Advisory Board

Padilla Bay - Photo credit: NOAA

The NERRS Science Collaborative is supported by an advisory board, comprised of estuarine and collaborative experts, and NERRS representatives from across the coastal United States. It provides advice on programmatic issues such as program direction, funding priorities, and program evaluation. 

Science Collaborative Advisory Board Chair

Betsy Blair
NERRS Science Collaborative

Betsy Blair chairs the NERRS Science Collaborative Advisory Board. She has 35 years' experience leading coastal habitat protection initiatives, advancing public policy, and developing collaborative science teams, including many years as manager of the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve.
Coastal Estuarine Research Federation

Susan Park
Executive Director, Coastal Estuarine Research Federation

As CERF Executive Director, Dr. Park supports the Governing Board and the myriad of volunteers that serve the Federation. She serves as a link between the society’s membership and the Board, and serves as liaison, spokesperson and cultural bridge to the CERF Affiliate Societies, volunteers and partners. Her responsibilities include leadership and oversight of CERF's biennial scientific conference, their scientific journal Estuaries and Coasts, and CERF's day-to-day business operations. She received her Ph.D in oceanography from the University of Delaware.
Coastal States Organization

Vidya  Balasubramanyam
Research, Science and Program Director

Vidya Balasubramanyam is the Research, Science and Program Director for the Coastal States Organization. In her role she coordinates multi state projects relating to mitigating coastal hazards, restoring shoreline habitat, and enhancing equitable climate resilience of coastal communities. She works in close coordination with coastal zone management programs and federal agencies across the nation to advance coastal science and management priorities with an emphasis on meaningful and authentic ways to center social justice issues in coastal management work.
Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) Association

Josie Quintrell
Executive Director, Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) Association

Josie Quintrell is the Director of the IOOS Association, a non-profit organization, dedicated to the successful implementation of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System. In her work with the IOOS Association, she served on several boards and committees, including the Board of Directors for the Consortium of Ocean Leadership in Washington D.C. and the Advisory Board of the Davidson Laboratory at the Stevens Institute of Technology. She served as C.O.O. for the Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System (GoMOOS) in Portland, ME and as marine policy specialist for the Maine Coastal Program. She has a Masters in Regional Planning from Cornell University and a B.A. in Biology from Colby College.
 National Estuarine Research Reserve Association

Rebecca Roth
Executive Director, National Estuarine Research Reserve Association

Rebecca Roth is the executive director of the National Estuarine Research Reserve Association. She works with Congress and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to support annual budget appropriations and legislative priorities that enhance the value of all reserves for their many partners and stakeholders. She also works closely with NOAA and other federal agencies to help shape regulations and policies to sustain healthy estuaries nationwide. Rebecca earned her Masters of Arts Degree in Public Administration and Policy at San Francisco State University and her Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration and City Planning at San Diego State University.
National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) Sectors

Syverine Bentz
Coastal Training Program Coordinator, Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

As a Research Professional with the University of Alaska, Syverine has served as PI or collaborative lead for science transfer, research and catalyst projects and ensures meaningful engagement and process co-development in collaborative initiatives at Kachemak Bay NERR. Her work focuses on facilitating knowledge sharing and maintaining reciprocal relationships with Alaskan communities, local experts, agencies, and colleagues nationwide to help shape reserve priorities and connect resources to decision-makers. She coordinates the Coastal Training Program, providing reserve-based scientific information, access to technologies, and skill-building opportunities to leaders and professionals addressing coastal management issues.

Deanna Erickson
Manager, Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve

Deanna Erickson is the director and previous education coordinator at the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve. Her work focuses on organizational leadership, professional development for educators, community engagement and environmental sense of place and she works to center Indigenous and local knowledge in the NERRS and beyond. She lives, works and paddles in Ojibwe Anishinaabe country on the St. Louis River/Chi-gami ziibi at the headwaters of Lake Superior, the largest surface of freshwater on earth.

Motz Grothues
Research Coordinator, Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve

Dr. Grothues has a Research Faculty appointment as a fish ecologist at Rutgers University, and is Research Coordinator for Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve. He has extensively studied abundance and distribution of fishes as responses to physical factors, and is experienced in cross-disciplinary collaborations with biologists, physical and geological oceanographers, commercial fishers, and engineers, as well as  Federal, State, municipal, and private-sector resource managers.

Sarah Nuss
Education Coordinator, Chesapeake Bay, VA National Estuarine Research Reserve

Sarah Nuss serves as the Education Coordinator for the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, focusing on providing education and outreach for the local K-12 audience, including field experiences for students, professional development for teachers, and outreach programs for the general public. She is the co-PI for the Virginia Scientists & Educators Alliance (VASEA), focused on training graduate students on science communication and translating research into K-12 education products. Her research interests include student and teacher environmental literacy, preparation of pre-service teachers to utilize outdoor learning, and technology use within environmental education.

Katie Swanson
Stewardship Coordinator, Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve

Katie Swanson is a Stewardship Coordinator at the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve. As SC of the Reserve, Katie promotes the importance and necessity of conservation and the environment. She works closely with the Reserve partner landowners, specifically Fennessey Ranch outside of Bayside. She has research experience with marsh, mangrove, grassland prairie and sea grass monitoring and surveying, invasive species, habitat restoration, and marine debris.
National Estuary Program

Bill Crowell
Director, Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership

Dr. Crowell has been Director of the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership since 2002. As Director, Bill brings together the diverse stakeholders of the Albemarle-Pamlico region to collaborate in protecting and restoring the estuarine system. He received a B.S. in Zoology and a B.S. Biological Sciences from NC State University, an M.S. in Resource Management and Administration from Antioch University, and a Ph.D in Sustainability Education from Prescott College.
National Park Service Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit

Tom Fish
Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit Director, US National Park Service

Dr. Tom Fish serves as program administrator for the national CESU Network, working across government, academia, and NGO communities to facilitate collaborative research, technical assistance, education and capacity building in support of natural and cultural heritage science and stewardship. His work spans a range of topics including global change, aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem conservation, environmental values, training for protected area managers, and federal financial assistance. Tom previously held positions with NOAA Human Dimensions of Coastal Management, USDA Forest Service Social and Economic Dimensions of Ecosystem Management, Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, and Newfound Harbor Marine Institute. He holds a Ph.D. in conservation biology (U. Minnesota), M.S. in science education (Florida Tech), and B.A.s in biology and German (Concordia College).
NOAA Office for Coastal Management

Joelle Gore
Chief, Stewardship Division, Office for Coastal Management, NOAA


As the Chief of the Stewardship Division for NOAA's Office for Coastal Management, Joelle helps support and coordinate national priorities and strategies for statutory and other national coastal partnership programs. Noelle has worked at NOAA since 1992 and has served as the Acting Chief of the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management's Coastal Programs Division and the Acting Deputy Director for the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management. She received her B.A. in Architecture and Design from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.A. in Planning from the University of Virginia.
Restore America's Estuaries

Hilary Stevens
Coastal Resilience Manager

Hilary Stevens is the Coastal Resilience Senior Manager at Restore America's Estuaries. She oversees the Blue Carbon and Living Shorelines programs. She is a geologist and environmental scientist with extensive experience in coastal resource management. Hilary has worked on coastal issues and climate change adaptation around the US and globally, with an emphasis on using best-available science to address community needs and improve resource management. She has a particular affinity for island communities, stemming from her time working in Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands, and as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines. She holds a master's from Yale University and a B.S. from Wesleyan University.
Sea Grant Program

Heather Triezenberg
Extension Specialist and Program Leader, Michigan Sea Grant

As Extension Specialist and Program Leader, Dr. Heather Triezenberg coordinates the statewide Sea Grant Extension Program in collaboration with Michigan State University Extension Community, Food & Environment Institute. Michigan Sea Grant Extension educators work with stakeholders on critical Great Lakes issues, such as resilient communities and economies, healthy coastal ecosystems, sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, environmental literacy and other issues. Dr. Triezenberg is a graduate of the Great Lakes Leadership Academy Advancement Program focusing on leading for the common good.