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 Zone Management Program
Justine Nihipali
Planning Program Manager, Hawai’i Coastal Zone Management Program
Justine Nihipali serves as the Program Manager for the Office of Planning, Coastal Zone Management Program. She has recently worked for the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center supporting course development for natural hazards.
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
Sarah Falkowski
Education Coordinator, Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Sarah has worked in the Education Department at Rookery Bay NERR since 2005. As Education Coordinator, she coordinates and provides daily programs to reserve visitors, trains interpretive volunteers, assists with high school and college field trips, and manages the Education Department's calendar of events. She is a Certified Instructor for the Florida Master Naturalist Program and Certified Interpretive Guide through the National Association for Interpretation. She received a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Allegheny College and an M.S. in Environmental Studies from the College of Charleston.
Kristen Goodrich
Coastal Training Program Coordinator, Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve
Kristen has served as the Coastal Training Program Coordinator at Tijuana River NERR since 2009.  She provides training and technical assistance to coastal decision makers in southern and Baja California and conducts interdisciplinary research on the role of psychosocial resilience in advancing adaptive management. She received an M.A. in Marine Affairs & Policy from the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Ph.D. in Social Ecology from the University of California Irvine.  She is a Research Affiliate with UC Irvine’s Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation, a member of the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt Responsible Leaders network, and a Switzer Fellow.
Ayesha Gray
Manager, Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Dr. Ayesha Gray is the Director of the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, a state-federal program with NOAA's Office for Coastal Management and the MS Department of Marine Resources. Grand Bay NERR conducts research and monitoring to address critical questions in local estuarine ecology and then links directly with schools and communities to share what they learn.
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.
Jessica McIntosh
Coastal Training Program Coordinator, Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Jessica is the Coastal Training Program Coordinator at the Rookery Bay Research Reserve in Naples, Florida. In this role,  she connects diverse stakeholders with environmental research by facilitating training workshops and collaborative research groups. Jessica holds a Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Ecology from the University of Florida, with a specialization in environmental education and communication. She has worked on a variety of coastal management issues, ranging from invasive lionfish in the Cayman Islands to bioremediation for oil spills in salt marshes in Louisiana, and has held positions with academic, non-profit, and government groups.
Jennifer Plunket
Stewardship Coordinator, North Inlet-Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Dr. Jennifer Plunket is the Stewardship Coordinator at the North Inlet-Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in South Carolina. Jennifer oversees a variety of restoration and land management activities that support the long-term conservation of the North Inlet and Winyah Bay estuaries. She has a PhD in Oceanography and Coastal Science from Louisiana State University.
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.
Jim Vasslides
Senior Scientist, Barnegat Bay Partnership
Dr. Jim Vasslides came to the Barnegat Bay Partnership with a wide range of terrestrial, estuarine, and marine research and management experience. Before joining the BBP, he was a member of the Rutgers University Marine Field Station, where he conducted research on New Jersey’s marine resources, primarily on the Barnegat Bay and near-shore coastal waters. Jim received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and has published papers on fish community assemblages, feeding interactions, early life history movements, as well as ecosystem modelling.
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.
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.