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2018-2021 Membership

Committee Members:

Scott Rayder, Alabama Water Institute, University of Alabama, Chair
Thomas B. Curtin, University of Washington
Sara Graves, Ph.D., University of Alabama in Huntsville
Jennifer Hagen, Quileute Indian Tribe
Molly McCammon,  Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS)
Ruth Perry, Shell Exploration & Production Company
Jennifer Read,  Univ of Michigan Water Center Graham Sustainability Institute
Daniel Rudnick, Ph.D., Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego
Oscar Schofield, Rutgers University Center for Ocean Observing Leadership
Doug Vandemark, University of New Hampshire
Jyotika Virmani,  Schmidt Ocean Institute
Richard “Dick” West, Independent Consultant
Robert “Bob” Winokur, Independent Consultant

Ex-Officio Members:

Carrie Schmaus, U.S. Department of Energy
Jennifer Hailes,  Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command
John Haines, U.S. Geological Survey
David Legler, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration
Laura Lorenzoni, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Josie Quintrell,  IOOS Association

Committee Member Bios

Scott Rayder, Alabama Water Institute, University of Alabama, Chair  

Mr. Rayder is currently the Director of the Alabama Water Institute located at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Previously, Mr. Rayder was the Vice President and Senior Advisor to the President of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. He has experience with the Geospatial Systems division of ITT Defense and Information Systems, was the NOAA Chief of Staff from 2001-2008, Director of Government Relations at CORE, was on the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science. He has recently joined the Wilson Center’s steering committee on Planning and Risk Management for Security-Related Disruptive Water and Weather Events, and was the Honorary Director of the IOOS Association from 2016-2017.


Thomas B. Curtin, Ph.D., University of Washington

Mr.  Curtin is currently a Senior Principal Research Scientist at the Applied Physics Laboratory/UW, a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Adaptive Systems and CEO of Agrowbot Farms. He has served as Chief Scientist at the NATO Undersea Research Centre in La Spezia Italy (2008-11) as Chief Knowledge Officer at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (2007-08), as Program Manager at the US Office of Naval Research (ONR) (1984-2007), as Assistant Professor at North Carolina State University (1979-84), and as an oceanographer at the Fisheries Research Institute in Penang, Malaysia (1969-71). At ONR, he managed programs in Physical Oceanography, Arctic Sciences, Ocean Modeling and Prediction and Undersea Autonomous Operations.


Sara Graves, Ph.D.,  University of Alabama

Dr. Graves is the current Director of University of Alabama’s Information Technology and Systems Center, and has experience as the Director of the Information Technology Research Center of the National Space Science and Technology Center. She has served on numerous committees, including those for National Academy of Sciences, GCOOS, and NOAA, focusing on data science, open code policy, and geospatial technology, among others.


Jennifer Hagen, Quileute Indian Tribe

Jennifer Hagen’s experience includes more than 25 years of working with Washington Coastal Tribes in marine resource management topics. Since 2009, she has worked as a marine biologist for the Department of Natural Resources with the Quileute Tribe in La Push, Washington. She is actively engaged in federal, tribal, state and regional marine resource forums which address technical, policy and legal issues regarding the marine environment. Her experience includes extensive experience managing observing assets collecting biological variables, including conducting research and monitoring activities of off shore and near shore marine resources. She participates on state and federal working groups in support of marine protected areas and local west coast resources management.


Molly McCammon: Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS)

Ms. McCammon is the current Executive Director of AOOS and a Trustee on the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, as well as the Lead PI in the long-term monitoring of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council and a BOEM Marine Arctic Ecosystem Study. She has spent the last 25 years in Alaska, serving on various committees including the NAS Gulf Program Advisory Group and Polar Research Board, the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council, Alaska Sea Grant, and NRCC to Establish an Arctic Observing Network. She has extensive experience in public policy in Alaska, working on natural resources, fisheries, and issues facing Alaskan Native communities with the then-governor Bill Sheffield, Alaska Fish and Game, and Chief of Staff for Senate Finance Committee.

Ruth Perry Ph.D., Shell Exploration & Production Co.

Dr. Perry has worked as a marine scientist and regulatory policy specialist for Shell, centered in Houston Texas. Her work focuses on stakeholder engagement in resource, policy, and environmental issues. Since coming to Shell in 2014 she has been on several projects, including a partnership with the University of Southern Mississippi that used gliders to improve forecasting. The projects are diverse, and also include the use of ROVs and an ocean acidification study. Before her current job at Shell Dr. Perry was a research scientist at the Houston NOAA office working for GCOOS, where her responsibilities included stakeholder and public engagement after the Deepwater Horizon spill.


Jennifer Read, Ph.D.,  University of Michigan

Dr. Read is the current Director of the Water Center housed at University of Michigan’s Graham Sustainability Institute. Her focus lies in restoration programs within the Great Lakes, particularly within planning and feasibility studies and projects with diverse stakeholders. Dr. Read is on the Advisory Board for the Great Lakes Blue Accounting program and NOAA’s Ecosystem Services Working Group, and has past experience as the Assistant Director and acting Director of Michigan Sea Grant.


Daniel Rudnick, Ph.D.,  University of California San Diego 

Dr. Rudnick is both a professor and Director of the Climate Ocean Atmosphere Program at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, focusing on air-sea interaction, ocean currents and circulation, and observation instrumentation. Dr. Rudnick has experience on over 25 research cruises, as well as committee experience with gliders. He has a role in both the steering committee for SCCOOS, and is participating in a Loop Current study in the Gulf of Mexico.

Oscar Schofield, Ph.D. , Rutgers University

Dr. Schofield is the Chair for the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University, and has experience as the co-founder and co-Director of the Center of Ocean Observing Leadership. Dr. Schofield focuses include oceanic primary productivity and climate change, hydrological optics, and global geochemistry. He has extensive mentoring and teaching experience at the university level, and has participated in several educational podcasts and documentary films. He has helped coordinate the Gliderpalooza efforts than span the United States and Canada, and participated in numerous K-12 STEM outreach efforts.


Doug Vandemark, Ph.D., University of New Hampshire

Dr. Vandemark currently serves the University of New Hampshire as Research Professor in Earth Sciences and Director of the Ocean Process Analysis Laboratory within the Institute for the Study of Earth. His research activities lie in the study of ocean and atmosphere boundary layer interactions and how to remotely measure near-surface ocean properties including wind, waves, salinity, and mass flux using satellite radar and radiometer systems. He is active in research using numerous NASA, NOAA, and ESA ocean observing satellite sensors and serves as a Principal Investigator on NASA’s Ocean Surface Topography and Ocean Vector Wind Science Teams. He has been involved in coastal ocean observing activities in the Gulf of Maine since 2002, including work with ocean wave and carbon dioxide measurements. He is a senior member of the IEEE, and serves or has served on NASA Physical Oceanography Data Archive advisory group, the strategic planning team for the Northeast Regional Association of Coastal and Ocean Observing Systems (NERACOOS), the Executive Committee for UNH/EOS, and research grant review panels for many agencies. Dr. Vandemark holds a B.Sc. in Physics from Hope College, an M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, and a Doctorate in Oceanography from the University of New Hampshire.


Jyotika Virmani, Ph.D., Schmidt Ocean Institute

Dr. Virmani is the Executive Director of the Schmidt Ocean Institute.  Dr. Virmani is the former director of Prize Operations and the Planet & Environment domain at XPRIZE as well as a producer at Runic Films. Dr. Virmani has prior ocean observing experience as the Associate Director of Florida Institute of Oceanography and the Executive Director of the FLCOOS Consortium. She is the lead author in several publications concerning innovative marine technology, has a significant media presence, and has served on the SECOORA Board of Directors.


Dick West, ADM (ret.), Independent Consultant

Mr. West  served as a surface warfare officer on several ships and commanded three ships in a 38 year US Navy career.  He retired as Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy.  He served as President/CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Research and Education [CORE] a DC based non-profit representing the academic and private ocean research and education community.  He has served on several federal advisory committees including four with NOAA.

Bob Winokur, Independent Consultant

Mr. Winokur retired from federal service in 2013 after 52 years in various ocean and marine centered positions, and is currently a consultant for ocean and satellite-based remote sensing programs and management projects, including NESDIS and the Independent Review team that assesses NOAA’s oceanographic ship fleet. Mr. Winokur has experience in several high-level positions at Naval Operations, the National Weather Service, and the Navy. He also currently sits on several committees, including the NASA Joint Polar Satellite System Standing Review Board, NOAA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB), and the National Academies Ocean Studies Board.



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