NOAA's Marine Debris Blog

Keepin' the Sea Free of Debris!

Meet the Bloggers!

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Hello, I am Holly! I’m proud to be a “science geek” and have worked with marine debris issues since 2005. I came from the research side of the world working on understanding the fate and transport of contaminants in the ocean. I have lived in Maryland for over 15 years, where I went to graduate school earning a Ph.D. in Environmental Chemistry from the University of Maryland, did a post doc at Maryland and was a visiting scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. I love Italian food, traveling, warm weather, and basketball.


Hi, my name is Sarah. I came from the Great Lakes area where I earned my master’s degree in aquatic ecology. I’ve had numerous jobs involving important Great Lakes issues such as agricultural influences on community diversity, invasive species community interactions, and industrial impacts to fisheries….that includes everything from lab work to mucking around in marshes and wading through trucks full of dead, decaying fish. Now that wins the award for the dirtiest and smelliest job in my opinion!

Hi from Silver Spring, MD! My name is Courtney. Most of my life has been spent in a love-hate relationship with the southeast, namely Virginia (born, raised, obtained B.S. in Biology from The College of William & Mary) and South Carolina (obtained M.S. in Marine Biology from the College of Charleston). I am a sucker for “the big picture,” and study marine pollution because (1) you can ask small, discrete questions and build a more complete understanding of the stressors affecting these cool ecosystems, (2) it is often a visible problem that can be reversed, and (3) everyone deserves a chance to fall in love with a clean ocean! I am also a sucker for sea turtles, peppermint tea, and bad puns, not necessarily in that order.


Aloha! I’m Carey. I live in the beautiful Hawaiian Islands (Honolulu to be exact). My educational background is somewhat “science-heavy.” I have a bachelors in zoology and a masters in animal science, both from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. My experiences, however, have been mainly in the realm of marine conservation outreach and education in Hawaii. I’ve worked for the state, academia, non-profit orgs, and NOAA over the past 10 years. From diving for sunglasses in the Hawaiian monk seal exhibit pool at the Waikiki Aquarium to training volunteers for a day of humpback whale-counting, and most recently helping clean some of Hawaii’s dirtiest beaches, I’ve loved every second!



Aloha. I’m Kris, and I live in Hawaii. I spend a lot of time on phone calls, on email, and in meetings trying to keep up with marine debris activities and helping folks stay connected. Most of my work is in Hawaii, but I also keep track of marine debris issues and projects in Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, and the (mostly uninhabited) Pacific Remote Island Areas. Despite a great formal education, I have earned a living as a barkeeper, oboe reed maker, steam-plant ash puller, country music DJ, record store manager, library page, and Peace Corps volunteer.



My name is Peter, an occasional contributor to this blog. I spend a lot of my time in the office talking on the phone, writing emails and attending meetings working to stay on top of marine debris projects and learn more about ongoing activities. I also get to work from places that are not my office, and have had the chance to observe and help on-site with several projects around the Pacific NW and Alaska. I enjoy skiing, backpacking and ultimate frisbee, though anything outdoors is fine by me, especially University of Washington football games.

Howdy. Neal is my name and I currently live in Washington, DC. I am fortunate to be able to spend considerable time in the Southeast region of the country, meet many fantastic people, and enjoy delicious cuisine. I am co-founder of the Award for Progressive Sustainability, which is given annually at Columbia University, and am proud to have made international travel a priority in my life. I once made a living as an independent recording artist, remain a soccer enthusiast, and look forward to life’s next adventure.


Hi, I’m Karla. I’m working with the rest of the gang for a while while on a temporary duty assignment. I’m researching marine debris impacts to threatened and endangered species; specifically sea turtles, the Hawaiian monk seal, and corals. I also set up this snazzy blog. I have an eclectic background that includes teaching diving, sailing, and marine archaeology, as well as working in pharmacy, diving in an aquarium, and bartending (just for a few months in Trikala Greece). I’m from the northwest, currently consider the southeast my home, but have lived a few other places as well. In my spare time I enjoy creating art from glass, spoiling my beagle, riding my Harley, and a few other things.

My name is Megan and I am a marine biologist with a specialization in marine mammal and sea turtle behavior which has morphed into communications. I’ve been in this field for 9 years. I’m located in Silver Spring, MD, where all the “action” is – but not very many beaches I am sorry to say. I’ve been a painter, interior design assistant, nanny, professional vocalist, college administrator in my life. I started out in this field as a “dolphin hugger” and animal technician, so if you’re ever curious about what it feels like to be bitten by a seal, thrown off a dolphin or scratched by a sea turtle, then I’m your girl. All in all I am pleased to say I ended up in the right place working for the world’s ocean.


Shalom, my name is Nir. I was born and raised on a kibbutz in northern Israel, and have been living in Seattle since 1985. I work on marine debris projects along the West Coast of the US, and over the last three years in the Gulf of Mexico. While working in the office is part of my job, I really enjoy field work. My undergrad is in microbiology and graduate degree in environmental health, both from the University of Washington. I enjoy nature, and hiking, cross country skiing, and kayaking are my favorite leisure activities, followed by urban exploration and sampling ethnic food, the spicier the better.

Hi, I’m Sherry. I have a B.S. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and I came to Silver Spring from the University of California Santa Cruz. At UCSC I am working on a Ph.D. in Ocean Sciences, and my graduate work is focused on trace metal cycling in the marine environment. I spent a lot of time on research cruises collecting water samples and working inside a clean “bubble”, which gave me the opportunity to really appreciate the vastness of our oceans. I love skiing, hiking, and yoga and I try to get outside as much as possible.

Hi, I’m Becky. I majored in English and minored in Biology at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and came to Silver Spring, MD by way of NYC. I’ve spent a lot of time doing communications in all sectors but found I really liked working to preserve the environment. After having two kids, I decided our oceans were a great place to lend my talents and came to NOAA to do just that. In my spare time I like to swim, camp, and take family hikes in our national parks and refuges.

Author: NOAA Marine Debris Program

The NOAA Marine Debris Program envisions the global ocean and its coasts, users, and inhabitants free from the impacts of marine debris. Our mission is to investigate and solve the problems that stem from marine debris, in order to protect and conserve our nation's marine environment, natural resources, industries, economy, and people.

One thought on “Meet the Bloggers!

  1. My research question is : How does pollution(marine debris) affect the coral reef?
    i have to be able to reply to this question by snorkeling in an island and make some measure but i don’t know which measure to do ? and what equipement do i need ?

    how can I control the variable?

    how can we measure the percentage of a dead and alive corals?

    i really want to sucess on helping saving the corals reef by ding an excelent work that will be shown in assembly i already went to clean up many beach while diving.

    I would be very greatfull if you reply to my email and help me

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