Cat Kuhlman, OPC Executive Director/Deputy Secretary for Oceans and Coastal Matters, California Natural Resources Agency
Cat Kuhlman was appointed in April 2012 by Governor Brown to serve as the Deputy Secretary for Ocean and Coastal Matters at the Resources Agency and as the Executive Director to the Ocean Protection Council. Previously Cat was the Executive Director for the North Coast Water Quality Control Board, which is responsible for protecting and restoring water quality on the North Coast, including the coastline and major rivers from the Russian to the Smith. Before coming to the Board, Cat worked for the U.S. EPA managing diverse environmental problems along the U.S. Mexico border as well as a wide variety of federal water programs including the Clean Water, Safe Drinking Water Act and Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act. A water enthusiast, Cat has written papers on international environmental issues, and water quality standards. She, and her husband love to explore streams and loaf on beaches.
Contact: (916) 657-0198 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Samuel P. Schuchat, OPC Secretary/Executive Officer State Coastal Conservancy
Samuel P. Schuchat became Executive Officer of the Coastal Conservancy in July 2001 and is also the Secretary to the California Ocean Protection Council. He was the Executive Director of the Federation of State Conservation Voter Leagues from 1998 to 2001; the Federation is the trade association of 26 environmental Political Action Committees (PAC) in as many states. From 1992 to 1998 he was the Executive Director of the California League of Conservation Voters, the nation’s largest and oldest state environmental PAC with 25,000 members.
He served on the California Fish and Game Commission from 1999 to 2004 including two years as Vice-President. He is currently serving on the Board of Temple Sinai in Oakland. He received his BA in Political Science at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, in 1983, and his MA in Public Administration at San Francisco State University in 1989. He is an avid cyclist and birdwatcher, and has backpacked all over the Eastern and Western United States. He resides in Oakland with his wife and daughter.
Contact: (510) 286-1015 or email@example.com
Mary Small, Deputy Executive Officer, Ocean Program Supervisor
Mary Small has worked on land conservation and environmental planning projects around the state. She has worked for the Coastal Conservancy since 2001, managing dozens of wetland restoration and public access projects around San Francisco Bay and thoughout Southern California. She was the co-director of the Southern California Wetland Recovery Project, a partnership of nineteen state and federal agencies that facilitates the identification of priority projects, integrates science and policy initiatives, and advances wetland restoration efforts. As part of her duties as the Deputy Executive Officer of the Coastal Conservancy she acts as the program supervisor of the Ocean Protection Council staff.
Contact: (510)-286-4181 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Abe Doherty, OPC Project Specialist
Abe Doherty has been working on coastal management for the State since 2001, including as the Climate Change Coordinator for the Coastal Conservancy, Project Manager for the San Francisco Bay Area Conservancy, and as a Coastal Planner and Enforcement Analyst for the California Coastal Commission. When he lived in New England, he worked as a wetlands consultant, research diver and as staff to the Narragansett Bay Estuary Project. An alum of Brown University, Abe enjoys working at the interface between science and policy. Abe is currently focusing on climate change.
Contact: 510-286-4183 or email@example.com
Laura Engeman, OPC Project Manager
Laura Engeman joined the Ocean Protection Council staff as a California Sea Grant fellow in January 2007. She received her Master’s degree in International Environmental Policy at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS) in 2006 where she focused on ocean and coastal management. During graduate school, she researched tools for assessing coastal vulnerability and compiled data for the National Ocean Economics Program. She also participated in an internship with the coastal programme of the Foundation for the Peoples of the South Pacific in Fiji. Laura currently resides in San Clemente, where she is learning to sail and enjoys biking, hiking, and spending time at the beach.
Contact: 949-361-8929 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Amanda Sackett, OPC Sea Grant Fellow 2013
Mandy joined the Ocean Protection Council in January 2013 as a California Sea Grant Fellow. She recently received her M.A. in International Environmental Policy at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Mandy has experience working with several ocean organizations in the Monterey Bay including Ocean Champions and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. As well, she worked with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s protected area office in Quito, Ecuador documenting baseline data of marine protected areas around the South American continent. She is fluent in the Spanish language. When not at work Mandy spends time surfing, snowboarding, sailing, exploring and playing with her dog.
Contact: (916) 653-9486 or Amanda.Sackett@resources.ca.gov
Valerie Termini McCormick, OPC Project Manager
Valerie Termini McCormick joined the Ocean Protection Council staff in October 2007 following a California Sea Grant fellowship at the ocean resources management program in Sacramento. She obtained her masters degree in International Environmental Policy at the Monterey Institute for International Studies (MIIS), in 2006. While a graduate student, she interned at the NOAA National Marine Protected Area Institute in Monterey and as a community fishery policy advisor for the Conservation Society of Pohnpei, in Micronesia. She received her B.A. in Political Science at Whittier College in 1998. Following college, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo, West Africa for 2 ½ years working on environmental protection and education. A transplant from Massachusetts, Valerie enjoys watching the Red Sox beat the Yankees, cooking for friends, gardening, backpacking, scuba-diving, in addition to traveling and eating all over the world with her husband. Valerie is currently working on sustainable fisheries projects for the OPC.
Contact: (510) 286-0319 or email@example.com
Clare O’Reilly joined the Ocean Protection Council staff in February 2011 after working as a Research Specialist and Lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, where she received her masters degree in Environmental Planning. Clare’s graduate research focused on the interaction between science, policy, and management in river restoration. She wrote her masters thesis on dam removal planning in the California Coast Ranges, a passionate interest she continues to pursue through her involvement with the Clearinghouse for Dam Removal Information. Clare received her BA in Environmental Studies and Geography from Middlebury College in Middlebury, VT. Her academic pursuits have taken her to far flung locales including Madagascar, Portugal, and southeastern France. Prior to graduate school, Clare worked on developing watershed management plans and anadromous fish habitat restoration strategies at the Long Island South Shore Estuary Reserve in her native New York. She also served as staff to the New York Ocean and Great Lakes Ecosystem Conservation Council during its initial development. Her dedication to coastal stewardship was fostered at a young age growing up on the shores of Rockaway Beach, NY. In her spare time she enjoys playing her violin, cooking, and exploring the Bay Area on her bicycle.
Contact: (510) 286-0332 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sheila Semans, OPC Project Specialist
Sheila Semans joined the Coastal Conservancy in 2000 and has been staff to the OPC since its inception. With over seventeen years of experience working in land and water conservation, Sheila currently focuses her work on developing the state’s ocean observing program and mapping the seafloor. Sheila’s experience developing highly collaborative programs has enabled her to work with all of the marine labs throughout the state, and with many local, state and federal agencies. While at the University of Washington’s School of Marine Affairs, Sheila’s graduate work focused on developing tools to bridge the gap between science and policy, something she continues to feel passionate about today. While not at work, Sheila enjoys beachcombing, fishing, free-diving, and gardening at her home in Mendocino.
Contact: (707) 964-0176 or email@example.com
Marisa Villarreal began working with the OPC as a California Sea Grant fellow at the California Natural Resources Agency in early 2013. Marisa graduated with a Master’s degree from the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UC Santa Barbara in 2012, where she specialized in coastal marine resource management. She completed a group thesis in partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Society using bioeconomic modeling to predict the ecological and socioeconomic impacts of proposed salmon aquaculture farms in southern Chile, and to assess ecological/economic tradeoffs. Marisa’s career and academic interests have led to several other projects working on sustainable seafood (which she loves to eat)including a research internship in southern Spain tagging and studying Atlantic bluefin tuna. Before attending Bren she worked as the legislative coordinator for Heal the Bay, where she worked on the Marine Life Protection Act’s South Coast Marine Protected Areas implementation process as well as tracking other relevant legislation and assisting with campaigns. She received a BA in biological sciences from Wellesley College in 2008. Born and raised in Venice Beach, Marisa enjoys everything ocean, exploring new places, meeting new people, getting outside, and trying to be a foodie.