Project

Conserving Marine Life in the United States

Jennifer Browning

Director, Gulf Coast and U.S. Caribbean

Jennifer Browning directs Pew’s conserving marine life in the U.S. project to protect nearshore ocean ecosystems and marine life in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean and to continue building sustainability in U.S. fisheries through management of forage fish and reduction of bycatch.

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Peter Baker 

Project Director, Northern Oceans Conservation

Peter Baker directs Pew’s marine conservation work in New England and Canada’s Atlantic provinces, focusing on protecting special habitats, encouraging ecosystem-based fisheries management, and addressing the entanglement of right whales in fishing gear.

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Holly Binns

Project Director, Gulf Coast and U.S. Caribbean

Holly Binns directs Pew’s efforts to protect ocean life and coastal habitats in the Gulf of Mexico and the U.S. Caribbean Sea. This work aims to protect important habitats such as deep-sea corals and seagrass meadows as well as other valuable areas with diverse marine life.

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Joseph Gordon

Project Director, U.S. East Coast

Joseph Gordon directs Pew campaigns to protect marine life on the U.S. East Coast. He focuses on conserving fisheries and protecting and restoring seagrass, oyster beds, and other important habitats..

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Jos Hill

Project Director, U.S. West Coast

Jos Hill directs Pew’s campaigns to protect marine life on the U.S. West Coast. This includes safeguarding coastal estuaries, salt marshes, underwater kelp forests, seagrass meadows, and other important nearshore marine habitat; ensuring sustainable fishing; and protecting sensitive corals, rocky reefs, and sponges from seabed mining. 

Before joining Pew, Hill was regional program director for the Coral Reef Alliance, where she designed and led collaborative wastewater management and watershed restoration programs across the main Hawaiian Islands. She also oversaw research and development of small-scale ocean aquaculture models in Mexico, Indonesia, and Palau as executive director of Olazul, and was founder and executive director of Reef Check Australia.

Hill holds a bachelor’s degree with honors in biology (international) from the University of Leeds, England; a master’s degree in natural resource management from James Cook University, Australia; and a Master of Business Administration in sustainable management from the Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco.

Sylvia Troost

Senior Manager

Sylvia Troost is a senior manager with Pew’s conserving marine life in the United States project. Her portfolio includes advancing coastal blue carbon management strategies in state climate mitigation and adaptation efforts and helping states leverage the federal Coastal Zone Management Act in support of conservation and resilience goals. 

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David Ortiz

Manager, U.S. Caribbean

David Ortiz manages Pew’s campaigns to conserve ocean resources and coastal habitats, promote sustainable fishing practices, and transition to an ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management in the U.S. Caribbean. He is based in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Before coming to Pew, Ortiz was director and co-founder of El Puente Enlace Latino de Acción Climática, where he promoted public policy and educational activities and mobilized stakeholders in support of renewable energy. He also served as advocacy manager for Sapientis, where he focused on improving public education in Puerto Rico. In addition, he served as deputy director of MassVOTE, which works to increase voter participation in Massachusetts, and founded two youth development programs in the state. 

Ortiz holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Cambridge College and a master’s degree in public policy from Tufts University in Massachusetts.

Thomas Wheatley

Manager, Gulf Coast

Tom Wheatley manages Pew’s ocean conservation work in the Gulf of Mexico. This work aims to protect important habitats such as deep-sea corals and seagrass meadows; conserve and restore oysters; ensure sustainable fishing and robust marine food webs; and safeguard marine resources for the benefit of coastal communities, fishermen, divers, boaters, consumers, and others, and for future generations. He also managed efforts to protect Atlantic bluefin tuna in the Gulf.

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Leda Cunningham

Officer, U.S. East Coast

Leda Cunningham is an officer and policy lead for Pew’s efforts in U.S. Atlantic waters, working to protect and restore ocean resources and coastal habitats, including seagrass and oyster beds, and to ensure sustainable fishing policies. She is based in Morehead City, North Carolina.

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Steve Marx 

Officer, U.S. West Coast

Steve Marx leads Pew’s efforts to protect ecologically important coastal and nearshore marine habitat on the U.S. West Coast. He also works to advance implementation of ecosystem-based fisheries management in the Pacific and North Pacific.

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Lora Clarke

Officer, East Coast

Lora Clarke is an officer for Pew’s U.S. marine conservation efforts to protect and restore ocean resources and coastal habitats, including oysters and salt marsh, and to ensure sustainable fishing policies in the U.S. Atlantic. She is based in Charleston, South Carolina.

Before joining Pew, Clarke served in various roles for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, including associate program manager for the Comparative Analysis of Marine Ecosystem Organization grant program. She also coordinated the protected species and national habitat science programs, served as policy adviser for the National Ocean Policy, and advised the NOAA administrator on climate issues.

Clarke holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Christopher Newport University, a master’s degree in wildlife and fisheries conservation from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a doctorate in marine and atmospheric sciences from Stony Brook University.  

Katharine Deuel

Officer, New England and Canada’s Atlantic Provinces

Katharine Deuel is an officer for Pew’s marine conservation efforts north of Boston, focusing on protecting endangered marine mammal species and implementing fisheries reforms and habitat protections in Canada’s Atlantic Provinces. She has worked with Pew’s New England team and diverse stakeholders to ensure sustainable management of herring, menhaden, and other forage fish; protect deep-sea corals and other offshore habitat areas; and sustain New England’s iconic cod fishery.

Before joining Pew, Deuel worked for the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, developing media and communications plans for exhibits, educational programs, and marine policy initiatives.

Deuel holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in sustainability and environmental management from Harvard University Extension School. 

Zack Greenberg

Officer, East Coast

Zack Greenberg is an officer for Pew’s marine conservation work on the U.S. East Coast. He leads policy development and state and local outreach on conserving forage fish, advancing ecosystem-based fisheries management, and protecting habitat.

Before joining Pew, Greenberg spent five years as a campaign manager with a national consulting firm, where he worked on a variety of federal, state, and local electoral races as well as issues such as improving health care education and siting utility-scale energy projects.

He holds a dual bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and history from Northeastern University and a master’s degree in environmental law and policy from Vermont Law School.

Chad Hanson

Officer, Gulf Coast

Chad Hanson is a science and policy analyst for Pew’s efforts to conserve ocean resources, including oysters and seagrass; protect deep-sea corals; and ensure sustainable fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. He also serves as policy coordinator for Pew’s broader marine work in the U.S. Southeast and is based in Tallahassee, Florida.

Before coming to Pew, Hanson worked with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as a research biologist monitoring fish populations and fishing activity, and then as a biologist and analyst for its Marine Fisheries Management Division.

Hanson holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire and a master’s degree in biological oceanography from Florida State University.

Aaron Kornbluth

Officer, East Coast

Aaron Kornbluth is an officer for Pew’s U.S. marine conservation efforts and works on restoring coastal habitats such as oyster reefs, protecting forage fish, and advancing ecosystem-based management. Kornbluth’s prior work with Pew focused on protecting deep-sea corals and reducing nutrient pollution from industrial animal feeding operations.

Before joining Pew, Kornbluth worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Kornbluth holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and science communications from Cornell University and a master’s degree in natural resources management from the University of New Hampshire.

Gillian Lyons

Officer, West Coast

Gillian Lyons serves as a science and policy analyst for Pew’s efforts to conserve fish managed by the state of California. She also works to protect California’s vanishing kelp forests, reduce bycatch, and implement ecosystem-based management of West Coast forage fish.

Before coming to Pew, Lyons was policy director for the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition in Portland, Oregon, and legislative director of the National Public Lands Grazing Campaign in Washington, D.C.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Oberlin College and a master’s degree in environmental studies from the University of Montana.

Sharon McBreen

Officer, Gulf Coast

Sharon McBreen is outreach coordinator for Pew’s efforts to conserve ocean resources, including oysters; protect deep-sea corals; and ensure sustainable fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. She is based in Orlando, Florida.

She previously spent 24 years as a journalist and editor for the Orlando Sentinel, covering a wide range of issues important to central Florida. 

McBreen holds a bachelor’s degree in print journalism and editing from the University of Florida.

Tom Rudolph

Officer, West Coast

Tom Rudolph is an officer with Pew’s marine conservation campaigns on the west coasts of the United States and Canada, where he works to develop policies to ensure that fishing is sustainable and that offshore and coastal habitat are protected from emerging threats, such as seabed mining.

Before joining Pew, Rudolph worked as a cooperative research director and conservation campaign operations director for the Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen’s Association (now the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance). His research resulted in several articles in peer-reviewed journals on topics such as fish-discard mortality and bycatch reduction through use of alternative longline baits. He has also worked as a deckhand on commercial fishing vessels.

Rudolph holds a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Cornell University.

Orian Tzadik

Officer, U.S. Caribbean

Orian Tzadik is the science and policy officer for Pew’s campaigns to conserve ocean resources and coastal habitats, promote sustainable fishing practices, and transition to an ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management in the U.S. Caribbean. He is based in Rincón, Puerto Rico.

Tzadik previously was a research biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, where he collected and analyzed fish community data to inform fishery management decisions. Tzadik was also the science officer for Global Vision International in Costa Rica and head of science for the organization in Mexico and a dive and science officer for Windjammer Barefoot Cruises.

Tzadik holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Texas, Austin; a master’s degree in biological oceanography from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez; and a doctorate in marine resource management from the University of South Florida.

Yasmin Vélez-Sánchez

Officer, U.S. Caribbean

Yasmin Vélez-Sánchez is an officer working on coastal habitat issues in the Gulf of Mexico and on Pew’s campaigns to conserve ocean resources, promote sustainable fishing practices, and transition to an ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management in the U.S. Caribbean. She is based in Dallas.

Before coming to Pew, Vélez-Sánchez was the program director of Fundación Agenda Ciudadana, where she mobilized citizens to advance public policy on education, health, economic development, and the environment. She also organized workshops to facilitate citizen engagement in democratic processes. In addition, she launched Puerto Rico’s first publication detailing legislative candidates’ positions on and perceptions of proposed changes to public education.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in public relations from the Universidad del Sagrado Corazón in Puerto Rico.

Leah Baumwell

Senior Associate, New England and Canada’s Atlantic Provinces

Leah Baumwell, who is based in Boston, focuses on Pew’s efforts in New England and Canada’s Atlantic provinces to reduce entanglement of right whales in fishing gear, as well as measures to protect forage fish, which feed other marine life.  

Before joining Pew, Baumwell spent six years as a marine scientist for the International Game Fish Association, where she managed the world’s largest billfish satellite tagging program, authored articles, and worked closely with the recreational fishing industry. She was also a fisheries researcher for the University of Victoria, British Columbia and for University of Massachusetts, Amherst with projects requiring field and laboratory work.

Baumwell holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and biology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and spent a year in Coastal Carolina University’s master’s program in coastal and marine systems.

Alex Clayton

Senior Associate

Alex Clayton focuses on research and finding new ways to advance Pew’s coastal habitat conservation efforts across the U.S.

Before joining Pew, Clayton worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on tribal engagement and non-point source pollution caused when rainfall or snowmelt picks up natural and human-made pollutants and deposits them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters, and ground waters. She also worked on Columbia River salmon issues in the Pacific Northwest. Earlier in her career, Clayton focused on international environmental policy and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal.

Clayton holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Bucknell University, and master’s degrees in natural resources and environment, and in public policy from the University of Michigan. 

Zoe Goozner

Senior Associate, East Coast

Zoe Yuki Goozner is a senior associate with Pew’s marine conservation work on the U.S. East Coast, serving as outreach and policy coordinator for the project. She focuses on protecting coastal marine habitats and their inhabitants by advancing ecosystem-based management.

Before joining Pew, Goozner spent five years working in Florida on coral reef restoration and fisheries management. Most of her work combined scientific fieldwork, innovative outreach, and data management in the private nonprofit and state government sectors. 

She holds a bachelor's degree in marine biology and theatrical arts from Occidental College. 

Justin Grubich

Principal Associate, Gulf Coast

Justin Grubich serves as science and policy lead for Pew’s work to conserve Florida’s marine resources, including seagrass and forage fish. He is based in Stuart, Florida.

Grubich has more than 20 years of research and teaching experience in fish science, marine ecology, and environmental policy. Before joining Pew, he was an assistant professor of marine biology at the American University in Cairo, where he studied the ecology of the lionfish in its native Red Sea habitat. He was also a science and technology policy fellow for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, serving in the U.S. Department of State. As a National Geographic explorer, he led documentary expeditions to examine the fish of the Nile and Amazon river basins. An avid angler, Grubich holds two International Game Fish Association world records.

Grubich holds a bachelor’s degree in marine biology from the University of Miami and a doctorate in fish ecomorphology and biomechanics from Florida State University.

Robert Hayden

Principal Associate, West Coast

Robert Hayden is outreach coordinator for Pew’s efforts to conserve ocean and coastal resources on the U.S. West Coast.

Before joining Pew, Hayden worked as a community organizer and communications advocate for more than a decade. As the solutions stories and media manager with Climate Solutions, he worked to identify and engage new audiences for climate and clean energy campaigns throughout the Northwest. He also spent several years as the national representative for the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition, mobilizing support to restore the Columbia-Snake River Basin, which has some of the world’s best habitat for sustaining wild and steelhead salmon.

Hayden holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Oregon.

Cameron Jaggard

Principal Associate, Gulf Coast

Cameron Jaggard is outreach coordinator for Pew’s efforts to conserve Florida’s ocean resources, including seagrass and forage fish. He is based in North Palm Beach, Florida.

Before joining Pew, Cameron was a watershed steward with the Institute for Fisheries Resources in San Francisco, supporting protection and restoration efforts for salmon and other commercially and recreationally important marine species off the U.S. West Coast. He also was an environmental consultant responsible for natural resource permitting, wildlife relocations, and habitat monitoring projects in Florida’s Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, and Palm Beach counties.

Jaggard holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental policy from Rollins College and an environmental science certificate from Florida Atlantic University.

Elizabeth Ruther

Principal Associate, West Coast

Elizabeth Ruther is a principal associate with Pew’s conserving marine life in the U.S. project, doing science and policy analysis to conserve coastal habitats on the West Coast, including rocky habitats, kelp forests, and eelgrass meadows. She also works on federal Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) issues.

Before coming to Pew, Ruther was state-federal relations coordinator for Oregon’s Coastal Management Program, implementing the CZMA, and worked as a habitat protection biologist for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Earlier in her career, she worked in stream and wetlands restoration.

Ruther holds bachelor’s degrees in biology and environmental studies from the University of Minnesota. She received a master’s degree in environmental science and policy from Northern Arizona University.