Wells - Photo credit: NOAA

The program staff is responsible for day-to-day implementation of the program, coordinating with NOAA and the NERR System, and leveraging the expertise of an extended team.

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Jen Read
  • Program Director

Jen Read, who directs the U-M Water Center, implemented the Integrated Assessment program, including introducing the idea to the research community, while working for Michigan Sea Grant. Jen is also experienced leading interdisciplinary teams informed by multi-sector advisory groups to address challenging water-related issues. Jen serves as the Science Collaborative's principal investigator, provides overall program leadership, and manages the day-to-day activities of the Science Collaborative program.

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Maeghan Brass
  • Collaborative Research Manager

Maeghan Brass coordinates the Science Collaborative's regular request for proposal process and serves as a project manager for research and science transfer projects. She is highly experienced engaging multi-disciplinary, multi-sector teams to develop and implement end user-driven water research projects. 

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Nick Soberal
  • Program Officer
  • Science Communications Specialist

Nick Soberal is a science communications specialist and serves as a program officer for science transfer and capacity building projects. In addition to supporting program management activities, Nick leads the development of science communications products that synthesize and share stories across projects, maintains the project catalog and resource library, and produces the program’s Collaborative Science for Estuaries webinar series

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Jane Ballard
  • Program Officer

Jane Ballard is the Collaboration Specialist for the NERRS Science Collaborative. She helps lead the development and implementation of project and peer learning workshops, and supports the competitive grant programs as well as a portfolio of collaborative research project teams.'s picture
Douglas George
  • NOAA Program Manager

Doug George is a trained geological oceanographer and the program manager for the NERRS Science Collaborative. He has worked throughout the West Coast as a federal scientist, state resource manager, and environmental consultant with projects ranging from estuary restoration and living shorelines to regional sediment management and climate change adaptation. 

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Lena McDonough
  • Communications Assistant

Lena McDonough assists with the development of science communications products for the NERRS Science Collaborative. She helps produce the Collaborative Science for Estuaries webinar series and updates content for the program website as well as monthly program updates.

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Vincent Salgado
  • DEIJA Communications Assistant

Vincent is a current master's student at the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability. At SEAS, he is specializing in Ecosystem Science and Management, Behavior Education and Communication, and Environmental Policy. Vincent has a growing appreciation and interest for traditional ecological knowledge and Indigenous rights, and he desires to help promote environmental protection in an equitable and inclusive manner.