Board of Directors – Bios



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 President-Elect, Steve will support the current efforts of the TCS board and officers to establish the Margaret A. Davidson Career Development Program as a mainstay of the Society. He will also encourage further committee initiatives to modernize and streamline TCS, e.g., through social media outreach and student chapter communications, to better serve our members and ultimately grow our TCS community in the years to come.

CAITLYN MCCRARY (Past President)

Caitlyn McCrary is a communication specialist with NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management in Charleston, South Carolina on contract with The Baldwin Group. She designs outreach plans for a variety of data, tools, training, and resources for coastal professionals and uses social media, press releases, newsletters, and other communications tools to ensure these professionals have the information they need to be successful. She holds a master’s 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 was the program committee lead.


Avery Siciliano is a Corporate Responsibility Manager at the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices certification program. In this role, Avery fosters sustainable seafood supply chains by creating environmental and social accountability standards for farmed seafood. In addition, she works with aquaculture facilities across the globe to ensure human rights and environmental laws are being followed. Prior to her role at Best Aquaculture Practices, Avery worked as a research associate for ocean policy at the Center for American Progress and as a sustainable seafood fellow at Oceana in Washington, D.C. Her focus was on domestic and international marine affairs, especially sustainable fisheries management and coastal land use practices.

Avery holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Vassar College and a master’s degree in environmental economics and policy from Duke University. For her master’s project she developed a toolkit for project managers interested in creating blue carbon pilot projects. She has been involved with The Coastal Society for more than four years, first as President of the Duke University Student Chapter, then serving as a student liaison to the Board, and now as a Director on TCS Board. Avery is currently serving her first year as Secretary.


Christopher Katalinas is the Grants and Agreements Coordinator with NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management (OCM) in Charleston, South Carolina on contract with Lynker. He serves as the administrative point of contact for a variety of matters related to OCM financial assistance, including maintaining and improving internal controls for grants management; monitoring the timely submission of performance and financial reports; and tracking the obligation of federal grant funds appropriated annually. One of his major accomplishments involved setting up a tracking spreadsheet that pulled data from multiple excel sheets to provide summary statistics of grant obligations in real-time. Christopher is also responsible for maintaining extensive records of active and expired interagency agreements, as well as providing technical support to OCM’s program officers to ensure compliance with federal regulations and NOAA policies as they pertain to financial assistance. Christopher holds a M.S. in Marine Biology from the College of Charleston and a B.S. in Biology from Dickinson College. Christopher is new to The Coastal Society, but is very passionate about promoting communication and education about coastal management issues.



Tom Bigford has been a Coastal Society member since 1976, when he was in graduate school at the University of Rhode Island. During his 43 years as a member he has served on the Board as Secretary, Director (3 terms), President (1 term), and the Society’s first Executive Director (3 years). He edited the Society’s Bulletin for 16 years, chaired the biennial conference in Boston in 1988, and edited the conference proceedings twice. Additionally, he has served for 18 years as the Society’s representative on the editorial board of its official journal, Coastal Management. Most recently he has been an active member of the Society’s Development Committee and its effort to launch “The Coastal Society’s Margaret A. Davidson Coastal Career Development Program” in late 2018. The TCS Best Student Paper and Best Student Poster awards are named in his honor and for his commitment to the next generation of coastal practitioners.

Tom is retired from his first career (38 years) with the Environmental Protection Agency (3 years) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (35 years). Throughout his federal career he worked in coastal and marine environmental protection offices in Massachusetts, Washington state, and Washington, DC. After his federal retirement, he was hired by the American Fisheries Society to establish a Policy Program; he retired from that position after nearly 4 years in early 2018. He currently focuses his energies on TCS activities, as the most recent past-President of the AFS Fish Habitat Section, and a member of the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation’s Policy Committee.

Tom received his bachelor’s degree in Fish Biology from Michigan State University, a Master’s of Science in Marine Ecology from the University of Rhode Island, and a Master’s of Marine Affairs also from URI. He is an Adjunct Instructor at Michigan State.


Jeff Flood is a Coastal Planner with the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program in Richmond, Virginia. In this capacity, he works with several state agencies as well as regional and local governments to administer enforceable policies that protect coastal resources and foster sustainable development in the coastal areas of the Commonwealth. His principle duties include program review, policy formulation, grant proposal writing and administration, and providing technical assistance to local governments. Jeff also provides subject matter expertise on shellfish aquaculture and coastal habitat restoration, acquired from undergraduate internships, graduate research, and his previous position with Wetland Studies and Solutions, an environmental consulting firm in Virginia Beach.

Jeff holds a master’s degree in marine policy from the University of Delaware and a Bachelor’s of Science in marine biology from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Collectively, Jeff uses his interdisciplinary educational and professional background on a daily basis to work with both Federal and local government partners, bringing a unique perspective to TCS on how policy success stories at the local level can help inform state-wide and national initiatives.

Jeff began his involvement in TCS as a senior in high school when he attended the 2006 conference in St. Pete Beach, Florida – the first of many TCS conferences he would go on to participate in. At that conference, Jeff administered a career survey which he had developed with the help of current Board member Tom Bigford, then working for NOAA. The survey results and advice from numerous mentors over the years have been instrumental in directing Jeff’s coastal career path and he hopes to guide the development of the next generation of coastal professionals by helping to organize and participate in Margaret A. Davidson (MAD) career development workshops.


Kim Grubert recently relocated to Colorado where she is an advocate and leader for climate action and environmental protection. Formerly, Kim worked at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Chesapeake & Coastal Service as a Coastal Planner in Maryland’s Coastal Zone Management program. Kim’s early interest in environmental protection led her to obtain a B.Sc. in environmental studies and international studies from the University of Kansas, followed by an M.E.M. in coastal environmental management from the Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment. Her graduate training led to a NOAA Coastal Management Fellowship in Maryland, where she worked with federal, state, tribal, and local partners to protect and enhance the ocean and coasts. She is proud to have worked on creating the first Mid-Atlantic Ocean Action Plan and designating the Mallows Bay National Marine Sanctuary in the Potomac River. She began her involvement with The Coastal Society in 2014 as a graduate student at Duke University and served on the Communications Committee from 2015-2018. She is now the Co-Chair of the Chapters Committee and serves on the Margaret A. Davidson Coastal Career Development Program Committee.


Tricia Hooper first joined The Coastal Society in 2014 and is thrilled to serve on the Board of Directors. She is a member of the TCS Professional Development Committee, working to enhance The Coastal Society’s career development program for all coastal students and young professionals.

In her own career, Tricia supports the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as the National Ocean Service (NOS) Program Coordination Officer. In this role, she serves as the primary subject matter expert representing NOS at NOAA Headquarters, coordinating actions and engagement opportunities for the NOAA Administrator and other senior agency leadership. Previously, Tricia worked as a Policy Analyst in NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management, where she was recognized as a 2018 Outstanding Team Member of the Year.

Before beginning her career at NOAA, Tricia worked at the Natural Resources Defense Council, Duke Environmental Law and Policy Clinic, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. She holds a Master of Environmental Management from Duke University and a Bachelor of Environmental Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In her free time, Tricia enjoys traveling and spending time outdoors, especially swimming, hiking, and biking.


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.


Matt Nixon has served as both a Director and as President of the Coastal Society, in addition to serving as Co-President of the University of Rhode Island Chapter (in his diminishing youth). For over eleven years, Matt worked first as a coastal management fellow and eventually as Deputy Director of the Maine Coastal Zone Management Program. In July of 2019, Matt left the State to pursue his PhD full time and explore new opportunities. The opportunities that TCS provides in terms of networking, partnerships, education, and most importantly, lasting friendships, are the most appealing aspects of the organization. TCS connects people interested in our oceans and coasts from all over the country by providing an effective forum for discussion and learning. Matt currently lives in Topsham, Maine where he is a member of the Select Board, attends the University of Maine, grows and harvests the best cultured oysters in Maine, runs an aquaponics business, volunteers for the local food pantry, grows amazing watermelons, and is enjoying life. Matt has a master’s degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island, a master’s degree in Public Policy and Management from the University of Maine, Portland, and is currently punishing himself with a PhD in Oceanography at the University of Maine.


Geno has a broad background in coastal, estuarine and marine research and management. He has served as Coordinator for NOAA’s Southeast and Caribbean Regional Collaboration Team (part of NOAA’s Regional Collaboration Network) for the past ten years. In this capacity, he works across the agency and with partners to address regional issues and needs within NOAA’s purview. Geno has been with NOAA for 23 years, 13 with NOAA’s Coastal Services Center (now Office for Coastal Management), conducting work on coastal environmental characterizations, coastal and ocean observing systems, and science to management applications. Prior to his career with NOAA, Geno worked as Assistant Director of the Virginia Sea Grant Program and as a fisheries biologist with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. He holds degrees in Biology (B.S.) from Furman University, Marine Biology (M.S.) from the College of Charleston, and Marine Science (Ph.D.) from William and Mary. Geno has been a member of The Coastal Society for over two decades. He was a regular at TCS biennial meetings for many years, presenting often and occasionally organizing sessions.


Emily Patrolia combines environmental science and ocean policy strategies, with experience spanning from federal and state government to NGOs and the private sector. She studied ocean science and environmental policy in Delaware and Rhode Island, later working with URI’s Coastal Resources Center and Rhode Island’s Coastal Resources Management Council to craft state regulations for resilient building in the coastal zone. She later came to Washington, DC, as a Knauss Sea Grant Fellow, working as Congressional staff on the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. There, she spearheaded legislation and guided priorities at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Coast Guard. Most recently, Emily worked in the private sector, influencing federal and international policy with advocacy, partnerships, and data-driven insights. She advised clients ranging from Fortune 50 companies to small coalitions on natural resource regulations, supply chain management, and environmental and ocean legislation. Currently, she provides environmental policy consulting through her firm, ESP Advisors. Emily received my Master’s in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island and her Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies from the University of Delaware.