Sunset over a rocky beach; a figure is visible in the surf, and the clouds and waves are golden and lavender with late afternoon sun

OST Welcomes New Board Leadership

A new Chair and Vice Chair on the OST Board of Trustees

By Liz Whiteman

The California Ocean Science Trust (OST) is proud to announce the election of Dr. Gary Griggs as the new Chair of the Board of Trustees, alongside Dr. Alexis Jackson as the new Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees. We extend our deepest appreciation to Nancy Sutley for her dedicated service as the previous Board Chair.

Dr. Gary Griggs received his B.A. in Geological Sciences from the University of California Santa Barbara and a Ph.D. in Oceanography from Oregon State University. He has been a Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of California Santa Cruz since 1968 and was Director of the Institute of Marine Sciences from 1991 to 2017. His research and teaching have been focused on the coast of California and include coastal processes, hazards and engineering, and sea-level rise. Dr. Griggs has written over 210 articles for professional journals as well as authored or co-authored fourteen books.

In 1998 he was given the Outstanding Faculty Award at UC Santa Cruz and the Alumni Association honored him with a Distinguished Teaching Award in 2006. The California Coastal Commission and Sunset Magazine named him one of California’s Coastal Heroes in 2009. He has served on three National Academy of Sciences Committees. He served on the Science Advisory Team to the Governor’s Ocean Protection Council from 2008 to 2021, and on the board of the Ocean Science Trust since 2015.

Dr. Alexis Jackson serves as the Associate Director of The Nature Conservancy’s California Oceans Program. She leads an interdisciplinary team focused on conducting policy research, informing strategic planning efforts and advancing policy priorities around reducing plastic pollution, restoring kelp forest ecosystems, advancing sustainable fisheries management and promoting island resilience. She played an instrumental role in drafting and securing passage of California’s landmark single-use plastics legislation (SB 54) and was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom to serve on the California Ocean Protection Council.

Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy, Alexis worked for The Pew Charitable Trusts coordinating their scientific and policy engagement at the tuna-based regional fishery management organizations (RFMOs). Previous to that, Alexis worked for NOAA Fisheries in the High Migratory Species Management Division as a fishery management specialist helping draft regulations and conduct ecological and economic analyses for amendments to the 2006 Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan for tunas, sharks and swordfish. Alexis holds a B.S. in ecology and evolutionary biology from Yale University and a master’s and a Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

OST also expresses heartfelt gratitude to Nancy Sutley for her exemplary leadership as the previous Board Chair. Ms. Sutley is the Deputy Mayor of Energy and Sustainability for the City of Los Angeles and formerly led the White House Council on Environmental Quality. As a chief architect of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, she played a pivotal role in national and international climate policy. Her prior roles as Energy Advisor for California Governor Gray Davis and a member of the State Water Resources Control Board highlight her extensive experience in environmental governance. Since joining the OST board in 2014, Ms. Sutley’s guidance has been invaluable in advancing the organization’s mission to bridge the gap between science and policy for the benefit of California’s ocean and coastal ecosystems.

As Dr. Griggs and Dr. Jackson step into their new roles, OST is poised for continued success bringing science to the decisions shaping the future of our coast and ocean. Their leadership will be instrumental in advancing OST’s commitment to science-based decision-making and responsible stewardship of California’s ocean resources.

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