Who We Are

Principal Investigators

Lydia Olander

Director, Ecosystem Services Program, Nicholas Institute

Christine Shepard

Director of Science, Gulf of Mexico Program, The Nature Conservancy

Heather Tallis

Bridge Collaborative

David Yoskowitz

Associate Director and Endowed Chair for Socio-Economics, Harte Research Institute

Support Staff

Kara Coffey

Research Associate, Harte Research Institute

Christine Hale

Program Manager, Harte Research Institute

Rachel Karasik

Policy Associate, Nicholas Institute

Sara Mason

Policy Associate, Nicholas Institute

Katie Warnell

Policy Associate, Nicholas Institute

Katya Wowk

Senior Associate for Strategic Planning and Policy, Harte Research Institute

Advisory Council

Bill Balboa, Matagorda Bay Foundation
Emily Blejwas, Gulf States Health Policy Center
Laura Bowie, Gulf of Mexico Alliance
Mike Donahue, AECOM
Steve Giordano, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Jennifer Harper, Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Amy Hunter, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Annamarie Lopata, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
David Muth, National Wildlife Federation
Jim Pahl, Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority
George Ramseur, Mississippi Department of Marine Resources
Edmond J. Russo, Jr., United States Army Corps of Engineers
Paul Sandifer, College of Charleston, Hollings Marine Laboratory
Richard Seiler, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
Gregory Steyer, United States Geological Survey
Buck Sutter, Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (RESTORE Council)
Kristin Tracz, Walton Family Foundation
Mark Woodrey, Mississippi State University

Participating Organizations

Members of the following organizations have participated in the GEMS process via in-person workshops, online surveys, and/or phone interviews:

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resource
Alabama Department of Public Health, Seafood and Safety
Auburn University
Barnes, Ferland and Associates (BFA) Environmental Consulting
Belaire Environmental, Inc.
Beyond Borders Outfitters Fishing Charters
Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program
Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana
Dauphin Island Sea Lab
Environmental Protection Agency's National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory
Florida Atlantic University
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Florida Sea Grant
Galveston Bay Estuary Program
Galveston Bay Foundation
Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Gulf of Mexico Alliance 
Houston Wilderness
Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation
Lee County Division of Natural Resources-Marine Services
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Louisiana Sea Grant
Louisiana State University 
Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality 
Mississippi Department of Marine Resources
Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant
Mobile Bay National Estuary Program
Mobile Bay Oyster Gardening Program
NOAA Office for Coastal Management 
NOAA Gulf of Mexico Integrated Ecosystem Assessment Program
NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service
Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation
Sea Grant Oyster Hatchery 
Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council
Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
The Nature Conservancy
The Water Institute of the Gulf of Mexico
University of Florida
University of Houston
University of New Orleans - Canizaro Livingston Gulf States Center for Environmental Informatics
University of North Carolina at Wilmington
University of Southern Mississippi’s Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Center
Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast
Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
World's Finest Oysters