Sunday, December 21, 2014

National Sea Grant Office

NOAA’s National Sea Grant Office (NSGO) administers funding to the Sea Grant colleges throughout the nation and oversees several national funding competitions. The NSGO also facilitates both the Department of Commerce designation of Sea Grant College Programs and the Sea Grant program assessment process.

Find Contact Information for our staff in the Directory below, or learn more about the people who work here in our Staff Biographies.

Leon Cammen
Deputy Director: Nikola Garber

Mailing Address / Directions

Phone / Fax
Phone: 301-734-1066
Fax: 301-713-0799

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Staff Directory

Click on a staff members name to see their picture and bio in the Staff Biographies section below the Directory.

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Last NameSorted By Last Name In Ascending OrderFirst NameTitlePhoneEmail
BevanElizabethCoastal Communities Specialist (301)
BrownJoshuaHazards & Climate Lead(301)
CarlsonDornProgram Director for Research(301)
EigenJonathanChief Financial Officer(301)
GarberNikolaDeputy Director(301)
GrimesSami J.Director of Planning & Evaluation(301)
HayesChrisActing Program Manager, Knauss Fellowship program(301)
KimGeneProgram Director for Aquaculture(301)
LiffmannMichaelProgram Director for Extension(301)
MacDonaldKathrynCommunication Specialist
[2020/Acentia Contractor to NOAA]
MaggioJenniferProgram Support Specialist
[2020/Acentia Contractor to NOAA]
Newcomer JohnsonTammyNatural Resource Specialist(301) 734-1086 
PearsonMelissaProgram Analyst
[2020/Acentia Contractor to NOAA]
RobinsonMaryAdministrative Assistant(301)
RohringElizabethActing Director of Communication(301)
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Bevan, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Bevan is the Coastal Communities Specialist for the National Sea Grant Office.  She is a recipient of the 2014 John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship.

Elizabeth is a Ph.D. student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, evaluating the impact of global climate change on reproduction in the endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle.  Elizabeth received her B.S. in marine biology from Florida International University, her M.S in biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  Prior to embarking upon her PhD studies, Elizabeth originally “wet her feet” through a variety of marine activities in South Florida, including marine educational outreach, biological monitoring, and sea turtle research.

Brown, Joshua E.

Joshua E. Brown, Ph.D., leads the national Climate and Hazard activities for the National Sea Grant College Program. Joshua developed and oversaw Sea Grant’s Coastal Communities Climate Adaptation Initiative as well as NOAA Sea Grant's responses to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Hurricane Sandy, and other coastal disasters. He served on NOAA’s Post-Sandy Service Assessment team, coauthoring the final report. He coleads the Mitigation and Adaptation Services objective team under NOAA’s Climate Goal. He is a member of a range of federal agency teams, including the NOAA Climate Adaptation Team and FEMA's Community Planning and Capacity Building Recovery Support Function team.  He is serves as a Federal Program Officer, overseeing large institutional awards to leading research universities for coastal science issues.

Dr. Brown received his PhD in 2009 in Earth, Ecology, & Environmental Sciences from the University of Toledo, his MS in Integrative Biology in 2004 From Brigham Young University, and his BA in Biology in 1999 from Wabash College.  He is a coauthor on eight peer-reviewed publications and has presented information on his research, evolutionary ecology, sustainability, hazard resilience and climate adaptation to diverse audiences in professional societies and community organizations. After receiving his doctorate degree, Joshua joined the National Sea Grant Office as a Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellow, working on sustainable coastal development and community resilience. He stayed with Sea Grant after his fellowship, continuing to focus developing programs to support community resilience.


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Cammen, Leon M.

Leon M. Cammen, Ph.D., is the Director of NOAA’s National Sea Grant College Program. Since joining Sea Grant in 1990, Leon has been a Program Officer for about half the state Sea Grant Programs and has served as Research Director. From 2004 to 2010, he was the Program Manager for NOAA’s Ecosystem Research Program, a matrix program that includes the programs and laboratories from OAR, NOS and NMFS that deal with coastal and ocean ecosystem research.

Prior to joining Sea Grant, Leon was a research scientist at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in Maine. His research interests include benthic ecology, the microbial loop, respiratory physiology, benthic-pelagic coupling, and ecosystem modeling. He has authored over 30 publications in the fields of marine ecology and biological oceanography.

Leon received his Ph.D. in Zoology from North Carolina State University in 1978. He carried out postdoctoral research as a National Research Council Canada Fellow at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, as a NATO Fellow at the Institute of Ecology and Genetics of Aarhus University in Denmark, and at Skidaway Institute of Oceanography. In addition, he has been a visiting scientist at Odense University in Denmark and a visiting professor at Aarhus University, teaching Marine Ecology and Microbial Ecology.

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Carlson, Dorn

Dorn Carlson is the Program Director for Research and the Program Officer for the Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia and Wisconsin Sea Grant Programs.

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Eigen, Jonathan

Jonathan Eigen is the Chief Financial Officer for the National Sea Grant College Program and the Program Officer for the Illinois-Indiana, Minnesota, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania Sea Grant programs.

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Garber, Nikola

Nikola M. Garber, Ph.D., is the Deputy Director of the National Sea Grant College Program and the Program Officer for the Lake Champlain and Puerto Rico Sea Grant programs. Kola also works on Education and the Knauss Fellowship program.

Kola received her Bachelor of Science in biology from Bowling Green State University, her Master of Science degree in marine science/molecular biology and her Ph.D. in International Development from the University of Southern Mississippi. Her dissertation researched NOAA’s response to Hurricane Mitch and formulated a plan for Reconstruction Planning in NOAA. In 1999, Dr. Garber was a recipient of the Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship working as a legislative fellow for Senator Ron Wyden. Kola joined NOAA Sea Grant in 2000 as the Sea Grant Knauss fellowship manager. Since then, Kola has spent a year on detail to NOAA leadership representing NOAA Research (OAR) in the Program Coordination Office and five years as the Assistant Director for Administration at Sea Grant.

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Grimes, Sami

Sami Grimes is the Director of Planning and Evaluation and is the Program Officer for the Connecticut and Rhode Island Sea Grant programs.

Sami received her Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from John Carroll University, and her Master of Arts degree in philosophy from Texas A&M University. In 2008, she received planning and evaluation certification from the Performance Institute. Prior to joining the NOAA’s National Sea Grant Office in 2003, she served as an educator for the Ohio school systems. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, reading and knitting.

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Hayes, Chris

Chris Hayes is the Manager of the Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship, Acting Director of Planning and Evaluation, Education Co-Lead and is the Program Officer for the Maine and New Hampshire Sea Grant programs.

Chris has a B.S. in Ecology from the University of Georgia and an M.S. in Fisheries Sciences from Virginia Tech. As an undergraduate, Chris spent a year visiting five diverse countries through the International Honors Program: Global Ecology. Funded through the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), he published assessments of three species of hammerhead shark populations in his Master’s thesis. He was awarded the Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship in 2008 and worked in the NMFS Partnerships and Communications office. After some time with the Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program, Chris joined the National Sea Grant Office in 2010 and led development of the PIER database. In 2013, he initiated the Sea Grant Social Science Community of Practice and served as OAR's social science liaison to NOAA. In 2014, he became manager of the Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship.


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Kim, Gene

Gene W. Kim, Ph.D., is the NSGO Program Director for Aquaculture and the Program Officer for the Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant Programs (Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi-Alabama and Texas) and the National Sea Grant Law Center.

In his aquaculture role, Gene directs the NSGO aquaculture competitive grants program, collaborates with the NOAA Aquaculture Office, coordinates and chairs a NOAA international aquaculture exchange program, and orchestrates a national network of Sea Grant aquaculture extension agents. His work experience includes the NOAA Research Office of Policy, Planning, and Evaluation (NOAA Ecosystem Research Program Coordinator), the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee’s Fisheries Wildlife, and Oceans Subcommittee (Knauss Legislative Fellow), and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission (Peer Review Coordinator). He holds a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University where he focused on fisheries and aquaculture issues: how the introduction of invasive species affect benthic communities, water quality, and the dietary transfer of organic contaminants to top predators. His MS research at Auburn University examined larval fish recruitment ecology and his undergraduate studies at Miami University earned him degrees in Zoology (BS) and Philosophy (BA).

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Liffmann, Mike

Mike Liffmann is NOAA Sea Grant’s Extension Leader and Program Officer for the Alaska, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Michigan, MIT and Woods Hole Sea Grant Programs.

Mike has been with the National Sea Grant Office since 2007. Prior to that, Mike worked with the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program (LSG) administered by LSU in Baton Rouge. He started working with LSG in 1984 and between 2002 and 2007 served as its Associate Executive Director. In that capacity, he provided leadership and program direction to the program's primary outreach components, i.e., Sea Grant Extension, Marine Education, and Communications and assisted in planning and proposal preparation processes. He has a M.A. (Regional and Latin American Economics) from LSU in 1971 and a B.S. (Economics) from Lamar University in 1969.

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MacDonald, Kathryn

Kathryn MacDonald (2020/Acentia) is the Communication Specialist for the National Sea Grant Office.  

Kathryn completed her master’s degree in geochemical oceanography from the University of Hawaii, Manoa in 2013. Her research focused on identifying and quantifying phosphate release in Native Hawaiian Fishponds during hypoxic and anoxic events. Prior to joining the National Sea Grant Office in August of 2013 Kathryn worked as an environmental scientists on projects such as Hawai’i's section of the National Coastal Condition Assessment and the Hawai'i Under Sea Military Munition Assessment.

Maggio, Jennifer

Jennifer Maggio (2020/Acentia Contractor to NOAA) is the Program Support Specialist for the National Sea Grant Office and has been with Sea Grant since 2012. In her current role, she supports the Director, Acting Deputy Director, Acting Director of Communication, and the National Sea Grant Advisory Board.

Jennifer received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Organizational Leadership.  Prior to joining Sea Grant, Jennifer was the Public Information Officer for Jefferson County Homeland Security and Emergency Management. There she provided information to media outlets by generating news, releases, holding press conferences, and acting as department spokesperson and media liaison to disseminate agency related information to inform and educate the public. She also spoke with various public schools and Senior Citizen groups on emergency preparedness and weather safety.

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Newcomer Johnson, Tammy

Tammy Newcomer Johnson is the Natural Resource Specialist for the National Sea Grant Office.   She is a recipient of the 2014 John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. 

Tammy is a Ph.D. student in marine estuarine and environmental science at the University of Maryland and has studied the biogeochemistry and ecological impacts of urbanization and nitrogen cycling in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  Her graduate research focused on examining the influence of stream restoration and stormwater management on nitrogen pollution.  Tammy recently spent 2 years as a NSF G6-12 Fellow working with teachers and students to design and test out hands-on environmental science lessons on water, carbon, biodiversity, and citizenship.     

Pearson, Melissa

Melissa Pearson (2020/Acentia Contractor to NOAA) is the webmaster and database support specialist for the National Sea Grant Office.

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Robinson, Mary

Mary Robinson is the Administrative Assistant for the National Sea Grant Office.

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Rohring, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Rohring is the Acting Director of Communication with the National Sea Grant Program Office.  She is also the coordinator for the Sea Grant Social Science Community of Practice, the Designated Federal Officer for the National Sea Grant Advisory Board and the Program Officer for the North Carolina and South Carolina Sea Grant programs.

Elizabeth received her Master’s degree from Yale University, with advanced study areas in conservation biology of coral reef ecosystems and social ecology of natural resource users.  She has worked with the NOAA Ocean Service International Programs Office on socioeconomic issues relating to Caribbean MPAs and also as a Sea Grant Extension Agent in the U.S. Virgin Islands, focusing on engagement with the local fishermen.  She is the co-founder of the VI Coral Conservation Consortium and the Virgin Islands Network of Environmental Educators.  She also served on the steering committee of the Caribbean Regional Association for CariCOOS. Prior to joining Sea Grant’s National Office, Elizabeth most recently worked as the COSEE Senior Ocean Science Education Specialist for the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History Sant Ocean Hall.  She is currently working on her Ph.D. at George Mason University in climate change outreach and engagement.

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