Council Members

2015 Advisory Council Members visiting E/V NAUTILUS in Galveston

Non-Government Members


Conservation

Jake Emmert
Moody Gardens
Galveston, TX
divesafety@moodygardens.org

Term expires: August 14, 2019

Jake Emmert is the Dive Safety Officer at Moody Gardens. He oversees more than 2,000 dives annually for both in-house animal husbandry operations and scientific field expeditions. A number of these dives support the management, research and conservation goals of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Artificial Reef Program, NOAA’s Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, Florida Atlantic University - Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute and Texas A&M University at Galveston. He is also involved in wildlife rehabilitation, field conservation, conservation education and habitat restoration efforts of Moody Gardens.

Jake earned his bachelor’s in Marine Biology and a master’s in Marine Resources Management from Texas A&M University at Galveston, where he supported research projects in Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, and Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. Jake is the president of Galveston Rotary, a diving instructor, and an avid outdoorsman.

Joanie Steinhaus
Turtle Island Restoration Network
Galveston, TX
joanie@tirn.net

Term expires: December 5, 2020

Joanie Steinhaus is the Campaign Director for Turtle Island Restoration Network in their efforts to protect the Gulf of Mexico. She has been involved with formal and informal education programs for over seventeen years, as a public school teacher for three and half years and fourteen years working at informal education sites including the Houston Zoo, Keep Austin Beautiful and the Lower Colorado River Authority. She has extensive experience in the education of youth and adults about stewardship and conservation of our natural resources.

Joanie has worked with a variety of organizations, both locally and state-wide, to advance conservation and sustainability issues. Her diverse knowledge and passion about the environment in the Texas area has shown in her outreach work to local politicians, community groups, homeowner associations and the general public to help them understand the value of protecting the local flora and fauna.


Diving Operations

Frank Burek
Montgomery, TX
jfburek@consolidated.net

Term Expires: July 23, 2021

Frank Burek spends his time traveling and photographing nature with his wife, Joyce. He has been active in the local dive community for 39 years and is a distinguished underwater photographer. Frank serves as a Board member and Historian for the Houston Underwater Photographic Society (HUPS), and is the President and Historian for the Texas Gulf Coast Council of Diving Clubs (TGCC). He received Lifetime Achievement Awards from both HUPS and TGCC. In 2000, Frank was the recipient of NOAA's Environmental Hero award and in 2005, received the FGBNMS Volunteer of the Year award. Frank was a previous SAC member from 2005-2012, and served on multiple subcommittees and working groups. After serving in the U.S. military, Frank was employed by Texaco until his retirement in 1998.  

Natalie Davis
Harte Research Institute
Corpus Christi, TX
natdavis2017@gmail.com

Term Expires: July 23, 2021

Natalie Davis is currently Project Coordinator for the Harte Research Institute in Corpus Christi, TX. She has a BS in Marine Biology from Texas A&M University and an MS in Coastal Management from NOVA Southeastern University. As part of her studies, Natalie conducted coral reef research in the sanctuary, as well as in Florida and the Seychelles (Africa). She also has a diverse background in scuba diving, from Divemaster to Cavern Diver, and previously managed a dive shop in southeast Florida. Educating the public and building conservation awareness has been an important aspect of her career.


Recreational Diving

Jesse Cancelmo
Houston, TX
j.cancelmo@sbcglobal.net

Term Expires: July 23, 2021

Jesse Cancelmo is an accomplished underwater photographer, author, and photojournalist. His articles and photographs have appeared in numerous diving and wildlife publications. He has authored three books, Diving Cayman Islands (1998), and Diving Bermuda (1990 and 2005) and Texas Coral Reefs, published by Texas A&M Press in April 2008. Jesse is a contributing editor-photographer for Dive Training Magazine, and also contributes regularly to Texas Parks & Wildlife and other dive and wildlife magazines. He leads groups on Gulf of Mexico and Indo-Pacific dive adventures. Additionally, Jesse is a degreed Mechanical Engineer with a P.E. license in three states. He retired in 2010 after 36 years in the Heavy Industrial Engineering/Construction business working for global Fortune 500 companies. His expertise is in Project Management.

Sepp Haukebo
Environmental Defense Fund
Galveston, TX
haukebos@gmail.com

Term Expires: February 13, 2022

Sepp is a program manager at the Environmental Defense Fund where he focuses on researching and implementing solutions that balance access and sustainability of our ocean’s most important resources. He earned his B.S. in Marine Biology from Texas A&M University at Galveston, where he researched distribution of juvenile grouper abundance across FGBNMS. He also has an M.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M main campus, where he investigated underwater cave ecology and nutrient sources in the Yucatan Peninsula. Sepp's other research adventures range from tagging blue marlin in the Gulf of Mexico to identifying rare cave species in the deepest underwater cave in the United States. In addition to his scientific background, Sepp has been an informal educator of marine sciences since 2002, a lifelong passion that led him to a Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship with NOAA’s Office of Education in 2013. He is also a long-time angler, surfer, and diver, spending any free time getting his wife and two daughters on the water.   


Education

Sharon Kamas
Houston, TX
kamas.sharon@gmail.com 

Term Expires: May 1, 2022

Sharon's education career includes teaching K, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades, as well as serving as a gifted and talented lead teacher, elementary and middle school instructional coach, and elementary curriculum coordinator. In these capacities, she worked with a variety of agencies to bring scientists and other professionals into her classroom. Sharon served a three-year term as president of the Science Teachers Association of Texas and several additional years in various capacities for the annual conference planning committee. She also served as the education representative for The Little Cedar Bayou Watershed Partnership Committee and is currently finishing a three-year commitment as the education representative for The Texas Wildlife Association. Sharon resides in southeast Houston. 

Brian Shmaefsky
Lone Star College
Kingwood, TX
brian.r.shmaefsky@lonestar.edu

Term Expires: August 14, 2019

Brian is a professor of biology and environmental sciences at Lone Star College–Kingwood. His research emphasis is in environmental physiology. Dr. Shmaefsky attended Brooklyn College of CUNY, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory and University of Illinois. He has been active in K-College science education internationally through his work with the National Association of Biology Teachers, National Science Teachers Association and the Society for College Science Teaching. He also volunteers as a science advisor with the American Association for the Advancement of Science and serves on advisory groups with the Houston-Galveston Area Council. His formal introduction to marine biology was through the New York Aquarium where he worked as an animal pathology research assistant before heading off to graduate school.


Commercial Fishing

Shane Cantrell
Galveston Sea Ventures
Galveston, TX
info@galvestonseaventures.com

Term Expires: December 5, 2020

Capt. Shane Cantrell has over 20 years of fishing experience. He is owner and operator of Galveston Sea Ventures, a deep sea and offshore fishing charter business, located in Galveston, Texas. He received his B.S. in Marine Fisheries from TAMU-Galveston and then worked as a fishery observer on commercial fishing vessels in the Gulf of Mexico. Capt. Cantrell is actively involved in the fishery management process with the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council serving on the steering committee of the Marine Resource Education Program and on the Data Collection Advisory Panel. Additionally, he is the treasurer of the Charter Fisherman’s Association.

Buddy Guindon
Katies Seafood Market
Galveston, TX
katies.seafood@sbcglobal.net

Term Expires: July 23, 2021

Keith "Buddy" Guindon has been a commercial fisherman since 1979 and is currently the Owner/President of Katie's Seafood Market. He is also a founding member and Executive Director of the Gulf of Mexico Fish Shareholder's Alliance and President of the Mosquito Fleet, a non-profit shrimping organization. Buddy feels that it is important to protect our natural resources from exploitation while taking into consideration all stakeholders' needs.


Recreational Fishing

Robert Kirschner
Galveston, TX
robert.kirschner@smith-nephew.com

Term Expires: May 1, 2022

Robert has visited the Flower Garden Banks as both a SCUBA diver and a fisher for about the last 20 years. He has also served in the U.S. Navy as a navigator and meteorologist, and earned his biology degree from University of Houston Clear Lake. Robert is a member of Coastal Conservation Association and volunteers with fishing events such as the annual Turning Point, a tournament for physically challenged fishers. Robert lives in Galveston and works in Houston, at Smith & Nephew Orthopaedics.  

Scott Hickman (Chair)
Circle H Outfitters
Galveston, TX
listodos@gmail.com

Term Expires: August 14, 2019

Scott Hickman is the owner/operator of Circle H Outfitters and Charters. He is a full time hunting and fishing guide with 35 years experience specializing in Cobia, Snapper, Amberjack and King Mackerel trips. Scott is actively involved on the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council's Coral Advisory Panel (co-chair), its IFQ Ad Hoc Advisory Panel, and its Data Collection Advisory Panel. Scott’s top priority is finding solutions for a better sustainable charter business plan in the Gulf of Mexico. He is a founding board member of the Charter Fisherman’s Association and the Galveston Professional  Fisherman’s Association. Scott attended both Texas Tech University and Sam Houston State University studying Wildlife Management and Criminal Justice. Capt. Hickman also served in the United States Marine Corps and Texas National Guard. He was recognized as the local and national Volunteer of the Year in 2016 for the National Marine Sanctuaries Program, and received the GCFI Peter Gladding conservation award in 2017.
Additional affiliations:
Texas Sea Grant Advisory Committee (Jan 2020-Dec 2023), Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute's Gladding Conservation Committee. 


Oil & Gas Production

Clint Moore
GulfSlope Energy
Houston, TX

Term Expires: December 5, 2020

Our condolences go out to Clint Moore's family, with the news of his passing on October 1, 2019.

Clint was a Texas-licensed Professional Geoscientist, having worked for over 40 years as first a staff geoscientist, supervisor, and then manager, vice-president and president in petroleum exploration and business development in the offshore Gulf of Mexico. He started his offshore career with Diamond Shamrock, followed by Anadarko, Murphy Oil, DiamondStar, and ION Geophysical. In May 2013, he co-founded GulfSlope Energy, a new oil and gas company focused on petroleum exploration and development on the Gulf of Mexico outer shelf and upper slope. Most recently, he was an Officer and Vice-President of Geophysics, Geology, and Exploration for the new company. Clint had extensive experience in the geosciences of the offshore Gulf of Mexico, with a comprehensive understanding of salt tectonics, complex depositional systems, sedimentary and stratigraphic processes, and global subsalt petroleum exploration and development.

Clint previously served on the sanctuary advisory council from 2005 to 2012, and was chairman of the Boundary Expansion committee and the Charter Amendment committee during that time. He was also awarded the sanctuary Volunteer of the Year award in 2012. In 2014, he was again appointed to the council as an oil and gas production representative, and served as the council Chair from 2015 to 2019. He was also co-chair of the Boundary Expansion Working Group, which drafted an updated sanctuary expansion recommendation that was approved by the council in May 2018.

Clint was an avid scuba diver and an accomplished underwater videographer and photographer. He made over 100 dives across the offshore banks of the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. His favorite diving interest in the sanctuary was Manta Rays, which he traveled around the world to see. He held two Bachelor degrees in Geology and Business Finance-Economics from Southern Methodist University.

Ruth Perry
Houston, TX
ruth.perry@shell.com

Term Expires: February 13, 2022

Ruth is a Marine Scientist & Regulatory Policy Specialist with Shell Exploration & Production Company as well as an Advisory Council member of NOAA's Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). She is also a member of several industry trade associations, RESTORE Act's Science Advisory Committee, and the National Academy of Sciences' Gulf of Mexico Loop Current Study Committee - Gulf Research Program. 


Research

Dr. Adrienne Simoes Correa
Rice University
Houston, TX
ac53@rice.edu

Term Expires: February 13, 2022

Adrienne is a coral reef ecologist and educator in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Program in BioSciences at Rice University. Her research focuses on reef symbioses, particularly the various roles of microbes in coral health and survival. Adrienne received a B.S. in Biology from the University of Michigan, and an M.A. in Conservation Biology and a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution from Columbia University. In addition to her current research projects in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico, Adrienne has studied reefs in the Caribbean, Eastern Pacific, and Indo-Pacific. Adrienne teaches various courses related to aquatic ecology, coral reefs, and diving, and she is the faculty sponsor of the Rice Oceans Club. Adrienne loves to engage others in the importance, complexity and beauty of coral reefs, particularly in the field or using giant 2-D reef replicas!

Dr. Larry McKinney
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Harte Research Institute
Corpus Christi, TX
larry.mckinney@tamucc.edu

Term Expires: August 14, 2019

Larry is the new executive director Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, as of July 2008. Previously, he was the Senior Director of Aquatic Resources and the Director of Coastal Fisheries, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. He retired from TPWD after 23 years service. Programmatic responsibilities while at TPWD included a broad range of natural resource and environmental issues: management of coastal fisheries resources, assessing and securing freshwater inflows to estuaries and instream flows for rivers and reservoirs; wetland conservation and restoration; endangered species conservation; and, other issues related to the ecological health of Texas' aquatic ecosystems. Larry has been widely recognized for his expertise in conservation and his efforts to translate science into sound and effective public policy that balances the ecological and economic health of Texas and the Gulf of Mexico.


Government Members


U.S. Department of Interior

Mark Belter
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)
New Orleans, LA
mark.belter@boem.gov

James Sinclair
Bureau of Safety & Environmental Enforcement (BSEE)
New Orleans, LA
james.sinclair@bsee.gov

James has a B.S. in Marine Biology from Texas A&M University at Galveston and an M.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of New Orleans. His past work includes the culture of cephalopods, aerobic and anaerobic filtration, analysis of benthic community structure, propagation and restoration of submersed aquatic vegetation, and artificial reef development. His current work focuses on protection of sensitive habitats in the Gulf of Mexico including coral reefs, topographic features, the pinnacle trend, and live bottoms.


Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Open Seat


National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Rusty Swafford
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
Galveston, TX
rusty.swafford@noaa.gov

Rusty is currently the Gulf of Mexico Branch Supervisor for NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office Habitat Conservation Division. He has over 20 years experience working for NOAA Fisheries and a well-rounded experience in coastal habitat conservation, restoration and enhancement issues.

Charles Tyer
Office of Law Enforcement (OLE)
Galveston, TX
charles.tyer@noaa.gov

Charles Tyer is a Special Agent with the NOAA Office of Law Enforcement (NOAA OLE) Southeast Division. The Southeast Division has a broad range of enforcement responsibilities in recreational and commercial marine fisheries, from finfish, such as snapper and grouper, and commercial catch share programs to Highly Migratory Species such as shark, tuna and swordfish. In addition, the Southeast Division monitors protected resources such as dolphins and marine turtles and three National Marine Sanctuaries (Florida Keys, Gray's Reef and Flower Garden Banks).


U.S. Coast Guard

LCDR Leo Danaher
New Orleans, LA
Leo.T.Danaher@uscg.mil

Lieutenant Commander Leo T. Danaher assumed his current duties as the Deputy Law Enforcement Chief for Coast Guard District Eight in July 2016. At District Eight, he is responsible for Coast Guard law enforcement operations and policy oversight throughout the region, including counter-drug operations, alien-migrant interdiction, international border engagements, and living marine resources/marine protected species enforcement missions. He represents Coast Guard District Eight at the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council, Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary and the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission.

Lieutenant Commander Danaher, originally from Norfolk, VA, graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, CT in 2004 with a Bachelors of Science degree in Management. He has a diverse background from several unique assignments, including U.S. Northern Command in Colorado, Executive Officer of Coast Guard Station New York and the Coast Guard Deployable Specialized Forces. He is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Homeland Security and conducting professional studies through the U.S. Naval War College.


Advisory Council Coordinator

Leslie Clift
leslie.clift@noaa.gov
(409) 621-5151, ext. 126

Leslie Whaylen Clift joined the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary team in July 2015. She serves as the primary contact for the Advisory Council and facilitates all aspects of council-related activities. Leslie also assists with the sanctuary expansion review process.

Leslie began diving in the sanctuary in the 1990s, as a volunteer fish surveyor while working for the state of Texas as an Aquatic Scientist. After moving to the Florida Keys, she returned occasionally to FGBNMS to lead and instruct groups of REEF (Reef Environmental Education Foundation) divers and conduct fish assemblage surveys. Leslie returned to Galveston in 2012.


Council Officers

Clint Moore, Chair

James Wiseman, Vice Chair


Past Council Members

Dana Larson, Conservation 2005-2008

Page Williams, Conservation 2005-2013

Rafael Calderon, Conservation 2009

Ellis Pickett, Conservation 2011-2017

Jorge Brenner, Conservation 2013-2016

Art Melvin, Diving Operations 2005-2008

Frank Wasson, Diving Operations 2005-2013

Cher Walker, Diving Operations 2010-2013

Randy Widaman, Diving Operations 2015-2018

Frank Burek, Recreational Diving 2005-2012

Dick Zingula, Recreational Diving 2005-2007

Lori Traweek, Recreational Diving 2007-2011

Jimi Mack, Recreational Diving 2012-2019

Haidee Williams, Education 2005-2007

Kristina Hardwick, Education 2005-2008

Dale Loughmiller, Education 2007-2013

Karla Klay, Education 2013-2016

Jacqui Stanley, Education 2009-2019

Joe Hendrix, Commercial Fishing 2005-2012

Mike Jennings, Commercial Fishing 2008-2015

Patrick Riley, Commercial Fishing 2012-2013

John Stout, Recreational Fishing 2005-2008

Irby Basco, Recreational Fishing 2005-2013

Matt Bunn, Recreational Fishing 2009-2012

Keith Love, Recreational Fishing 2012-2015

Tim Gibson, Oil & Gas Production 2005-2007

Clint Moore, Oil & Gas Production 2005-2012

Rebecca Nadel, Oil & Gas Production 2007-2011

John Hoffman, Oil & Gas Production 2011-2013

James Wiseman, Oil & Gas Production 2012-2019

John Embesi, Research 2005-2008

Ian MacDonald, Research 2005-2008

Will Heyman, Research 2009-2015

James Sinclair, BOEM 2005-2013

Michelle Nannen, BOEM 2013-2014

Matt Johnson, BOEM 2014-2016

Ben Scaggs, EPA 2012-2016

Barbara Keeler, EPA 2016-2018

LCDR Elizabeth Keister, USCG 2005-2008

LCDR Carmen DeGeorge, USCG 2009-2012

LCDR Jason Brand, USCG 2013-2016