About Us


Formed in February 2015, the Southeast Ocean and Coastal Acidification Network (SOCAN) is an interdisciplinary network of scientists, resource managers, and industry, non-profit, and government representatives dedicated to supporting and encouraging discussions on ocean and coastal acidification in the Southeast.

Program Objectives

Synthesize and disseminate the most recent scientific, technical and socioeconomic information relevant to species and ecosystems that could be affected by acidification;

Identify knowledge gaps;

Set regional priorities for monitoring and research;

Collaborate in the development of a Southeast regional acidification monitoring network;

Encourage and support scientific research collaborations and data sharing; and

Respond to stakeholder needs.


Executive Committee

Debra Hernandez

Debra HernandezAbout: Debra Hernandez currently serves as Executive Director of the Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA).  SECOORA is one of eleven regional partners in the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System and is a nonprofit operating in the states of NC, SC, GA and FL.  SECOORA’s mission is to coalesce the efforts of multiple observing interests and deliver user defined products that save lives, conserve the coastal and marine environment and support the economic vitality of our coastal regions.  Debra has over 25 years of experience in coastal and ocean management and policy.  Her professional interests include improving the linkages between scientists and decision-makers, and facilitating discussions of public policy issues related to the coast and environment.   She recently served on the National Academies’ Ocean Studies Board and the Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Panel, and currently serves on the SC Sea Grant Consortium Program Advisory Board and as vice-Chair of the IOOS Association.  She graduated from Clemson University with a Masters degree in Civil Engineering, and was a licensed professional engineer for many years.

Kim Yates

Kim YatesAbout: Dr. Kimberly Yates is a senior research scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey, St. Petersburg Center for Coastal and Marine Science and Co-Chair of the Ocean Carbon & Biogeochemistry – Ocean Acidification Subcommittee.  Her research focuses on coastal carbon chemistry and the impacts of climate change on coral reef and estuarine ecosystems.  She specializes in integrated ecosystem studies that examine biogeochemical responses and feedbacks to ocean acidification.

Libby Jewett

Libby JewettAbout: Dr. Libby Jewett became the first Director of the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program in May 2011, and has been busy ever since crafting the shape of this important, new NOAA science enterprise. A founding member of NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Steering Committee, Jewett led NOAA-wide meetings of scientists and policymakers to conceive and develop NOAA’s first comprehensive ocean acidification research plan. She continues to represent NOAA on the ocean acidification interagency working group (under Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology) where she helped develop an ocean acidification strategic research plan for the nation. Prior to becoming Director, she directed the only two national competitive hypoxia research funding programs as program manager for the Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research in NOAA’s National Ocean Service. In this role, she strived to make the funded science relevant to the management of coastal ecosystems, especially in the Chesapeake Bay and northern Gulf of Mexico. She also has many years of experience working in nongovernmental organizations. Jewett earned a Ph.D. in Biology with a focus on Marine Ecology at the University of Maryland, a Master of Public Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and a B.A. at Yale University.

Geoff Scott

Geoffrey ScottAbout: Dr. Geoffrey I. Scott received his BS in Biology from Wofford College and his MS and PhD. in Marine Science from the University of South Carolina. Research experience included (1)  Aquatic Toxicologist for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Bears Bluff Field Station from 1976-80, studying the impacts of water chlorination on estuarine organisms and conducting ecological assessments of oil spill impacts around the world, including assessing impacts of the Ixtoc Well Blowout in the Gulf of Mexico; (2) Director of Toxicology Program and the Wide Awake Landing Marine Field Station for Research Planning Institute from 1980-84, conducting research on hazardous waste sites impacts, oil spills and Vibrio cholerae outbreaks in the Gulf of Mexico; (3) Assistant and Associate Tenured Professor at the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health from 1984-90 working on assessing the impacts of agricultural pesticides, synthetic fuels and urban NPS runoff on coastal ecosystems; and (4) NOAA/NOS National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research (CCEHBR), 1990-2014, conducting research that measure the health of coastal ecosystems and evaluates the impacts of changing landscape ecology from urbanization on ecosystem and human health. Dr. Scott was the Director of NOAA’s CCEHBR from 2001-2014, and formerly the Acting Director for NOAA’s Center for Human Health Risk at the Hollings Marine Laboratory from 2009-2011.  Dr. Scott is currently a Clinical Professor and Chair of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. He also holds faculty appointments at other academic Institutions including the Marine Biomedicine Program at the Medical University of South Carolina, the Marine Biology Program at the College of Charleston and Texas Tech University’s Institute for Environmental and Human Health.

Science Working Group

Astrid Schnetzer

Astrid SchnetzerAbout: Astrid Schnetzer is a biological oceanographer at the rank of associate professor within the department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at NCSU. She received her MS in Zoology/Ecology and PhD in Marine Biology from the University of Vienna, Austria. Her research interests focus on how natural and anthropogenic processes, such as ocean acidification, impact plankton assemblages and how changes in community structure and diversity impact matter and energy flux through aquatic systems. To discern the ecological and biogeochemical roles that plankton play I employ molecular and genetic techniques in combination with more traditional approaches (i.e. microscopy and culture) in the field and in laboratory experiments.

Denise Sanger

Denise SangerAbout: Dr. Denise Sanger is an Associate Marine Scientist at the South Carolina Department of Natural Resource’s Marine Resources Research Institute and the ACE Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) Research Coordinator.  She is responsible for overseeing the Environmental Research Section and the Southeast Regional Taxonomic Center.  She obtained her Doctorate in Marine Science in 1998 from the University of South Carolina and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Marine Biology in 1993 from the University of California, Santa Cruz.  Denise has worked for the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management and SC Sea Grant Consortium.  She has experience in coastal zone management and estuarine ecology with an emphasis in estuarine benthic ecology, ecotoxicology, sediment chemistry, design and analysis of ecological risk assessment data, and status and trends monitoring of environmental water quality data.  She is particularly interested in the impacts of human land use on the estuarine environment.

Janet Reimer

About: Janet Reimer is a biogeochemist at the University of Delaware working for Dr. Wei-Jun Cai with a focus on the marine carbonate system, CO2 air-sea exchange, and ocean acidification. Her research focuses on the state of ocean acidification on South Atlantic Bight shelf, in the coastal region, and inland waters. Recently, her research has been devoted to long-term increases in surface CO2 and related increasing acidity across the region. She also has expertise in data acquisition and management as well as synthesis projects combining spatial and temporal data. The early part of her career was spent studying acidification and CO2 in the California Current off the coast of Baja California, where she received her Ph.D. She also works with MARACOOS, our Regional IOOS partner to the north, and collaborates on the Georgia Coastal Ecosystems Long-Term Ecological Research project in Georgia coastal marshes and coastal zone.

Kevin Craig

Kevin CraigAbout: Kevin Craig is a Research Fishery Biologist at the NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center Beaufort Laboratory. His interests and experience are in fisheries ecology, population and ecosystem dynamics, and resource assessment and management. His research addresses the linkages between coastal watersheds and habitat quality of fish communities in estuarine and continental shelf ecosystems.  Recent projects have addressed the effects of nutrient enrichment and hypoxia on fish and fisheries in the northern Gulf of Mexico and in Southeast U.S. estuaries. A key aspect of his current position is assessing the population and fishery dynamics of harvested species in the U.S. South Atlantic in support of management. He received a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in Chemistry from North Carolina State University, an M.S. in Fisheries from the University of Washington, and a Ph.D. in Ecology from Duke University.

Leticia Barbero

Kim YatesAbout: Leticia Barbero has a PhD in marine sciences. She is an assistant scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS) from the University of Miami and conducts her work at the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) of NOAA. Her area of expertise is the CO2 system in the ocean. She has worked with CO2 data from dedicated cruises, ships of opportunity and drifters in the Atlantic Ocean, Southern Ocean and coastal regions of the US. Her current research focus is sea-air fluxes of CO2, ocean acidification (OA) in coastal waters and anthropogenic contribution to changes in aragonite saturation states. She has participated and led several cruises aimed at studying OA conditions in coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico and eastern coast of the US.

Scott Noakes

Scott NoakesAbout: Scott Noakes is a Research Scientist at The University of Georgia’s Center for Applied Isotope Studies (CAIS).  He received his B.S. in Petroleum Engineering from Mississippi State University and M.S. and Ph.D. from The University of Georgia in Marine Science.  He has been involved with ocean acidification/CO2 monitoring, paleontological and surficial geologic studies at Gray’s Reef and surrounding areas for the past two decades.  His home department at UGA is involved with marine environmental surveys in estuarine and coastal regions and utilizes isotopic, elemental and organic analytes.  CAIS also houses an accelerator mass spectrometer used in carbon dating organic-based samples such as shells and bone fragments, many of which have come from the Gray’s Reef area.  In addition to his work at CAIS-UGA, he is also the Director and Diving Safety Officer of the University System of Georgia Scientific Diving Program, an AAUS organizational member.

Kim Yates

Kim YatesAbout: Dr. Kimberly Yates is a senior research scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey, St. Petersburg Center for Coastal and Marine Science and Co-Chair of the Ocean Carbon & Biogeochemistry – Ocean Acidification Subcommittee.  Her research focuses on coastal carbon chemistry and the impacts of climate change on coral reef and estuarine ecosystems.  She specializes in integrated ecosystem studies that examine biogeochemical responses and feedbacks to ocean acidification.

Libby Jewett

Libby JewettAbout: Dr. Libby Jewett became the first Director of the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program in May 2011, and has been busy ever since crafting the shape of this important, new NOAA science enterprise. A founding member of NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Steering Committee, Jewett led NOAA-wide meetings of scientists and policymakers to conceive and develop NOAA’s first comprehensive ocean acidification research plan. She continues to represent NOAA on the ocean acidification interagency working group (under Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology) where she helped develop an ocean acidification strategic research plan for the nation. Prior to becoming Director, she directed the only two national competitive hypoxia research funding programs as program manager for the Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research in NOAA’s National Ocean Service. In this role, she strived to make the funded science relevant to the management of coastal ecosystems, especially in the Chesapeake Bay and northern Gulf of Mexico. She also has many years of experience working in nongovernmental organizations. Jewett earned a Ph.D. in Biology with a focus on Marine Ecology at the University of Maryland, a Master of Public Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and a B.A. at Yale University.

Geoff Scott

Geoffrey ScottAbout: Dr. Geoffrey I. Scott received his BS in Biology from Wofford College and his MS and PhD. in Marine Science from the University of South Carolina. Research experience included (1)  Aquatic Toxicologist for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Bears Bluff Field Station from 1976-80, studying the impacts of water chlorination on estuarine organisms and conducting ecological assessments of oil spill impacts around the world, including assessing impacts of the Ixtoc Well Blowout in the Gulf of Mexico; (2) Director of Toxicology Program and the Wide Awake Landing Marine Field Station for Research Planning Institute from 1980-84, conducting research on hazardous waste sites impacts, oil spills and Vibrio cholerae outbreaks in the Gulf of Mexico; (3) Assistant and Associate Tenured Professor at the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health from 1984-90 working on assessing the impacts of agricultural pesticides, synthetic fuels and urban NPS runoff on coastal ecosystems; and (4) NOAA/NOS National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research (CCEHBR), 1990-2014, conducting research that measure the health of coastal ecosystems and evaluates the impacts of changing landscape ecology from urbanization on ecosystem and human health. Dr. Scott was the Director of NOAA’s CCEHBR from 2001-2014, and formerly the Acting Director for NOAA’s Center for Human Health Risk at the Hollings Marine Laboratory from 2009-2011.  Dr. Scott is currently a Clinical Professor and Chair of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. He also holds faculty appointments at other academic Institutions including the Marine Biomedicine Program at the Medical University of South Carolina, the Marine Biology Program at the College of Charleston and Texas Tech University’s Institute for Environmental and Human Health.

Rua S. Mordecai

Rua S. MordecaiAbout: Rua grew up in South Florida and was learning about marine fish and coastal birds even before he could ride a bike. To this day, he continues to work on the connections between land and water and finding ways to bring together people to help improve ecosystem conditions over large areas. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia. As the Science Coordinator for the South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative he helps people and organizations work together to sustain the region’s natural environment and cultural heritage.

Lou Burnett

Lou BurnettAbout: Lou Burnett is a Professor of Biology at the College of Charleston in Charleston SC, USA. He studies the responses of marine organisms to hypoxia and elevated COand is interested in the effects of these two variables on animal performance and innate immunity. He is currently the president of the Southern Association of Marine Laboratories and the president-elect of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology.