Leadership

Within the program, FSG is managed at the programmatic level by a Director (Dr. Larkin) and two Associate Directors – one for Research (Dr. Sidman) and one for Extension and Education (Dr. McGuire). These three core positions are supported by an Assistant Director of Fiscal Operations (Rod Venegas) and a Communications Coordinator that also serves as the Creative/Art Director (Donielle Nardi). An organizational chart shows the current management team and staff, and related advisory groups, supporting faculty, and leveraged coordinators.

Dr. Maia
McGuire

Associate Director, Extension & Education
Photo of Donielle Nardi

Donielle
Nardi

Communications Coordinator & Creative/Art Director

Administration

The administrative offices of Florida Sea Grant are housed at the University of Florida. Here, the leadership and supporting teams work together to manage and run the statewide program. The primary office is located on the main campus in Gainesville, while the Associate Director for Extension and Education is located at the Whitney Laboratory for Marine Biosciences on the Atlantic Coast.  

Cassie
Sexson

Administrative Specialist & Student Coordinator

Extension Agents

UF/IFAS Extension Agents design and deliver extension and education programming to target audiences, mostly within defined geographic areas. 

The Nature Coast

Dr. Savanna
Barry

Regional Specialized Extension Agent
Pinellas County

Libby
Carnahan

County Extension Agent
Manatee, Sarasota & Hillsborough Counties

Dr. Angela
Collins

Multi-County Extension Agent
Martin & St. Lucie Counties

Dr. Vincent
Encomio

Multi-County Extension Agent
Hernando County

Brittany
Hall-Scharf

County Extension Agent
statewide

Joy
Hazell

State Specialized Extension Agent
Bay County

Scott
Jackson

Regional Specialized Extension Agent
Flagler & Volusia Counties

Carolyn
Kovacs

Multi-County Extension Agent
The Southeast

Dr. Lisa
Krimsky

Regional Specialized Extension Agent
Franklin County

Erik
Lovestrand

Regional Specialized Extension Agent
Escambia County

Rick
O’Connor

County Extension Agent
Charlotte County

Katherine
Rose

County Extension Agent
Okaloosa & Walton Counties

Dr. Laura
Tiu

Multi-County Extension Agent
Sarasota County

Armando
Ubeda

County Extension Agent
Santa Rosa County

Chris
Verlinde

County Extension Agent
Miami-Dade County

Ana
Zangroniz

County Extension Agent

Extension Specialists & Coordinators

Extension Specialists provide subject matter expertise to extension agents and target audiences across the state and the nation. These specialists are joined by leveraged outreach and education coordinators that support initiatives in conjunction with our state agency partners. 

Coastal Ecosystems & Watersheds

Dr. Anna
Braswell

UF/IFAS Extension Specialist
Seafood Safety

Dr. Razieh
Farzad

UF/IFAS Extension Specialist
Clean Vessels

Vicki
Gambale

Clean Vessel Act Education Coordinator
Recreational Angling

Nick
Haddad

Gulf of Mexico Program Coordinator
Coral Disease

Maurizio
Martinelli

Florida Coral Disease Response Coordinator
Coral Disease

Caroline
McLaughlin

National Coral Disease Coordinator
Marine Resource Economics

Dr. Andrew
Ropicki

UF/IFAS Extension Specialist
Coastal Planning

Thomas
Ruppert, Esq.

Law & Policy Specialist
Harmful Algal Blooms

Betty
Staugler

NOAA Harmful Algal Bloom Liaison

Program Advisors

The program is provided with ongoing guidance by a long-standing Advisory Council, a newly established Director’s Operating Advisory Panel (DOAP), and a State Agency Advisory Group. The Advisory Council meets regularly (2-3 times per year, at least once in person) and actively participates in various aspects of program management and vision. The DOAP is called upon when needed to provide specific advice and guidance to the director. Members have experience with Sea Grant programs and activities nationwide, their most recent or current Sea Grant affiliations are listed below. The “Agency Group” is comprised of managers of key programs that comprise our state government and regulatory bodies. The Agency Group is called upon when needed to provide specific advice and guidance, and to discuss future needs and gaps for managing resources within the state.

Advisory Council

Bob
Aylesworth
Aylesworth’s Fish and Bait, Inc.
Jim
Cantonis
Acme Sponge & Chamois Co., Inc.
Kevin
Claridge
Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium
Spencer
Crowley
Akerman Law
Kathleen
Elliott
Mahogany Youth Corporation
Victor
Garrido
Quirch Foods, LLC
Laura
Geselbracht
The Nature Conservancy
Greg
Jacoski
Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation
Tim
Jordan
Saucy Lady Oyster Company
Bill
Kelly
Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association
Ernesto
Lasso de la Vega
Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program
Gil
McRae
FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
Richard
Pruitt
Carnival Cruise Line
Jerry
Sansom
Organized Fishermen of Florida
Shawn
Stephenson
Southern Cross Sea Farms
Steve
Stock
Victory Consulting, Inc.

Director's Operating Advisory Panel

Charles “Chuck”
Adams
Florida Sea Grant
Anders
Andren
Wisconsin Sea Grant
James “Jim”
Cato
Florida Sea Grant
James “Jim”
Murray
National Sea Grant Review Panel
John
Woeste
National Sea Grant Review Panel
Dorothy
Zimmerman
Florida Sea Grant

Agency Advisory Group

Whitney
Gray
|
Administrator
FDEP Florida Resilient Coastlines Program
Brian
LaMarre
|
Meteorologist-in-Charge
NOAA NWS, Tampa Bay Area WFO,
Brenda
Leonard
|
Administrator
FDEP Clean Boating Programs
Jessica
McCawley
|
Director
FWC Division of Marine Fisheries Management
Gil
McRae
|
Director
FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
Clay
Porch
|
Director
NOAA Fisheries/Southeast Fisheries Science Center
Portia
Sapp
|
Aquaculture Director
FDACS Division of Aquaculture
Mike
Shirley
|
Administrator
FDEP Florida Coastal Management Program
Andy
Strelcheck
|
Regional Administrator
NOAA Fisheries/Southeast Regional Office
Joanna
Walczak
|
Administrator
FDEP Coral Protection and Restoration
Jessica
White
|
Deputy Director/Facility Manager
NOAA NOS/Disaster Preparedness Program

UF Research Affiliates

The Florida Sea Grant program is also a “center” at UF. To fulfill the mission of a campus center, the program maintains a group of research affiliates at UF with which it can foster communications, establish research groups (i.e., Work Action Groups or WAGs) and work interactively with UF/IFAS Extension Agents to translate research outcomes. This group of 30+ faculty is supplemented by the PIs of over 50 additional research-based projects located around the state that are tracked by the Associate Director of Research. As time and resources allow, the program brings together all researchers, students and agents to share what has been learned and how to effectively communicate to stakeholders in Florida.