Top Menu

Science Advisory Council

The role of the Science Advisory Council is to advise Save Our Shores on:

  1. The scientific and technical questions impacting marine conservation
  2. The scientific merits of new marine conservation projects and proposals
  3. New ideas for marine conservation projects based on recent scientific trends
  4. Practical concerns for approaching marine conservation projects and proposals

Natural Bridges-CREDIT Jenna NicholsonThe Science Advisory Council is composed of members with expertise in the areas we have identified as most critical for the Sanctuary: Marine Protected Areas, Water Quality, Climate Change and Sustainable Fisheries.

We are pleased these scientists have elected to help us in our marine conservation efforts. Input from the Science Advisory Council will help ensure that our efforts are based on a solid understanding of the most up-to-date scientific thinking from some of the best in the field.



Meet Our Scientists

Dr. Bruce Daniels

Dr. Daniels has served for six years as a Director, and for the last several years as President, of the Soquel Creek Water District. He served for over six years as a Member and as Vice-Chair and Chair of the state’s Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board. He was the founder and first Chair of Santa Cruz County Sierra Club’s Water Resources Committee. Bruce is a member of technical organizations like the Association of Ground Water Scientists & Engineers and many local environmental groups. Bruce received his education in Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he received a B.S. and M.S. and also did some work in their Ph.D. program. He has worked at H.P., Apple, Oracle, Borland, and his own start-up Singular Software. He currently works at Sun Microsystems where he has been doing application design and software development tools.

Dr. Gary Griggs

Dr. Griggs received his B.A. in Geology in 1965 from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a Ph.D. in Oceanography from Oregon State University in 1968. He has been a Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz since 1968 and has served as Chairman of the Department of Earth Sciences, Associate Dean of Natural Sciences, and has been the Director of the Institute of Marine Sciences and Long Marine Laboratory since 1991. He has served as Chair of the University of California Marine Council since its inception in 1999. He also serves on the California Sea Grant Advisory Board. In 1998 he was given the Outstanding Faculty Award in the Division of Physical and Biological Sciences at UC Santa Cruz. In 2003 he was awarded the CSBPA Joe Johnson Coastal Research Award. The UCSC Alumni Association honored him with a Distinguished Teaching Award in 2006. In 2007 he was honored with being asked to give the Ed Ricketts Memorial Lecture for lifetime achievement in marine research and education. His research and teaching have been focused on the coast of California and include coastal processes, hazards, and coastal engineering. Dr. Griggs has written over 145 articles for professional journals as well as co-authored several books: The Earth and Land Use Planning; Geologic Hazards, Resources and Environmental Planning; Living with the California Coast; California’s Coastal Hazards: A Critical Assessment of Existing Land Use Policies and Practices; Coastal Protection Structures and Their Effectiveness; Living with the Changing California Coast; and The Santa Cruz Coast: Then and Now.

Dr. Steve Lonhart

Dr. Lonhart is the Senior Scientist for the Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN) at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. He is involved in multiple research and monitoring projects in the sanctuary, with an emphasis on nearshore kelp forests and the rocky intertidal. His research interests include invasive species and their impact on native ecosystems and the response of marine organisms to climate change. Steve has three degrees in biology: a B.S. from UCLA, M.S. from CSU Long Beach, and a Ph.D. from UCSC. In addition to working for the sanctuary since 2002, he is a Research Associate with the Institute of Marine Sciences at UCSC.

Dr. Baldo Marinovic

Dr. Marinovic is a marine ecologist with a specialty in zooplankton biology. He is both a Research Biologist with the Institute of Marine Sciences and a Lecturer with the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology – both part of the University of California at Santa Cruz. His research focuses on the role of zooplankton dynamics, particularly krill, within the pelagic ecosystem of the California Current. In addition to conducting research, Baldo teaches several core courses in marine science and general biology at UCSC including Invertebrate Zoology, Ecology & Evolution, and General Biology. He received both his B.Sci. in Biology and M.S. in Marine Sciences from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and he received his Ph.D. from the University of Western Australia where he was a Fulbright Scholar.

Dr. John Pearse

Dr. Pearse was raised in Tucson, Arizona where he worked at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. from Stanford University, working on the reproductive ecology of Antarctic sea stars. After teaching at the American University in Cairo, and doing research on kelp forest ecology at the California Institute of Technology, he joined the faculty of the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he taught courses in invertebrate zoology, kelp forest ecology, and intertidal biology for 26 years. After retiring he helped develop an intertidal monitoring program that has been adopted by the National Marine Sanctuaries in California, LiMPETS ( He is the author of numerous research papers, edited a multivolume treatise on the reproduction of marine invertebrates, and he and his wife were coauthors of the textbook “Living Invertebrates.” He is past president of the Western Society of Naturalists, Santa Cruz Natural History Museum Association, the California Academy of Sciences, and the Society for Comparative and Integrative Biology.

Dr. Lisa Sloan

Dr. Sloan’s research focuses on (1) the mechanisms responsible for past warm climate states in Earth history, and (2) possible future climate scenarios and associated impacts upon human and natural systems. Sloan graduated with a Ph.D. in Geosciences from the Pennsylvania State University in 1990. After a 2-year postdoctoral position at the University of Michigan, Sloan joined the Institute of Marine Sciences at UC Santa Cruz as a Research Associate. In 1995 she was appointed an Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at UCSC. She is currently a Professor in that same department, where she is also the Director of the Climate Change and Impacts Laboratory. Sloan has authored over 50 publications and book chapters on topics of future climate change and paleoclimate change, and has given dozens of public lectures on the topic of California’s future climate over the past several years. She was the recipient of an Outstanding Young Scientist Fellowship from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation in 1996, and served as a national officer of the American Geophysical Society for many years. She also has served as editor-in-chief of the international journals Global and Planetary Change; and Paleoceanography. She serves on key advisory panels at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the National Science Foundation. In addition, Sloan also currently serves as the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies at UC Santa Cruz. She can be reached at; (831-459-5079), and she would love to work on climate change problems at global and regional scales with interested parties.

Melissa Stevens

Melissa is a Fisheries Project Director with The Nature Conservancy’s California Chapter, and works to advance principles of community based co-management in the West Coast Groundfish Fishery. Prior to this, she has been engaged in studying the biological, ecological and human dimension aspects of California fisheries. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Colorado (with a year at Murdoch University in Western Australia) and her Masters of Marine Science at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. Her background includes work with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program, California Sea Grant Extension, NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center, the Alliance of Communities for Sustainable Fisheries, and the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. At the core of her work, Melissa is helping to document fishermens’ knowledge and elucidate how California’s fisheries and communities adapt to the changing dynamics of marine ecosystems, as well as the political and regulatory system. She lives in Santa Cruz with her husband and young son.

Ken Baltz

Ken currently works as an oceanographer for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service in Santa Cruz CA and as a Senior Reserve Officer for the United States Coast Guard in San Francisco CA. His oceanographic research and field work focuses on sustainable fisheries and habitat stewardship. Ken also works within the US Coast Guard’s Marine Environmental Protection Division of Sector San Francisco where he specializes in responses to maritime incidents, collisions, groundings, and hazardous material spills within the navigable waters of central and northern California. Ken has worked as an environmental educator, charter sailboat captain in the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, NOAA working diver, and research oceanographer. Ken has studied marine mammals, Pacific rockfish populations, Humboldt squid ecology, upwelling dynamics, primary productivity within the California Current System, invertebrate ecology, and living marine resource management within Hawaiian/central Pacific, and North Atlantic waters. He has a B. S. in Marine Biology from Florida Institute of Technology, and an M.S. in Physical Oceanography from the Naval Postgraduate School.

Dr. George H. Leonard

George is the Director of Ocean Conservancy’s Aquaculture Program where he works to ensure that U.S. aquaculture develops under strong environmental standards. In particular, his work is currently focused on legislative activities surrounding the development of open ocean aquaculture in state and federal waters. From 2002 to 2007, he was the Senior Science Manager for Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program where he was responsible for overseeing the research and analysis of capture fisheries and aquaculture practices related to the development of sustainability recommendations for the public and businesses. These recommendations were presented in the form of regional, wallet-sized pocket guides for consumers as well as sourcing guidance for major seafood buyers. Before joining Seafood Watch in early 2002, he was the Program Manager for COMPASS (the Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea) where he helped communicate emerging marine conservation science to policymakers, NGOs and resource managers. George holds a Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from Brown University and a M.S. in Marine Science from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. He has done extensive basic marine research in intertidal and subtidal communities on both the east and west coasts of North America.