Sanctuary Nomination Process

ONMS Leadership | ONMS Biennial Award Winners

ONMS Leadership

dan basta

Daniel J. Basta
Director
NOAA, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

In January 2001, Daniel J. Basta was named as the Director of NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, the agency responsible for preserving the natural, historical and cultural marine resources in the 13 national marine sanctuaries and in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, which was named a World Heritage Site in 2010.  He has led a dramatic increase in the sanctuary system’s role in marine conservation in the U.S.  For example, community involvement was increased by expanding the number of advisory councils to 15, including the Business Advisory Council; 10 new vessels designed specifically for outreach, research and enforcement were added; award-winning film products were created for educating Americans about the importance of sanctuary resources; and six new visitor centers opened and 32 new aquaria partnerships were established.  He continues to build partnerships with public-private organizations, industries, and academia throughout the U.S. and internationally. 

Trained as an environmental engineer, Dan joined NOAA in 1979.  He has 40 years’ experience in environmental quality and natural resources assessment and management throughout the United States and abroad.  As a problem-solver in resources assessment and management, he possesses detailed knowledge of a considerable variety of subjects and technical disciplines, e.g., natural system modeling resource economics, demography, land use planning, systems analysis, living marine resource assessment, and information science and technology.  He has co-authored more than 50 publications and contributed to many more, including textbooks on modeling, atlases of U.S. coastal and ocean regions, reports and books on environmental problems at the national, region and international levels, and articles in journals and other publications.

Before joining NOAA, Dan held positions at Resources for the Future in Washington, DC, the Environmental Studies Board of the National Academy of Sciences and John Hopkins University. 

Dan has a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Hofstra University and a Master of Science in Engineering and Policy Sciences from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.  He is an avid scuba diver, has been a scuba instructor for 30 years, and is a duty status NOAA diver.





john armorJohn Armor
Deputy Director, Policy and Programs
NOAA, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

John Armor is the Deputy Director for Policy and Programs, where he provides leadership for all administrative and major functional responsibilities of NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and serves as a liaison to agency leadership. In this capacity, John provides high level direction on: budget formulation and execution; human resources planning; natural resource and maritime heritage management strategies for the system; and advisory council planning and public participation.

John has worked for NOAA since 2000, previously serving as the Chief of the Policy and Planning Division for the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. Prior to coming to NOAA, he worked for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection working to improve wetlands and water quality in south Florida.

A native of Rhode Island, he holds a master's degree in environmental science and policy from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor's degree in marine science from the University of South Carolina.





ted lillestolenTed Lillestolen
Deputy Director, Facilities, Safety, Vessels & Aircraft
NOAA, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

As Deputy for Facilities, Safety, Vessels & Aircraft operations, Ted Lillestolen oversees all activities that deal with the program's infrastructure, including maintenance, renovation, repair, and construction of facilities, exhibits, and small boats. Since joining sanctuaries in 2003, Ted has overseen the renovation, and/or construction of more than ten facilities, totaling more than $100M. Prior to joining sanctuaries, Ted retired from the NOAA Corps as a Captain after completing more than 29 years in service. While in the NOAA Corps, Ted served in various positions in the National Marine Fisheries Service and the National Ocean Service (NOS). While in NOS, Ted held the position of Deputy Assistant Administrator, as well as Acting Assistant Administrator. Ted also served tours of duty on three NOAA ships.

Ted holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geology from Queens College (NY), and a master's degree in marine affairs from the University of Rhode Island. Ted also is a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute's Leadership for a Democratic Society, as well as the Joint and Combined Staff Officer School, Armed Forces Staff College





Matt Brookhart Matt Brookhart
Chief, Policy and Planning Division
NOAA, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

Matt Brookhart is the Chief for Policy and Planning at the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries Headquarters. He is responsible for regulatory issues, management and strategic planning, and evaluation and designation of new national marine sanctuaries. His team works both system-wide and with individual sanctuaries in crafting the long-term management strategies designed to conserve national marine sanctuary resources.

Matt has worked at both headquarters and in the west coast region for the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, and has detailed as the Deputy Director at NOAA Fisheries' Office of Protected Resources. Prior to working for NOAA, he worked for the Japanese Ministry of Education on forestry and fisheries policy in northern Japan.

Matt received an M.A. in Environmental History from the University of Oregon, an M.A. in Environmental Policy from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and a B.A. in History from Seattle University





Angela Calos Angela Calos
Chief Advisor to the Director
NOAA, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

Angela Calos has been the chief advisor to the director of Office of National Marine Sanctuaries since 1998. She oversees the director's daily operations, ensuring that his day flows as effectively and efficiently as possible. Angela began her work at NOAA in 1992 serving in the Office of Public Affairs.

Before joining NOAA, Angela worked at the Department of Energy's Office of Public Affairs specializing in environmental management issues. She also worked at the Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service's Office of Public Affairs concentrating on offshore leasing and renewable energy development. Angela's 35-year federal career began during college at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Nashville District as a park ranger at three of their lake projects.

Angela began college at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, and then transferred to North Carolina State University's School of Forestry where she majored in natural resources management. Angela graduated from North Carolina State University in 1981.





Tom Cullington Tom Culliton
Acting Business Manager
NOAA, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

Tom Culliton serves as the Acting Business Manager for the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS). Tom directs ONMS financial planning and management activities. He provides leadership for the development and execution of the ONMS budget and coordinates ONMS financial operations with National Ocean Service leadership.

Tom also has expertise in designing strategic and tactical planning efforts to solve complex coastal and ocean issues. He has considerable experience developing management plans for local, state, federal, and non-governmental organizations.

Tom developed a series of groundbreaking reports on national coastal demographic trends. He participated in the development of a series of regional thematic data atlases that summarized the status and trends of coastal and ocean health. He has also assisted in numerous assessments characterizing the status and trends of critical issues affecting coastal and ocean areas.

Tom earned his undergraduate and master's degrees, in geography, from the University of Maryland





James Delgado

Dr. James P. Delgado
Director, Maritime Heritage Program
NOAA, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

Dr. Delgado joined the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries in 2010. As Director of Maritime Heritage, Dr. Delgado brings four decades of scientific expertise in marine archaeology and deep-sea exploration, and a solid background in history, museums, and outreach through media, film, and publications. 
 
He served as the founding director of the National Park Service’s maritime preservation program during his 13-year career with the park service.  He left the government to serve, for 15 years, as the Executive Director of the Vancouver (Canada) Maritime Museum, and concurrently as a TV host for Discovery, the History Channel, A&E and National Geographic. 

Most recently he served as chief scientist for the first full mapping of the Titanic site and was a lead in the deep sea excavation of a 200-year old wreck in the Gulf of Mexico and in the discovery of the wreck of the WWII Japanese super-submarine I-400.    Jim holds a Ph.D. in Archaeology from Simon Fraser University, and earned his B.A. in History from San Francisco State University.





Steve Gittings

Dr. Steve Gittings
Chief Scientist
NOAA, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

Dr. Steve Gittings is Chief Scientist for NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. He works with the program's scientists to better understand sanctuary ecosystems, track changing conditions and reduce human impacts. From 1992-1998, he was superintendent of Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.

Steve has specialized in coral reef ecology and monitoring; biofouling ecology; and taxonomy and biogeography of barnacles. Some of his work has included characterizations of reefs and banks in the northern Gulf of Mexico; investigations of the effects of brine discharges of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve; investigative work for the National Transportation Safety Board; reef damage and recovery after ship groundings and anchoring; and establishing monitoring programs in a variety of ecosystems. He has extensive field experience in scientific diving, ROV operations, and submersible use.

He received a B.S. in Biology at Westminster College, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Oceanography at Texas A&M University.





Rebecca Holyoke

Dr. Rebecca R. Holyoke
National Advisory Council Coordinator
NOAA, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

Rebecca Holyoke joined the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries in February 2009, as a John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellow, and is currently serving as the office's National Advisory Council Coordinator. She is charged with ensuring effective management, operation and engagement of our 15 advisory councils. She develops and ensures appropriate implementation of policy and serves as an advisor and liaison for advisory council-related matters. In addition to this role, she also serves as a Program Analyst for the Deputy Director for Programs and Policy – providing technical assistance for budget analyses, program strategies and human resources management.

Prior to her time with NOAA, Rebecca conducted research on chemical speciation in hydrothermal vents, salt lakes and freshwater iron seeps, and studied the influence of eastern oyster (I) biodeposits (feces and pseudofeces) on sediment nutrient dynamics in Chesapeake Bay. She earned a B.S. in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Brescia University, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Chemistry from the University of Maryland, Marine-Estuarine Environmental Science Program





Elizabeth Moore

Elizabeth Moore
Chief of Staff, International Activities
NOAA, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

Elizabeth Moore serves as the Chief of Staff for International Activities for NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, a position she's held since 2008. In this role, Liz is charged with coordinating the international projects and relationships for the sanctuary system, including developing international agreements and partnerships, representing the sanctuary system in international fora, and facilitating the use of international projects, tools, and experiences to help the sanctuary system meet its mandate of resource protection.

Starting with the sanctuary system in 1991 as a John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellow, Liz has served in a number of leadership roles for the sanctuary system. She was instrumental in the development of the sanctuary system's sanctuary advisory councils, the creation and implementation of a process to review and revise sanctuary management plans, and the development of the Climate-Smart Sanctuary initiative.

Liz holds a B.S. in Biology from the University of Central Florida and an M.S. in Oceanography from Florida Institute of Technology.





Paul Orlando

Paul Orlando
Liaison to NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office
NOAA, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

Since June 2013, Paul Orlando has been stationed in Annapolis, MD as a partner with NOAA's Chesapeake Bay Office. He works with local communities and constituencies to help advance objectives related to resource conservation and the sustainable use of marine ecosystems and maritime heritage assets. Sammy is helping to convey the collective experiences of existing sanctuaries, including the range of programs and partnerships that could serve as models for this region

Paul has been with NOAA since 1983 and with the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries for the past 12 years. Most recently, he served as Chief of the Conservation Science Division, overseeing national coordination of monitoring and observing programs for natural and social sciences. In that role, he also led a strategic planning team to help develop national-level partnerships, guide direction of Sanctuary programs and operations, and support annual budget appropriation processes.

He holds a master's degree from the University of Maryland in marine, estuarine and environmental science. His thesis included a three-year study of beach erosion in Duck, North Carolina associated with hurricanes and nor'easters.





Matt Stout

Matt Stout
Chief of Staff, Communications
NOAA, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

As Communications Chief, Matt Stout oversees all communications programs including media, partnerships, congressional programs, visitor centers and exhibits, and tourism programs for the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.

He joined the office in 1999 and worked to reshape how the system directed its public education mandate by initiating a system wide brand, a national vision for building visitor centers, and signs and outreach materials to project the value and importance of National Marine Sanctuaries. In 2000, Matt was responsible for enabling the creation of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and later participated in the creation of the first Capitol Hill Ocean Week (CHOW) in Washington, D.C.

Before coming to the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, Matt worked in NOAA's Office of Public Affairs where he managed most ocean-focused national issues. Matt came to NOAA from Capitol Hill where he was Press Secretary to Congresswoman Karan English and was senior staff to Senator Dennis DeConcini.

Matt has a B.S. in Communications and Public Relations from Northern Arizona University.





Matt Stout

Mitchell Tartt
Chief, Conservation Science Division
NOAA, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

Mitchell Tartt is the Chief of the Conservation Science Division of NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, which supports the planning, development and integration of conservation science activities across the 13 national marine sanctuaries and one marine national monument. The division works nationally, regionally and with each of the sites to conduct and facilitate the natural and socioeconomic sciences, including characterization, monitoring and research. Mitchell also serves as the NOAA Dive Program Diving Officer for the National Ocean Service, the Unit Diving Supervisor for the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries headquarters office, and the Chair of the office's Diving Operations Council. These duties focus on administrative responsibilities as well as training to enhance skills in diving and safety.

Mitchell holds a B.S. from the University of Colorado and a M.S. in Marine Ecology from the University of Maryland.





kate thompson

Kate Thompson
Acting Chief, Education and Outreach Division
NOAA, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

Kate Thompson is the Acting Chief of the Education and Outreach Division where she works closely with the program's education team across the country to enhance place based learning, and inspire environmental literacy and conservation through national marine sanctuaries. Kate serves as the program manager for the Nancy Foster Scholarship that provides over $500,000 in grants to graduate level students. She is also the producer for OceansLIVE- a program that brings the ocean to communities through live feeds from science, maritime heritage, and educational missions across the country. Previously, Kate was the Education and Outreach Coordinator and Advisory Council Coordinator for Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Prior to her work with the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, Kate worked for Travel Michigan as a researcher assessing the economic impacts of tourism for the State of Michigan. She holds a B.A. in History (with teaching credentials) from Lake Superior State University, and a M.S. in Park, Recreation and Tourism Management with a specialization in Cultural Resource Management from Michigan State University.





Lauren Wenzel

Lauren Wenzel
Acting Director, National Marine Protected Areas Center
NOAA, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

Lauren Wenzel has served as the Acting Director of the National Marine Protected Areas Center at NOAA in Silver Spring, Maryland since 2011. The MPA Center's mission is to connect and strengthen the nation's diverse marine and coastal protected area programs through capacity building, information and tools, and communication and engaging stakeholders. Her focus is on building partnerships among federal, state and tribal marine and coastal programs and partners, and to demonstrate and communicate the value of protecting special places.

Before joining NOAA, Lauren worked to develop and implement Chesapeake Bay watershed plans to reduce nutrient pollution and on Smart Growth practices at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

She received her M.S. in Natural Resources Management and Policy from University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources, and a B.A. from Oberlin College.



ONMS Biennial Award Winners

The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries’ Biennial Awards were established in 2008 to recognize the stellar achievements and contributions of our staff and partners. 

Manager of the Year

Given for demonstrating excellent, visionary, and dedicated leadership in protecting sanctuary resources, advancing marine resource stewardship, or otherwise advancing the mandates of the National Marine Sanctuary System.

Year

Winner

2008

Maria Brown, Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary

2009

David Alberg, Monitor National Marine Sanctuary

2010/2011

Sean Morton, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

2012/2013

Gene Brighouse, National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa

Staff Member of the Year

Given for demonstrating superior individual achievement in protecting sanctuary resources, advancing marine resource stewardship, or otherwise advancing the mandates of the National Marine Sanctuary System.  This award is made in three categories: (1) Professional; (2) Administration; and (3) Operations.

Professional

Year

Winner

2008

Sean Hastings, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary

2009

Sarah Fangman, Southeast, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Region

2010/2011

Hoku Johnson, Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

2012/2013

Sarah Waters, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Administration

Year

Winner

2008

Brian A. Johnson, Headquarters

2009

Nicole Capps, West Coast Region

2010/2011

Aida Pettegrue, Headquarters

2012/2013

Rebecca Young, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary

Operations

Year

Winner

2008

Captain David Minard, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

2009

Chad Stolka, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

2010/2011

Lorraine Anglin, West Coast Region

2012/2013

Captain Micheal Shetler, Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary

 

Team of the Year

Given for demonstrating superior team achievement in protecting sanctuary resources, advancing marine resource stewardship, or otherwise advancing the mandates of the National Marine Sanctuary System.

Year

Winner

2008

Stellwagen Bank Acoustic Monitoring Team

2009

Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Staff

2010/2011

Olympic Coast Management Plan Team
Fagatele Bay Management Plan Team

2012/2013

Florida Keys Operations Team

Innovation of the Year

Given for development and/or implementation of the most creative and original project, process, or tool to help protect sanctuary resources, advance marine resource stewardship, or otherwise advance the mandates of the National Marine Sanctuary System.

Year

Winner

2008

No award given

2009

Wild Earth: Deep Ocean Ride Experience

2010/2011

Gulf of the Farallones Emergency Response Portfolio

2012/2013

Spatial Mapping of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

Accomplishment of the Year

Given for completion of the project, process, or tool that has made the most significant contribution in the given year to protect sanctuary resources, advance marine resource stewardship, or otherwise advance the mandates of the National Marine Sanctuary System.

Year

Winner

2008

Not a category in 2008

2009

Inclusion of Davidson Seamount in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

2010/2011

Inscription of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument on World Heritage List

2012/2013

Establishing the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center

Partner of the Year

Given for superior contribution by a partner in protecting sanctuary resources, advancing marine resource stewardship, or otherwise advancing the mandates of the National Marine Sanctuary System.

Year

Winner

2008

KHNL-TV

2009

Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council Working Group

2010/2011

Dennis Donahue, Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab

2012/2013

Point Blue Conservation Science



leaving site indicates a link leaves the site. Please view our Link Disclaimer for more information.
Revised May 05, 2014 by Sanctuaries Web Team | Contact Us | Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service
National Ocean Service | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Privacy Policy | For Employees | User Survey
http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/about/our-people.html