KIM ANDERSON is a professor in the Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology and Director of the Food Safety and Environmental Stewardship program, both at Oregon State University. Dr. Anderson’s research focuses on environmental exposure of contaminants, mixtures, and development of novel bio-analytical technologies for assessing bioavailability in multicontaminant environments. Dr. Anderson is the project leader in the Superfund Research Program, NIEHS, titled Biological Response Indicator Devices for Gauging Environmental Stressors. Dr. Anderson was recruited by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in collaboration with the Global Environmental Fund to develop a new program of international scope, to design bio-analytical technologies to conduct environmental assessment for use in setting of protective standards for human and environmental health. Current research is also focused on development of personal passive samplers, a silicone-based device structured as a wristband or lapel pin, which has the potential to greatly expand the possibilities for developing quantitative measures of exposures in humans. Dr. Anderson has more than 70 referred articles and holds 4 patents. Dr. Anderson is currently World Council Member for Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), past member of the Board of Directors for SETAC North America, and founding member of the Chemistry Advisory Group.
JOE BANTA is a senior project manager for the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council (Council). The Council, perhaps the most radical innovation to come out of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, is a permanent, industry-funded citizens’ council for the Exxon Valdez oil spill affected area designed to oversee both the oil transportation industry and its government regulators. As one of the first staff members of the Council, Mr. Banta provides the Council with long-time institutional knowledge and expertise based on his experience with the Exxon Valdez oil spill and his project management for the Council's Scientific Advisory Committee and its Oil Spill Prevention and Response Committee. His current project management areas include environmental monitoring, hydrocarbon toxicity, dispersants, science planning, and invasive species to name a few. Mr. Banta has a background in fishing and fisheries and grew up in Cordova, Alaska. He has a B.S. degree in Biology and an M.A.T. from the University of Alaska, Anchorage.
ERIC BAUMGARTNER is a career public health physician engaged in a variety of community and national activities focused on issues of population health and access to care. Currently he serves as Policy and Program Planning Director for the Louisiana Public Health Institute, as a member of the Georgia Health Policy Center Technical Assistance Program team for HRSA’s Rural Health Network Development grantees, and as Coaching Faculty for the National Leadership Academy for the Public’s Health directed by the Public Health Institute. In addition, Dr. Baumgartner continues to engage in public speaking, facilitation, and community coaching for access to care initiatives nationally. Formerly, Dr. Baumgartner served as the Director of the Community Access and State Planning Programs of the federal Health Resources and Services Administration in Rockville, Maryland. Prior to that position, he served in a variety of posts in state public health agencies in the states of Mississippi, Hawaii, Texas, and Louisiana. While in Louisiana, he served as the State Health Officer for 3 years. In Texas, he served as the Chief of the Bureau of Managed Care of the Texas Department of Health where he shared in the responsibility for converting Medicaid to managed care. Dr. Baumgartner received his Medical Degree from Louisiana State University School of Medicine and his Masters of Public Health from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. He completed a residency in general pediatrics at the University of Arkansas and completed a second residency in general preventive medicine at Tulane. He is board certified by the American Board of Preventive Medicine and by the American Board of Pediatrics.
MICHAEL BLUM is the Eugenie Schwartz Professor of River & Coastal Studies and Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Mike earned a B.S. in Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley,
and a Ph.D. from Duke University. He then completed a 4-year postdoctoral fellowship in the Office of Research and Development of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency before joining the Tulane faculty in 2007. Mike's expertise is in molecular population genetics, molecular ecology, and the ecology of river and coastal ecosystems. He is well known for his work on the development of genetic methods for assessing the condition of aquatic environments, responses of coastal marsh ecosystems to global environmental change, and aquatic biological invasions. While serving as the Arnold Early Career Professor in Earth and Ecological Science, Mike worked closely with academic, government, and industry partners to advance coastal remediation and recovery following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Mike also has collaborated on National Science Foundation-funded projects with colleagues at Tulane and partner institutions to develop New Orleans as an urban long-term research area to understand socioeconomic and human health drivers of biological diversity. As Director of the Tulane/Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research, Mike has led an initiative to establish a new riverfront campus and center of excellence for cross-cutting scholarship on energy, environment, and sustainability to enrich cross-university commitments to public service. His work has been featured by media outlets including The Times-Picayune, The New York Times, CNN, Fox News, NPR, BBC, The Daily Show, and The Colbert Report.
BRUCE BRACKIN is a consulting environmental epidemiologist at the Mississippi State Department of Health. Previous to this he served as an epidemiologist at the Mississippi Agromedicine Program of the University of Mississippi Medical Center and as deputy state epidemiologist at the Mississippi State Department of Health. Mr. Brackin serves a board member of the Pearl River Basin Development District and the Pearl River Water Supply District. He received his M.P.H. in epidemiology and biostatistics from the University of Oklahoma School of Public Health.
AYANNA BUCKNER is the principal of Community Health Cooperative (communityhealthcooperative.com), a health consulting firm that assists organizations, academic institutions, and other groups with the design, implementation, and evaluation of community-based health programming. Dr. Buckner also serves as chairperson of the Gulf Region Health Outreach Program Coordinating Committee, which coordinates a series of integrated, 5-year projects developed as part of the Deepwater Horizon Medical Settlement and designed to strengthen healthcare in Gulf Coast communities in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle. Dr. Buckner formerly served as director of the Regional Coordinating Center for Hurricane Response at Morehouse School of Medicine, through which she managed multistate projects to assist with rebuilding health systems in the Gulf Region after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
REX CAFFEY is a Professor of Natural Resource Economics at Louisiana State University. For more than 20 years he has conducted applied research and extension programming related to the socioeconomics challenges of resource-dependent coastal communities. In 2011, he was named director of the Marine Extension Project (MEP) for the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program. This network of 18 agents and specialists has provided the primary extension liaison for coastal and marine research in Louisiana for more than 40 years. He is also founding director of the LSU Center for Natural Resource Economics and Policy (CNREP). Established in 2003, CNREP fosters the interaction of social science researchers to address natural resource management challenges at the state and regional level. In the past decade CNREP has expanded to 28 cooperators at 8 institutions and obtained more than $12 million in extramural research funds from 46 public and private entities. Through his MEP and CNREP activities, Dr. Caffey provides socioeconomic expertise to state and federal agencies in the northern U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
ANITA CHANDRA is a senior policy researcher and director of RAND Justice, Infrastructure, and Environment at the RAND Corporation. Her background is in public health, child and adolescent development, and community-based participatory research and evaluation. She currently leads or co-leads studies on community well-being; deployment and military families; community resilience and long-term disaster recovery; and child health and development. Throughout her career, Chandra has engaged government and nongovernmental partners to consider cross-sector solutions for improving child and community well-being and to build systems and evaluation capacity. This work has taken many forms including engaging with the Department of Health and Human Services and local government agencies on building systems for emergency preparedness and resilience both in the United States and globally; partnering with private-sector organizations to build the science base around child systems; and collaborating with city governments and foundations to measure well-being, sustainability, and health transformation. She has also partnered with community organizations to conduct broad-scale health needs assessments, to examine the integration of health and human service systems, and to determine how to address the needs of historically vulnerable populations in health and social services. These projects have occurred in partnership with local health systems, foundations, and other community organizations. Dr. Chandra earned a Dr.P.H. in population and family health sciences from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
CRAIG COLTEN is the Carl O. Sauer Professor of Geography at LSU and the Director of Human Dimensions at the Water Institute of the Gulf. Since he earned his Ph.D. at Syracuse University, he worked in government service and the private sector before returning to the academy. He has been engaged in community resilience research since 2007 with funding from the Community and Regional Resilience Institute and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. LSU Press recently released his new book titled Southern Waters: Limits to Abundance.
ROBERT DICKEY is Director of the University of Texas at Austin, Marine Science Institute (UTMSI) and Chair of the Department of Marine Science, College of Natural Sciences. Robert joined UTMSI in 2013 as the Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Regents Chair in Marine Science after serving 28 years with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s seafood safety-related marine science programs. His research interests are in the areas of marine natural toxins, xenobiotics in aquatic systems, toxicology, and analytical methods development. Robert leads the UTMSI, a center for higher education and research with global reach. The Institute is dedicated to advancing knowledge of estuarine, coastal, and blue water oceans through objective inquiry and research; training future generations of marine science professionals through inspired teaching and mentorship; and raising ocean literacy of the general public and societal leaders through diverse education outreach programs.
CORNELIS ELFERINK obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Adelaide, Australia, and conducted a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Stanford University before initially joining the faculty at Wayne State University, and subsequently the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at UTMB where he is currently Professor and the Mary Gibbs Jones Distinguished Chair in Environmental Toxicology, and the Director of the Sealy Center for Environmental Health and Medicine. Dr. Elferink’s long-term research objective is to understand the role of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) in liver homeostasis and liver regeneration following hepatic injury. These studies hold the promise of identifying new therapeutic targets for the treatment of various liver diseases such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In related translational research, the laboratory is actively seeking to identify serum biomarkers for early detection of HCC in Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infected patients at risk for developing HCC. The approach involves proteomic strategies based on 2D difference in gel electrophoresis and stable isotope labeling coupled to mass spectrometry, and multiplexed selected reaction monitoring for use in validation studies. Successful development of serum biomarkers will enhance surveillance of millions who are HCV positive and at risk of developing HCC. In addition, Dr. Elferink also oversees a NIEHS-funded Core Center and a separate consortium engaged in community-based participatory research examining the human health concerns of the Gulf of Mexico coastal fishing communities impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.
SHARON GAUTHÉ is the Executive Director of Bayou Interfaith Shared Community Organizing (BISCO) and served on the BISCO Board of Directors for 5 years. Her previous employment was as the Region 3 Office of Public Health’s Healthy Communities Coordinator. She represented the State of Louisiana as one of five persons to attend the South Central Public Health Leadership Institute. This unique leadership training, developed by Tulane University for OPH state employees selected from five southern states, allowed Mrs. Gauthe’ to participate in a multistate task group to develop the first Internet site for all five states to study and share information on bioterrorism. Prior to this, Mrs. Gauthé was employed by the Louisiana Office of Mental Health as a Social Services Counselor. She has also worked for the State Department of Public Welfare, for the Lafourche Parish Council as a Juvenile Probation Officer, and for the Lafourche Parish School Board, where she served as a Social Services Counselor at South Lafourche High School. Mrs. Gauthé graduated from Nicholls State University with a BS in Family and Consumer Sciences. She received the honor of “Another Success Story”–Top 50 Outstanding Graduates of Nicholls State during their 50–year celebration in 2000. Mrs. Gauthé has also completed and received certificates in many trainings including the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine’s “Disaster Navigation Training.” She also received Organizer and Director’s training in the PICO National Organization in Community Organizing and participated in the Rockwell Leadership Institute where she is an Alumnus of their Art of Leadership for Southern Leaders. Mrs. Gauthé is a lifelong resident of Lafourche Parish.
ANGELA GRAJEDA is the Disaster Program Manager, South MS Chapter, of the American Red Cross. Graduating with a degree in Social Work from Ball State University in 1996, Angela has dedicated her work to improving the resources available to social service agencies and the surrounding communities. Angela has worked with American Red Cross since 2007, initially as part of the Hurricane Katrina Recovery team in Biloxi, Mississippi, and transitioning to the role of Program Manager with Community Preparedness and Resilience Services through National Headquarters in 2011. In this role, she has helped to develop and implement a nationwide strategy for building community resilience and preparedness using community-based networks. Angela continues to contribute to the work of building resilience and preparing communities through her current position as Disaster Program Manager and association with the LA/ MS Coastal Resilience Network.
JENNIFER HORNEY is an associate professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Texas A&M University Health Science Center School of Public Health and a faculty fellow of the Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center at the Texas A&M College of Architecture. At Texas A&M, Dr. Horney’s research focuses on measuring the health impacts of disasters, as well as the linkages between disaster planning and household actions related to preparedness, response, and recovery. Dr. Horney received her Ph.D. and M.P.H. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where her research focused on the role of social factors in decision making during disasters. She serves as a member of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Disaster Epidemiology Community of Practice and was a member of a team of public health practitioners who responded to Hurricanes Isabel, Charley, Katrina, Wilma, and Irene, where she conducted rapid assessments of disaster impact on the public health of individuals and communities. She has also provided technical assistance to public health agencies globally around disasters, infectious disease outbreaks, and pandemic influenza planning and response.
JOHN HOSEY joined The Corps Network staff in December 2013 as the Gulf Coast Restoration Corps Director of Development. His responsibilities include conducting research and identifying potential government and nongovernmental partners to develop local workforce development opportunities for youth and veterans. The focus of the GCRC Program is to provide a trained and qualified local workforce that will participate in and contribute to conservation and restoration projects as recommended by the Restore Act Council. Additionally, he will be assisting local communities with the long-term development of community-based conservation corps programs. These programs will provide resources and support for starting sustainable programs that are focused on education, workforce development, and leadership components. In the end, the goal is to assist local communities to produce long–term Corps resources that provide conservation/restoration skills-based jobs and education for young adults and veterans. In his previous assignment he served as Director of United Way’s Volunteer South Mississippi and as the Board President for the South Mississippi Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster. He was actively involved in several projects related to expanding volunteerism across the state and building collaborative partnerships to address both current and future needs related to improving community resiliency. Since 2007, John has assisted in regional research projects with several universities. As a result he has co-published articles and served as both Investigator and Co-Investigator on grants related to these projects. The programs focused on collaborative community partnership development, disaster mental health interventions, and crisis response efforts following disasters (e.g., Hurricanes Katrina, Gustav and the Gulf Oil Spill). He also serves as a volunteer on the Gulf Coast Community Health Workers Training Program Advisory Board and the MS Gulf Coast Regional Planning Subcommittee on Resiliency.
ANDREW KANE is Associate Professor of Environmental and Global Health in the College of Public Health and Health Professions at the University of Florida. Dr. Kane received his B.S. degree from Cornell University (Aquatic & Marine Sciences), his M.S. degree from The Ohio State University (Aquatic Toxicology with minor in Fisheries Management), and his Ph.D. degree from University of Maryland School of Medicine (Aquatic Pathobiology). Dr. Kane directs the UF Emerging Pathogens Institute’s Aquatic Pathobiology Laboratories, and he is the Graduate Program Director for One Health and Environmental & Global Health masters and doctoral programs at UF. Dr. Kane’s research interests span environmental pathology and toxicology, and include application of aquatic models for environmental and public health studies, effects of contaminant and water quality stressors on host/pathogen/parasite interactions, and scientific communications. Research projects focusing on environmental health in the Gulf of Mexico include: Seafood Safety and Coastal Community Health Following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (NIEHS); Oyster Health and Environmental Monitoring in Apalachicola Bay (UF Oyster Recovery Team); and Research, Communications and Community Engagement Support for Apalachicola Bay Oyster Restoration and Management (NFWF/Florida FWC; Florida Sea Grant).
BARBARA KIRKPATRICK serves on the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) Board of Directors and Executive Committee and has been a GCOOS member since 2005. She started her career as a Respiratory Care Supervisor at Duke University Medical Center before going on to receive a master’s degree from North Carolina State University and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Sarasota. After finishing her graduate program, Dr. Kirkpatrick served as an Associate Professor at Manatee Community College in Bradenton, Florida, where she continued her research interests in human respiratory health and assessing clinical teaching effectiveness. In 1999, Dr. Kirkpatrick started with Mote Marine Laboratory as a staff scientist and shifted her research focus to environmental human health, specifically studying the effects of harmful algal blooms on human respiratory health. She is currently a senior scientist and program manager at Mote and her recent research efforts focus on harmful algal blooms and human health effects, specifically the development of tools to report beach conditions in Florida and the respiratory effects of red tide toxins.
SHIRLEY LASKA is Professor Emerita of Sociology at the University of New Orleans where in 2002 she created the Center for Hazards Assessment, Response and Technology (UNO-CHART) (www.uno.edu/chart), a center that has developed collaborative approaches to reduce communities’ vulnerability to natural and technological risks and trained more than 175 masters and Ph.D. students in such community engagement. Recently she co-founded the Lowlander Center (lowlandercenter.org), a nonprofit organization that helps coastal Louisiana communities and their residents build capacity and resilience for place and people in the context of challenges such as climate change, coastal land loss, and technological hazards such as the BP oil spill. Author and co-author since Hurricane Katrina of more than 20 peer-reviewed journal articles and a book, her work on the BP spill has focused on the question of community corrosiveness engendered by the spill and the impact on residents and their families of the layering of the various disasters, especially the spill, on recovery from each and long-term resiliency. She currently serves on the NAS Committee on the Affordability of NFIP Premiums and the Science and Engineering Advisory Committee (SEAC) of the Water Institute of the Gulf.
MAUREEN LICHTVELD has 35 years of experience in environmental public health and currently is Professor and Chair, Department of Global Environmental Health Sciences, Tulane University, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Her research focuses on environmentally induced disease, including asthma and cancer, health disparities, environmental health policy, disaster preparedness, and public health systems. She holds an endowed chair in environmental policy and is Associate Director, Population Sciences, Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium. Dr. Lichtveld has a track record in community-based participatory research with a special emphasis on persistent environmental health threats affecting health disparate communities living in disaster prone areas. As Director of the Center for Gulf Coast Environmental Health Research, Leadership, and Strategic Initiatives, Dr. Lichtveld serves as Principal Investigator of several Gulf Coast-associated environmental health research and capacity-building projects ascertaining the potential impact of the Gulf of Mexico Oil spill: the NIH-funded Transdisciplinary Research Consortium for Gulf Resilience On Women’s Health, addressing potential post-oil spill effects on vulnerable pregnant and nonpregnant women; “Risk and Resilience in Environmental Health,” a project designed to implement rapidly deployable community-based research, outreach, and education; and the Gulf Region Health Outreach Program’s Environmental Health Capacity and Literacy Project, aimed at strengthening individual and community resilience through an environmental health clinical referral network, emerging scholars, and trained community health workers navigating frontline health services. Dr. Lichtveld was elected President of the Hispanic Serving Health Professions Schools. She was honored as CDC’s Environmental Health Scientist of the Year and twice named Woman of the Year by the City of New Orleans.
KEN LINDEMANN is a physician-scientist with more than 20 years of professional support and leadership to the global oil and gas industry. Prior to his retirement from ExxonMobil in 2011, Dr. Lindemann had oversight for the strategic health management of new exploration ventures, mega-project development, and oil and gas production operations in areas of the world challenged by public health concerns and limited medical infrastructure. Since 2011, Dr. Lindemann has been providing consulting advice on global community and public health issues.
SUSAN LOVELACE is the assistant director for development and extension at the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium. Previously she was manager of the Human Dimensions Research Program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Hollings Marine Laboratory. She leads the Consortium’s Sea Grant Extension Program, working with the executive director on program development efforts and assists with overall management of the agency. Dr. Lovelace earned her Ph.D. in coastal resource management and a B.S. in science education at East Carolina University. She also holds a B.S. in zoology from North Carolina State University. For over 2 decades, she has sought to understand the role of natural resources in public well-being as well as the complexity of information flow in local resource decision making. Her work at the Consortium includes assessing the information needs of the agency’s diverse stakeholders, and providing them with science-based information, tools and guidance to inform their decision making.
BRIAN MAYER is an associate professor in the School of Sociology at the University of Arizona. His research interests focus on the social production of environmental health risks and the contestations that emerge around environmental problems in the areas of science, policy, and medicine. His work in environmental sociology has examined the role of community activism and participation in the identification and management of potential environmental health risks. Recent research projects include a National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences funded project to examine the long-term psychosocial and community health impacts of the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico, an investigation of the use of community-based science in social movement organizations, and a project funded by the National Science Foundation to explore the interactions of labor and environmental social movement organizations in the United States. Through his qualitative research methodology, Dr. Mayer often makes use of community-based participatory research to engage local stakeholders in the research process.
AUBREY K. MILLER is a board-certified physician in Occupational and Environmental Medicine. He is currently the Senior Medical Advisor to the Director the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), National Institutes of Health (NIH). He has responsibility for strategic planning and coordination of environmental health issues and activities among U.S. federal agencies, academia, and other stakeholders. Dr. Miller has long-standing experience, publications, and contributions to a wide range of occupational and environmental health issues and policies. He has had extensive involvement in the Gulf oil spill response providing testimonies before U.S. Senate and House Committees regarding health concerns and research needs. Other focus areas include asbestos issues and hazardous mineral fibers, hydraulic fracturing, and disaster responses (e.g., Hurricane Sandy, H1N1 pandemic influenza, anthrax attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and the World Trade Center attack). Dr. Miller’s previous positions include leadership, chief medical, and research activities with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
ALEXANDRA (LEXI) BAMBAS NOLEN serves as the Director of the Center to Eliminate Health Disparities and Associate Director of the Coordinating Center for Global Health at UTMB Health in Galveston, Texas. She is also an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Family Medicine, Preventive Medicine & Community Health, and Internal Medicine, and Associate Faculty in the Institute for the Medical Humanities. Under her leadership, the Center to Eliminate Health Disparities is engaged in research, training, and community action in four program areas: Health Systems Solutions, Solutions through Social Determinants of Health, Leadership Development for Social Change in Health, and Global Health. Dr. Nolen has experience in coordination of community-based research and interventions as well as policy development on issues of health equity and public health. Her work also encompasses issues of social determinants of health and intersectoral action, health information systems, advocacy strategies for health equity, health systems development, the impact of globalization and trade on health in Africa, environmental justice, and development of training materials on health equity. Dr. Nolen served on the Secretariat of the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health between 2005 and 2007. Previously she was the Coordinator of the Global Equity Gauge Alliance, a South Africa-based nongovernmental organization focused on health equity initiatives in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Under the Division of Health and Human Development at the Pan American Health Organization (1999–2002), she helped to advance research and programming on issues of health equity for the organization. Dr. Nolen serves on the Executive Board of the International Society for Equity and Health; on the National Advisory Committee for the National Association of City and County Health Officials/ Centers for Disease Control project The Roots of Health Inequity; on the National Advisory Panel for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Healthy Communities Transformation Initiative, and on the Coordinating Committee for the Houston-Galveston Area Council Sustainability Planning Grant, among other committees.
KRISTINA PETERSON currently facilitates The Lowlander Center, a nonprofit organization that helps create solutions through education, research, and advocacy, beginning at the community level, for Lowland people and places in the bayous of Louisiana. Social and environmental justice is at the core of the Center’s work. Through the Center, Lowlanders seek solutions to living with an ever-changing coastline and land loss, while visioning a future that builds capacity and resilience for place and people. Peterson’s 30 years of postdisaster community redevelopment experience help communities to envision futures that mitigate vulnerabilities, to enhance existing systems, or to develop new systems to serve the public. Dr. Peterson was a founding board member of the National Hazards Mitigation Association, collaborator with FEMA’s Project Impact, and national coordinator with Church World Service Disaster Services. She is an anthropologist who holds a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of New Orleans, a Master of Sacred Theology and a Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary, and a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies-Ethnic Studies, University of Puget Sound. She was made a fellow in the Society of Applied Anthropology in 1998, received the Prince Award for outstanding dissertation, the William Gibson Environmental Award in 2010, the Rural Sociology Society’s 2014 Service to Rural Communities Award, and a citation from the State of Maryland for work on social and economic justice. She serves on the advisory board of the Thriving Earth Exchange, TEX, of the American Geophysical Union.
RICHARD POWERS is a psychiatrist and neuropathologist who received his medical degree from the University of Kentucky in 1976, and he completed his Internal Medicine internship at Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He served for 3 years in the U.S. Army as a Squadron Surgeon and Clinic Director. He completed an Anatomical Pathology Residency at the University of Kentucky. He completed a psychiatry residency and neuropathology fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He practiced psychiatry and neuropathology at the University of Alabama School of Medicine where he held the rank of Professor prior to retirement in 2011. While at UAB, Dr. Powers also served as the Medical Director for the Ala-
bama Department of Mental Health and assisted with creating the geriatric mental health system for the state of Alabama as well as providing psychiatric services to persons with intellectual disability. He has subsequently practiced within the Veteran’s Administration Health Care system as an Associate Chief of Staff for Geriatrics and Extended Care as well as in the Outpatient Mental Health Clinic caring for veterans with PTSD. He continues to remain active in teaching at the university as an Adjunct Professor in the departments of pathology and psychiatry. Dr. Powers has been involved in numerous public policy initiatives at the local, state, and national levels. He was one of the founding members of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, and he has assisted with numerous advocacy programs on behalf of persons with dementia and their family caregivers. Dr. Powers is the recipient of numerous awards including his induction into the Alabama Health Care Hall of Fame and the Nathan Davis Award presented by the AMA in 2011 for public service provided at the state level. He is the author of numerous book chapters, scholarly publications, and consumer education programs that focus on neurodegenerative diseases or neuropsychiatric disorders.
ASHLEY ROSS is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Sam Houston State University. She received a M.A. from Louisiana State University and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University. Her research interests focus on comparative public policy with an emphasis on local governments. Her most recent work examined disaster resilience from the perspective of Gulf Coast emergency managers and municipal elected officials. This project was funded by the Department of Homeland Security, and the findings of this research are presented in the book Local Disaster Resilience: Administrative and Political Perspectives, recently published by Routledge.
PAUL SANDIFER is the Chief Science Advisor for NOAA’s National Ocean Service (NOS). He oversees an agency-wide effort in ecological forecasting, leads NOAA’s health strategy, is involved in the NOAA RESTORE Science Program and coastal ecosystem science. Previously he led NOAA’s Oceans and Human Health Initiative and served as Senior Science Advisor to the NOAA Administrator. He is a member of the NAS Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability and the IOM Roundtable on Environmental Health Science, Research and Medicine. He was a member of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, and served on the Marine Board of the NRC, U.S. National Committee for the Census of Marine Life, and on numerous other boards and committees including the Founding Board of Directors of the South Carolina Aquarium. He is an Honorary Life Member of the World Aquaculture Society, a Fellow of the AAAS, a NOAA Research Fellow, and a recipient of South Carolina’s highest civilian award, the Order of the Palmetto. Prior to coming to NOAA, Dr. Sandifer had a 31-year career with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, including service as agency director. He is a member of the graduate faculty at the College of Charleston.
MICHAEL SCHAFFER is the Division Director for Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services (HCPHES) Environmental Public Health Division, the local environmental public health department for approximately 1.9 million people. Mr. Schaffer applies a broad range of academic, private-sector employment, and consulting experience to meet the diverse environmental and public health challenges of today. Mr. Schaffer graduated with his M.B.A. from the University of Wyoming. He has spent 13 years in the electric energy industry working in both the thermal and wind divisions for PacifiCorp Energy. As his role of Director he had obtained extensive operations, business process, project management, and finance experience. Prior to entering the energy industry, Schaffer spent over 5 years managing various food establishments. As Division Director of Environmental Public Health for over 4 years, Mr. Schaffer manages a group of dynamic people to protect the public health by ensuring the integrity of the food supply, clean drinking water, neighborhood cleanliness (unsafe structures, environments that lead to harboring disease carrying pests), along with safe pools to swim in and working to minimize lead-based paint in homes. Mr. Schaffer has recently taken on a new and exciting lead role around community health and the built environment, which includes conducting health impact assessments. This program intersects the notion of public health with community planning, merging the worlds of community design, land use, and public planning along with public health.
TRACIE SEMPIER is the Coastal Storms Outreach Coordinator for the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium (MASGC). Her responsibilities include designing a Coastal Storms outreach and education program that will introduce people to storms tools, information, and partnerships. Dr. Sempier works with local communities, state and federal agencies, nonprofit organizations, port authorities, emergency and floodplain managers, residents, and other audiences to try and decrease the negative impacts of coastal storms on families, communities, the environment, natural resources, and property. Dr. Sempier is also the Regional Program Manager for the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA). Her position is a shared position between MASGC and GOMA. Her responsibilities include providing support to the six GOMA Priority Issue Teams for grants management (contracting and reporting), team calls, in-person meetings, and joint projects. Dr. Sempier is one of the authors of the Coastal Community Resilience Index that was pilot tested in 16 communities throughout the Gulf. She has trained over 70 facilitators to implement the tool, and a total of 45 communities
have completed the Index. This has given her a unique perspective on the challenges facing local governments and the types of information they need to address vulnerabilities and improve future land use decisions.
UMAIR SHAH is the Executive Director of Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services (HCPHES) and the Local Health Authority for Harris County, Texas—the third most populous county in the United States. Previously, Dr. Shah had served as HCPHES Deputy Director and its Director of Disease Control & Clinical Prevention since 2004. Prior to joining HCPHES, he was Chief Medical Officer at Galveston County Health District and since 1999 an emergency department physician at Houston’s Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. He earned his B.A. (philosophy) from Vanderbilt University; M.D. from the University of Toledo Health Science Center; before completing Internal Medicine residency, a Primary Care/General Medicine fellowship, and his M.P.H. (management & policy sciences) at The University of Texas Health Science Center. In addition to completing an international health policy internship at the World Health Organization in Geneva, he has provided leadership through the American Public Health Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). Dr. Shah currently serves on NACCHO’s board of directors. His numerous large-scale emergency response roles have involved Tropical Storm Allison; Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike; novel H1N1; and earthquakes in Kashmir and Haiti. His focus areas include population health, wellness, and prevention; health “innovation” technology; health care management; global/refugee health; health equity; and community/stakeholder engagement. He remains engaged in clinical patient care, academic teaching, and is actively involved in the local community.
CHRISTINA SIMONIELLO received a B.S. in Biological Sciences and Certificate in Marine Science from Florida International University. She has conducted herpetological studies in Everglades National Park, worked in analytical chemistry for the Drinking Water Research Center, Miami, and researched bears, birds, seals, and otters for the Fish and Wildlife Service, Alaska, following the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Completing her Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography at the University of South Florida, she has conducted research in the oceanic Gulf of Mexico, Florida Keys, Exumas, and Southern Ocean. Following 5 years developing programs for the Southeast Atlantic Coastal Ocean Observing System as faculty in the University of Florida Sea Grant College Program, she presently directs Outreach and Education activities for the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System Regional Association (GCOOS-RA). Areas of special interest include using interdisciplinary skills to develop products and programs that benefit society by bridging the gap between research and applications. Current leadership roles include Chair, U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System Association Education and Outreach Committee; Steering Committee and past-chair, Gulf of Mexico Alliance Environmental Education Network; Steering Committee Member, NOAA Gulf of Mexico Regional Collaboration Team; and Advisory Board, National Hurricane Museum and Science Center Development Team.
JOHN STEGEMAN received a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Northwestern University, and was awarded a D.Sc. (honoris causa) from Gothenburg University in Sweden. He has been studying hydrocarbon and other pollutant chemical metabolism and effects, primarily in aquatic species, for more than 30 years focusing on structure, function, regulation, and evolution of the cytochrome P450 (CYP) genes and enzymes involved in metabolism of chemicals and hormones. Dr. Stegeman has authored or co-authored over 200 publications, including studies of molecular biomarkers of chemical exposure in fish, birds, whales, and humans, and the mechanisms involved in chemical effects, including carcinogenesis, cardiovascular defects, and neurobehavioral disorders. He has served as journal editor and on several editorial boards, on NIH review groups, and on Advisory Boards of several NIH Centers. Dr. Stegeman chaired the Science Advisory Board of the National Toxicology Program, and served on and chaired committees for the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine. He is a Lifetime National Associate of the National Academies. Dr. Stegeman was Chair of the Biology Department at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and is Director of the NSF/NIEHS Woods Hole Center for Oceans and Human Health.
GREGORY STEYER is a wetland ecologist who serves as branch chief for the USGS National Wetlands Research Center, Coastal Restoration Assessment Branch. He received his B.S. from the University of Maryland in 1985, M.S. in 1988 from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and Ph.D. at Louisiana State University in the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Studies in 2008. His research is focused on developing ecological indicators, adaptive management approaches, and ecological and landscape models for use in natural resource decision support. For over 20 years he has worked for State and Federal governments developing and implementing wetland mitigation plans, wetland restoration projects, and monitoring and research programs for the evaluation of wetland restoration projects and programs. Dr. Steyer has developed over 80 project-specific monitoring plans under the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) and a comprehensive wetland monitoring network for CWPPRA called the Coastwide Reference Monitoring System, that allows evaluation of the cumulative effects of restoration and protection efforts at hydrologic basin and coastwide scales. Dr.
Steyer has also developed desktop models for the Louisiana Coastal Area (LCA) and State Master Plan that project over 50 years how wetland vegetation communities and coastal geomorphology will change with and without restoration and protection efforts. His current research investigates the effects of disturbance events, primarily hurricanes, and sea level rise on coastal landscape change and resilience.
BILL VOCKE is a U.S. Coast Guard Environmental Protection Specialist with extensive and wide-ranging experience in environmental impact analysis, environmental regulatory development and compliance, and emergency preparedness. He currently serves as the Executive Director of the Interagency Coordinating Committee on Oil Pollution Research (ICCOPR). His background includes more than 6 years as an Environmental Engineer with the U.S. EPA, and 28 years providing consulting services on environmental and emergency management issues. Mr. Vocke has worked with federal, state, and local public health agencies to identify response and recovery issues associated with potential health emergencies such as waterborne illnesses, Marburg viral hemorrhagic fever, plague (Yersinia pestis) events, pandemic influenza, and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease). Mr. Vocke received a B.S. degree in Environmental Resource Management from Penn State University and an M.S. degree in Environmental Engineering from George Washington University.
ANN HAYWARD WALKER, president of SEA Consulting Group, has over 30 years of experience in applying knowledge from academic researchers, agency and industry practitioners, and other sources to enable timely and credible decision making around risks, especially those related to oil spills, dispersants, and liquid natural gas. Before founding SEA she was a coastal zone researcher at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, and the University of Hawaii. She has responded to over 250 coastal spills during her career, most often in support of the U.S. Coast Guard and EPA, including the Exxon Valdez (EVOS) and Deepwater Horizon (DWH) incidents. Her special interests and experience include risk communication, stakeholder engagement at the local and state levels, fishers and seafood safety, and transdisciplinary risk assessment and management approaches involving the natural, health, and psychosocial sciences. She was the PI for a UNH Coastal Response Research Center grant on “Response Risk Communication Tools for Dispersants and Oil Spills.” On-site experience with the EVOS and DWH spills has led her to focus on human health risk perceptions associated with oil spills and dispersants and to develop institutional solutions to improve how we address these issues in the future.
CHUCK WILSON is a distinguished scientist and academic leader. He has held faculty and administrative posts at Louisiana State University (LSU) where he joined the faculty in 1984 as an assistant professor in the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences. Since then, he has risen through the academic ranks to full professor and department chairman. Most recently, he has served as Executive Director of the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program, and prior to that as the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. During his tenure at LSU, Dr. Wilson has received more than $15,000,000 in private, state, and federal funding for research and education programs, and has authored or co-authored more than 100 scientific publications.
STEVE WOLFE is a marine biologist, biological oceanographer, and environmental toxicologist who has been coordinating the efforts of the GOMA Water Quality Team for the past 8 years. The team’s focus areas include coastal pathogens, harmful algal blooms, mercury in seafood, and water-quality monitoring. He earlier staffed the Florida Oceans and Coastal Council after spending more than a decade as a biologist, manager, and then administrator of the Central Biology Laboratory for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. His experience includes program manager for a private company carrying out spiny lobster mariculture research and as technical writer for a series of USFWS Ecological Characterizations for portions of Florida’s Gulf coast. His varied past also includes stints as deckhand on an oceanographic research vessel and as a certified auto mechanic, a few years building custom sailboats, and a period building diving bells, miniature dry submarines, and other commercial diving equipment.