Connect with us:
Follow The Coastal Society on Twitter   Find The Coastal Society on Facebook   Find The Coastal Society on Instagram
Photo: Saw Palmetto, Palm Coast, Florida (USA). Courtesy of TCS Member

Board of Directors - Bios



Lewis L. Lawrence III serves as the Executive Director for the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission (MPPDC) as well as Secretary and lead planner for the Middle Peninsula Chesapeake Bay Public Access Authority (PAA). Lewie has grown up on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia and is continuing his family's tradition of public service and protecting the bay's health. His entire professional career has focused on coastal zone management for the community his family has resided in for three centuries. Lewie serves as the Executive Director for the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission, representing 9 coastal local governments. Recipient of numerous national and state awards for innovation in community planning and problem solving at the local and regional level, Lewie specializes in applied local and regional planning and policy development. Recent accomplishments include institutionalizing a program for private waterfront land donation for public benefit. Millions of dollars of private waterfront land accounting for hundreds of acres of multi-jurisdictional land is being gifted for public benefit for recreational use, sea level rise adaptation, and coastal resiliency planning. Additionally, Lewie was responsible for connecting conservation easement land valuation to state aid for K-12 education funding. Improvements to the land taxing, easement valuation and reporting processes resulted in additional K-12 state funding to local governments.

MATT NIXON (Past-President)

Matt Nixon is the Assistant Director of the Maine Coastal Zone Management Program where he has worked since 2008. Matt is responsible for assisting in the oversight of the administrative functions of the Program, directs the State of Maine's seafloor mapping program, provides leadership on public access to the coast and working waterfront preservation, and is a master of bureaucratic paperwork.

Matt received a Masters of Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island in 2008, a Masters of Public Policy and Management from the University of Southern Maine, Muskie School of Public Service in 2012 and is currently enrolled in a joint PhD program at the University of Maine in Oceanography and Marine Geology.

Matt lives in Maine with his wife, 11 month old boy, two dogs, a cat, five hens, and a rooster.


Dr. Jolvan Morris is a post-doctoral research fellow at NOAA's Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center at Savannah State University (SSU). In her position, Jolvan assists students in graduate research, teaches environmental risk communication and environmental issues; coordinates professional development opportunities for marine and environmental science students. Her research interest includes environmental policy and risk management, the human dimensions of environmental science, environmental justice, and environmental literacy. Jolvan's master's thesis focused on evaluating the biological and sociological issues surrounding the management of protected sturgeon species under the Endangered Species Act. Her doctoral research used socio-environmental synthesis to address compliance, participation, and environmental justice issues in the Gulf of Mexico shrimp fishery. Jolvan's current work focuses on the social impacts of fisheries and fishing in coastal communities along the Gullah Geechee heritage corridor in the Southeastern United States. Like other natural places, coastal landscapes house stories, values, and social relations that are key to the survival of cultural identities connected to ocean resources. This work incorporates multi-methodological approaches to study sociocultural place and environmental attachment and traditional ecological knowledge.



Susan Farady is an Assistant Professor of Ocean Studies and Marine Affairs at the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine. She teaches courses in interdisciplinary marine law and policy, oversees curriculum offerings, and researches ocean governance and marine spatial planning issues.

Previously, she was the Director of the Marine Affairs Institute and the Rhode Island Sea Grant Legal Program, and adjunct faculty at the Roger Williams University School of Law. In that capacity, she was responsible for the education, outreach and research programs of the Institute, including the joint degree program with the University of Rhode Island Department of Marine Affairs, activities with Rhode Island Sea Grant, and marine affairs curriculum and outreach activities at the School of Law. Ms. Farady has published and presented on marine protected areas, the National Marine Sanctuary Act and marine governance reform, regularly presents on marine policy and law topics, and is co-author of a textbook, Marine and Coastal Law (2d ed. 2010).

Prior to joining Roger Williams, she opened and directed the New England office of The Ocean Conservancy, where she worked on marine ecosystem conservation initiatives and ocean governance reform. Her other experience includes five years as a practicing attorney, positions in marine biology research, and four years as professional crew aboard sail training vessels and yachts. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in biology from the University of Colorado, participated in the SEA (Sea Education Association) program, received her J.D. from Vermont Law School, and serves as an advisor to several government, non-profit, and academic bodies engaged in marine and environmental issues.


Michelle serves as a Biologist and National Transportation Liaison with NOAA Fisheries, Office of Protected Resources. In her position, she facilitates the internal coordination of transportation research and innovations, and works to integrate NOAA Fisheries' key stewardship initiatives into transportation planning processes, legislation, and regulatory language. Prior to joining NOAA, Michelle served as the Assistant Director of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO), a multi-state Regional Ocean Partnership working on shared regional priorities, including the implementation of regional ocean planning, climate change adaptation, marine habitat protection, sustainable offshore renewable energy development, and ocean water quality improvements. She previously managed a one-year study with The Nature Conservancy to identify new and innovative financing strategies and policies to fund ocean and coastal conservation, restoration, and planning initiatives; she also served as an ecologist with an environmental consulting firm in Portland, Oregon where she ensured regulatory compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, and Clean Water Act. Her other experiences include supporting nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, and government agencies on issues related to Chesapeake Bay restoration, conservation finance, climate change policy, and ecotoxicology.

Michelle holds a B.S. in Marine Biology from the University of Maryland, a M.S. in Biology (Ecology and Conservation Biology) from Towson University, and a Graduate Certificate in GIS from Portland State University. As a board member, Michelle aims to apply her fundraising and operational skills to explore sustainable funding opportunities for TCS.


Steven MacLeod is an Environmental Scientist with Ecology and Environment, Inc. (E & E) in Buffalo, New York. Since 2011, he has primarily assisted clients along the U.S. Gulf and East Coasts with environmental assessments, coastal consistency analyses and permit applications for onshore and offshore natural gas and electric transmission lines, as well as renewable energy projects (wind, solar, marine hydrokinetic).

Before joining E & E, Steve was employed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in Tallahassee, Florida. As part of FDEP's Bureau of Beaches and Coastal Systems, Steve coordinated the evaluation for local and federal shoreline protection projects such as beach nourishment and sand bypass operations primarily along the Atlantic Coast. He was also responsible for reviewing dredge/fill projects in intracoastal waterways and deepwater ports throughout the state, including analyses of potential impacts on water quality and biological resources.

Steve holds a B.S. in Physics from the University of Puget Sound and a M.S. in Oceanography (Coastal Zone Management) from the Florida Institute of Technology. He has been a member of The Coastal Society since 2004. As a board member, Steve would like to enhance the role of physical, biological and ecological research in TCS forums. He also aims to heighten TCS member awareness of the Great Lakes coastal system and increase TCS membership in the Great Lakes region.


Caitlyn is a communication specialist with NOAA's Office for Coastal Management in Charleston, South Carolina. She designs outreach plans for a variety of data, tools, training, and resources for coastal managers and uses social media, press releases, newsletters, and other communications tools to ensure these managers have the information they need to be successful. She holds a masters degree in coastal environmental management from Duke University and a bachelor of science in marine science from the University of South Carolina.

Caitlyn began her involvement with The Coastal Society in graduate school at Duke University. As president of the student chapter, she oversaw the execution of the Duke Triathlon, numerous Blue Drinks, and other student events. Upon graduating, she continued volunteering for the society as Communications Committee Chair. For the first partnership between the society and Restore America's Estuaries, she was Summit planning co-lead and marketing lead. For Summit 2016, she is program committee lead.


Dr. Tiffany Smythe is a Coastal Management Extension Specialist with the Coastal Resources Center/Rhode Island Sea Grant College Program and an Adjunct Professor of Marine Affairs at the University of Rhode Island. She conducts applied research, outreach, and training on a broad range of ocean and coastal management issues. Smythe specializes in ocean planning, marine ecosystem-based management, marine transportation, and climate-resilient working waterfronts. As a CRC staff member, Tiffany co-authored and co-facilitated the Rhode Island Ocean Special Area Management Plan (Ocean SAMP), one of the nation's first ocean plans which led to the siting of the nation's first offshore wind farm in Rhode Island waters. As a scholar, Tiffany is a social scientist who has published research on topics including extreme storms and marine transportation system recovery, collaboration and social networks, and the practice of marine ecosystem-based management.

Tiffany began her career in marine education and has worked in the academic, non-profit and government sectors on topics ranging from oyster aquaculture and restoration to the impacts of Hurricane Sandy on the Port of New York and New Jersey. Tiffany has master's and Ph.D. degrees in Marine Affairs from URI as well as bachelor and master's degrees from Columbia University. She is also a U.S. Coast Guard-licensed ship captain and a Senior Fellow with the Environmental Leadership Program. She lives well above sea level, but with a winter-only water view if you stand in just the corner of the house, in the seaport town of Mystic, Connecticut.


Dr. Erika Washburn is the Manager of the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve in Superior, Wisconsin. An environmental anthropologist specializing in the application of social science to challenges at the intersection of society, water and coastal systems, Erika has worked in not for profits, academia and government at multiple levels both in the US and abroad. In her role as LSNERR Manager, she is helping to lead the newest of the NERRs in integrating the social sciences into research, monitoring and educational programs.

Erika's professional experience is at multiple scales in natural and cultural resource management, climate adaptation, planning and policy. She holds degrees in marine biology and archaeology from Boston University, with training at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Lab and in the terrestrial archaeology of ancient coastal areas in Greece. She received a Master's in Anthropology at Texas A&M, specializing in maritime archeology and submerged cultural resources with field work in North America and Europe. The recipient of a Fulbright and a NOAA National Estuarine Research Reserve Social Science Fellowship, Erika completed her Ph.D. in the University of New Hampshire's Natural Resources and Earth Systems Science program. Her research focused on land use decision making and participatory action research in coastal watersheds, for which she was awarded NOAA's 2010 Walter B. Jones Award for Excellence.

Erika's previous work included serving in the Michigan chapter of The Nature Conservancy as a Coastal Conservation Planner for western Lake Erie. She worked within the EPA's Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds and served as Archaeological Director for the Great Lakes Historical Society, where she strengthened capacity the public in maritime cultural resource management. In Europe, Erika worked at Southern Denmark University, performing research and collaborating with the Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation and related North Sea partners on coastal science, management and the role of the public. Erika worked for NOAA - first as a Knauss Fellow in International Affairs in Washington and then as the NOAA Lakewide Management Plan Coordinator for the Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She is active in many professional organizations and serves on the Board of Directors of The Coastal Society.

Erika has deep family ties across the Midwest, west coast and Rockies. She grew up both in San Diego and on a Michigan farm, where she first began exploring the great outdoors.