Location: Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Title: President/CEO, Resolve Marine Group
Group: Resolve Marine Group / Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Bio: Joe Farrell needs no introduction to the marine salvage community. Originally from the Boston, MA, area, he began his career in the marine industry by enlisting in the United States Coast Guard, eventually attending the U.S. Navy diver school, becoming a ship's diver. After two years at sea and diving in Arctic waters, he volunteered for service and became an explosives advisor, offloading ammunition ships in Vietnam. Eventually, Farrell became a civilian diver at the U.S. Navy's AUTEC base in the Bahamas, where he spent four years jumping out of helicopters in full SCUBA gear and recovering U.S. military torpedoes. Following that, he became Chief Engineer of a 158-foot salvage ship, ultimately assuming the role of Captain/Owner. From these roots, Farrell founded RESOLVE Marine, and under his guidance, RESOLVE has become one of the world's most well-known and respected marine salvage, emergency response and maritime training companies. Farrell and his team have accomplished some of the most unique and challenging operations in U.S. salvage industry history. Today, Farrell continues to lead his global RESOLVE team as they respond to vessel casualties, and provide salvage and firefighting response for approximately 40% of oil tankers that trade in U.S. waters.



Location: Nantucket, MA
Title: Special Projects Coordinator, Coastal Recovery Inc.
Group: Coastal Recovery Inc. / Nantucket, MA
Bio: N/A


Location: Nantucket, MA
Title: Director of Nantucket Field Station
Group: University of Massachusetts Boston
Bio: Sarah Oktay is passionate about educating the public concerning major environmental issues on Cape Cod and the islands, something she is well placed to do in her role as the director of University of Massachusetts Boston's Nantucket Field Station which is part of the School for the Environment. She is a chemical oceanographer by training with a doctorate from Texas A&M University in Galveston. She is an invited member of the Society of Women's Geographers, a former President and Vice President of the Nantucket Civic League, the Co-Captain of the Nantucket Clean Team, former chair of the Nantucket Harbor Plan Implementation Committee and the Nantucket Coastal Management Plan and helped write the Nantucket and Madaket Harbor Action plan for Nantucket. She believes strongly in bridging the gap between scientists, policy makers, and the public to aid communities and effect change. She has received a regional Conservation Award from the Garden Club and an international award for an inner city STEM program in Massachusetts featuring place based research from the Organization of Biological Field Stations, of which she is currently president, presiding over several hundred field stations across the globe. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts House of Representatives gave Sarah and the Nantucket Field station a citation in recognition of the Grace Grossman Youth Collaborative. She writes a weekly column for a Nantucket paper called Yesterdays' Island which allows her to describe scientific issues and the natural world to lay people. Her nine years of service on the Nantucket Conservation Commission has been featured in Vanity Fair, Yankee Magazine, Cape Cod Times, and many other news organizations. She is currently partnering with Water Defense, a nonprofit started by actor Mark Ruffalo, to test water safety and pollution concentrations across the country.



Location: Jacksonville, FL
Title: Chief, Coastal Design Section, Jacksonville District US Army Corps of Engineers
Group: Coastal Design Section, Jacksonville District US Army Corps of Engineers / Jacksonville, FL
Bio: Jason Engle is Chief of Coastal Design Section of the US Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District. Engle as a Masters of Science in Coastal and Oceanographic Studies from the University of Florida as well as a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. He has been with the Army Corps of Engineers since 2003. Engle's expertise with the USACE lies in coastal engineering analysis and design, coastal storm damage reduction projects, coastal navigation projects and tidal inlet processes and morphology.


Location: Kitty Hawk, NC
Title: Oceanographer, Field Research Facility, US Army Corps of Engineers
Group: Field Research Facility, US Army Corps of Engineers / Kitty Hawk, NC
Bio: Jesse McNinch is an Oceanographer for the Field Research Facility for the US Army Corps of Engineers in Kitty Hawk, NC. Mix sand, seawater, and energy over any time scale, and he is intrigued. Currently he is investigating shoreline behavior (erosional hotspots) and its relationship to underlying geology. Exposure of non-sandy substrates in the surf zone may lead to changes in nearshore bar behavior and ultimately elevated beach erosion and accretion at specific locations. He feels it's imperative that we understand the role underlying geology plays in sediment distribution across the nearshore, bar development and migration, and shoreline response to storms in order to predict long-term beach behavior and improve shoreline management.

Other projects McNinch is involved with include examination of physical and sedimentary processes on cape-associated shoals and a conceptual model for the development of cuspate forelands as well as small-scale sedimentary processes (e.g. scour, burial) around artifacts. His research approach often involves field observations, coupled with a modeling component, to challenge or test hypotheses.

McNinch's training and expertise lies in observational techniques such as current and wave measurements, remote sensing, and surface and sub-bottom mapping. He received his B.S. degree in Geology from the University of Southwestern Louisiana, his M.S. degree and Ph.D. in Marine Sciences from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.



Location: Canaveral National Seashore, FL
Title: Resource Management Specialist, Canaveral National Seashore
Group: Canaveral National Seashore, FL
Bio: Kristen Kneifl is the Resource Management specialist at the Canaveral National Seashroe in Florida.

Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Nebraska. In college, her love for sea turtles landed her an internship with the Student Conservation Association for two summers at Cape Lookout National Seashore where she lived and worked on an isolated island where her days were filled with sea turtle and shorebird surveys. Kristen moved to Florida in 2001 to attend graduate school at Florida Tech and study marine biology.

Kristen's employment experience includes several years of working in a cellular biology laboratory, several years working for St. John's River Water Management District conducting seagrass and water quality monitoring, mangrove planting and exotic plant eradication for Marine Resources Council, as well as six years as a seasonal biological technician at Canaveral National Seashore. She began a career with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in 2009 as the biologist for four very different Refuges. Three years ago she was promoted to the manager of Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge.


Location: Norfolk, VA
Title: Restoration Specialist, Wetland Design and Restoration
Group: Wetland Design and Restoration / Norfolk, VA
Bio: Walter Priest is a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Habitat Restoration Specialist based at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. Priest is a renowned expert in environmental issues regarding the Chesapeake Bay to the Chesapeake Bay Commission, a legislative body composed of representatives from Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. He provides technical assistance and design guidance for parties interested in living shoreline implementation and serves as the Virginia manager for the NOAA-CBT-NFWF-KCF Living Shoreline Initiative Grant Program.


Location: Melbourne, FL
Title: Professor of Oceanography, Florida Institute of Technology
Group: Florida Institute of Technology / Melbourne, FL
Bio: Gary Zarillo is a Professor of Oceanography at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, FL. He has an educational background in marine geology, physical oceanography and applied statistics.

His professional experience ranges from academic institutions to consulting and industry. He has completed applied and basic research in coastal processes, including prediction of sediment transport in shallow marine and estuarine environments, hydraulics of tidal inlets, dynamics of barrier islands and response of the coast to sea-level rise. He also has extensive experience in the application of statistics to geophysical problems.

Courses taught include those on marine sedimentation, geological oceanography, coastal and estuarine processes and remote sensing.



Location: Princeton, NJ
Title: VP for Sea Level & Climate Impacts, Climate Central
Group: Climate Central / Princeton, NJ & New York, NY
Bio: Dr. Benjamin Strauss serves as Vice President for Sea Level and Climate Impacts at Climate Central. He is a national expert and author of numerous scientific papers and reports on sea level rise, as well as architect of the Surging Seas suite of maps, tools and visualizations. Strauss has testified before the U.S. Senate and presented to state and local elected officials, and the White House has highlighted his work. His research and Surging Seas have generated coverage across the U.S. and internationally by, among others, the New York Times, Washington Post, AP, Reuters, Bloomberg, The Guardian and USA Today, totaling more than 2,500 stories. He has appeared as an expert on national network news, nationally syndicated radio and documentary television.

In earlier roles at Climate Central, Dr. Strauss served as interim Executive Director and COO. He was a founding board member of and the Environmental Leadership Program. Strauss co-organized the 1994 Campus Earth Summit, and consulted to the Nathan Cummings Foundation on higher education and the environment. He holds a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University, an M.S. in Zoology from the University of Washington, and a B.A. in Biology from Yale University.



Location: Miami, FL
Title: Coastal Planning Specialist, Florida Sea Grant
Group: Florida Sea Grant / Gainesville, FL
Bio: Thomas Ruppert is the Coastal Planning Specialist for the Florida Sea Grant, a university-based program that supports research, education and extension to conserve coastal resources and enhance economic opportunities for the people of Florida.

A licensed Florida attorney, Ruppert's work focuses on hazard mitigation, post-disaster recovery planning, environmental protection, marine spatial planning, and associated long-term challenges and opportunities of Florida's coastal communities. He provides assistance to agents and local governments served by Florida Sea Grant. His areas of expertise include beach and coastal policy in Florida, Florida's coastal construction control line permitting, comprehensive planning law, sea turtle habitat protection, the Endangered Species Act, coastal and marine permitting programs, and 5th amendment takings law. Additional environmental issues he has worked on include the Clean Water Act's total maximum daily load program, water quality trading, low-impact development storm water, homeowners' associations, and boating law issues.

Ruppert speaks fluent Spanish and has worked and presented in several Latin American countries. Topics in this realm have included human rights, water, land use planning, property issues, and U.S. environmental law.



Location: South Miami, FL
Title: Mayor, South Miami, FL; Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, FIU
Group: South Miami, FL // Florida International University / Miami, FL
Bio: Dr. Philip Stoddard was elected Mayor of South Miami in 2010, and re-elected in 2012 and 2014. Mayor Stoddard is a strong proponent of community, livable cities, quiet neighborhoods, and responsive government. He takes a hard line against corruption. Mayor Stoddard leads a coalition of South Dade Mayors fighting the FPL transmission lines, an ongoing battle that he has taken to Tallahassee and the courts.

By day he works full time at FIU, teaching biology at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and running a research lab that studies evolution of communication. Mayor Stoddard was appointed by the Whitehouse to the political body that advises the National Ocean Counsel. He serves on the Miami Dade League of Cities Energy and Environment Committee, and helps directs lobbying efforts to protect drinking water and the environment. Mayor Stoddard co-founded the organization Citizens Allied for Safe Energy. This year Mayor Stoddard was inducted into the CLEO Leadership Circle for his advocacy on climate change in South Florida. His wife teaches in the Dept. of Architecture at FIU. They have one daughter, a dog, and a beautiful backyard pond (certified legal).



Location: Hillsborough, NC
Title: Professor Emeritus of Earth and Ocean Science, Duke University
Group: Duke University / Durham, NC
Bio: Orrin H. Pilkey, PHD is James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of Geology, Division of Earth and Ocean Sciences, in the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, and Founder and Director Emeritus of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (PSDS – which is currently based at Western Carolina University.

He received his B.S. degree in geology at Washington State College, his M.S. degree in geology at the University of Montana, and his Ph.D. degree in geology at Florida State University. Between 1962 and 1965, he was a research professor at the University of Georgia Marine Institute on Sapelo Island. He has been at Duke University since 1965, with one year breaks with the Department of Marine Science at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, and with the U.S. Geological Survey in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

Pilkey began his career with the study of abyssal plains on the deep sea floor. As a result of the destruction of his parents' house in Waveland, MS, in Hurricane Camille (1969), he switched to the study of coasts, a field in which he is well known internationally. His research centers on both basic and applied coastal geology, focusing primarily on barrier island coasts. His first task involved co-editing and co-writing a 22 volume Living with the Shore series of books, intended to inform the public about the hazards of beachfront living. In 1996, Pilkey, with co-author and graduate student, Kathy Dixon, published The Corps and the Shore, a critical view of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' projects on American coasts. In the book Useless Arithmetic (2007), written with his daughter, Linda Pilkey-Jarvis, they argue that the outcome of natural beach and barrier island processes cannot be accurately predicted (for engineering purposes) by mathematical models. The Rising Sea, written with Rob Young in 2009, focuses on the global threat from sea level rise. The World's Beaches, published in 2011, is a beautiful and informative "Global Guide to the Science of the Shoreline" that looks at the role of beaches in history, beach classifications, threats that beaches face today, and the future of beaches in a rising sea. Beautiful batik art by Mary Edna Fraser embellishes Global Climate Change: A Primer. This popular 2011 volume was written with his son, Keith, and provides an excellent discussion of the subject, along with debunking climate change myths. In 2012, he published his latest book (co-edited), Pitfalls of Shoreline Stabilization, which offers a global view of the pluses and minuses of holding shorelines in place during a time of rising sea level.

Pilkey has received numerous awards, among them the Francis Shepard medal for excellence in marine geology (1987), public service awards from various organizations, and the Priestly Award (2003). Most recently (2012), Duke University honored him with the naming of a building at the Duke Marine Lab in Beaufort, NC: The Orrin Pilkey Marine Sciences and Conservation Genetics Center, which is under construction. You can follow the progress of its construction on a Marine Lab webcam at

Orrin has published more than 250 technical publications and has co-authored or c0-edited numerous books. Further articles by Pilkey can be found in the Coastal Care web pages, a site that focuses on coastal and beach issues and education. He has written a number of op-eds on the subject of response to coastal erosion and sea level rise and is a popular speaker at meetings and events.



Location: Gainesville, FL
Title: Policy Coordinator, Sea Turtle Conservancy
Group: Sea Turtle Conservancy / Gainesville, FL
Bio: Gary Appelson is the Policy Coordinator with the Gainesville-based Caribbean Conservation Corporation (CCC) and its Sea Turtle Survival League, through which he monitors the laws and regulations impacting coastal policies, the coastal environment, and sea turtles, including the state's regulatory program for coastal construction, beach nourishment, and coastal armoring.

He also serves on the steering committee of the newly formed Oceans and Coastal Alliance, a group of national and Florida-based conservation organizations focusing on coastal and marine resource protection issues, and was appointed to the Technical Working Group to the Governor's Climate Action Team.

As part of the Sea Turtle Conservancy Gary is responsible for monitoring Florida laws and regulations impacting sea turtles and the habitats they rely on, coastal management and development policies, and the coastal environment.



Location: Orange County, CA
Title: CEO, Surfrider Foundation
Group: Surfrider Foundation / San Clemente, CA
Bio: Chad grew up on the coast surfing, swimming and fishing, and eventually got his first job as an ocean lifeguard in Laguna Beach. These formative experiences gave him both love and respect for the power and fragility of the ocean. In his case, the apple didn't fall too far from the tree. Chad's father has been a marine science educator for over 40 years and Chad has vivid memories of catching shrimp and feeding octopi in his touch tanks, sitting on the jaw bones of grey whales and doing seawater buoyancy and salinity tests in his father's lab with his brother. Chad's brother dedicated himself to making a career out of surfing and now runs a summer surf camp for kids and spends much of the off-season guiding surfers in Fiji.

It wasn't until Chad considered grad school that he realized that he could combine his passion for science and protecting the environment with his love of the ocean. He found the Coastal Environmental Management program at Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment and learned that there are many ocean-related careers beyond marine biology. After grad school, Chad explored coastal zone management jobs in the federal and state government, but it wasn't until he found his job at Surfrider that he fully appreciated that protecting the environment needs more than science and government – it needs people! More recently, Chad completed his doctorate on the economics of coastal recreation and surfing to help ensure that our oceans, waves and beaches are valued appropriately.

Surfrider's grassroots approach has become his passion, he loves working with passionate people who are connected to the coasts and want to make a difference in the health of our coastal environment.



Location: Charleston, SC
Title: Scientist
Group: N/A
Bio: Through nearly a decade of environmental consulting, Justin Craig is experienced with all phases of environmental assessments including: collecting soil, air, groundwater, and building materials samples, discussion and evaluation of laboratory analytical data, preparing proposals, developing work plans and scope, technical reporting, client management, installation, operations, and maintenance of remedial systems, client management, business development and marketing.

Justin worked at CB&I from 2008 to 2014 where he was an Environmental Scientist and Client Program Manager. Chicago Bridge & Iron Company, known commonly as CB&I, is a large American conglomerate engineering, procurement and construction company specializing in projects for oil and gas companies.

He has a bachelor's degree in business administration from the College of Charleston and a master's degree in environmental resource management from the Florida Institute of Technology.



Location: Ventura, CA
Title: Ventura Campaign Coordinator, Surfrider Foundation
Group: Surfrider Foundation / San Clemente, CA
Bio: N/A


Location: Buxton, NC
Title: Owner, Outer Banks Motel
Group: N/A
Bio: Carol Dillon is the owner of the Outer Banks Motel on Buxton island in the Outer Banks. The Outer Banks Motel was established in 1955 by the Dillons, a family with a rich history on Hatteras Island for over 100 years.


Location: Alexandria, VA
Title: Senior Lead for Global & Climate Change, USACE Institute for Water Resources
Group: USACE Institute for Water Resources / Alexandria, VA
Bio: Kate White is a Civil Engineer with the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Institute for Water Resources, with over 25 years of experience in the USACE, supporting planning, engineering, design, operations, and emergency management. As the senior lead for global and climate change, her work incorporates anticipatory and adaptive management in the face of dynamic global changes so the USACE will remain adaptable and sustainable over time. She is responsible for developing and implementing an integrated, comprehensive and systems based approach that incorporates new and changing information to reduce vulnerability and increase resilience in USACE built and natural infrastructure. She co-leads the USACE Responses to Climate Change Program.

Dr. White's work includes extensive interagency collaboration in the Agency Adaptation Processes Working Group for the Council on Environmental Quality's interagency Climate Change Adaptation Work Group. Dr. White is helping guide climate change adaptation pilot projects and is leading a nationwide screening-level assessment of USACE vulnerabilities to climate change impacts. She is active in international arenas as well, having served for three years as Chair of the PIANC Permanent Task Group on Climate Change and previously participated in PIANC Task Group 3 "Climate Change and Navigation."

Source: Sarah Gross, Public Affairs Specialist, USACE Baltimore District


Location: Greenville, NC
Title: Distinguished Professor of Geology, East Carolina University
Group: East Carolina University / Greenville, NC
Bio: Dr. Riggs is a coastal and marine geologist who has been doing research on modern coastal systems since 1964 and has been on the faculty at East Carolina University since 1967. His research extends from inland river, lake, and pocosin environments, to estuarine and barrier island systems, and seaward across the continental shelf. His areas of interest lie in sedimentation, Quaternary and Tertiary stratigraphy, coastal and mineral resources, and their inter-relationship with the development of human civilization. Dr. Riggs has been actively involved in numerous technical coastal and mineral resource issues at the Federal, State, and local levels that included appointments to many commissions, task forces, panels, and committees. These appointments, as well as many of his publications, have dealt directly with integrating scientific understanding and utilization and management of various coastal systems including such critical issues as climate change and sea-level rise, shoreline erosion and land loss, hazard zone delineation, inlet dynamics, water quality, and habitat preservation (i.e., hardbottom reefs, salt marshes, maritime forests, etc.), and natural resources (i.e., water, beach nourishment sand, as well as resources critical for energy, food production, building, etc.).

Dr. Riggs has carried out long-term research programs in the following general topics both in North Carolina, throughout the US Atlantic coast, and in many other coastal regions of the world. These projects were funded by many Federal and State agencies including the US National Science Foundation, NOAA Sea Grant, NOAA National Undersea Research Program, Environmental Protection Agency, Geological Survey, Department of Defense, Minerals Management Service, and the NC Departments of Water Resources, Geological Survey, Water Quality, State Parks, and Transportation.



Location: Lacanau, France
Title: Mayor, City of Lacanau, France
Group: City of Lacanau, France
Bio: N/A


Location: Lacanau, France
Title: Deputy Mayor, City of Lacanau, France
Group: City of Lacanau, France
Bio: N/A


Title: Research Officer, Groupement d'Intérêt Public
Group: Groupement d'Intérêt Public / Lacanau, France
Bio: N/A


Location: Miami / Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Title: Environmental Division Director, Broward County, FL
Group: Broward County, FL
Bio: Dr. Jurado is the Environmental Division Director for Broward County in Florida. She is responsible for county-wide coordination of water resources policy, planning and management activities; advancement of the County's regional climate initiatives; administration of beach and marine resources programs; implementation of the County's urban lands enhancement program; and environmental monitoring activities. Significant initiatives of hers have included development and implementation of Broward's county-wide integrated water resources plan, the convening of regional water and climate change task forces, and coordination of multi-jurisdictional initiatives focused on water conservation, alternative water supply planning, environmental sustainability and community resilience to the impacts of climate change.

Dr. Jurado's current program efforts for Broward County include integration of climate change and sea level rise in planning tools and process; renewable energy initiatives; advancement of diverse regional water projects; and activities relating to the implementation of the four-county Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact and the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Action Plan as an original member of the Compact's Staff Steering Committee. Program efforts include a strong focus on state and federal policy as well as comprehensive planning.

Dr. Juado is an original member of the Staff Steering Committee to the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact, chaired the Compact's Built Environment Work Group, and co-authored the Regional Climate Action Plan. Dr. Jurado earned her Ph.D. in marine biology and fisheries from the University of Miami.



Location: Vicksburg, MS
Title: Director Emeritus, USACE Engineer Research & Development Center
Group: USACE Engineer Research & Development Center / Vicksburg, MS
Bio: Dr. James Houston, USACE, ERDC is Director Emeritus of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, the R&D laboratories of the Corps of Engineers. He served as the first Director of ERDC from 2000 to 2010 and simultaneously served as Chief Scientist and Director of R&D of the Corps from 2006 to 2010. He received his Bachelor's degree in Physics from the University of California in Berkeley, his Master's degree in Physics from the University of Chicago, his Masters of Science degree in Coastal and Oceanographic Engineering from the University of Florida, and a PhD in Engineering Mechanics from the University of Florida.

Dr. Houston has authored or co-authored over 130 publications. He has received many awards including the Morrough P. O'Brien Award from the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association, the National Beach Advocacy Award, and three Presidental Rank Awards.


Location: Sarasota, FL
Title: President, Reef Innovations, Inc.
Group: Reef Innovations, Inc. / Sarasota, FL
Bio: N/A


Location: Charleston, SC
Title: Vice President of Science & Technology, American Shore and Beach Preservation Association
Group: American Shore and Beach Preservation Association / Nationwide Chapters
Bio: Nicole Elko is a coastal geologist who is Secretary of the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association and President of Elko Coastal Consulting in Charleston, SC. She has 16 years of experience in the coastal field and has managed or assisted with 20 beach nourishment projects along the U.S. East and Gulf coasts. She has experience working with local communities and various state and federal agencies, particularly the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Dr. Elko has eight peer-reviewed journal publications. She is also an experienced public speaker having given numerous presentations on coastal process and policy to audiences such as the CERB, the U.S. House Science & Technology Committee, at technical conferences, and county and municipal commission meetings.

Dr. Elko is Chair of the ASBPA Science & Technology Committee which provides science-based guidance to Congress and federal, state & local agencies on national coastal policy issues. Her business provides coastal processes research, education, monitoring, and advocacy services with a focus on beach restoration. She teaches a Beaches 101 training course to regulators and elected officials in the Carolinas. In August 2014, she organized the first meeting of South Carolina beach communities and is now coordinating the formation of a SC coastal advocacy association. Nicole and Rob Holman (Oregon State Univ) were co-chairs of the Nearshore Processes Research vision meeting held in Kitty Hawk in April 2014.



Location: Hatteras Island, NC
Title: Owner, Burrus Flying Service
Group: Burrus Flying Service / Hatteras Island, NC
Bio: N/A


Location: Beach Haven, NJ
Title: Founder and President, New Jersey Maritime Museum
Group: New Jersey Maritime Museum / Beach Haven, NJ
Bio: Deborah Whitcraft is the Founder and President of the New Jersey Maritime Museum. On a 1983 episode of the television program "Prime Time", Jim O'Brien did a segment on New Jersey wreck diving, interviewing Bob Yates and Deb Whitcraft. During that interview, Deb spoke of her quest for knowledge about different wrecks and New Jersey maritime disasters. She also stated that she had started collecting this information, and other items pertaining to New Jersey maritime history, and that she hoped to one day have a place to display her collection. On July 3rd, 2007, Deb's lifelong ambition came to fruition when the Museum of New Jersey Maritime History opened its doors.

In the years between the program and the museum opening, Deb actively pursued her quest, working with other New Jersey maritime historians, and amassing a sizable collection of shipwreck files and artifacts. This collection comprised almost all of the museum's material when it opened. In the eight years since it opened, the museum has grown at an amazing rate, thanks to the donations and loans from the diving community and the public in general.

Outside of the New Jersey Maritime Museum Deb was the Mayor and Commissioner of Public Safety for the borough of Beach Haven, NJ from 1996-2006. She is a lifetime resident of Long Beach Island. Deb was the owner of the Black Whale Fleet of Passenger Vessels, with Capt. Robert Yates, for 25 years before selling the business and dock property in 2005 to fund the construction of the New Jersey Maritime Museum. Deb is a co-author, with Gretchen Coyle, of Inferno at Sea, Stories of Death and Survival Aboard the Morro Castle, and Tucker's Island, published in 2014.

Source: Deb Whitcraft and


Location: Nags Head, NC
Title: Commissioner, Nags Head, NC
Group: Nags Head, NC
Bio: N/A


Location: Jacksonville, FL
Title: President, Taylor Engineering, Inc.
Group: Taylor Engineering, Inc. / Jacksonville, FL
Bio: Mr. Marino has more than 37 years of experience, including 20 years as an officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). He has served in an executive management role for a broad range of engineering projects, providing comprehensive staff and project management, development, and oversight for public works, coastal, port and harbor, transportation, and environmental projects.

Mr. Marino is a USACE de Fleury Medal recipient. He currently serves as a U.S. Commissioner to the World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure (PIANC), a member of the Board of Directors for ASCE Coasts, Oceans, Ports, & Rivers Institute (COPRI), is a Director of the American Shores & Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA), and is a Director of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association (AIWA). He serves on the Board of Directors of the University of North Florida's (UNF) Taylor Engineering Research Institute and the UNF Dean's Leadership Council.



Location: Freeport, ME
Title: President, Catalysis Adaptation Partners, LLC
Group: Catalysis Adaptation Partners, LLC / Freeport, ME
Bio: Dr. Sam Merrill is the founder and President of Catalysis Adaptation Partners. He has spent over twenty years at the interface of local community needs, managed landscapes, and sensitive natural resources. Dr. Merrill has received many awards for his work, including in the year 2000 a military medal for distinguished public service (Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel) and has published over 20 peer-reviewed articles and over 60 agency technical reports.

Dr. Merrill has been the principal force behind development of the COAST approach to benefit-cost analysis for sea level rise and storm surge and also its implementation in numerous coastal adaptation planning efforts. From 2001 to 2013 he served as Director of the US EPA's New England Environmental Finance Center and Associate Research Professor of the Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine. He holds a BA in Zoology from the University of Maine and both a MS in Conservation Biology and PhD in Wildlife Conservation from the University of Minnesota.


Location: Woods Hole, MA
Title: Scientist Emeritus, Ocean Engineering, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Group: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution / Woods Hole, MA
Bio: Sandy Williams carries a small pack of tools whenever he travels — a few Allen wrenches that fit in his wallet, small screwdrivers, a few other items. This allows him to fix things when—and where—they break. Not only can Sandy fix most machines, instruments, and devices, he also explains with great clarity and unbounded enthusiasm how the item should work, why it doesn't, and how to repair it. His own life work is about making accurate and precise measurements of oceanic phenomena, and he approaches it with the same delight.

Albert J. Williams 3rd arrived at WHOI in 1969 as a postdoc with a Ph.D. in experimental physics from Johns Hopkins University. "I came here because I was interested in making measurements," he says. "I wanted things I could touch, and earth measurements were appealing."

He quickly became involved with projects that have lasted throughout his career. Salt fingers in the ocean were a major early research focus: When small volumes of water become cooler and saltier than surrounding water, they sink, poking fingerlike into deeper layers. Sandy was the first to show that this previously hypothesized ocean mixing process actually existed by building an optical device that successfully captured images of salt fingers in the Mediterranean Sea outflow. The novel instruments he has designed and built include the widely-used Benthic Acoustic Stress Sensor (BASS) current meter, described as "offering unparalleled current measurement accuracy." Another is a relatively inexpensive "beer-can" sized velocity sensor whose prototype was in a Coors can.

Sandy served as chairman of the Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering Department from 1987 to 1992. Over the years he has mentored many students, including those in the Joint Program, summer student fellows, and local high school science fair participants. He designed and taught the MIT/WHOI Joint Program's Oceanographic Instruments Systems graduate course from 1985 to 2004.

"I've worked hard and I've been lucky," Sandy says "I've tackled fascinating problems in both coastal waters and the deep sea. Woods Hole is a magic place, where scientists and engineers work together, with low thresholds between departments, and the ocean outside the door."

Though he became a Scientist Emeritus in 2003, Sandy hasn't missed a beat, working in his lab most days when he isn't off visiting World Heritage and other sites with his wife Izzie. He is active in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, which named him a Fellow in 2005. He is an advisor to the Group on Earth Observation on tsunami measurements, and he participated in two Antarctic research cruises (in 2001 and 2004), with a third planned for February 2006. During the second trip he was pleased to be one of four scuba divers participating in a "drift" dive across the Antarctic Circle. He continues to build current meters and collaborate with other WHOI scientists. "When I retired, I could do anything I wanted, and I'm doing the same things anyway," he says. "What more proof could there be that I chose a great career and the right place for it?"



Location: Washington, D.C.
Title: Coastal Consultant, US Army Engineers (Ret.)
Group: N/A
Bio: Ms. Joan Pope retired in 2012 after 38 years of employment with the US Army Engineers (USACE) as a geologist, coastal engineer, supervisory, manager, and director. During her career she directed several major projects including the development of the Coastal Engineering Manual, the National Shore Erosion Demonstration Program, and Regional Sediment Management. At the time of her retirement she was the Assistant Director for Civil Works in the Headquarters of the US Army Engineers Research and Development Directorate. In that position she was responsible for coordinating USACE water resource and applied engineering Research and Development activities ranging from hydrodynamic, sediment transport and ecosystem modeling to technologies for planning, engineering, and maintenance. She supported the USACE Senior Scientist and the Chief of Engineers in prioritizing and directing Civil Works Science and Technology programs and activities related to navigation, flooding and coastal storms, and environmental restoration. Since retiring she has been employed as a consultant with the Corps.

Ms. Pope is a graduate of the State University of New York at Oneonta where she received a BS and a certification to teach secondary science education. She received her MS from the University of Rhode Island where she studied geology, engineering, and oceanography.

Ms. Pope is a long-standing member of the coastal engineering community and is known nationally and internationally for her profession work. She is a member of the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association and on its Board of Directors and Executive Board. She has been honored by the ASBPA with an “Unsung Hero Award” and the “Corps Employee Award.” She helped to establish the Coastal Working Group of the Hydrology, Hydraulic, and Coastal Community of Practice. This network is a critical means of communication and exchange to this group of professionals. She has hosted the USACE Infrastructure Conference “Coastal Track” for many years and has served on other professional conference/workshop committees. Ms Pope was the lead ERDC staff support to the Coastal Engineering Research Board, which helps to define the USACE strategy in coastal engineering research investments. Since retiring she continues to be active in the coastal community and has conducted work as a coastal consultant. She co-lead development of the Corps R&D Strategy for Flood Risk Management (2015) and is authoring a History of the Coastal Engineering Research Board (2016).

Source: Joan Pope


Location: Sarasota, FL
Title: Chairman and Founder, Reef Ball Foundation
Group: Reef Ball Foundation / Sarasota, FL
Bio: Todd Barber is the founder and acting president of the Reef Ball Foundation in Sarasota, FL. He is an expert in designed artificial reefs and their application worldwide. Combining robust business, international, computer and marine biology expertise aid him in the management of a vast network of non-profits, authorized contractors and partners to lead the effort to rehabilitate oceanic reef ecosystems through out the world.

Well traveled, Mr. Barber has personally worked in over 55 countries and visited many more. He works tirelessly teaching designed artificial reef technologies, coral propagation, coral planting and red mangrove planting to people interested in aiding their local marine habitats.

Prior to Mr. Barber’s involvement in Artificial Reefs, he served for five years as a management consultant for the Alexander Group and for Towers, Perrin, Forester and Crosby consulting with the worlds top firms. Mr. Barber founded and ran a computer consultancy firm for 4 years and also worked for IBM. In addition to his role at Reef Ball, Mr. Barber also served for 3 years as the Amusement Industry Manufacturer and Suppliers non-profit trade organization’s Executive Director.

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