founding Executive Council member of the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network, GOA-ON, and works in service to support capacity building and data provision for the UNESCO Sustainable Development Goal 14.3 on marine pH.

                                          Karina J. Nielsen, Ph.D. – Speaker

                                          Estuary & Ocean Science Center, San Francisco State University - Director, Professor of Biology

                                          Karina Nielsen is Director of the Estuary & Ocean Science Center and a Professor of Biology at San Francisco State University. She is an interdisciplinary marine ecologist who studies how climate change, human culture and policy influence the functioning, ...Read More diversity and resilience of coastal ecosystems. Her research focuses on the ecological communities of rocky shores, sandy beaches and estuaries and coastal oceanography. Before joining San Francisco State University, she was a Professor of Biology at Sonoma State University. Karina graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Biology from Brooklyn College and holds a PhD in Zoology from Oregon State University. She was a National Science Foundation International Postdoctoral Fellow in Chile at Universidad Católica’s Estación Costera de Investigaciones Marinas and a postdoctoral fellow with the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans. She was a science advisor for California's Marine Life Protection Act Initiative, an effort that resulted in California's network of marine protected areas. Karna is a fellow of the California Academy of Sciences and currently serves on the Science Advisory Team for California’s Ocean Protection Council and on the Management Advisory Board for the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.

                                          Nichole N. Price, Ph.D. – Speaker

                                          Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences - Senior Research Scientist

                                          Nichole Price is a Senior Research Scientist and Director of a new center focused on securing sustainable, nutritious, and safe seafood for generations to come at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay, Maine. ...Read More The center for Seafood Solutions seeks to translate cutting-edge marine science to bridge the gap between knowledge and action. Nichole’s research and partnerships with NOAA, the Nature Conservancy, the US Geological Survey, and US Fish and Wildlife have taken her SCUBA diving around the globe on coral reefs in Africa, Asia, and across remote islands in the Central and South Pacific. Recently, she has focused her work in Southern California and the Gulf of Maine where she partners closely with members of the seaweed and shellfish industries to develop remediation strategies for ocean acidification, nutrient loading, and low oxygen conditions. Nichole earned her Ph.D. in marine ecology at the University of California, Santa Barbara and became an institutional postdoctoral fellow then project scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography before to moving to Maine. She has 15 years of experience studying impacts of climate change and ocean acidification on marine ecosystems and uses this knowledge to help find evidence-based, local solutions to global challenges.

                                          Joseph Salisbury, Ph.D. – Speaker

                                          Ocean Processes Analysis Laboratory - Associate Research Professor

                                          My interests focus on the biogeochemistry and ecology of coastal regions, particularly those influenced by riverine processes. I'm presently working on two strands of research. ...Read More The first seeks to characterize distributions of carbon dioxide, air-sea carbon exchange, productivity and acid stress in freshwater-influenced coastal regions. The second strand involves the use of data from a variety of space-borne sensors to characterize net community productivity and carbon exchanges in coastal waters. For these projects we use a variety of remotely sensed data including ocean color, sea surface temperature and microwave radiometry. I'm currently the co-leader of a science-working group planning a NASA satellite mission called Geostationary Coastal and Atmospheric Pollution Events (GEO-CAPE). Our UNH Coastal Carbon Group maintains several autonomous data collecting assets in the Gulf of Maine and stays active in cruise campaigns throughout the western Atlantic.

                                            Mr. Brett Veerhusen – Speaker

                                            Ocean Strategies - Principal

                                            Ocean Strategies founder Brett Veerhusen is a seasoned organization and coalition strategist. A lifelong Alaskan commercial fisherman, Brett has fished extensively in the Aleutian Islands, Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska. ...Read More He founded Ocean Strategies in 2013 while serving as coalition director on the Save Bristol Bay campaign. He's helped build coalitions of Fortune 100 companies to grassroots fishermen's organizations. Working with nonprofit and the private sectors alike, Ocean Strategies’ clients include United Fishermen of Alaska, Ocean Conservancy, Salmon Sisters, Businesses for Bristol Bay and Under Sixty Cod Harvesters. Previously, as the Executive Director of the Seafood Harvesters of America in Washington, D.C. Brett built the go-to fishermen’s organization in our nation’s capital. He earned a Master of Marine Affairs degree from the University of Washington and bachelor's degrees in Business and Spanish from the University of Puget Sound. Brett is a Board member for the Seafood Harvesters of America and alternate director for the North Pacific Fisheries Association.
                                            Gulf Coast Restoration

                                            Ms. Alexis Baldera – Moderator

                                            Director, Gulf Restoration Program - Ocean Conservancy

                                            Alexis Baldera is Director of the Gulf Restoration Program at Ocean Conservancy. She leads a team focused on integrating science into policy and ensuring restoration is an ecosystem-wide effort, from the coast to the deep-sea. Alexis has worked to restore the Gulf of Mexico from the BP oil spill since the disaster started in 2010. She has a Master’s Degree in ...Read More Environmental Management from Duke University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marine and Freshwater Biology from the University of Texas at Austin. Her background includes both conducting and monitoring restoration projects as well as providing monitoring and adaptive management tools to help coordinate Gulf efforts across programs. Alexis recently published a paper, with her two co-authors, entitled, “Selecting indicators to monitor outcomes across projects and multiple restoration programs in the Gulf of Mexico,” which identifies one way to ensure project-level monitoring is also relevant to tracking program-level restoration success.

                                              Antonio J. Busalacchi, Ph.D. – Speaker

                                              President - University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

                                              Dr. Antonio J. Busalacchi, president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), has a distinguished career in the geosciences; extensive experience in management of academic, laboratory, and government programs; and a broad knowledge of the community. Prior to his 2016 appointment at UCAR, ...Read More he served as director of the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center and as a professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science at the University of Maryland. After receiving a Ph.D. in oceanography from Florida State University, Busalacchi began his professional career at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center; in 1991, he was appointed chief of NASA’s Laboratory for Hydrospheric Processes and a member of the Senior Executive Service.  From 2008-2014 he chaired the Joint Scientific Committee that oversaw the WCRP. In 2016, Busalacchi was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. In February 2017, Busalacchi joined the National Academies Gulf Research Program Advisory Board – a 30-year program funded through a $500 million settlement with BP following the Deepwater Horizon explosion to enhance offshore energy system safety, human health, and environmental resources in the Gulf of Mexico region.  In this capacity, Busalacchi has promoted regional Earth System Prediction research to provide integrated Earth System analyses and prediction capabilities for the Gulf of Mexico basin with products designed to address decision makers’ needs at time scales from days to decades.

                                                Mr. Daniel Gotoff – Speaker

                                                Partner - Lake Research Partners

                                                Daniel Gotoff heads Lake Research Partners’ New York office. Since joining the firm in 1996, Daniel has worked for candidates at all levels of the electoral process as well as on a wide range of issues, including the economy, national security, and government accountability. ...Read More Daniel’s tenure at LRP has included extensive research for clients, including Presidential, Senatorial, Congressional, Gubernatorial, and Mayoral candidates, as well as the DNC, DCCC and the NAACP National Voter Fund. He has also led the firm’s overseas consulting on campaigns in Mexico and the Caribbean. Daniel’s analyses of the American political landscape are regularly published and he is a contributor on The Leon Charney Report and other political and public affairs news shows. In 2009, Daniel was named a Rising Star by Campaigns and Elections magazine. In 2011, Daniel was honored to lead the team that was awarded a Pollie for "Best Use of New Technology In a Candidate, Ballot/Initiative or Public Affairs Campaign" by the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC). Gotoff holds a B.A. in history and Italian from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

                                                  Mr. Bren Haase – Speaker

                                                  Chief of the Planning and Research Division - Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority

                                                  Bren Haase is Chief of the Planning and Research Division at the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and holds degrees in marine biology from Auburn University and oceanography/coastal sciences from Louisiana State University. ...Read More Bren’s experience spans over 20 years in coastal wetlands ecology, restoration and regulation, in the private sector as well as in Federal and State government. Mr. Haase manages the research, planning and development of Louisiana’s Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast, in addition to the Louisiana Coastal Area Ecosystem Restoration Program, the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Program, and the Beneficial Use of Dredged Material Program.

                                                  David W. Yoskowitz, Ph.D. – Speaker

                                                  Harte Research Institute, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi - Associate Director and Endowed Chair

                                                  David Yoskowitz is the Endowed Chair for Socio-Economics and Associate Director of the Harte Research Institute (HRI) at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi. ...Read More He has previously served as the Chief Economist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) during 2014 – 2015. His work is focused on elucidating the link between environmental well-being and human well-being and moving practice into policy. He is leading an effort to develop a socio-economic observing system, inventory and value ecosystem services for the Gulf of Mexico region, and quantifying the impact of sea-level rise on coastal community resiliency. His work has taken him through much of North and Central America including Cuba, Nicaragua, Belize, El Salvador, and Mexico. He led the effort to produceGulf 360: State of the Gulf of Mexico, which was a successful collaboration between governmental, academic, non-governmental organizations, and industry in both the United States and Mexico that mapped common socio-economic metrics.
                                                  Restoring American Fisheries: The Magnuson-Stevens Act

                                                  Ms. Margaret Spring – Moderator

                                                  Monterey Bay Aquarium, Chief Conservation Officer and Vice President of Conservation & Science

                                                  Margaret Spring directs the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s conservation and science efforts, which include the aquarium’s ocean policy initiatives, its respected Seafood Watch program, as well as conservation research programs involving sea otters, great white sharks, ...Read More Pacific Bluefin tuna and other species. She brings to the task senior leadership experience with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and as counsel to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, where she advised Congress on ocean issues and legislation. Her legislative work included enactment of the Oceans Act of 2000; the Oceans and Human Health Act; the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006; the Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act; and the Tsunami Warning and Education Act. She serves on the National Research Council’s Ocean Studies Board, the California Ocean Science Trust Board of Trustees, the Monterey Bay Fisheries Trust Board of Trustees, the Environmental Law Institute Board of Directors, and the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Position Statement Task Force. She is a graduate of Duke University Law School and Dartmouth College.

                                                  Mr. Christopher Brown – Speaker

                                                  President- Seafood Harvesters of America

                                                  A lifelong commercial fisherman, Chris Brown operates the fishing vessel Proud Mary out of Point Judith, Rhode Island. He is a tireless advocate for the fishing industry and the resources upon which it depends. Chris serves as President of the Seafood Harvesters of America, ...Read More an organization that promotes the importance of full accountability in both fishing and fisheries management practices. In addition to his work with the Harvesters, Chris is President of both the Rhode Island Commercial Fishermen’s Association and The East Farm Commercial Fisheries Center. In 2016, Chris was among those honored by the White House as a Champion of Change for Sustainable Seafood.

                                                    Ms. Monica Goldberg – Speaker

                                                    Environmental Defense Fund - Chief Counsel, Oceans

                                                    Monica Burke Goldberg is the Chief Counsel for the EDF Oceans program, leading EDF’s D.C.-based marine conservation advocacy on the hill, to the administration and in court. She has previously worked as a senior attorney for Ocean Conservancy and Oceana, as well as ...Read More litigating with the Ocean Law Project of Earthjustice representing a variety of environmental and fishing groups. She served as the Special Assistant to Solicitor of the Department of Interior John Leshy in the late 1990s and worked for the San Francisco office of the Environmental Protection Agency before attending law school. Her private sector experience includes working at the Mayer Brown and Perkins Coie law firms. She received her undergraduate degree in political science from U.C. Berkeley and her J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School.

                                                    Mr. Gregory Jeffers – Speaker

                                                    Gorton's, Inc. - Director of Purchasing

                                                    Greg Jeffers has spent 20 years in the seafood business with Gloucester, Massachusetts based Gorton’s Seafood, the leading frozen seafood brand in the United States. He is currently the Director of Purchasing, ...Read More overseeing procurement activities for all raw material, ingredient and packaging components for Gorton’s seafood items for both retail and food service. Greg has held several other positions across a wide breadth of Gorton’s business, beginning there as a Research Food Scientist in 1998. He then spent time in Gorton’s Food Service department, assisting with management of Gorton’s business relationship with McDonald’s. After that role, Greg transitioned to managing key retail and wholesale club customer accounts in a traditional sales role for several years before moving to his current role directing supply chain functions. He holds a B.S. and M.S. in Food Science from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. Greg resides in Topsfield, MA, and enjoys fishing and spending time outdoors with his wife, Allison, and their two young children.

                                                      Steven A. Murawski, Ph.D. – Speaker

                                                      University of South Florida, College of Marine Science - Professor and Downtown Partnership Endowed Chair

                                                      Steven A. Murawski, Ph.D. is Professor and the Downtown Partnership – Peter Betzer Endowed Chair of Biological Oceanography at the University of South Florida, College of Marine Science in St. Petersburg, Florida. ...Read More Dr. Murawski is a fishery biologist specializing in population and ecosystem dynamics, with 40+ years of professional experience. He worked for NOAA for 35 years, where he retired as the Director of Scientific Programs and Chief Science Advisor for the National Marine Fisheries Service. Murawski was a principal author of the 2007 reauthorization of the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and the National Ocean Policy of 2010. Since coming to the Gulf of Mexico region he has been actively involved in assessing the environmental impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and its implications for fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico. Murawski serves as Principal Investigator for the Center for Integrated Modeling and Analysis of Gulf Ecosystems (C-IMAGE) funded through the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative. In addition to research on oil spill impacts, he and his graduate students have an active program to assess the status of fishery stocks and map their habitats in the Gulf of Mexico, with particular emphasis on reef fish stocks. This includes a program to develop new technologies focusing on the use of towed video camera systems. Dr. Murawski continues to be involved in national and international fisheries and marine science activities, recently serving a term as vice-president and USA delegate to the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES). Additionally, he is a member of the National Academy of Science’s Ocean Studies Board and an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is the recipient of the Senior Executive Service Meritorious Service Award, conferred by President Obama, and the Department of Commerce Gold Medal, among other professional awards. His Ph.D. in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology was conferred in 1984 from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

                                                      Mr. Alan Risenhoover – Speaker

                                                      NOAA Fisheries - Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries

                                                      Mr. Risenhoover has served as the Director of the Office of Sustainable Fisheries since 2006. In this capacity, he oversees regulatory and management activities related to Atlantic highly migratory species, national fisheries policy development ...Read More and implementation, domestic fisheries regulatory coordination, Atlantic Coastal Act implementation, and food safety risk analysis. The Office also tracks the agency's commitment to ensuring sustainable fisheries and science-based management through an annual Status of the Stocks Report and the Fish Stock Sustainability Index. He began his federal career with NOAA Fisheries in 1989, and has served in several key national positions including Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs; Acting Director for Office of Law Enforcement; Deputy Director for the Office of Sustainable Fisheries; and Deputy Chief Financial Officer/Deputy Chief Administrative Officer. He came to Washington, D.C., in 1988 as a Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellow. Mr. Risenhoover received a B.S. in Zoology from Colorado State University and an M.S. in Fish and Wildlife Sciences from Texas A&M University.
                                                        Market Based Solutions and Public-Private Partnerships

                                                        Ms. Monica Medina – Moderator

                                                        Founder and Publisher - Our Daily Planet

                                                        Monica Medina is a small business owner; she is the Founder and Publisher of Our Daily Planet, an environmental e-mail newsletter, and an independent consultant. Medina is also an Adjunct Professor in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Previously Medina served as the Deputy Director of the Environment Program ...Read More at the Walton Family Foundation, and she was the Senior Director of Ocean Policy at the National Geographic Society. From 2012-2013, Ms. Medina served as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense. Previously, Ms. Medina served as the Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, where she led efforts on Arctic conservation, and restoration of the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Ms. Medina has worked for nearly thirty years at the intersection of law and policy in Washington, D.C. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She attended Georgetown University on an Army R.O.T.C. scholarship, and began her legal career on active duty in the Honor’s Program of the Army General Counsel’s office. For her service in the Army, Ms. Medina was awarded an Army Commendation Medal in 1989, and a Meritorious Service Medal in 1990. In 2013, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta awarded Ms. Medina the Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Medal.

                                                        Ms. Sherry Flumerfelt – Speaker

                                                        Monterey Bay Fisheries Trust - Executive Director

                                                        Sherry Flumerfelt has spent her career working with coastal communities to find the balance between environmental and economic sustainability. Since 2014, she has been the executive director of the Monterey Bay Fisheries Trust (MBFT), ...Read More a nonprofit working to support and revitalize sustainable fisheries out of Monterey Bay ports. At MBFT, Sherry is has launched an innovative “fish hub” program to rebuild local and regional markets for Monterey Bay seafood, has helped protect access to more than $2 million in fishing rights, and has cultivated stewardship and leadership among fishermen through conservation and education programs. Before MBFT, Sherry worked as a consultant for eight years, supporting clients such as the Environmental Defense Fund and the California Marine Life Protection Act Initiative, and prior to this, she spent eight years at the Coral Reef Alliance, leading their coral reef conservation programs in the Western Pacific. Sherry holds a Master’s Degree in Anthropology and International Development from the University of Guelph in Canada.

                                                        Mr. Brett W. Howell MBA, PMP – Speaker

                                                        Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) - Environmental markets entrepreneur

                                                        Brett W. Howell, MBA, PMP, is an environmental markets entrepreneur. He is on a mission to catalyze teams that are scaling breakthrough solutions to the systemic issues we face on our planet. Brett also has a successful career delivering strategic corporate projects, ...Read More currently at Coca-Cola where he is is working on initiatives including sustainability and the largest single re-franchising effort in business history. Brett is a connector, a strategist, and a driver of execution. He mobilizes environmental and business leaders around shared opportunities, and builds and manages agile teams that can get products and ideas into the market. Brett has extensive experience developing, implementing, and managing innovative conservation and sustainability-related programs at locations around the world. Brett holds an MBA from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a B.S. in Communication from the University of Miami. He is also a certified Project Management Institute Project Management Professional (PMP). Brett is a graduate of the Property & Environment Research Center’s (PERC) Enviropreneur™ Institute. Brett is a member of the Board of Directors of Atlanta Wild Animal Rescue Effort (AWARE). He also serves as an advisor to companies focused on achieving marine conservation successes, including restoring coral reefs and developing solutions to ocean plastics. An avid pro-certified SCUBA diver, expert downhill snow skier, and intrepid whitewater rafter, Brett has traveled extensively throughout the United States and internationally in search of unique conservation experiences and outdoor adventures.

                                                        Ms. Julie Lawson – Speaker

                                                        DC Mayor's Office of the Clean City - Director

                                                        Julie Lawson currently serves as the Director of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Office of the Clean City in Washington, DC. Lawson works closely with the Mayor and District agencies to execute the Clean City initiative, coordinate service delivery operations, and oversee community engagement efforts. ...Read More Previously, Lawson cofounded and was executive director of Trash Free Maryland, a nonprofit organization that uses policy and behavior change to create long-term solutions to trash pollution. Her work led to passage of the nation’s first disposable shopping bag fee, polystyrene foam food service bans throughout the metropolitan DC region, and a strong ban on microbeads in personal care products in Maryland. Under her leadership, Trash Free Maryland also conducted the largest citizen science survey of microplastic pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. She is as an appointee to the Citizens Advisory Committee of the Chesapeake Bay Program Executive Council, where she serves as the chair of the stewardship subcommittee. She holds a bachelors degree from Haverford College.

                                                        Ms. Judy St. Leger – Speaker

                                                        Corporate Vice-President of Research and Science - SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment

                                                        Dr. Judy St. Leger is the Vice-President of Research and Science for SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment. She works with universities, research institutes and state and federal agencies and biologists to investigate wildlife mortality and environmental concerns impacting wildlife. She is also responsible for research efforts related to the animal collections ...Read More and education programs. Dr. St. Leger is a strong proponent of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. She frequently lectures at programs designed to inspire interest in medicine and ocean conservation. She is a member and past president of the International Association of Aquatic Animal Medicine, a member of the Wildlife Disease Association, and has been on the scientific advisory boards for the Oiled Wildlife Care Network and the wildlife health board of the Morris Animal Foundation. She continues a commitment to wildlife pathology on the board of the CL Davis and Sam Thompson Foundation and trains students regularly in veterinary pathology. She is the President of Rising Tide Conservation, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing alternatives to collecting ornamental fish from reefs. She is an author on over 100 publications and is an editor on Pathology of Wildlife and Zoo Animals coming out later this year.
                                                          A Blueprint for Blue Carbon: From the Shoreline

                                                          The Honorable Alan Lowenthal – Opening Remarks

                                                          U.S. House of Representatives - Congressman

                                                          Congressman Alan Lowenthal is serving his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives representing California's 47th District, which encompasses the cities of Long Beach, Signal Hill, Avalon, and parts of Lakewood in Los Angeles County and the cities of Los Alamitos, Rossmoor, Cypress, Westminster, Garden Grove, Buena Park, Anaheim, Midway City and Stanton, in Orange County. He was first elected in 2012 and reelected in 2014 and 2016....Read More He serves on the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He is the Ranking Member of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. As a member of Natural Resources he also serves on the Subcommittee on Federal Lands. As a member of Transportation and Infrastructure, he serves on the Highways and Transit, the Water Resources and Environment, and the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation subcommittees. The Congressman has a long legislative history of leadership in maritime commerce, environmental protection, and natural resource stewardship. Congressman Lowenthal was a five-term California State Legislator, a two-term Long Beach City Councilman, a California State University professor, and a psychologist before serving in Congress. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Hobart College, as well as a Master's and PhD in psychology from Ohio State University. He and his wife Deborah Malumed and their two adult sons reside in Long Beach, California.

                                                          Ariana Sutton-Grier, Ph.D. – Moderator

                                                          Maryland/DC Chapter of the Nature Conservancy and University of Maryland - Director of Science and Associate Research Professor

                                                          Dr. Ariana Sutton-Grier is the Director of Science for the Maryland/DC Chapter of the Nature Conservancy and is also a Visiting Associate Research Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park. ...Read More Dr. Sutton-Grier is an ecosystem ecologist with expertise in wetland ecology and restoration, biodiversity, biogeochemistry, climate change, and ecosystem services. She holds Honors Bachelor degrees from Oregon State University in Environmental Science and International Studies and a doctoral degree from Duke University in Ecology. Her research interests include the relationships between nature/biodiversity and human health, coastal blue carbon, and natural and nature-based coastal resilience strategies. A former Smithsonian Fellow and AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow, Dr. Sutton-Grier also was selected as an Early Career Fellow by the Ecological Society of America in 2015 and one of her papers won the ESA 2016 “Innovations in Sustainability Science” award. She gets especially excited about seeking and discovering innovative opportunities to combine science and policy to solve environmental problems and promote ecosystem conservation. Dr. Sutton-Grier has authored 40 publications in many environmental and policy journals and her research has been featured in several news stories, as well as a children’s science TV show.

                                                          Stephen Crooks, Ph.D. – Speaker

                                                          Silvestrum Climate Associates - Principal: Wetland Science & Coastal Management

                                                          Dr. Stephen Crooks is Principal for Wetland Science & Coastal Management at Silvestrum Climate Associates. He is a wetland restoration practitioner specializing on integration of climate change adaptation and mitigation actions for coastal systems. ...Read More Steve provides information bridging science, management and policy. He is a co-founder of the international Blue Carbon Initiative which has helped build science programs around the world, and inform national and international policy development. He was a Principal Scientist of the NASA/ USGS funded Blue Carbon Monitoring System project. He is a Lead Author of the IPCC 2013 Wetland Supplement (Coastal Wetland Chapter) and co-author of global procedures linking coastal wetland conservation and restoration to the voluntary carbon markets. For NOAA and the EPA, Steve leads the team tasked with including human impacts on coastal wetlands within the U.S. Inventory of GHG Emissions and Sinks.

                                                          Jennifer Howard, Ph.D. – Speaker

                                                          Conservation International - Marine Climate Change Director

                                                          Jennifer is the Marine Climate Change Director at Conservation International. Her work focuses on establishing mechanisms to conserve coastal and marine ecosystems to protect vulnerable coastal communities from the threats of climate change. In this role, ...Read More she represents Conservation International in the Global Mangrove Alliance, which she played a leading role in founding, she sits on the scientific advisory board for the International Partnership for Blue Carbon, and manages the Blue Carbon Initiative. Jennifer also leads Conservation International’s work on marine debris. Prior to her current position, she was a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow where she served two years at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service’s Science and Technology Division. While at NOAA, Jennifer co-lead and coordinated the development of the Ocean and Marine Resources in a Changing Climate Technical Input Report to the National Climate Assessment and coordinated the Interagency Working Group for Ocean Acidification. Before starting her fellowship at NOAA, Jennifer was conducting her postdoctoral research at the University of Maryland. Her research focused on environmental contaminants found in wastewater and agricultural runoff, specifically endocrine disrupting chemicals, and their effect on aquatic wildlife reproduction and development. Jennifer received her PhD from Texas A&M in reproductive physiology and completed the Heller Research Fellowship in Endocrinology at the San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research.

                                                          Ms. Stefanie Simpson – Speaker

                                                          Restore America's Estuaries - Blue Carbon Program Sr Manager

                                                          Stefanie Simpson is the Blue Carbon Program Senior Manager for Restore America’s Estuaries, where she works to increase recognition of the role coastal wetlands have in climate mitigation and adaptation, ...Read More and to build regional and national capacity for utilizing blue carbon ecosystem services to increase the pace and scale of restoration. Prior to RAE she was an ORISE Fellow for the EPA’s Office of Water, worked for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources ACE Basin Reserve, and served for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines working with fisherfolk on coastal resource management. Stefanie has her Bachelors in biology from Clemson (go Tigers!) and her Master’s in Environmental Studies from the College of Charleston.

                                                          Mr. Scott Settelmyer – Speaker

                                                          Maryland/DC Chapter of the Nature Conservancy and University of Maryland - Director of Science and Associate Research Professor

                                                          Scott is the Managing Director and Co-Founder of TerraCarbon LLC, a leading advisory company that helps develop and sell carbon offsets to fund forest and wetland conservation. He advises clients on carbon project feasibility, development, and financing strategies. ...Read More Together with the TerraCarbon team, Scott has supported the development and financing of more than 30 forest and wetland conservation projects in the U.S. and abroad since 2006. Scott is currently engaged in blue carbon feasibility assessments for proposed projects in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Delaware, Louisiana, Florida, and Kenya. He is a member of the U.S. Blue Carbon National Working Group and has been a frequent presenter at blue carbon workshops for coastal and marine managers around the country. Prior to founding TerraCarbon, Scott was CFO of the Chicago Climate Exchange. He has also held senior finance roles for ALLTEL Corporation (a Fortune 250 company) and at Arthur Andersen in Chicago and London. He has a MS in financial markets and trading from the Stuart School of Business in Chicago, and a BA in finance from the University of Illinois. He is a CFA charterholder and a Certified Public Accountant.
                                                          Congressional Leadership Roundtable

                                                          Ms. Jessica Leber – Moderator

                                                          Oceans Deeply - Deputy Managing Editor

                                                          Jessica Leber is deputy managing editor of Oceans Deeply, an independent digital media project launched by News Deeply in June 2017. She has covered environmental, science and technology stories for a decade while on staff at publications including ...Read More Fast Company, MIT Technology Review and ClimateWire. Her writing has also appeared in the New York Times, Scientific American, Audubon Magazine and other outlets. She holds a graduate degree from Columbia University's Earth and Environmental Science Journalism program.

                                                          The Honorable Sheldon Whitehouse – Speaker

                                                          U.S. Senate - U.S. Senator (D-RI)

                                                          Sheldon Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), plays a key role in crafting policies addressing environmental protection and climate change. In 2011, ...Read More he joined with Democrats and Republicans to form the Senate Oceans Caucus to increase awareness of and find common ground on issues facing the oceans and coasts. The Caucus helped gain Senate approval of four international fisheries treaties and passage of the IUU Fishing Enforcement Act that will prevent illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. Whitehouse has worked to boost federal support for fisheries science and cooperative fisheries research as well as efforts to improve transparency and efficiency in the commercial and recreational fisheries management process. Senator Whitehouse has long advocated for a dedicated fund to support ocean and coastal research, restoration, and conservation. In 2015, the National Oceans and Coastal Security Fund was created to provide grants that support work for the oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes. It received funding for the first time as part of this year’s spending bill. He also led the successful bipartisan effort to reauthorize the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Estuaries Program to protect and study coastal habitats. Whitehouse was a lead sponsor of the Save Our Seas Act, a bipartisan bill driven by the Caucus’s leadership to reauthorize NOAA’s marine debris program and strengthen the U.S.’s role in combating the global marine debris crisis. The SOS Act passed the Senate unanimously in August. A graduate of Yale University and the University of Virginia School of Law, Whitehouse served as United States Attorney and Attorney General of Rhode Island before being elected to the Senate in 2006. In addition to EPW, he is a member of the Budget Committee; the Judiciary Committee; and the Finance Committee. He and his wife Sandra, a marine biologist and environmental advocate, live in Newport. They have two children. For the latest updates on Sheldon’s work, follow @SenWhitehouse on Twitter and visit

                                                          The Honorable Francis Rooney – Speaker

                                                          U.S. House of Representatives - Congressman

                                                          Ambassador Francis Rooney represents Florida’s 19th Congressional District. Francis Rooney is a successful businessman who brings decades of private sector experience to Washington. ...Read More He and his family started Rooney Holdings, Inc. (RHI), a diversified, international group of companies based in Naples, Florida. Since 1984, RHI has created jobs and economic opportunities in Southwest Florida and throughout the United States. One of the company’s subsidiaries is Manhattan Construction Company, a diversified construction group founded in 1896. Notable Southwest Florida projects include Fort Myers’ downtown streetscape, the Lee County Jail and a number of improvements on Florida Gulf Coast University’s campus, including Biscayne Hall, Alico Arena, Holmes Hall, Academic Building 7, and the solar power plant. Significant projects around the United States include the Presidential Libraries for both George H. W. Bush in College Station, Texas, and George W. Bush in Dallas, Texas; the Dallas Cowboys stadium; the U.S. Capitol Visitors’ Center; the Walter Reed Army Institute for Research; and the International Terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition to his business career, Rooney and his family have a longstanding tradition of public and community service. He was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See from 2005 to 2008, and has also served on numerous public and private boards, including Naples Community Hospital, the Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation, the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, and the Advisory Commission of the Panama Canal. A graduate of Georgetown University (A.B. 1975) and Georgetown University Law Center (J.D. 1978), Rooney has honorary degrees from the University of Notre Dame (2006) and the University of Dallas (2010). He is a former member of the District of Columbia and Texas Bars, and holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100 Ton Masters License (sailing endorsement). He and his wife, Kathleen, live in Southwest Florida and have three children: Larry, married to Porscha; Michael, married to Frances; and Kathleen; one grandson, Beckett, and one granddaughter, Bergen.

                                                          The Honorable Suzanne Bonamici – Speaker

                                                          House of Representatives - Congresswoman

                                                          Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici represents the First Congressional District in Northwest Oregon. Strengthening public education is one of Suzanne’s top priorities and one of the reasons she got involved in public service. ...Read More As a member of the Education and the Workforce Committee, she is dedicated to setting national policies that give educators and students the resources they need to succeed, and she is working on making college more affordable and closing the skills gap. Suzanne also serves as a member of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, and is the top Democratic member on the Environment Subcommittee. From this position, she is working to address the causes and risks of global climate change, and to ensure that policy decisions are based on science. Suzanne worked her way through college, first at community college and then at the University of Oregon, where she earned her bachelor’s and law degrees. During college and law school, Suzanne worked at Lane County Legal Aid Service. After law school, Suzanne was an attorney for the Federal Trade Commission. When she returned to Oregon, she served in the Oregon House of Representatives and Senate. She and her husband have two grown children.