September 10, 2019

Meet the 2019 – 2020 SECOORA Executive Committee

Congratulations to the 2019 – 2020 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, click here.

Rick DeVoe, Chair

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.

Dr. Jeff Copeland, Vice Chair

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.

Dr. Quinton White, Treasurer

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.

Brendal Townsend, Secretary

Brendal Townsend is the Senior Project Manager for the Ocean Tracking Network at Dalhousie University. Brendal has been an inspiration for all of those who care about the ocean. Her relentless dedication to ocean conservation and management is rooted in her appreciation of the fragile marine ecosystems. Her passion for conservation developed over the years as an active dive instructor in Central America, as Lab Manager for the Boris Worm Marine Conservation Biology Group, and as Program Manager for the Transatlantic Ocean System Science and Technology program. After completing her Master of Marine Management degree with the Marine Affairs at Dalhousie in 2011, she remains active in the scientific and outreach community by instructing an undergraduate course on Sharks, Skates and Rays, in collaboration with the Ocean Tracking Network and through regular media presence on various radio and television programs across Canada.

Dr. Michael Crosby, Past Chair

Dr. Crosby has over 30 years of diverse research, teaching, science management and leadership endeavors, including developing national policy and administrative aspects for our country’s science programs. He has developed, managed and conducted major multi-disciplinary research project and partnerships with numerous universities, national and international science and resource management agencies, programs and committees – including a U.S. Man and the Biosphere Program project entitled “Ecological and socio-economic impacts of alternative access management strategies in marine and coastal protected areas”; the U.S., Israeli and Jordanian joint partnership project entitled “The Red Sea Marine Peace Park Cooperative Research, Monitoring and Management Program”; and the Hawai‘i State EPSCoR project entitled “Pacific High Island Evolutionary Biogeography: Impacts of Invasive Species, Anthropogenic Activity and Climate Change on Hawaiian Focal Species.” Many of these endeavors focused on improving the “synthesis, translation and transfer” of science and technical information between research, public policy and stakeholder communities. In May 2013, Dr. Crosby was appointed as President & CEO of Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, an independent research institution that has been a leader in marine research for 60 years. Dr. Crosby had previously served for three years as Mote’s Senior Vice President for Research. Past appointments include: Associate Vice President, Research and Economic Development, George Mason University; Vice Chancellor for Research, University of Hawai’i, Hilo; and Executive Director, National Science Board of the National Science Foundation. Dr. Crosby also is a Past-President for Sigma Xi-The Scientific Research Society, served 12 years on the Board of Governors and was past Chairman for the U.S.-Israeli Binational Science Foundation, and is currently on the Board of Directors (Past-President) for the Association of Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean, Board of Directors (Past-President) for the Pacific Congress on Marine Science and Technology, and the Institute for Venture Science Board of Advisors. Click for full bio.