Sunday, March 29, 2015

Advisory Board Members


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Dale Baker
Ithaca, NY

Dale Baker worked with Sea Grant for over 36 years and served as a Sea Grant Extension Program Leader for 34years. His major programmatic responsibilities were in the areas of commercial fisheries, ports and harbors, aquaculture and coastal climate change. Mr. Baker retired from Cornell University in January of 2009, but continues to do work for Sea Grant and the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network.

Frank Beal

Frank Beal
Chicago, IL

Frank H. Beal is Senior Executive with the Civic Consulting Alliance, an organization that provides pro bono consulting services to Chicago area governments. He was previously executive director of Metropolis Strategies, a business based civic advocacy organization. . Beal previously served as president of Ryerson International Inc., an operating unit of the former Inland Steel Industries. Beal was also president and chief executive officer of Ryerson/West; general manager of corporate planning and development for Inland Steel Industries; general manager of purchasing for Inland Steel Company; and COO and general manager of raw materials for Inland Steel Coal Company. Prior to joining Inland Steel Industries, Beal was director of the Illinois Department of Energy and Natural Resources. He also was a special assistant for energy and environmental affairs for Governor James Thompson. Previously, under Governor Richard Ogilvie, Beal served as the state’s first deputy director of the Institute for Environmental Quality, which conducts research on energy, natural resources and environmental issues for the state. Beal serves on the board of Business and Professional People for the Public Interest (BPI) and was appointed by Mayors Daley and Emanuel to serve on the board of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP). He has edited and published l books, articles and research reports on urban affairs and land use planning as well as given numerous speeches nationally on those topics. Beal received his Master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Illinois and his bachelor’s degree in engineering from Antioch College.

Patricia Birkholz

Patricia Birkholz
Saugatuck, MI

Senator Patty Birkholz is director of the West Michigan Office of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters.  Prior to taking this position  Senator Birkholz was the Director of the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes and as a member of the Michigan State Senate from 2002 to 2010. In the Senate, she represented the 24th District comprising of Allegan, Barry and Eaton Counties. Prior to her terms in the Senate, she represented the 88th District in the Michigan House of Representatives from 1996 to 2002. She was the Allegan County Treasurer from 1992 to 1996. Birkholz began her career in politics as a trustee for Saugatuck Township.

Paulinus Chigbu

Paulinus Chigbu
Fruitland, MD

Dr. Paulinus Chigbu is the Director of the NOAA Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center, Director of the National Science Foundation Center for Research Excellence in Science and Technology: Center for the Study of Coastal Ecosystem Processes and Dynamics in the Mid-Atlantic Region and a professor of marine environmental science at the University of Maryland. Chigbu has been involved in many programs to bring diversity to marine science including projects and partnerships with NOAA, Jackson State, University of Mississippi, Office of Naval Research and the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation. Dr. Chigbu has been the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship, an Excellence Fellowship from the University of Washington and served as Chair of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences.

Rosanne Fortner
Oak Island, NC

Dr. Rosanne Fortner is a retired professor of environmental science education from The Ohio State University and a former middle school science teacher. In her 27 years at OSU she taught environmental communications and education to undergraduates and graduate students on campus, and Great Lakes interdisciplinary sciences for educators at F.T. Stone Laboratory on Lake Erie. From a position as a project investigator, she coordinated the Ohio Sea Grant Education Program until 2005. Her research was directed at identifying needs for science education programs and training, comparing effectiveness of methods for Earth system science education, and assessing the impact of environmental education programs in field and classroom settings. Curriculum development and assessment were also an important part of her responsibilities as an educator, and her 12 books of curriculum activities were funded by Ohio Sea Grant, the National Science Foundation, Great Lakes Protection Fund and other sponsors. She works with current Ohio Sea Grant investigators to bring the curricula into modern technological forms, and to match Great Lakes with marine science learning through online teaching. Dr. Fortner was the Director of the Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence [COSEE] Great Lakes, a collaboration of the seven Sea Grant Education programs in the region, with NSF and Sea Grant support from 2006-2010. With her assistance the scientists and educators of that program developed the Great Lakes Literacy Principles. Fortner is the author of over 80 research and education-based publications, has advised 15 PhDs and 50 MS programs to completion, and served as a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Cyprus.  She is currently Co-Chair of the Oak Island Beach Preservation Society at her retirement home in North Carolina.

Amber Mace

Amber Mace
Sacramento, CA

Dr. Amber Mace is the Deputy Director of the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST). In addition to providing strategic advice to the executive director and advancing CCST organizational goals, Mace leads the California Science, Technology and Policy Fellows program. Concurrently with her position at CCST, Mace maintains her affiliation with the UC Davis Policy Institute for Energy, Environment and the Economy as a Policy Fellow advancing a regional climate adaptation initiative. Prior to this position she served as the Executive Director of the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) and Assistant Secretary for Coastal Matters at the California Natural Resources Agency from 2009 to 2012 and in dual roles as the Executive Director of the California Ocean Science Trust and the Science Advisor to the OPC from 2006 to 2009. Mace worked as a National Sea Grant John A. Knauss marine policy fellow for the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation in 2006, and as a California Sea Grant state fellow at the Ocean Resources Management Program in the California Natural Resources Agency in 2005. Mace is dedicated to ensuring policy development and resource management decisions are outcome driven, cost-effective, and informed with sound science.

Mike Orbach

Michael Orbach
North Carolina

Dr. Michael Orbach is a Professor of the Practice of Marine Affairs and Policy in the Division of Marine Science Conservation at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. He has performed research and has been involved in coastal and marine policy on all coasts of the U.S. and in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, Alaska and the Pacific, and has published widely on social science and policy in coastal and marine environments. He has worked as a Cultural Anthropologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and has held several Governor's appointments to environmental Boards and Commissions as well as appointments to National Academy of Sciences Boards and Committees. He has been the President of The Coastal Society, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Surfrider Foundation.

Nancy Rabalais

Nancy Rabalais (Past Chair)
Cocodrie, Louisiana

Dr. Nancy Rabalais is a Professor at the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium where she is also Executive Director. Dr. Rabalais' research interests include the dynamics of hypoxic environments, interactions of large rivers with the coastal ocean, benthic ecology, and science policy. Dr. Rabalais is an AAAS Fellow, an Aldo Leopold Leadership Program Fellow, a Past President of the Estuarine Research Federation, and a National Associate of the National Academies of Science and has served as Chair of the Ocean Studies Board. She currently serves on two National Research Council committees, the Council for the University-National Oceanographic Laboratories, the Executive Board for the Consortium on Ocean Leadership, and Board of Directors of the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System, and is President Elect of the Southern Association of Marine Labs and the National Association of Marine Labs. She received the 2002 Bostwick H. Ketchum Award for coastal research from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the Blasker award shared with R.E. Turner, the Clarke Prize from the National Water Resources Institute, the Ruth Patrick Award from the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, a Rachel Carson Lectureship for the American Geophysical Union, and a Heinz Award. She earned a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1983.

Rollie Schmitten

Rollie Schmitten (Chair)
Leavenworth, Washington

Rolland A. (Rollie) Schmitten has been a natural resources manager for 44 years; focusing on marine fish, shellfish, and mammals for the past 31 years. He has served as the Washington State Director of Fisheries and the National Marine Fisheries Service West Coast Regional Director for 6 western states. Upon moving to Washington, D.C. he became the Assistant Administrator/Director for the National Marine Fisheries Service; later the U.S. Department of Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Affairs in NOAA, and the National Director for NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation.  During his career he served 4 presidents with Presidential appointments as the U.S. Tuna Commissioner, U.S. Atlantic Salmon Commissioner, the Pacific and Alaska Fisheries Management Councils, and 12 years as the U.S. International Whaling Commissioner. His many awards and recognitions include: Presidential Merit Award, Trout Unlimited Washington Sportsman of the Year, Presidential award for outstanding achievement of a Vietnam veteran, and the Department of Transportation (USCG) Commandant’s Award for Meritorious Public Service. In 2005, Mr. Schmitten retired and moved back to Sockeye Point Lodge in Washington State where he continues to work on marine and fresh water resource issues.  He is currently serving his 6th year as a Fish and Wildlife Commissioner in Washington State.

Harry Simmons

Harry Simmons
Caswell Beach, North Carolina

Harry Simmons has been Mayor of the Town of Caswell Beach, North Carolina since 1999. He currently serves as a Coastal Cities member of North Carolina’s Coastal Resources Advisory Council, as chairman of the Brunswick (County) Beaches Consortium, as executive director of North Carolina Beach, Inlet & Waterway Association, as treasurer of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association and as president of the 85 year old American Shore & Beach Preservation Association. He is also working on North Carolina’s Renewable Energy Task Force and with the South Atlantic Governor’s Alliance Working Waterfronts group. Previously, Mayor Simmons also served on the Board of Directors of the NC League of Municipalities and on the National League of Cities’ Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Policy Committee. He is often called upon to testify or comment before Congress and Federal agencies on a variety of coastal issues. Prior to his involvement in shaping America’s coastal policy, Harry Simmons owned a music management firm and was primarily engaged in guiding the careers of record producers, songwriters and recording artists at record labels and publishing companies in New York, Los Angeles and Nashville. He is a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, which gives him a vote for the prestigious Grammy Awards each year. Mayor Simmons is a graduate of the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

Bill Stubblefield

Bill Stubblefield
Martinsburg, West Virginia

Dr. William Stubblefield is the past President of the County Commission in Berkeley County, WV. Prior to winning elected office, he served 35 years in uniform service, first in the U.S. Navy and later in NOAA. He retired as the Director of the Office of NOAA Corps Operations, with the rank of Rear Admiral. As Director, he had the responsibility of NOAA’s ships, aircraft, and Commission Officers. Other active duty assignments included Executive Director of NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research; Special Assistant, Office of the Chief Scientist, where he received the Department of Commerce Silver Medal; Commanding Officer of the NOAA Ship SURVEYOR; Chief Scientist for NOAA’s Undersea Research Program; Program Monitor within the Office of Sea Grant; Deputy Director for Marine Geology and Geophysics Laboratory of the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML); research oceanographer in coastal processes at AOML; and service on several Navy and NOAA ships. Following his retirement from active duty, and prior to elected office, Rear Admiral Stubblefield served as an advisor to the Department of Geology, University of Iowa; elected to the Board of Directors of Military Officers Association of America with a membership of over 270,000; served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Public Service Commission Water District, Berkeley County, West Virginia; co-chair for Berkeley County’s Source Water Protection Study; member of Virginia/West Virginia Regional Water Policy Committee; Chairman of the Berkeley County Comprehensive Plan study group, and founder and President of Berkeley Community Pride (a county beautification non-profit organization). He received his Ph.D. in geology from Texas A&M University.

Richard Vortmann

Dick Vortmann
La Jolla, California

Richard H. Vortmann retired after a 30-year career with National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) based in San Diego, California where he served as President for 22 years. He also retired after six years as Vice President of General Dynamics Corporation. He most recently completed an assignment as Interim President and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. Vortmann recently completed a 7-year term on the Board (including 2 years as Chairman) of Scripps Health; Vortmann is a Member of Council, American Bureau of Shipping. He is a Trustee on the San Diego County Employees Retirement System. Previously Vortmann served as Chairman of both the American Shipbuilders Association and the Shipbuilders Council of America, and Vice Chairman of the National Academies of Science Marine Board. For 14 years he was the Chairman of the American delegation to the Japanese, European, Chinese, Korean, and United States Annual Shipbuilding Conference. He also served as a Director of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce and the San Diego Economic Development Corporation. He was a member of the San Diego Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Finance Committee, and Vice Chair of the San Diego Pension Reform Committee. Vortmann was born in San Francisco, California. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in finance in 1966 and an MBA in 1967 from the University of California, Berkeley, for whom he also played basketball. He taught on the Business School faculty of his alma mater from 1967 to 1969 while doing postgraduate work before entering private industry.

Dick West

Dick West (Vice Chair)
Coventry, Rhode Island

Admiral West (U.S. Navy, Retired) served as President/CEO of the Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education (CORE) from August 2002 until December 2007. As President of this DC-based non-profit organization, he led efforts to promote ocean research and education within the U.S. federal government on behalf of the academic and private ocean research community. Admiral West significantly expanded the membership of CORE and was instrumental in promoting several ocean initiatives and the establishment of a U.S. integrated ocean observing program. He has testified before the U.S. Congress on several marine related policy issues and has addressed the United Nations on 5 Safety of Life at Sea. Admiral West serves on two marine related U.S. Federal Advisory Committees and continues as a consultant on national and international maritime issues. Admiral West served as Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy where he managed a $400 million program providing oceanographic, meteorological, geospatial and navigation support to the U.S. Navy from 1999 to 2002. As the first Navigator of the Navy, he led the Navy’s transition to electronic navigation. As Oceanographer of the Navy, he was the Department of Defense representative to the U.S. Ocean Commission. Admiral West was a career Surface Warfare Officer serving on several ships. Admiral West served in Vietnam with the riverine forces and commanded three ships, two during hostilities in the Arabian Gulf.

Ex-officio members:

Leon Cammen, National Sea Grant College Program Director
Sylvain De Guise, Sea Grant Association President and Connecticut Sea Grant Program Director

Elizabeth Rohring, National Sea Grant Advisory Board Designated Federal Officer

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