Robert Van Syoc, Ph. D. – President
Bob has studied various topics in marine ecology and invertebrate zoology, from San Francisco Bay to the South Pacific. His field experiences include surveys of the California intertidal and shallow subtidal in San Diego to Mendocino, including participation in multi-year surveys of the Channel Islands and Southeast Farallon Island, and research expeditions to Alaska (Gulf of Alaska, Aleutians, and Bering Sea), British Columbia, Baja California, Panama, the Kingdom of Tonga, Fiji, the Solomon Islands, Palau, the Philippines, Borneo, the Red Sea, Madagascar, Australia, the Galapagos Islands and Clipperton Island as well as several cruises off the California coast to sample shelf and slope fauna.
Bob earned his Ph.D. at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, using DNA analysis to study genetic relationships and speciation among barnacles at the molecular level. He continues his research into the evolution of barnacles and other topics as a Research Associate at the California Academy of Sciences (CAS) and Research Professor at San Francisco State University.
When he was the Collection Manager of Invertebrates at CAS, Bob was responsible for the preservation, identification and curation of invertebrate specimens collected to document the fauna of Cordell Bank. These specimens are part of the CAS research collections and are available for study by researchers in California and around the world. Comparisons of specimens collected during recent cruises with the historical samples at CAS can provide insights into changes in species composition in the Marine Sanctuary. Anyone with access to the Internet can search the on-line collection database. You can learn more about invertebrate biology and coral reef research at CAS HERE.
Peter Edwards – CFO, Treasurer
Thanks to an inspiring teacher, Peter gained an early love of the marine environment. He has a B.S. degree from Princeton University, and a M.S. degree in Marine Biology from San Diego State University. He has been involved in research at various Marine Stations around the world, including the Bermuda Biological Station, the Bodega Bay Marine Lab, and Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Peter was at Scripps from 1989-1999, working on a long-term research project examining the ecology and health of kelp beds and the various species that inhabit this nearshore environment. After Scripps, Peter worked as a consultant helping researchers with field work, repopulating a kelp forest that has been greatly impacted by effluent from the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant, as well as assisting on a study of possible overfishing of fish and invertebrates in the Sea of Cortez. He also participated on abalone surveys of the Santa Barbara Channel Islands, with the California Department of Fish and Game. Besides making almost 3000 SCUBA dives in his career, Peter and his wife enjoy traveling and have dived in 15 countries. Peter now lives in Sebastapol, and has branched out to other endeavors, such as working for five years at REI, Inc., and starting up a small specialty food company.
Drew McCalley – Secretary, Asst. Treasurer
Drew has been drawn to the ocean his whole life, from his childhood summers at his grandparents’ home in Cannon Beach, Oregon, to his current residence in Sea Ranch, California. He is also a dedicated lifelong environmentalist, with a special concern for preserving and protecting both land-based and underwater ecosystems as crucial biological reservoirs for the maintenance of biodiversity on our planet. Cordell Bank, in addition to being in his “home territory”, is one of the richest oceanic biological reservoirs on earth, and Drew is eager to contribute to its continued health and viability through his service on the Cordell Marine Sanctuary Foundation Board. Drew is a retired accountant/CPA and financial manager. His diverse educational background includes degrees in Sociology, Asian Studies, and Accounting, from the University of Oregon and San Jose State University. After a career in credit unions (the non-profit wing of the financial services industry) he has remained active contributing his financial skills to a number of non-profit organizations as he enjoys his coastal retirement.
John R. Shordike, J.D. – Asst. Secretary
An active lawyer since 1984, John has a broad and deep background in environmental and land use matters. He has represented diverse businesses and organizations in their negotiation, mediation, and litigation of disputes, and has served as an officer, director, or counselor to a number of enterprises. He is a long-time teacher and facilitator of conflict transformation work, and has lectured, consulted, and trained facilitators and group leaders internationally. John’s interest in science and oceans dates to his childhood exploring the California coast. He currently lives with his family in Sebastopol, California.
Sarah O. Hameed, Ph. D.
Sarah fell in love with the beauty and diversity of life in the ocean as a child exploring the tide pools and coral reefs of her island home, Maui. Motivated to protect ocean ecosystems, she earned her Ph.D. in Marine Ecology with a certificate in Conservation Management at the University of California, Davis, where her dissertation focused on population connectivity – key information for designing effective marine protected areas. Prior to earning her doctoral degree, she earned an A.B. in Public Policy and an M.A. in Teaching from Brown University, and she taught at the high school level for seven years. She has continued to engage in education through a fellowship partnering graduate students with secondary science classes, citizen-science research projects, and a myriad of informal outreach opportunities. She serves on the Advisory Council for Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary and is a Switzer Environmental Fellow. Sarah is currently leveraging her expertise in marine ecology, conservation management, and public policy to develop and communicate science-based standards for robust marine protected areas through the Global Ocean Refuge System, an initiative of Marine Conservation Institute.
Tom’s attraction to the sea started when, as a young boy, he first peered into tide pools to see amazing creatures of all colors and shapes. His fascination led him to an education and career in aquatic biology. Tom received a B.S. In Biological Sciences from Chico State College and an M. S. in Fisheries with an emphasis on marine biology from Humboldt State University. He studied the impacts of electric power facilities on aquatic ecosystems as an aquatic biologist with Pacific Gas and Electric Company for 28 years. He is a Fellow in the American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists and is the Bylaws and Nominations Chair of the California-Nevada Chapter of the American Fisheries Society and an active member of the Rotary Club of Sebastopol. Tom was a founding member of the Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council and was the Council’s Chair for the final three of the six years he served on the Council. He received an Outstanding Volunteer Service award from the National Marine Sanctuaries in 2007. Tom now explores the ocean by SCUBA diving and on wildlife viewing boat trips to Cordell Bank. He continues to be amazed at seeing thousands of dolphins surrounding the boat, getting so close to humpback whales that their breath can be smelled and watching albatross soar over the waves.
Robert Rubin, Ph. D.
Bob earned the Ph.D degree in physiological ecology from the University of California Irvine, and is presently on the faculty of Santa Rosa Junior College, where he teaches courses in marine biology and human anatomy.
He has been involved in college and university teaching for several decades, and has conducted field and laboratory research on the ecology and physiology of such diverse groups as fish eating bats, elephant, hooded and harp seals, sea birds, desert dwelling birds and rodents and for the past twenty-five years on manta rays in the sub tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans.
He has been selected by the State of California, the United States Senate and Congress to receive their awards for outstanding contributions to college and university teaching. He is the recipient of the NISOD award for outstanding contributions to higher education and in 1996 the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching honored him as “The California College and University Professor of the Year”. He served as a program developer and reviewer for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and for the US Department of Energy (DOE). Presently he serves as a member of the scientific advisory boards of the Save Our Seas, Safari West Cooperation, Sea Watch, Marine World USA, Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundations, and The international Manta Trust.
Additionally, his research on manta rays has been the subject of international public media productions for NOVA, Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel, World of Wonder, BBC, Animal Planet, Blue Realm, and most recently as a TEDx invited presentation.
Dan Howard, Ex Officio
Dan Howard has been studying the marine environment in California since 1980 focusing on nearshore ecology, predator/prey relationships and juvenile rockfish recruitment in a coastal upwelling system. As a research fisheries biologist, Dan worked with the National Marine Fisheries Service in Tiburon, California, from 1980-1995 monitoring nearshore health in northern California, southern California and Hawaii. In 1995, he started working for the National Marine Sanctuary program as an assistant manager for Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary and became the site superintendent in 2003. Responsibilities as the site superintendent include protecting the magnificent ecosystem around Cordell Bank by managing monitoring and research, education and outreach and resource protection activities at the site. Other responsibilities working with the site‚ advisory council, policy development, interacting with local, state, and federal agencies and serving as a member of the National Marine Sanctuary Programs’ Leadership Team.