SECOORA Welcomes Three New Full-Time Staff Members

October 11, 2023

Meet the three outstanding individuals that have been hired full-time by SECOORA! Learn more about our new SECOORA Staff members and their newly-created positions:

Theo Jass – WebCOOS Manager

Theo Jass – WebCOOS Manager, SECOORA

Theo Jass has joined the SECOORA team as the new WebCOOS Manager! Theo will lead the WebCOOS project in continuing to collect webcam imagery and develop derived products for coastal observation in the southeast, and in expanding this observing network nationally in partnership with the other IOOS Regional Associations.

“I’m very excited to be part of the SECOORA team in this work to better understand coastal and ocean environments in the southeast and across the country!”

Theo Jass, SECOORA

Theo has a M.S. in Geological Sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his thesis focused on coastal geomorphology and dune ecosystems. As part of his thesis work, he collected and analyzed data on dune grasses from imagery. He was also a co-author on a study using kite-flown imagery to determine ground control point requirements for structure-from-motion derived topography at the dune field site.

After graduate school, Theo worked as an Environmental Scientist in ecohydrology and watershed science at NC State University, working on projects including water quality in areas impacted by floodwaters from hurricanes Matthew and Florence, and salinization of freshwater ecosystems in the coastal plain of NC. He participated in a conference workshop on low-cost sensors in 2016 and in a workshop on in-situ sensors in 2017. More recently, he was an ORISE Research Participant at EPA-GLNPO, where he supported Great Lakes Restoration Initiative activities, created maps, and participated in research cruises. He also participated as a volunteer on a research cruise with the University of Georgia’s Skidaway Institute of Oceanography in 2022 and received a Wade Family Scholarship for summer study in marine ecology at the Duke Marine Laboratory in 2007.

Theo speaks Spanish and enjoys traveling, music, running, hiking, and getting on the water in any way possible.

Emily Noakes – Communications and Engagement Specialist

Emily Noakes, Communications and Engagement Specialist, SECOORA

Emily Noakes has joined SECOORA full-time as our Communications and Engagement Specialist! This is a critical position at SECOORA with two key priorities: Communicating the science that SECOORA supports and effectively engaging diverse audiences to ensure maximum positive impact of our work.

Emily has been working with SECOORA since July 2022, when she was hired as a Communications Intern while pursuing her Masters of Natural Resources (MNR) in Fisheries Science at the University of Georgia. In this role, she directly assisted the Director of Communications with writing news stories for the SECOORA website, creating social media posts and graphics, planning the 2023 SECOORA Annual Meeting, and congressional outreach. After completing her graduate program, she worked for the Southeast and Caribbean Disaster Resilience Partnership (SCDRP) as Program Coordinator where she managed internal and external communications and assisted with grant writing and meeting planning.

“Working with SECOORA has allowed me to develop my skills and passion for science communication, and I look forward to amplifying all the great work that SECOORA supports with a broad range of audiences.”

Emily Noakes, SECOORA

Emily earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology (Marine Emphasis) and Ecology from the University of Georgia. She has always had a passion for ocean science and conservation, and strives to increase the public’s engagement and interest in those topics. In the past, she has worked for Sandy Creek Nature Center in Athens, GA as a Program Assistant, for the University of Georgia as a Fisheries Lab Technician, and for the University of Georgia Marine Extension Aquarium as an Intern.

In her spare time, Emily enjoys reading novels, creative writing, experimenting with cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.  

Cotie Alsbrooks – Water Level Manager

Cotie Alsbrooks, Water Level Manager, SECOORA

Cotie Alsbrooks has joined the SECOORA team as the new Water Level Project Manager. He will be responsible for coordinating and supporting regional Principle Investigators in maintaining 70 SECOORA Water level stations and a proposed 70 more.

“I am beyond grateful to be able to use my skills by supporting SECOORA and the water level team to help southeastern communities in their water level monitoring needs!”

Cotie Alsbrooks, SECOORA

Cotie Alsbrooks has a B.S. in Marine Science and a minor in G.I.S. with a focus on Physical Oceanography from Coastal Carolina University. After receiving his Bachelor’s, he worked as a land surveyor and shortly after began working for Lynker as an in-house contractor for NOAA’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS). As part of a team, he would travel across the entire U.S. Southeast, all five Great Lakes, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to support NOAA’s NWLON and Great Lakes water level networks. This included maintaining, installing, and repairing a vast array of water level instrumentation at each station. While at CO-OPS, he also helped support National Geodetic Survey (NGS) GPS campaigns for the upcoming International Great Lakes Datum Update (IGLD).

Cotie is an avid outdoor enthusiast. He tries to spend as much time as he can by running, weight lifting, hiking/camping, and fly fishing.