Board of Directors - Bios
CAITLYN MCCRARY (President)
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.
JOLVAN MORRIS (Secretary)
Dr. Jolvan Morris is an Environmental Specialist in support of NOAA Fisheries at the Greater Atlantic Region Fisheries Office (GARFO). In her position, she works as the coordinator for Students Collaborating to Undertake Tracking Efforts for Sturgeon (SCUTES), the sturgeon outreach program located in GARFO's Protected Resources Division. The SCUTES program is a collaboration between NOAA Fisheries, sturgeon researchers, teachers, and informal educators to bring more awareness about sturgeon and the Endangered Species Act to the classroom.
Jolvan holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from Florida A&M University School of the Environment and a B.S. in Geography from Florida State University. Her research interest included environmental policy and risk management, the human dimensions of environmental science, environmental justice, and environmental literacy. Her involvement with The Coastal Society began as a student presenter at the 2012 TCS Conference. Upon graduating, she re-connected with TCS as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Savannah State University and began service as TCS Secretary in 2016.
VANESSA MEER (Treasurer)
Vanessa Meer has an interdisciplinary background in coastal environments, green building (including LEED, LID strategies, and Brownfield redevelopment), and sustainable business practices. Her experience includes environmental and geotechnical engineering and project management at the multidisciplinary engineering firm, YU & Associates, where she worked on ecological assessments, remediation and transportation projects. She has trained professionals for their LEED AP and Green Associate exams and done independent consulting. Vanessa was also an adjunct professor at Berkeley College in Manhattan - where she taught environmental conservation, an associate at Green Drinks NYC - where she organized social networking events for environmental professionals, and Manager of Water, Energy, and Environmental Services at Living City Block Brooklyn Gowanus - where she supervised technical and managerial aspects of cutting-edge redevelopment ideas for block-scale sustainability measures along the Superfund Site of the Gowanus Canal and spearheaded community outreach activities. Vanessa has been volunteering with The Coastal Society since she was a graduate student at Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment, taking on increasing leadership roles - first within the Education Committee and now, as Co-Chair of the Programs Initiative Committee. Vanessa has helped organize professional development events at the previous two TCS conferences. While Vanessa does not have formal accounting experience, she has dealt with financial aspects of project management at both YU & Associates and Living City Block - setting and tracking budgets, soliciting payments and making sure bills were paid on time - and has worked closely with accounting teams to ensure that project and company records were accurate and up to date. Vanessa is currently serving her second year as Treasurer.
LEWIS L. LAWRENCE III (Past-President)
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.
Dr. Kimberly (Lellis) Dibble is a Research Biologist with the USGS Southwest Biological Science Center, Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center in Flagstaff, Arizona. Her current research program investigates how dam management practices, specifically their impact on flow and water temperature, influence salmonid population dynamics in regulated rivers across the western United States. She also uses biochemical indicators to quantify the influence of anthropogenic and natural stressors on fish physiology, life history patterns, and food webs. While Kim currently works on inland fishery issues, she considers herself to be an ecosystem ecologist, working at the interface between freshwater, estuarine, and marine habitats used by fish and aquatic organisms.
Kim has a unique background in both applied science and public policy, having earned a MA in Marine Affairs in 2004 and a PhD in Biological and Environmental Science in 2012, both from the University of Rhode Island. Her master's degree was focused on regulatory planning for new fishery development in the Arctic due to climate change. Shifting gears toward research, her doctoral studies were focused on quantifying the effects of tidal restrictions and plant invasions on energy flow through salt marsh food webs. She also investigated how salt marsh health influences the physiological condition of resident fish species inhabiting marshes spanning Rhode Island to Maine.
Kim has been a member of TCS since 2004 when she joined the society as a graduate student at the University of Rhode Island. Her involvement at the chapter level led to a post-graduate joint internship between TCS and the NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation. The TCS internship jump-started Kim's career and eventually led to a permanent federal position as a Marine Habitat Resource Specialist. In this capacity she supported regulatory efforts to protect and restore coastal habitats while working on projects to ensure successful diadromous fish passage around hydropower dams. While working for NOAA she continued working with TCS, serving as an ex-officio Board Member and as co-chair of the Special Projects Committee. In this capacity she helped raise money for the TCS Coastal Resource Recovery Fundraiser to support habitat restoration and protection projects in the Gulf of Mexico stemming from the impacts of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. After a short hiatus, Kim joined the TCS Board in 2017 to dip her feet back into coastal issues and looks forward to using her experience to help shape the future of the organization.
Kim works at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources as an ocean, climate, and data specialist in Maryland's Coastal Zone Management program. She began her involvement with The Coastal Society in 2014 as a graduate student at Duke University, and has served on the TCS Communications Subcommittee since 2015. Kim's early interest in the environment led her to obtain a B.Sc. in environmental studies and international studies from the University of Kansas. After some time traveling and realizing her passion for protecting the ocean and coasts, she went on to pursue an M.E.M. in coastal environmental management from Duke. Her graduate training led to a NOAA Coastal Management Fellowship in Maryland. Kim now works with federal, state, tribal, and local partners to advance shared regional priorities, including designating a national marine sanctuary, implementing the Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Action Plan, informing Maryland climate change policy, and strengthening the use of spatial data in coastal and marine habitat protection and restoration projects. With TCS, she promises to bring fresh, thoughtful perspective and cultivate creative ways we can better connect people to the marine environment.
Michelle serves as a Senior Policy Analyst with NOAA Fisheries, Office of Habitat Conservation. In her position, she leads efforts to analyze and influence policies that intersect with the conservation of habitat for sustainable fisheries and recovery of protected species. In her previous position at NOAA, she served as the National Transportation Liaison with the Office of Protected Resources. Prior to joining NOAA, Michelle served as the Assistant Director with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO), a multi-state Regional Ocean Partnership working on shared regional priorities, including 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 Environmental Science Associates 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.
Jill Meyer is Division Director of Ocean and Coastal Services at Lynker Technologies, LLC, a small business specializing in professional, scientific and technical services with offices in Leesburg, Virginia, Kailua, HI, and Boulder, Colorado. Lynker offers expertise in marine-based fisheries research, coastal habitat conservation, operational coastal product delivery, and ecosystem-driven marine resources management. Prior to moving to Lynker earlier this year, Jill was Director of Natural Resource Management at CSS-Dynamac. Ms. Meyer has dedicated her 25 year professional career to coastal and marine conservation as a field scientist researching sea turtle nesting, wetlands, and water quality and later overseeing federal coastal conservation and fisheries program contracts. Having grown up in the Great Lakes region, she had an early and deep connection to coastal and water resources that instilled a life-long dedication to coastal science and conservation. She holds a M.S. degree in Marine Science with a focus on resource management and policy from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. Her extensive technical experience covers coastal management and restoration, coastal field data collection and monitoring, coral reef conservation, fisheries management, and spill response and restoration. She has managed projects and directed administrative and financial operations in the private sector and for federal government contracts with agencies including National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), National Park Service (NPS), and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Ms. Meyer's TCS involvement has grown from participant and presenter at conferences, to actively supporting TCS Coastal Career Days, and serving as the TCS Development Committee Co-Chair.
Avery has been a TCS member for several years, beginning as a student liaison for the Duke University chapter to the Board and then as a Director on our Board in 2017. After earning her M.Sc. from Duke University, Avery worked as a research associate for Ocean Policy at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC. Her focus was on domestic and international marine affairs, especially sustainable fisheries management and coastal land use practices. She recently moved to Massachusetts where she now works with the Global Aquaculture Alliance's Best Aquaculture Practices Group. In her new capacity, Avery will be helping to enhance environmental and social accountability standards for farmed seafood.
Dr. Tiffany Smythe is a Marine Research Associate with the Coastal Resources Center/Rhode Island Sea Grant College Program and an Adjunct Professor of Marine Affairs at the University of Rhode Island. Smythe is a marine policy specialist and social scientist who conducts applied research, outreach, and training on a broad range of ocean and coastal management issues. She specializes in marine governance, ocean planning, offshore renewable energy, coastal climate resilience, and marine ecosystem-based management. 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. She is currently co-Principal Investigator of a U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management-funded project analyzing the effects of the Block Island Wind Farm on Rhode Island recreation and tourism, and of a Sea Grant-funded project analyzing the effects of the wind farm on the recreational fishing community. She is also co-authoring Rhode Island's Shoreline Change Special Area Management Plan (Beach SAMP).
Tiffany has worked on marine issues for over 20 years. She 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 both current and projected future sea level, but with a winter-only water view (if you stand in just the right corner of the house), in the seaport town of Mystic, Connecticut.