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August 26, 2016

Meet the 2016 – 2017 Executive Committee

Congratulations to the 2016-2017 Executive Committee! We are honored to be working with this talented group of individuals. SECOORA Executive Committee plays an important role in sustaining our success. If you are interested in becoming a SECOORA member, please visit:

Quinton White, Chairman

A. Quinton White, Jr., Ph.D., is Executive Director, Marine Science Research Institute and Professor of Biology and Marine Science at Jacksonville University. The Marine Science Research Institute building opened in 2010 and is the first LEED certified Gold building on the JU campus. Dr. White joined the faculty at Jacksonville University in 1976, having completed his Ph.D. at the University of South Carolina at the Baruch Institute for Marine Biology and Coastal Research.  Dr. White has written numerous research and technical papers or reports and received grants and contracts to support marine research at JU.  Currently he is conducting research on the history of human impact on the Florida environment and especially on the St. Johns River with a focus on manatees and water quality issues. Dr. White has been active in the Jacksonville community and writes a monthly column in the Florida Times-Union called “River Life”. He is President-elect of the Southern Association of Marine Labs.  Recent awards have included Florida Wildlife Federation Marine Conservationist of the Year in 2015, the Regional Leadership Award from the Northeast Florida Regional Council and the City of Jacksonville’s Christi P. Veleta Environmental Award in 2014. He was honored by Leadership Jacksonville in 2011 as a Community Trustee. In 2010 he received the City of Jacksonville Mayor’s Environmental Achievement Award.       


Rick DeVoe, Vice-Chairman

Rick DeVoe joined the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium in 1980, its inaugural year, and has served as its Executive Director since 1997.  Rick is also a member of the Graduate School Advisory Board and the Marine Biology Council of the Graduate Program in Marine Biology at the College of Charleston, and the Board of Advisors for the Center for Marine and Wetland Studies at Coastal Carolina University.  Rick serves as Co-Chair of the Board on Oceans, Atmosphere, and Climate with the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU), and is a member of the Executive Planning Team for the Governor’s South Atlantic (Ocean) Alliance, the S.C. Regulatory Task Force for Coastal Clean Energy, the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition Think Tank, and the Charleston (S.C.) Resiliency Network Steering Committee, among other appointments and affiliations.  Rick’s professional interests focus on coastal and marine resource policy, state and regional coastal ocean planning and policy, ocean observing, marine aquaculture policy, coastal resiliency, science-to-application linkages, and science communication and education.  He earned his undergraduate degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University and graduate degrees from CUNY/City College of N.Y. and the University of Rhode Island.




Peter Hamilton, Secretary

Dr. Hamilton is a senior scientist at the Raleigh, NC office of SAIC (now Leidos, Inc), a major company that uses scientific investigations to solve problems for government and private clients. During more that 35 years experience, Dr. Hamilton has been involved as a Principal Investigator in many oceanographic environmental studies ranging from estuaries (the Chesapeake Bay and the Columbia River) to the deep (> 2000 m) basins of the Gulf of Mexico. The Raleigh office has performed many multi-year environmental studies for the Minerals Management Service (MMS, now the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)) that are required for Oil and Gas leases. These studies typically require deployment of moorings with many different types of instrumentation, running ship-based surveys, analysis and management of data, and production of reports. Examples include the Mid-Atlantic Slope and Rise Program (MASAR), the South Atlantic Bight Physical Oceanography Study, the Frontal Eddy Dynamics Experiment (FRED) in the NC bays, the Straits of Florida Transport Study, and the North Carolina Physical Oceanographic Field Study off Cape Hatteras. In the Gulf of Mexico, programs include the Louisiana – Texas (LATEX) Circulation Study, the DeSoto Canyon Eddy Intrusion Study, deepwater studies in the northwest, central and eastern slope regions, a major field study of the Loop Current, and a Gulf-wide deep circulation study using Lagrangian (RAFOS) floats. For the latter two programs, Dr. Hamilton also filled the PM role. Some of these studies involved verification, in terms of physical processes, of numerical circulation model output using observational data analysis. Other work has involved monitoring sewage outfalls for the city of Honolulu (HI), and Los Angeles and Orange Counties (CA) using observations (some in near real time) and dispersion models. Site designation studies were performed for dumpsites in the New York Bight (106-mile site) and the near the Farallone Islands off central California, again using observations and models. These latter investigations were multi-institutional with participants from universities, private industry, and government agencies.


George Maul, Treasurer

George A. Maul earned his Bachelor of Science degree (with honors) from the New York Maritime College at Fort Schuyler, and was licensed a U.S. Merchant Marine Officer; he received his doctorate in physical oceanography from the University of Miami, where he later taught as Adjunct Professor of Meteorology and Physical Oceanography. George served 9 years as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, and 25 years as a research oceanographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration where he received 3 Distinguished Authorship Awards. Dr. Maul currently is professor of oceanography at the Florida Institute of Technology, and for 20 years was department head of Marine and Environmental Systems; he is a recipient of Faculty Senate Excellence Awards for Service, and for Teaching.  He has been chief scientist on numerous oceanographic cruises, and has published over 200 refereed articles and book chapters on oceanography and meteorology, editorials, technical reports, refereed abstracts, and books. He is a Fellow of the Marine Technology Society, a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, and the 2016 Florida Academy of Sciences Medalist.



Jeff Copeland, At-Large

Dr. Jeffrey Copeland is Chief Scientist at WeatherFlow Inc. (since 2013), a leader in the private sector weather industry, with experience in applying the latest in observational, modeling, and forecasting technology to solving its clients’ most challenging problems in the consumer, financial, energy, and government sectors. He has over 20 years of experience working in government and private industry. His current research is on the landfall effects of Gulf and Atlantic tropical systems. Prior to his position at WeatherFlow he spent a decade at the National Center for Atmospheric Research with earlier positions at Mission Research Inc., National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (New Zealand), and USGS Water Resources Division. Jeff received his B.Sc. from McGill University, M.Sc. from UCLA, and Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State University.