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September 20, 2007

Chris Mobley/CINMS
(805) 884-1469


NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary Program today announced that Stephen Katz, Ph.D. has joined the staff of Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary in Southern California, where he will serve as the sanctuary’s research coordinator. Katz will work with Channel Islands sanctuary staff and partners to implement and oversee the long-term monitoring of sanctuary resources, including the Channel Islands marine protected area network.

“The addition of Dr. Katz to our staff will significantly enhance our support of long-term research and monitoring in the sanctuary,” said Chris Mobley, Channel Islands sanctuary superintendent. “Steve has a wide range of skills that will enhance our collaborative efforts, including experience in integrated ecosystem assessment, sophisticated modeling and statistics, and ocean engineering.”

Katz comes to the sanctuary program following a six-and-a-half-year tenure with the NOAA Fisheries Service in Seattle, Wash., where he coordinated monitoring and evaluation of salmon recovery in the Pacific Northwest, with a particular focus on habitat restoration in the Columbia River Basin. His work helped develop the first comprehensive data management system to track the implementation of management actions from more than 30 federal, state and tribal agencies across the Pacific Northwest.

Katz has extensive experience interacting with a diverse stakeholder community through various coordinating groups. His background will prove invaluable to the multi-agency efforts to manage, monitor and enforce the 214-square-mile network of marine protected areas in the Channel Islands sanctuary — the largest system of no-take marine reserves in the continental U.S.

In joining the staff of the Channel Islands sanctuary, Katz returns to the familiar setting of Southern California. Katz was raised in Ventura, Calif., and his introduction to the Channel Islands came in 1976 when he received his first scuba certification with dives at Santa Cruz Island. Subsequently, he obtained an undergraduate degree in marine biology from Los Angeles’ Occidental College and performed environmental sampling in the Southern California Bight for three years as a field worker and diver for the Vantuna Research group.

In 1993, Katz obtained a doctorate in zoology/biomechanics from the University of British Columbia. He then completed a four-and-a-half-year post-doctoral fellowship at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif. At the same time, Katz began working for the Computer Sciences Corporation as a research diver and dive master for U.S. Department of Defense projects — most of which took place in the Southern California Bight and around the southern Channel Islands.

NOAA’s Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary was designated in 1980 to protect marine resources surrounding San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Anacapa, and Santa Barbara Islands. The sanctuary spans 1,658 square miles extending from island shorelines to six miles offshore, encompassing a rich diversity of marine life and habitats, as well as rich historic and cultural resources.

The NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program seeks to increase the public awareness of America’s marine resources and maritime heritage by conducting scientific research, monitoring, exploration and educational programs. Today, the sanctuary program manages 13 national marine sanctuaries and one marine national monument that together encompass more than 150,000 square miles of America’s ocean and Great Lakes natural and cultural resources.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is celebrating 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Commission of Fish and Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 70 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts, and protects.

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