Committee and Staff Biographies
Louisiana State University
James Coleman, received his Ph.D. in geology from Louisiana State University in 1966. He was the executive vice chancellor of Louisiana State University (LSU) from 1989-1998 and presently serves as Boyd Professor in the Coastal Studies Institute of LSU. Dr. Coleman is the former chair of the Marine Board, chair of Minerals Management Service Scientific Advisory Committee, member of the OSB, the NAE and the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences. He presently serves on the President’s Ocean Policy Commission. He specializes in coastal and marine geology and his research interests include deltaic sedimentation, riverine processes, and continental shelf sediments.
University of Maryland
Joel Baker received his Ph.D. in civil engineering with an emphasis in environmental engineering sciences from the University of Minnesota in 1988. He is currently a professor at the University of Maryland’s Chesapeake Biological Laboratory. Dr. Baker’s expertise includes modeling contaminant transport and fate in natural waters, atmospheric chemistry and the deposition of semivolatile organic contaminants, and modeling accumulation of persistent chemicals in aquatic food webs.
Cortis Cooper received his Ph.D. in 1987 from the University of Maine. He is presently a senior research scientist with Exploration Petroleum Technology Co. (the upstream R&D organization for ChevronTexaco). He is an internal company consultant for oceanographic, meteorological, and oil spill response issues. He has provided technical leadership on a number of large studies including investigations of hurricane alleys, forecasts of Loop Current intrusions, hurricane current modeling, and remote sensing of major storm systems.
Merv Fingas received his Doctorate in environmental sciences from McGill University in Canada in 1996. Dr. Fingas has been with Environment Canada since 1974 and is currently the chief of the Emergencies Sciences Division. He was the chairman of the NATO-CCMS Committee on Spill Studies, analytical section from 1987-1991. Dr. Fingas is a scientist working in spill research and development and specializes in spill dynamics and behavior, spill treating agents, and in-situ burning.
University of California, Irvine
George Hunt received his Ph.D. in biology from Harvard in 1971. He is presently a professor of Ocean Ecology at the University of California, Irvine and has published extensively on the foraging ecology of marine birds, mechanisms for trophic transfer to top predators in marine ecosystems and the impacts of oil spills on marine birds. Dr. Hunt is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Ornithologists Union, and has previously served on the National Research Council’s Committee on Mono Basin, (1985-1987), the Ecology Subcommittee to review Outer Continental Shelf Environmental Studies Program (1986-1992), and the Committee to review Alaskan Outer Continental Shelf Environmental Information (1991-1994).
U.S. Geological Survey
Keith Kvenvolden earned his Ph.D. in geology from Stanford University in 1961 and he has been with the U.S. Geological Survey since 1975 and a senior scientist since 1992. Specializing in organic geochemistry, Dr. Kvenvolden studies natural and man-introduced hydrocarbons in the marine environment, including crude oil, hydrocarbon gases and gas hydrates.
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Judith McDowell received her Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of New Hampshire in 1974. She is currently a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution where her research addresses the physiological effects of pollutants on marine benthic communities. Dr. McDowell has been a member of the Ocean Studies Board and the Commission on Geosciences, Environment and Resources and has served on numerous committees for the National Research Council. Dr. McDowell also chaired the panel responsible for the 1992 NRC report Assessment of The U.S. Outer Continental Shelf Environmental Studies Program: Part II-Ecology.
Research Planning, Inc.
Jacqueline Michel received her Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in geochemistry in 1980. She is currently with Research Planning, Inc. Dr. Michel is an expert in oil and chemical spill response and contingency planning. She has been the program manager providing scientific support to NOAA’s Hazardous Materials Response and Assessment Division since 1978. She is currently a member of the OSB and the Science Advisory Panel to the President’s Ocean Policy Commission. Dr. Michel has served on several NRC committees including the Spills of Nonfloating Oils and Spills of Emulsified Fuels.
Keith Michel obtained his B.S. in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from the Webb Institute of Naval Architecture. He has worked at Herbert Engineering Corporation since 1973 and is currently the president. Mr. Michel has experience with risk analysis of maritime activities involving petroleum hydrocarbons, is currently a member of the Marine Board, and has served on several NRC committees including the Committee on Marine Transportation of Heavy Oil.
American Society of Limnology and Oceanography
Jonathan Phinney received his Ph.D. in biological oceanography from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1995. He is the Executive Director of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography after having been with the Center for Marine Conservation (now The Ocean Conservancy) as the water quality scientist and technical advisor. Dr. Phinney’s research interests include biogeochemistry and in particular the effects of land-based sources of pollutants on coastal ecosystems.
Robert Pond (until October 1, 2000)
United States Coast Guard
Robert Pond received his Masters in Environmental Policy in 1991 from George Washington University. He spent twenty years in the U.S. Coast Guard traveling extensively, concentrating in marine safety and environmental protection, including oil spill contingency planning. He has worked closely with Mobil Oil, the American Petroleum Institute, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Mr. Pond also spent 4 years as an environmental consultant to government and industry for oil transportation related issues. He is currently working as an Environmental Specialist with the U.S. Coast Guard’s Office of Response in Washington, D.C.
Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium
Dr. Nancy Rabalais received her Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1983. She is currently a Professor at the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium. Her research interests include hypoxia, eutrophication, estuarine and benthic ecology, and continental shelf ecosystems. Dr. Rabalais is an AAAS Fellow, an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow, and a Past President of the Estuarine Research Federation. She has served on Committee to Review the USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program, and is currently Chair of the Ocean Studies Board and a delegate for the U.S. National Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research.
Colorado State University
Larry Roesner received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in sanitary engineering in 1969. He has more than twenty years experience in water resources, water quality engineering and management. He served as the chief technical officer for Camp Dresser & McKee Inc. (CDM), and national technical director of CDM’s stormwater practice. Dr. Roesner is currently at Colorado State University and continues his association with CDM.
Robert B. Spies
Applied Marine Sciences and Biomark
Dr. Robert B. Spies received his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles in 1971. His research addresses the fate and effects of contaminants, especially of petroleum, in the aquatic environment with an emphasis on coastal fish and benthic invertebrate communities. He is cur
rently the president of Applied Marine Sciences and Biomark. Dr. Spies serves as the chief scientist for the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council. He is also an editor of Marine Environmental Research. Dr. Spies has participated in several NRC functions including the Workshop on Coastal Science and Policy Interactions and the Committee on Exploitation of the Outer Continental Shelf, and contributed the section on oil seeps in the 1985 version of Oil in the Sea.
Dan Walker, (Study Director)
National Academy of Sciences
Dan Walker is a senior program officer at the Ocean Studies Board where he has been since July 1995. Since 1999, Dr. Walker has held a joint appointment as a Guest Investigator at the Marine Policy Center of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He received his Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Tennessee in 1990. Dr. Walker has directed a number of NRC studies including Clean Coastal Waters: Understanding and Reducing the Effects of Nutrient Pollution (2000), Science for Decisionmaking: Coastal and Marine Geology at the U.S. Geological Survey (1999), Global Ocean Sciences: Toward an Integrated Approach (1998), and The Global Ocean Observing System: Users, Benefits, and Priorities (1997). A former member of both the Kentucky and North Carolina State geologic surveys, Dr. Walker’s interests focus on the value of environmental information for policymaking at local, state, and national levels.
National Academy of Sciences
Jennifer Merrill has been a program officer at the Ocean Studies Board since March 2001. She received her Ph.D. in Marine and Estuarine Environmental Science from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Horn Point Laboratory. With grants from NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserve and the Hudson River Foundation, she examined the role of upper estuarine marshes in the nutrient budgets of coastal ecosystems. As a NOAA Knauss Marine Policy Fellow in the office of Senator Carl Levin, she helped to represent the Great Lakes region through the Great Lakes Task Force, a bipartisan, bicameral regional coalition dedicated to protecting the Great Lakes ecosystem through legislative and appropriations action. At the University of Maryland College Park she co-taught a course in Marine Biology and worked as a project manager at the Maryland Sea Grant office.
National Academy of Sciences
John Dandelski recently joined the Ocean Studies Board staff as a research associate. Most recently, John worked at NAP as a Web and Database Developer. John received his M.A. in Marine Affairs and Policy from the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Miami in December 2001. His research focused on commercial fisheries’ impacts to the benthic communities of Biscayne National Park. John served as the University of Miami Assistant Diving Safety Officer and has worked for the International Oceanographic Foundation, the Center for Marine Conservation, and the Congressional Research Service. John also holds an M.S. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.
Julie Pulley, Project Assistant
National Academy of Sciences
Julie Pulley has been a project assistant at the Ocean Studies Board since March 2001. She received her B.S. in Biology from Howard University, Washington, D.C. in 1999.