MPA Federal Advisory Committee Membership

Nominations for New Members: 2019-2022 Term

NOTE: The deadline for nominations has been extended to February 15, 2019.
The Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee provides advice to the Secretaries of Commerce and the Interior on important and timely MPA issues.  Nominations are currently being sought for 11 highly qualified new members of the Committee.  Members of the Committee represent diverse perspectives on issues affecting marine protected areas (MPAs) in ocean, coastal, estuarine and Great Lakes environments throughout US waters.  

The Committee meets at least twice annually; meetings may be in person or virtual via teleconference/ webinar. Committee members serve a four-year term and are selected by, and serve at the discretion of, the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere in consultation with the designee of the Secretary of the Interior. Members of the Committee are not compensated for their time, but their travel expenses associated with attending Committee meetings are reimbursed, as authorized by 5 U.S.C. 5703.

Nominations: The Committee operates according to a Charter provided by the Secretaries of Commerce and Interior, and a Member Balance Plan. The current Member Balance Plan identifies the following approximate number of representatives on the Committee:

  • Commercial fishing (2)
  • Recreational fishing (2)
  • Ocean industry (e.g., energy, undersea cables, etc) (2)
  • Conservation (3)
  • State resource managers (1)
  • Tribal and indigenous representatives (2)
  • Natural science (2)
  • Social science (2)
  • Cultural resource management (2)
  • Non-consumptive uses (e.g., diving, tourism) (2)
  • Other (Foundations, education, etc) (0)

While these numbers are not binding, they provide guidance to ensure the maintenance of diverse expertise and perspectives on the Committee. Individuals seeking membership on the Committee should possess demonstrable expertise in a related field or represent a specific stakeholder interest in MPAs. Nominees will also be evaluated based on the following factors: marine policy and management experience; leadership and organizational skills, including working effectively in diverse groups; region of country represented; and member demographics. The Committee's membership reflects the Department's commitment to attaining balance and diversity. 
Members will be expected to participate regularly in meetings, report preparation and review, and constructive discussions of important and timely ocean management issues in the United States. Anyone is eligible to nominate; self- nominations will also be accepted. Each nomination submission should include:

  • the nominee's full name, title, institutional affiliation, and contact information;
  • the nominee's area(s) of expertise;
  • a short description of his/ her qualifications relative to the kinds of advice being solicited; and
  • a resume or CV not to exceed four pages in length. Individuals submitting nominations may choose to include letters of support (no more than three) describing the nominee's qualifications and interest in serving on the Committee.

The intent is to select new members from the nominees; however, NOAA retains the discretion to appoint, subject to the appropriate procedures, individuals to the Committee who were not nominated through the process outlined in the Federal Register notice if it deems it is necessary to achieve the desired balance. After the membership selection process is complete, applicants who are selected to serve on the Committee must complete a security clearance through NOAA. Once selected, Committee members' names will be posted at: The full text of the Committee charter and the Federal Register notice announcing the nomination process at the Agency's web page at

Nominations should be sent by February 15, 2019 to: Nicole Capps, 99 Pacific Street, Suite 100-F, Monterey, CA, 94930, or by email to Electronic submissions are acceptable. For additional information about the MPA Federal Advisory Committee, contact Dr. Charles Wahle, NOAA's MPAFAC Designated Federal Officer, at 831-647-6460 or

Current Membership: as of 2018

The 20 MPA Federal Advisory Committee includes representatives from different geographic regions, including the Great Lakes and U.S. territories. Members typically represent a wide variety of ocean and coastal interests including natural and cultural resource management (state and tribal), natural and social sciences, commercial and recreational fishing , industry (oil and gas production, shipping and ports), recreation and tourism, and conservation.

Designated Federal Officer

Dr. Charles Wahle
National Marine Protected Area Center
NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
Monterey, CA  93940
Phone: 831-647-6460
Cell: 831-238-2244

Continuing Members (to 2021)



Vice Chair

Katy C. Bell Ph.D. (natural science) (2017-2021)
Lead, Open Ocean Initiative, MIT Media Lab
Fellow, National Geographic Society 
Narragansett, RI 02882


John Anderson (ocean energy) (2017-2021)
Senior Policy Advisor
Nossaman LLP
Washington, DC 20006

John F. Ballotti (recreational fishing) (2017-2021)
Torrance, CA 90501

Alex F. Brylske, Ph.D. (non-consumptive uses) (2017-2021)
Professor, Marine Science & Technology
Florida Keys Community College
Summerland Key, FL 33042

Christopher M. Horton (recreational fishing) (2017-2021)
Fisheries Program Director
Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation
Washington, DC 20003

Jacque Hostler-Carmesin (tribal/indigenous) (2017-2021)
Chief Executive Officer 
Trinidad Rancheria 
Trinidad, CA 95570 

William J. McClintock, Ph.D. (social science) (2017-2021)
Marine Science Institute
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-6150

Lynn McClure (conservation) (2017-2021)
Senior Director, Midwest
National Parks Conservation Association
Chicago, IL 60603

David S. Robinson, R.P.A. (cultural resources) (2017-2021)
President and CEO
David S. Robinson and Associates, Inc.
Jamestown, RI 02835

Departing Members - 2018

Brian Baird, Chair  (state agency, retired) (2014-2018) TERM ENDED
Director, Ocean & Coastal Program
The Bay Institute and Aquarium of the Bay
San Francisco, CA 94949

Mark Carr, Ph.D. (natural science) (2014-2018) TERM ENDED
Department of Ecology & Evolutional Biology
University of California
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Jack Cox (commercial fishing) (2017-2018) RESIGNED
Newport, NC 28570

Martha Honey, Ph.D. (tourism) (2014-2018) TERM ENDED
Center for Responsible Travel
Washington, D.C. 20005

Stephanie Madsen (commercial fishing) (2014-2018) TERM ENDED
Executive Director
At Sea Processors Association
Juneau, AK 99801

Samantha Murray, J.D. (conservation) (2014-2018) TERM ENDED
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
University of California, San Diego
La Jolla, CA 92093-0202

Ryan Orgera, Ph.D. (social science) (2014-2018) TERM ENDED
George Washington University
Washington, D.C. 20001

Peter Stauffer (non-consumptive uses) (2014-2018) TERM ENDED
Environmental Director 
Surfrider Foundation 
San Clemente, CA

Trisha Kehaulani Watson, JD, PhD (tribal/indigenous) (2014-2018) TERM ENDED
Honua Consulting, Owner and Senior Consultant
Honolulu, HI 96816

Ex Officio Federal Representatives

Department of Commerce
Assistant Administrator for Oceans and Coasts
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Department of the Interior

Ex Officio Designee: TBD
National Park Service Liaison: TBD

Department of Defense/Navy

Designee: John Pierson
Office Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy – Environment
1000 Navy Pentagon, Room A674
Washington, DC 20350-1000

Department of Homeland Security

Designee: Steven M. Tucker
Assistant Division Chief: Marine Protected Species
U.S. Coast Guard
2100 Second Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20593-0001

Department of State

Designee: Marc Porter
Office of Ocean and Polar Affairs
Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs
Harry S. Truman Building
2201 C Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20520

Environmental Protection Agency
Designee: Dr. Brian Melzian
Oceanographer/Project Officer
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory
Atlantic Ecology Division
27 Tarzwell Drive
Narragansett, RI 02882

U.S. Agency for International Development
Designee: Barbara Best
Coastal Resources and Policy Advisor
Office of Natural Resources Management, Bureau for Economic Growth, Agriculture & Trade

National Science Foundation
Designee: Roxanne Nikolaus
Division of Ocean Sciences
4201 Wilson Blvd., Suite 725
Arlington, VA 22230

Department of Agriculture
Designee: Rick Swanson
USDA U.S. Forest Service
Watershed, Fish, Wildlife Staff
201 14th Street, SW, Stop 1121
Washington DC 20250-0003