We come from a variety of backgrounds and countries, yet we share a common love for the ocean and a passionate dedication to saving coral reefs. Call us at (415) 834-0900 or stop by the office to say hello. We love to talk about our work and we welcome the chance to share our inspiration with you.
Dr. Michael Webster, Executive Director (ext. 317)
An expert in the fields of coral reef science and conservation management, Michael earned a Ph.D. in coral reef fish ecology from Oregon State University. After graduate school, Michael joined the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO) at Oregon State University, where he coordinated the scientific activities of a long-term ecosystem research and monitoring project focused on the ecology and oceanography of the California Current Ecosystem. Michael then joined the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, where he developed and managed a portfolio of more than $40 million in grants focused on the conservation, management, and scientific understanding of Pacific salmon ecosystems. He has worked with leaders at a wide array of conservation organizations, management agencies, and universities to identify and meet funding needs while developing strategic plans to increase the long-term effectiveness of conservation initiatives. Michael is a certified divemaster and has conducted coral reef field research in the Bahamas and Australia.
Rick MacPherson, Conservation Programs Director (ext. 302)
Rick is a marine biologist specializing in coral reef ecology and natural resource management. Following his academic preparation from Roger Williams University and Harvard University, Rick conducted fieldwork in coral reef destinations throughout the Indo-Pacific and the Caribbean basin. He later served as lecturer and marine science specialist for the University of California, Berkeley, and was a founding investigator for the California Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE), an NSF-funded effort to improve ocean science education nationally. At U.C. Berkeley, Rick piloted an undergraduate and graduate course, Communicating Ocean Science, which is now taught at more than twenty universities nationwide. He has also served as a consultant to the U.S. National Marine Sanctuary system.
Rick has published extensively on topics related to ocean science, coral reef ecology, and marine conservation, and is a frequent guest speaker at international marine conservation symposiums and meetings. He has also led efforts to utilize emerging online and social media to promote broader public understanding of ocean science and conservation. In addition to his professional presence on Twitter and Facebook, he is a regular contributor to the marine science blog Deep Sea News. Rick has logged more than 1,500 dive hours at sites across the world.
Christine Reyes, Finance and Administration Director (Ext. 301)
Christine has deep experience in the nonprofit and public accounting fields, including several years with international grant-making foundations. She finds joy and wonder in accounting and has chosen to specialize in the unique accounting structures of nonprofit organizations. Christine has trained program staff, board members, and advisory board members to read and interpret financial and organizational data. She has served as treasurer for a variety of community-based nonprofit boards, ranging from those promoting new music and watershed conservation, to those working to eliminate domestic violence and poverty. Christine earned her B.A. in Literature from the University of California Santa Cruz and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant.
Sarah Freiermuth, Development Director (ext. 305)
Sarah began working in ocean conservation in 1995 as an educator at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. Following that, she became part of the education staff at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps in San Diego. She moved north to join the development staff at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where she helped to grow the membership program by nearly 50 percent. Most recently, Sarah worked in development at the San Francisco Zoo. Feeling the pull of the oceans once again, Sarah joined CORAL in March of 2009. She has a degree in biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and is a certified scuba diver and active community volunteer.
Jason has fifteen years of field experience as a researcher and resource manager in diverse locations, including New Zealand, Australia, U.S. Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, and California. He joined CORAL after working for six years on the statewide MPA planning effort in California, where he oversaw scientific advisory teams tasked with providing technical guidance and evaluating proposed regional MPA networks. He also helped to develop monitoring plans for these MPA networks. Previously, Jason worked for several years as a fisheries biologist in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where he developed a seafloor habitat mapping program and established ongoing collaborations with several U.S. federal and territorial partners. He also served as the U.S. Virgin Islands Reef Check coordinator and led multiple teams tracking changes in local coral reefs. An avid diver, Jason has logged more than 2000 dives during his career.
Dr. Madhavi Colton, Reefs Tomorrow Initiative Program Director (x319)
Madhavi has extensive experience synthesizing scientific information to support marine management and conservation. She joins CORAL after spending several years developing and managing inter-disciplinary and scientifically rigorous programs monitoring California’s marine protected areas. She has worked closely with resource managers and policy makers, developing an understanding of how science can be incorporated into their decision making processes. Fascinated by the challenge of making scientific information accessible to non-scientific audiences, Madhavi has developed innovative ways to share scientific results and increase the relevance of science. Trained as an ecologist, Madhavi earned a Ph.D. in marine biology from the University of Melbourne. Her research focused on understanding patterns in the abundance and distribution of fishes living on rocky reefs. Using SCUBA and baited remote underwater video, she completed one of the first ever comprehensive surveys of fish populations along the south eastern Australian coastline. During research for her Master’s degree at San Francisco State University, she spent a lot of time in the water off the coast of southern California exploring recruitment patterns of a species of rockfish.
Kate Trevelyan-Hall, Conservation Grants Manager (ext. 315)
Kate joined the Development staff in July 2009, bringing with her more than three years of fundraising experience in the non-profit sector, along with four years of higher education development from her university days as a student caller. She graduated from Santa Clara University with degrees in Anthropology and Spanish, with a focus on International Relations, and has studied abroad in Spain, France, and Peru. Outside of her responsibilities at CORAL, Kate loves to travel, explore the outdoors, and volunteer in her community.
Lisa Owens Viani, Communications Manager (ext. 307)
Lisa has worked for the past 16 years as an environmental journalist, science writer, and communications professional. She has written for and edited a wide array of publications and is a contributing editor at Landscape Architecture Magazine. As the managing editor of Estuary News, a publication of the San Francisco Estuary Partnership, she won the Clarion award for best print newsletter from the Association for Women in Communications. Lisa has an undergraduate degree in technical and professional writing with a minor in biology and a master’s degree in geography and environmental studies from San Francisco State University. She is a volunteer wildlife rescuer and co-founded the non-profit grassroots group Raptors Are The Solution.
Anne Shelley, Accountant (ext. 311)
Simone Sheridan, Membership Assistant (ext. 307)
Originally from Vancouver Island, Simone grew up enjoying ocean critters she found in tidal pools. Before joining CORAL in February 2010, she worked for eight years as an assistant in entomology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Simone has a BFA in painting from the Pratt Institute, and is now pursuing a degree in biology. She recently lived on a houseboat, which once again gave her an opportunity to enjoy sea critters close to home.
Joseph Clerici, Communications Assistant (ext. 306)
A native of the Bay Area, Joe joined CORAL after several years in the newspaper industry, where he’s worked as a designer, editor, and reporter. While new to the conservation world professionally, Joe developed an appreciation for environmental stewardship from an early age through his parents—his mother is a longtime volunteer at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum and former whale and dolphin research assistant at Marine World Africa USA. Joe graduated from Humboldt State University’s journalism program after immersing himself in as many media platforms as time would allow. On a whim, he also took two semesters of scuba diving and honed his skills up and down the California coast, a decision which would eventually lead to his interest in CORAL. In his spare time he produces live videos of local and touring musicians for a website he built and maintains.
Kenneth Johnson, Mexico Field Manager (Mexico)
As CORAL’s Mesoamerican Regional Manager (based in Mexico), Kenneth’s main focus is to advance the goals of the International Coral Reef Action Network (ICRAN)’s Mesoamerican Reef Alliance (MAR) project, which involves the development of good environmental practices for marine recreation providers. In addition to his work with CORAL, Kenneth is owner and general manager of EcoColors, an ecotourism adventure company in the state of Quintana Roo that runs eco-educational, biking, kayaking, snorkeling, trekking, bird watching, and archaeological tours. A marine biologist with a master’s degree in business administration, Kenneth has several years of experience designing new ecotourism products and working with local communities, including Punta Allen and Muyil in Siankaan, Holbox, and Xcalak town to educate, develop, operate, and promote environmental interpretation and ecotourism ventures. He has served as both president and vice-president of the Mexican Association of Adventure Travel and Ecotourism, and his greatest passion is to share his love for wildlife conservation with others.
Adriana Gonzalez Haro, Mexico Field Representative
Adriana discovered the underwater world in 2008, and has been an avid scuba diver ever since—she now specializes in Nitrox, underwater navigation, and night diving, and has been trained in Atlantic Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment (AGRRA) methodology. She began diving in the Mexican Pacific, where she participated in a liveaboard expedition to identify future diving sites in the Gulf of Cortez, and is now enjoying getting to know the reefs of the Mexican Caribbean. Before joining CORAL, Adriana worked as a technical advisor on several forest projects at an environmental consulting firm in Guadalajara, Jalisco. Through internships, she also collaborated with several private and government institutions in Mexico, including the Interdisciplinary Center for Marine Science (CICIMAR). Adriana is passionate about protecting coral reefs, and has volunteered with several conservation programs in addition to her work with CORAL. She holds a degree in aquaculture biotechnology and intends to earn a master's degree in tropical marine ecology.
Naneng Setiasih, Coral Triangle Regional Manager (Indonesia)
A conservation science management specialist, Naneng's work focuses on ways to integrate science into collaborative coral reef management practices. She was one of the original founders of the Indonesian branch of the Reef Check Foundation, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and rehabilitating tropical coral reefs and California rocky reefs. Prior to her involvement with Reef Check Indonesia, Naneng was a project leader of the Friends of the Reef program managed by WWF Indonesia. She finished her postgraduate work at Bandung Institute of Technology and the School of Environmental Science at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom. Naneng currently lives in Bali, Indonesia.
Veronica Niken Dewi, Indonesia Field Representative
Veronica joined CORAL in May 2013 after consulting for CORAL in Indonesia on a student drawing and writing competition about sharks. Veronica completed her studies in Environmental Engineering at the Institute of Environmental Engineering in Jogyakarta and is an expert on community mentoring and micro-finance. Prior to her work with CORAL, she worked on community micro-finance projects for CCIF and Reef Check Foundation Indonesia. She lives in Denpasar.
As CORAL’s Hawaii field manager based in Maui, Liz contributes invaluable local knowledge and understanding to our conservation programs, ensuring that each project fully incorporates the needs and realities of the local communities. In addition to her work with CORAL, Liz founded the Maui-based nonprofit organization Project S.E.A.-Link in 1999 and currently serves as its executive director. Project S.E.A.-Link seeks to encourage and inspire marine science education and promotes local stewardship through community-based reef monitoring, marine naturalist volunteer trainings, and other education and outreach projects. Before settling on Maui, Liz worked as a whale watch naturalist in Massachusetts, volunteered at aquariums in Connecticut and California, taught coral reef ecology aboard a schooner in the Virgin Islands, studied orcas in British Columbia, and assisted reef researchers in the Florida Keys. Among her favorite ocean-related memories are diving in the Johnson Sea-Link submersible while in high school and meeting renowned ocean scientist Sylvia Earle in the Aquarius Undersea Habitat sixty feet underwater. Liz earned a bachelor’s of science degree in ecology, behavior, and evolution from the University of California, San Diego, and worked in research laboratories at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. After shifting her focus from marine research to marine education, she obtained a master’s of science degree in science education from Oregon State University.
Kara Osada-D'Avella, Hawaii Field Representative
Originally from Colorado, Kara's lifelong passion for the ocean was nurtured by frequent family trips to the Atlantic, Pacific, and Caribbean throughout her childhood. Her enduring goal to become a fish led Kara to get her open water SCUBA certification at age 12, and by age 19 she was a PADI Assistant Instructor working on dive boats to put herself through school. She graduated from the University of Hawaii at Hilo in 2004 with bachelor's degrees in biology and marine science, and in 2010 she completed her master's degree in tropical conservation biology and environmental sciences, focusing on the relationships among zooplankton, manta rays, and divers. Kara began working for CORAL in 2007, and has been coordinating the successful West Hawaii Voluntary Standards project among other initiatives. Kara also works as a marine technician for the Division of Aquatic Resources and occasionally helps NOAA to conduct fish biological assessments of remote U.S. territory islands. Kara holds a NAUI Instructor dive rating and runs her own business offering CPR, first aid, and oxygen certification classes.
Julia Stewart, Hawaii Field Representative
Julia has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Irvine, and currently is studying marine science at the University of Hawai’i in Hilo. She volunteers with ReefTeach in Kahalu’u Bay, educating tourists about coral reefs and sea life found in the bay, and participates in the weekly water sample testing with the citizen science program. Following her passion for the ocean, she traveled through Southeast Asia where she volunteered to do coral reef restoration work. Working with the non-profit Eco Koh Tao, she became a certified eco-diver with ReefCheck for the Indo-Pacific and completed PADI’s Marine Resource Management course and Project AWARE’s Specialty certification. She participated in multiple conservation projects during her eco-internship on the Thai island of Koh Tao, including the creation of structures for an artificial reef, sea turtle release, giant clam transplanting, coral nursery maintenance, coral fragment transplanting, and creation of buoy and mooring lines. She also spent time in Bali and Gili Trawangan in Indonesia working on the BioRocks, an artificial reef technology. Julia is an avid scuba and freediver, enjoying both the reefs of the tropics and kelp forest dives in California.
Jenny Myton, Honduras Field Manager
Jenny is an American-Honduran who has lived in Honduras her whole life. She currently resides on the island of Roatan, where she and her husband, Ian Drysdale, serve on the water board and for the local business association. Jenny has more than nine years of experience monitoring coral reef health and working on community-based resource conservation initiatives, including two years with the Bay Islands Environmental Management Program (funded by the Inter-American Development Bank). She has worked with Coral Cay Conservation, UNEP, Conservation International, and The Nature Conservancy, among others. Jenny and Ian founded and run Luna Environmental, an environmental consulting company, and have carried out environmental impact studies throughout Honduras. In addition to her work for CORAL, Jenny is currently completing a master's degree course in sustainable development.
Pamela Ortega, Honduras Field Representative
Pamela was born and raised in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa, where she began hearing the call of the wild as child during treks up the small mountain near her neighborhood. After studying environmental science (with an engineering specialty) at Catholic University of Honduras, Pamela went to work for Action Against Hunger in southern Honduras. She soon discovered her paradise, Utila, “a beautiful little island that few people on the mainland knew about,” and moved there to manage a resort. Pamela eventually went to work for the Bay Islands Conservation Association, specializing in protected area management and sea turtle conservation. A certified diver since 1998, Pamela recently earned her divemaster certification. She joined CORAL in July 2012.
Born into a seafaring family and raised in a seaside town in Fiji, Arthur has always had a strong affinity and respect for the ocean and its resources. After completing a Bachelors degree at the University of the South Pacific, Arthur began doing voluntary environmental awareness work on his native island of Rotuma before returning to the main island to work as a shark researcher and divemaster. There, he encountered more sharks on a single dive than most individuals see in a lifetime. As CORAL’s Fiji Field Representative, Arthur works closely with various stakeholders in the development and implementation of effective shark management policies. He is also supporting the Kubulau community in their efforts to develop a sustainable business model for CORAL’s flagship site—the Namena Marine Reserve.
Sirilo "Didi" Dulunaqio, Fiji Field Representative
Hailing from the village of Nadivakarua in the Kubulau District of Fiji, Didi worked closely with district chiefs and local communities to facilitate the creation of the Namena Marine Reserve in 1997. In 2001, CORAL funded a trip to the Bonaire Marine Park in the Dutch Caribbean, where Didi learned about marine protected areas and sustainable financing. In addition to being CORAL’s field representative in Fiji, Didi works for the Wildlife Conservation Society. Prior to joining CORAL, he spent several years working in the dive industry at Moody's Namena and L'Aventure at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort. Didi helps the CORAL program staff implement conservation projects and works tirelessly to increase communication between the Kubulau Resource Management Committee, tour operators, and environmental organizations.
Ratu Manoa Rasigatale, Fiji Shark Conservation Representative
A celebrated figure in Fiji, Manoa has dedicated his career to protecting and promoting Fiji's culture and environment. He hails from Nabuli Village in Rewa Province, where he was raised with a deep appreciation for his heritage. Trained in both theater and journalism, Manoa served as a journalist for the Fiji Times and has worked on an impressive array of productions for both stage and screen. He is the producer and star of the popular MaiTV program We Ni Yava, which shares bush survival skills with younger generations in Fiji. Among his many achievements, Manoa represented Rewa in the Fiji House of Senate in 2006, and was one of the hundred people featured in the book 20th Century Fiji-People Who Shaped the Nation. He has now become Fiji's "Sharkman," promoting shark conservation across the nation.