Florida A&M University
Florida A&M University
1515 S. Martin Luther King Blvd.
305D FSH Science Research Center
Tallahassee, Florida 32307
Dr. Larry Robinson
NOAA CCME Director
Larry Robinson, Ph.D., is Florida A&M University’s (FAMU’s) 12th president and a distinguished professor and researcher in the School of the Environment at FAMU. Robinson is actively engaged in research with students and faculty as the director and principal investigator of the Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems. His research included trace element analysis in environmental science, epidemiology, forensics, material science and paleontology. His expertise also includes environmental radiochemistry, nuclear safeguards, and non-proliferation. Dr. Robinson was recently selected to serve on the National STEM Education Advisory Panel.
Dr. Michael Abazinge
NOAA CCME Associate Director
Dr. Abazinge is a professor in the School of Environment and the Associate Director of NOAA CCME. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Science from Florida A&M University and a Master of Science Degree and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Physiology and Nutrition from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Dr. Sharmini Pitter
NOAA CCME Assistant Director
Dr. Sharmini Pitter is the Assistant Director of the NOAA Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems. Dr. Pitter is a graduate of Stanford University’s Department of Environmental Earth System Science in collaboration with the Stanford Archaeology Center. Her transdisciplinary research background includes geochemical studies of the link between changes in the paleoenvironment, cultural technology, and decision-making during the Neolithic period. Dr. Pitter utilizes her research background to assist students in preparing for the future, transdisciplinary workforce.
Dr. Steve Morey
NOAA CCME Distinguished Research Scientist
Dr. Steven Morey is the Distinguished Research Scientist for the NOAA Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems and a Professor in the Florida A&M University School of the Environment. He earned his Ph.D. in oceanography from Florida State University and, prior to joining the faculty at FAMU, was a Senior Research Scientist at the FSU Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies. He is a physical oceanographer with expertise in hydrodynamic modeling, coastal processes, and impacts of circulation and environmental variability on marine ecosystems. Dr. Morey's current research includes modeling of Apalachicola Bay hydrodynamic and ecological response to freshwater flow variability, assessing and improving models for Gulf of Mexico circulation, and applications of satellite wind measurements to coastal oceanography.
Dr. Bernadette Kelley
NOAA CCME Education Expert
Bernadette Kelley-Brown is an Associate professor in the College of Education at Florida A&M University. Dr. Kelley has extensive experience with secondary education, computer technology, professional development of STEM majors, and educational leadership. Dr. Kelley-Brown has assisted science, pharmacy, engineering, and mathematics faculty and staff in the development of web-based courses with support grants from the National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA), the U. S. Department of Education, and the National Science Foundation.
Dr. Kelley also collaborates with the School of Environment at FAMU to recruit and train minority scientists and other STEM career majors from underrepresented communities.
Dr. Benjamin Ross
NOAA CCME Postdoctoral Research Associate
Benjamin Ross received his Bachelor’s degree from Florida Atlantic University’s Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College and his MSc And PhD from the University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science. He previously held a position as an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education fellow at EPA headquarters in Washington, DC as part of the Ocean Dumping team.
At NOAA CCME he is continuing to research matters related to improving the use of foraminifera for environmental monitoring, including comparing metal extraction methods and exploring physiological and biological stress responses. He is also planning to work with NOAA scientists at NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory in Miami, FL to develop genetic-based tools for improving field monitoring of planktonic foraminiferal populations, and is going to join his NOAA mentor on the upcoming Gulf of Mexico Ecosystems and Carbon (GOMECC-4) cruise as part of this collaboration.
Mr. Kris Suchdeve
NOAA CCME Data, Communication, and Information Manager
Kris Suchdeve is the NOAA CCME Data, Communication, and Information Manager. Mr. Suchdeve went to Florida State University where he served as the Webmaster and Dataset Administrator for the Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies. Mr. Suchdeve received his B.S. degree in Information Technology from Florida State University in 2010.
Mr. Suchdeve’s has a background in web development, programming, audio/video, and knowledge of how software and hardware work together which makes him a significant asset to NOAA CCME. Having dealt with undergraduate and graduate students in a mentor role, he knows how valuable it is to correctly train the next generation of scientists.
Dr. Elijah Johnson
Dr. Richard Long
Dr. Richard Long is an Associate Professor in Biological Sciences. He earned his Ph.D. from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego in Microbial Oceanography, and a B.Sc. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology at UCSD. He currently serves as a co-PI and a Coastal Intelligence focal area lead in the NOAA Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems hosted at FAMU. He also serves as Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Activities in the College of Science and Technology. His research group studies microorganisms in the context of environmental, ocean and human health. Current projects include harmful algal blooms, petroleum bioremediation, the impact of xenobiotics on coastal ecosystems, microbial diversity, and microbial indices as assessment tools. His laboratory website linked here.
He serves as the FAMU representative to the Florida SUS Florida Institute of Oceanography and the FAMU Faculty representative to the National Academies Federal Demonstration Project.
Dr. Phyllis Gray-Ray
Social Science Lead
Dr. Phyllis A. Gray is currently Professor of Sociology and Social Psychology at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, FL. Previously, she served as the Vice President for Research, and then as the Executive Director of the Juvenile Justice Research Institute at Florida A&M University. Other positions include being the Chief Research Officer and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research at Winston-Salem State University; Head of the Division of Social Sciences, and Chair of the Department of Sociology at Voorhees College; Professor and Research Director of the Institute for Disability Studies at the University of Southern Mississippi; The City of Jackson (Mississippi)Chief Strategic Planner/Consultant for the city’s 2000 - 2004 Strategic Plan; Executive Director of the Mississippi Urban Research Center at Jackson State University; Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at North Carolina Central University; Associate Professor and Assistant Professor of Sociology/Criminology, and Coordinator of the Mississippi Crime and Justice Research Unit of the Social Science Research Center at Mississippi State University, as well as an Instructor of Sociology at Iowa State University.
Dr. Hongmei Chi
Big Data Boot Camp Lead
Dr. Hongmei Chi is Professor of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at Florida A&M University. She served as director of FAMU center for cybersecurity since 2016-2020. She has a broad base of research funding in scientific computation, cybersecurity, and data science. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in and network security and cryptography, artificial intelligence and scientific computation. Her research interests span many areas related to Big Data, parallel computing, mobile health security and cyber security. Her work in those areas has been published in top journals and conferences. She has been PI/Co-PI of federal grants more than $3 million.
Dr. Michael Martínez-Colón
Dr. Michael Martínez-Colón is a geologist (BSc and MSc from the U. of Puerto Rico) and oceanographer (PhD from the U. of South Florida). His areas of expertise are in coastal/estuarine ecological (benthic foraminifera), and sediment geochemistry related to heavy metals. He is currently an Assistant Professor at the School of the Environment and mentors CCME graduate and undergraduate students. Current/future interests in research: trophic transfer of heavy metals (e.g., plant/herbivore), pollution/environmental health history of estuaries (19th-20th century), ocean acidification, heavy metal bioavailability, paleoecological evaluations of shelf sediments, ecological distribution of benthic foraminifera. His laboratory website is www.foramlaboratory.com.
Dr. Mark Howse
NOAA CCME External Evaluator
Dr. Mark Howse is the lead founder and CEO of Stellar Diverse Student Achievement Center, a non-profit organization that he started with his wife, Tashana, with the aim to advance the educational attainments of diverse students. Mark serves as the director and lead consultant for STELLAR and draws upon his educational training and over 30 years of educational experience to support students, as well as the organizations that serve them.
Mark Howse serves as the Associate Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness and Director of Educational Outcomes and Assessment at the Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM). Dr. Howse has nearly two decades of successful, innovative higher education experience. He has served in several instructional and leadership positions, including faculty and administrative positions at both public and private institutions. Before joining MSM, Dr. Howse served as the Director of University Assessment and Academic Initiatives under the Office of Academic Affairs at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.
The Nashville, Tennessee native holds a Bachelor of Science (BA) Degree from Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) where he double-majored in Aerospace and Mathematics.
School of Graduate Studies
Bldg. 640, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Blvd.
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
Dr. Hyun "J" Cho
Dr. J. Cho is the institutional PI of the NOAA CCME program at B-CU. She has researched coastal seagrass, saltwater and brackish water aquatic plants and wetlands, landscape level assessment using habitat models/remotely sensed satellite imageries and aerial photographs, and GIS data. Her current research projects focus on coastal urban stormwater management using treatment wetlands, living shorelines, and outreach.
Dr. Sarah Krejci
Dr. Krejci studies the effects of algal blooms and water quality changes on zooplankton, seagrass and syngnathids from coastal lagoons along the east coast of Florida. She and her team conduct field research and laboratory trials to determine relationships between abiotic and biotic conditions, which influence population demographics and the marine food web.
Dr. Michael A. Reiter
Dr. Michael Reiter is Professor of Environmental Science, Chair of the Department of Integrated Environmental Science (IES), and Director of the graduate program in IES at Bethune-Cookman University, Florida, where he specializes in stakeholder-based resource management and integrated environmental science. He holds a B.S. from Muskingum College OH, an M.S. from Kent State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. Dr. Reiter is past President of the Interdisciplinary Environmental Association, a Founding Co-Chair for the Sustainable Human and Environmental Systems Roundtable, Founding Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Sustainability Research, and Associate Editor for the journal Interdisciplinary Environmental Review. He has received university and national awards for his teaching and research, has been approved for candidacy as a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Environmental Science/Education, and has been invited to speak and deliver workshops on interdisciplinary environmental and resource management issues in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, South America, and Africa. His primary interest is the interdisciplinary study of ecological and environmental problems, and emphasizing the importance of making scientifically informed, broadly based decisions concerning present and future sustainability concerns.
Dr. Yungkul Kim
Dr. Kim’s research interests include the biogeography of aquatic invertebrates, native and non-native/invasive aquatic species, and the influence of anthropogenic disturbance and natural stress (e.g. climate change) factors on aquatic organism (e.g. oyster) health, and the marine debris/ litter and microplastic.
Dr. Michael Humphreys
His primary academic interests include restorative justice and ecological sustainability. He is currently elaborating the ethics of restorative justice and researching the applicability or usefulness of restorative justice for addressing environmental issues.
Dr. Adeljean Ho
Dr. Ho’s research focuses on how environmental pressures drive population structures and evolution. He currently co-manages an EPA/ FDEP grant for J. Cho. The project goal is to assess the effectiveness of living shorelines at curbing nutrient pollution along waterfront properties within the Mosquito Lagoon watershed, and to assess the utility of in situ living shorelines as tools for public education.
California State University-Monterey Bay
California State University-Monterey Bay
Chapman Science Academic Center, Rm. S313
5108 Fourth Avenue, Marina, CA 93933
Dr. Corey Garza
Dr. Garza is an assistant professor in the Division of Science and Environmental Policy at CSU Monterey Bay. He received my B.Sc. in Biology from CSU Los Angeles and his Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology from UC Santa Barbara. He has also held postdoctoral positions with the USEPA Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program and the Center for Environmental Analysis at CSU Los Angeles. Prior to arriving at CSUMB he was a research ecologist with NOAA. As a NOAA scientist he served as a scientific liaison to and chief scientist for the USEPA Long Island Sound Study. His research interests are in the area of marine landscape ecology. Currently he serves as Co-Director of the CSU COAST Geospatial Research, Education and Technology Network (GREAT). He uses GIS modeling and spatial statistics to study how habitat complexity can affect the relationship between physical forcing factors and patterns of species distribution and abundance in subtidal and intertidal marine communities. He also studies scale dependence in the relationship between physical forcing factors and patterns of species distribution and abundance.
Jackson State University
Jackson State University
JAP Science Bldg. Rm. 335
1400 John R. Lynch St.
Jackson, MS 39217
Dr. Timothy Turner
Turner, who earned his Bachelor of Science degree in biology from JSU in 1981, began his new role July 1, 2015. Previously, Turner worked for Tuskegee University, where he served six years as deputy director of Research and Training for its National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care. Also, he was program director of the Center for Biomedical Research/Research Centers in Minority Institutions for five years. He also was lead principal investigator for Morehouse School of Medicine/Tuskegee University/University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center Partnership for 11 years.
Dr. Brent Thoma
Texas A&M University Corpus Christi
Texas A&M University Corpus Christi
6300 Ocean Dive.
Harte Research Institute
Corpus Christi, TX 78412
Dr. Paul Montagna
HRI Chair for HydroEcology
In 2006, Dr. Montagna joined the HRI Team. He focuses on how organisms control and regulate marine ecosystems and coastal environments. This work is critical in guiding resource management decisions. He and his team closely examine bottom-living organisms and the various attributes of water quality. The increasingly important relationships between humans and the environment are considered in detail through his studies as he looks at the environmental flows, nutrients, and the ultimate impact on marine life.
He adapts his research to the real world by building relationships with business and industry. In the fall of 2009, "Shell Bank," the oyster shell recycling program, launched in partnership with local restaurants and the Port of Corpus Christi. Projects such as these recognize the need for cooperation and education of all of the stakeholders.
Dr. David Yoskowitz
Senior Executive Director and Endowed Chair for Socio-Economics
Dr. David Yoskowitz serves as the Senior Executive Director of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies (HRI) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Yoskowitz is the third director of the institute and was chosen to lead HRI in July of 2020.
Yoskowitz has spent much of his career on the A&M-Corpus Christi campus, holding both faculty and administrative positions over the past 18 years. He previously served as HRI’s Associate Director for Research, Policy, and Development, and was chosen as one of the institute’s founding chairs as HRI’s Endowed Chair for Socio-Economics. Yoskowitz also held the position of Chief Economist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (2014-2015), where he co-chaired an interagency task force under the auspices of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy that developed a research agenda around coastal green infrastructure and ecosystem services. Also, working with the NOAA Social Science Committee he helped develop the agency’s first Social Science Vision and Strategy.
As an economist, Yoskowitz came to HRI with interest and experience in applying a unique skillset to coastal, ocean, and watershed issues. HRI gave him the opportunity to integrate his work with his natural science colleagues to examine critical environmental and resilience issues of the Gulf of Mexico. His work has focused on elucidating the link between environmental well-being and human well-being and moving practice into policy — he has worked to inventory and value ecosystem services for the Gulf of Mexico region and quantify the impact of sea-level rise on coastal community resiliency. Though based here in Corpus Christi, his research has taken him through much of North and Central America including Cuba, Nicaragua, Belize, El Salvador, and Mexico.
Yoskowitz serves as Vice Chair of Indifly, which is dedicated to using recreational fisheries to create sustainable livelihoods for indigenous peoples around the world. Yoskowitz also served on the National Research Council Committee on the Effects of the Deepwater Horizon Mississippi Canyon-252 Oil Spill on Ecosystem Services in the Gulf of Mexico. He previously sat on the SocioEconomic Scientific and Statistical Committee for the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.
Dr. Dale Gawlik
Endowed Chair for Conservation & Biodiversity
Dr. Dale Gawlik is Endowed Chair for Conservation and Biodiversity at the Harte Research Institute at Texas A&M Corpus Christi and a Professor in the Department of Life Sciences. His research focuses on waterbird ecology and conservation, wetland and intertidal ecosystems, restoration ecology, and the use of birds in aquatic ecosystem management. He has published over 80 papers, many focused on how hydrologic processes in coastal and freshwater ecosystems control wading bird populations. He and his students have developed heron, stork, and ibis habitat models that link bird populations to the hydrologic management and restoration of the Everglades of Florida. Dale is a Fellow in the American Ornithological Society and he serves on the IUCN Heron Specialists Group and IUCN Stork, Ibis, and Spoonbill Specialist Group. He also is a member of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wood Stork Working Group and the International Reddish Egret Working Group. Dale has held elected leadership positions in professional ornithological and scientific societies, including the Association of Field Ornithologists, Waterbird Society, Wilson Ornithological Society, and the Florida Chapter of the Wildlife Society.
Dr. James Gibeaut
Endowed Chair for Coastal and Marine Geospatial Sciences
Dr. James Gibeaut is the Endowed Chair for Coastal and Marine Geospatial Sciences at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies (HRI) at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi. He earned a B.S. in geology from Ohio State University, a M.S. in coastal geology from the University of Rhode Island, and a Ph.D. in Marine Science from the University of South Florida. He is a coastal geologist who uses optical, radar, and lidar remote sensing, GIS, and field surveys to measure and understand coastal change. He has studied shorelines in a variety of locations including Rhode Island, Florida, Texas, Alaska, Honduras, Venezuela, Brazil, and Saudi Arabia. Currently, his main research focus is modeling the effects of relative sea-level rise and storms on coastal systems and projecting future change. His Coastal and Marine Geospatial Lab at HRI is also developing web applications and scientific data repositories for the dissemination of research results.
Dr. Xinping Hu
HRI Chair for Ecosystem Science & Modeling
Dr. Hu joined the Harte Research Institute in September 2020 and also serves as an associate professor in the Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Dr. Hu’s research focuses on a wide variety of topics that are centered on the carbon cycle science in estuarine, coastal, and oceanic environments. Using high precision water chemistry analyses, stable isotopes, as well as modeling techniques, Hu’s research examines ocean and estuarine carbon fluxes and acidification, hydrological controls on estuarine biogeochemistry, long-term changes in ocean margin carbon dioxide levels, and hypoxia-related issues in both estuaries and the coastal ocean.
As a National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) awardee, Dr. Hu is committed to training the next generation of marine scientists, especially those from underprivileged and underrepresented backgrounds.
Dr. Jennifer Beseres Pollack
HRI Chair for Coastal Conservation & Restoration
Dr. Pollack joined the Harte Research Institute in September 2018. Through her research, Dr. Pollack aims to provide science-based information to support resource management and conservation efforts and improve sustainability of coastal ecosystems. She examines the proficiency of restored habitats in replacing lost ecological functions, including water filtration, provision of nursery and feeding habitat for fish and invertebrates, shoreline stabilization, and enhancement of biodiversity. Because healthy habitats support productive coastal environments and resilient coastal communities, she and her team conduct extensive field research in oyster reef, salt marsh, Serpulid worm reef, and offshore oil platform habitats.
Dr. Greg Stunz
Endowed Chair for Fisheries and Ocean Health and Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation Director
Dr. Stunz joined Harte Research Institute in September 2007. With his experience in the classroom as a Professor of Marine Biology, he understands the importance of leveraging real world data with academic experience. He focuses on where fish are, how they interact with their habitats, and the vital role of the estuaries and near-shore waters. He brings an understanding of the consequences of natural and man-made behaviors to these vital resources. Because healthy oceans are critical for human health, Dr. Stunz conducts extensive field research in those areas. Whether getting "hands-on" with sharks, examining the how artificial reefs enhance the marine environment, or gathering data to develop sound sport fishing regulations, Dr. Stunz's research provides an objective foundation to build sound policy.
Dr. Michael Wetz
HRI Chair for Coastal Ecosystem Processes
Dr. Wetz is a broadly trained marine scientist, with expertise in phytoplankton ecology and water quality studies. While grounded in aspects of coastal ecology, Wetz also conducts applied research aimed at solving vexing regional environmental problems. Recognizing that these problems are complex, and that solutions will often require balancing environmental as well as human (incl. economic) needs, Wetz strives to provide a sound scientific basis for stakeholder-led restoration/management efforts that gives due consideration to both human and environmental needs. In recognition of these efforts, Wetz has received several awards from local conservation entities, including:
- Conservationist of the Year; awarded by the Coastal Conservation Association in recognition of water quality research and stakeholder-based restoration planning that Wetz led in Baffin Bay, and
- Higher Education Award, awarded by the Coastal Bend Bays Foundation for "dedication to conservation of Coastal Bend bays and estuaries, namely Oso and Baffin Bays, through development of programs designed to assess water quality conditions in these systems".
Wetz led a volunteer water quality sampling program in Baffin Bay for 4 years. Results from that study are now guiding watershed restoration and protection efforts that are being coordinated by the Baffin Bay Stakeholder group, which Wetz co-chairs. Wetz is a member of the Nueces Estuary Advisory Council, a stakeholder group that is tasked with assessing the effectiveness of the water management strategies in the Nueces River Basin. Wetz is also a member of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Water Resources team, which focuses on understanding and reducing water quality problems in the Gulf of Mexico region. Finally, Wetz currently serves as Associate Editor for the journal Gulf & Caribbean Research.
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
One West University Blvd.
Brownsville, TX 78520
Dr. David Hicks
Dr. Hicks' research interests include the biology, ecology, physiological ecology and environmental biology of estuarine and marine invertebrates, particularly of mollusks and corals. His current research projects range from the restoration of Bahia Grande in the lower Rio Grande Valley, to monitoring invertebrate and fish communities in natural and artificial reefs.
Dr. Carlos E. Cintra-Buenrostro
Dr. Cintra's research interest includes the biotic response to environmental change and habitat restoration using stable isotope analyses, and the biogeography, ecology, taxonomy, and paleontology of marine organisms. He is also involved in the development and monitoring of artificial reefs in south Texas.
Dr. Alejandro Fierro-Cabo
Dr. Fierro's research interests include biotic interactions determinant for natural or assisted ecosystem recovery, and the assessment of ecological status of reconstructed or degrading systems based on functional and structural attributes. His current research involves mangroves, estuaries, and other costal habitats.
Dr. Owen F. Temby
Dr. Temby's research interests include North American environmental politics and policy, social-ecological systems gorvernance, and ecosystem-based management. His current research examines the presence of, and prospects for, the ecosystem-based management of the Gulf of Mexico fisheries.
Dr. John "Chip" Breier
Dr. Breier's is a marine chemist and ocean engineer. His research focus is in chemical and energy transfer across the ocean using autonomous vehicles, custom sensors, and robotic sampling systems he develops. His areas of interest include coastlines and sea-floor along volcanic and tectonic features.
Dr. Erin Easton
Dr. Easton's research focus is on benthic ecology, biodiversity, biogeography, and connectivity studies of deep-sea and mesophotic communities using taxonomic and molecular tools. Her current projects include studies of the mesophotic communities of the Southeast Pacific and at the south Texas Banks.