Meet Our Board
Margaret Collins, Board Chair
Born and raised in Montevideo, Uruguay, by the ocean, Margaret Collins was the owner and operator of Kayak Connection for 23 years in the Santa Cruz Harbor. Her focus at Kayak Connection was to create a business that would bring youngsters and adults closer to the marine environment through kayaking and later through stand up paddling.
She graduated from UC Santa Cruz and has been an ocean lover and protector all her life. She has been on the water in Monterey Bay for the last 25 years. Margaret has been a supporter and admirer of Save Our Shores since their inception and as a board member is committed to helping the staff achieve their goals and the organization achieve their mission. In her spare time she loves stand up paddle, play beach volleyball, and kayak around the world.
Martel Andersen, Board Vice Chair
Martel is a native Californian and moved to the Central Coast in 1996. She earned a Bachelors degree in Statistics with an emphasis in Environmental Studies from U.C. Berkeley. Prior to moving to the Central Coast, she worked as an HR consultant in the greater SF Bay Area. During the summer of 2008, she was looking for a way to volunteer her time and share her passion and enthusiasm for clean healthy oceans.
An online search connected her with Save Our Shores… and it was love at first sight. She began volunteering right away. She graduated from the 2009 Steward Class and in 2010 was honored as the “Volunteer of the Year.” She continues to be Site Captain for many of Save Our Shores’ public beach cleanups and she’s a huge “Bring Your Own” advocate and missionary.
In her spare time, she enjoys organic gardening, cooking gourmet vegetarian cuisine and taking long walks along the many beautiful beaches located within the Sanctuary with her husband, Dave, and dog, Rosie. Martel has a goal of visiting and documenting all the beaches within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
George Leonard, Board Treasurer
Trained as a marine ecologist, George has 15 years of experience in ocean policy, seafood markets, and marine science. As Director of Strategic Initiatives at Ocean Conservancy, he led the institution’s efforts to chart a sustainable path for fish farming, is at the center of a new initiative to address the growing threat of ocean acidification, and provides science, policy, and strategic advice across the organization’s other efforts, including marine protected areas, marine debris and sustainable fisheries.
Before joining Ocean Conservancy in 2007, George developed the scientific framework to evaluate sustainable seafood at Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program and worked closely with major seafood buyers to improve their seafood procurement practices. Earlier, in 2002, he helped launch COMPASS (the Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea), an innovative approach to communicating emerging marine conservation science to policymakers, NGOs and resource managers.
George holds a Ph. D. from Brown University in Rhode Island and a M. S. from Moss Landing Marine
Laboratories in California.
Vicki Pearse, Board Secretary
Vicki is a marine biologist and holds a Ph. D. from Stanford University. She is an author and editor of books and other publications in biology; wife, mother, grandmother; lover of the oceans and their inhabitants. A long-time supporter of Save Our Shores, she regards stewardship of our coastal marine environment as a major piece of treading gently on our planet — and emphasizes science as essential to effective stewardship. She lives in Pacific Grove and, as a founding member of Sustainable PG, she aims for a full, fun, durable life-style. Favorite activities: observing birds, walking in forests, cooking and eating, watching waves and (sometimes) making waves.
Dr. Wallace “J” Nichols, Board Member
Dr. Wallace “J.” Nichols spent his youth exploring oceans and forests, resulting in a fascination for genetics, animal migration, human culture and conservation. These are the areas he studied during his undergraduate years at DePauw University, graduate studies at Duke University and University of Arizona, academic research as a Fulbright Fellow, and as a research associate at the California Academy of Sciences. In 1998 he founded Grupo Tortuguero, an international grassroots movement dedicated to restoring Pacific sea turtles and to sustainable management of ocean fisheries. In 1999 he co-founded and for five years directed WiLDCOAST, an international conservation team dedicated to the protection of coastal wilderness. Currently, J. works with several universities and organizations to advance ocean protection, and is also spearheading the Ocean Revolution, a program that inspires, involves and mentors the next generation of ocean conservation leaders. Check out bluemarbles.org. See J on Nautica.
Ken Sutherland, Board Member
Ken is a San Francisco Bay Area native who has had a long personal and professional involvement in environmental protection. He has worked for Hewlett-Packard for 25 years and is responsible for assuring that HP’s operations meet legal, internal and international standards in the areas of environmental health and safety management. Earlier in his career Ken worked for the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency in the San Francisco regional office specializing in water quality, wastewater treatment and permits management. Ken is a graduate of Stanford University with a BS in Civil Engineering and MS in Environmental Engineering. His interest in the environment came at an early age with hiking, camping and working on conservation projects in Scouts. From that point he decided to pursue a career in what was then a relatively little-known field.
Ken’s main hobby is playing the Scottish Highland bagpipes, and he has competed successfully in solo competitions in North America and Scotland as well as with the Pipe Band he helps direct. Ken lives in Menlo Park with his wife Sue; they have two grown children (and one grandchild, at last count).
Dennis Norton, Board Member
Dennis brings ten years as a Capitola City Council Member, and six years as Capitola’s Planning Commissioner to the Save Our Shores Board of Directors. Capitola has long been regarded as an environmentally minded and ocean conscious city and Dennis has played a large role in shaping the positive reputation held by this city by the sea. As a member of the Capitola Commission on the Environment, previous Director of the Coastal Watershed Council, and eight years as a Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation commissioner, Dennis’ environmental ethics and knowledge of local politics are welcomed to the Save Our Shores Board with open arms.
Jason Scorse, Board Member
Jason Scorse completed his Ph.D. in Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics at UC-Berkley in 2005 and subsequently joined the faculty of the Monterey Institute of International Studies (a graduate school of Middlebury College). He teaches courses in environmental and natural resource economics, ocean and coastal economics, and sustainable development. In 2009 he was promoted to the Chair of the International Environmental Policy Program, and as of 2011 Professor Scorse is also the Director of the new Center for the Blue Economy. Professor Scorse has consulted for major environmental organizations, and in 2010 his book, “What Environmentalists Need to Know About Economics,” was published by Palgrave Macmillan. Dr. Scorse also sits on the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Research Activities Panel. In his spare time he surfs, cooks gourmet vegan food, and writes fiction for when he starts his new career after we’ve solved all of the world’s great environmental challenges.
Mark Stone, Board Member
Mark Stone represents California’s 29th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Monterey, Marina, Pacific Grove, Sand City, Seaside, Capitola, Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley and a portion of San Jose. Previously, Stone served the people of the Central Coast as Board President of the Scotts Valley Unified School District and as a Santa Cruz County Supervisor. As an environmental champion at the local level he led the effort banning plastic bags and creating a
Commission on the Environment, and such, has helped Santa Cruz County earn its reputation as an environmentally conscious county. From 2009 to 2012, Stone served on the California Coastal Commission, where he earned the reputation as a principled leader who protects the cherished California coastline for generations to come. Stone lives in Scotts Valley with his wife Kathy and their two children, Melissa and Byron. Stone is an avid open water swimmer.
Abigail Davis, Board Member
Abbi graduated from the University of York, England with a BSC in Biochemistry. During her studies she spent a year at the University of California, Santa Cruz where she developed a long-term love of Scuba diving and a deep appreciation of the beautiful marine environment. She has since moved from her home country of England out to sunny California where she works for Cord Blood Registry (CBR) in San Bruno. At CBR Abbi is responsible for strategic transformation in the sales department. Her hobbies include hiking, running, animal rescue and visiting the beach with her husband and two dogs who she lives with up in Bonny Doon.
Nancy Connelly, Board Member
Nancy has lived her whole life a stone’s throw from the ocean—the first half from the Atlantic and the second half from the Pacific. Learning to swim in “the big blue” as a child and competing in it as an adult, she has a deep appreciation for the power and life that comes (and goes) from the ocean. So whether in Connecticut or California, Nancy is most comfortable living near water. She earned a Bachelors degree in Economics from the University of Connecticut and her Masters in Public Administration with an emphasis on Non-Profit Management from San Francisco State University. After a 12-month sabbatical, she decided to incorporate more
time “doing something good for the world.” In 2011, she trained as a SOS Sanctuary Steward and has since enjoyed the bittersweet experience of gathering trash more than she ever would have imagined! As often as possible, she spends time mountain bike riding, walking, collecting beach stones and traveling. She lives in Santa Cruz with her partner and their Australian Shepherd and two house rabbits.