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Staff Directory

Heal the Bay Administration

Shelley Luce

President & Chief Executive Officer

Shelley is responsible for determining Heal the Bay’s policy priorities, forming smart strategic alliances, and growing public participation across greater Los Angeles. Shelley, who holds a Doctorate of Environmental Science and Engineering from UCLA and a B.S. in Biology from McGill University, began her advocacy career at Heal the Bay, serving as a staff scientist from 2001-2005. She went on to hold executive director positions at the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission, the Bay Foundation, and the Environment Now Foundation before rejoining us as President and Chief Executive Officer in 2017.

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Meredith McCarthy

Operations Director

Heal the Bay’s long time Programs Director has recently shifted to the  Director of Operations. Meredith now oversees the organizational health and wellbeing of all programs and staff.  As an avid scuba diver she has seen firsthand what putting too much in, taking too much out and ignoring the edge of the ocean has done to our coastal systems. She remains committed to Heal the Bay’s mission of protecting this health of this precious resource and the 11 million people that benefit from it.

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Gabriele Morgan

Receptionist

Gabriele has been the face, voice, and administrative angel of Heal the Bay for nearly 20 years. She can answer any question about the organization and the Bay with ease and keeps the office running smoothly. When not manning her post as velvet rope/bouncer/concierge, she can probably be found in her recording studio.

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Sylvie Makara

Office Manager

Sylvie provides administrative support to Heal the Bay’s President, Vice President, and Board of Directors. After relocating to Southern California from Ottawa, Ontario, Sylvie quickly found her niche as an educational programs volunteer and Key to the Sea Naturalist at Heal the Bay. Sylvie brings almost 20 years of administrative experience and an unabashed love of the ocean to her work.

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Alvin Lam

Data and Information Manager

Alvin graduated from UCLA, but more importantly, unlike Frank Drebin, he doesn’t love swimming in raw sewage. It’s this aversion that led him to Heal the Bay where he helps the team attract lovers of clean water (yes, that was a reference to the 90’s classic, Naked Gun 2 ½).

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Katie Sherbert

Data Assistant

Katie has been passionate about marine conservation and humanitarian efforts for as long as she can remember. Her need to make a positive change on this planet led her to dedicate her time at Colorado College, studying environmental science. While in school, she worked for the Rocky Mountain Field Institute, a Colorado Springs-based nonprofit where she discovered her desire to protect and preserve our public lands. She worked hand-in-hand with community volunteers to restore watersheds, create sustainable measures for our wilderness, and promote a long-term solution to our fragile forest ecosystem. Since moving home to California, she has been keen on working for an organization that works to improve our ocean’s health and is a firm believer in Heal the Bay’s mission.

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Heal the Bay Advancement

Sheila McSherry

Associate Director, Foundation Relations

Sheila serves as the liaison between Heal the Bay and its private, family and corporate foundation supporters. She has also been the organization’s senior grant writer since 2005.  She graduated from U.C. Santa Cruz and is also a musician. She is on a mission to visit all of the world’s best beaches.

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Georgina Del Vecho

Advancement Coordinator

Georgina coordinates Heal the Bay’s corporate sponsorship program, Suits on the Sand. After a disillusioning first year as a pre-med, Georgina found her true passion for the environment and graduated from Duke University with a degree in Environmental Science and Public Policy. Before joining Heal the Bay, she spent a summer in Ste. Luce, Madagascar doing research to promote national land conservation in their coastal forests (and going to the beach). Talk to her about: the best place in town for pasta, NCAA basketball, or her beloved cat, Splash.

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Heal the Bay Aquarium

Marslaidh Ryan

Aquarium Director

Marslaidh (pronounced like parsley) studied Environmental Science at the University of Oregon, Aquarium Science at Saddleback College, and Fisheries and Wildlife Science at Oregon State University. She began her career in public aquariums over fifteen years ago gaining experience in areas such as marine science education, animal husbandry, life support systems, and facility operations. She has worked and volunteered in various institutions as she made her way down the coast, such as the Marine Mammal Center, Aquarium of the Bay, Aquarium of the Pacific, and the California Science Center. She dives locally as an active PADI Divemaster and Scientific Diver, and is a member of the Grunions US Masters swim team.

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Laura Rink

Associate Aquarium Director, Operations

After graduating with her bachelor’s degree in Aquatic Biology, Laura has spent the last 10 years working in the aquarium industry at facilities housing diverse collections of aquatic life.  Her previous positions include Curator at the Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney, Senior Aquarist at The California Science Center, and Aquarist for the Calvert Marine Museum along the Chesapeake Bay.

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Jenna Segal

Associate Aquarium Director, Programs

Jenna earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Northeastern University, and coordinates with educators, event planners and others who wish to use the facilities. She also acts as liaison with various city agencies and Santa Monica Pier neighbors, and oversees the facility’s public hours and retail operations. Originally from Massachusetts, Jenna moved out west to enjoy the sunshine and study marine science. She started her career at Heal the Bay as an Aquarium and MPA Watch volunteer, and officially joined the staff in 2012.

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Kelly Kelly

Education Manager

Kelly is responsible for teaching bright-eyed students on field trips about the local coastal ecology, in addition to managing the Key to the Sea and Summer Camp programs. She is excited to be back with Heal the Bay and the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, not just to educate others about marine animals and habitats, but also to instill stewardship and foster change. Kelly’s also excited to be back to where she first started as an intern and naturalist in 2014. She is currently working on her M.S. in Informal Science Education at CSU Long Beach. When not teaching on the beach or going to class, Kelly loves going to the zoo (even when she worked there), taking photos, and seeing live music shows.

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(310) 393-6149 ext. 106

Halina Do-Linh

Volunteer Programs Manager

Halina manages our volunteers at Heal the Bay. Our volunteers are dedicated, awesome individuals involved with beach cleanups, community science, community advocacy, Heal the Bay Aquarium, and more. Halina is native to the Los Angeles area, but ventured up north where she achieved her Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies & Biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is excited to be part of Heal the Bay and to be advocating for marine and ocean issues in the areas she grew up exploring. If you have any questions about volunteering please contact Halina.

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Tikiesha Allen

Education and Outreach Associate

“Tiki” is a graduate of the LATTC Chemical Technology Certification program, with an Associate’s Degree in Science. Tiki has been an enthusiastic member of Heal the Bay’s watershed monitoring team since 2011. She was honored by Heal the Bay in 2015 as a “Super Healer”. Her ambitions are to be of service to her city and home, Los Angeles, by protecting our precious waterways. In Spring of 2018, she transitioned to our Aquarium as an Education and Outreach Associate where she helps educate K-12 students, while also working with corporations to teach them about conservation and preservation.

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(310) 393-6149

Colleen Sullivan

Community Programs Coordinator

Colleen leads daily operations for the Aquarium’s public hours, managing birthday parties, as well as coordinating theme weekends and special events.  Originally from Arlington, Virginia, she earned her B.A. in Environmental Studies with minors in International Affairs and Italian at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York. Before coming to Heal the Bay, she spent a year teaching environmental studies and mechanics of renewable energy at a technical high school in Milan, Italy. In her free time, she likes to paint, SCUBA dive and hike.

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Grace Young

Community Outreach Coordinator

Grace manages MPA Watch, Sand Crabs Science Wednesdays, Aquadoption program, social media, as well as public hours at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium. Having worked in the fashion industry for a few years after earning her B.S in Fashion Production, Grace believes that protecting Marine Protected Areas and preserving our coast is more important than producing the next trendy shirt. After hours, she likes to cycle around the city, runs a small cycling hat company and loves to go tidepooling.

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Robert Ramos

Education and Outreach Associate

Robert Ramos is an aspiring marine biologist from Philadelphia. He discovered his passion for marine science while attending college at Wesleyan University, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in both Biology and Environmental Science. Once graduated, Robert found his way out to California by participating in an AmeriCorps internship on Catalina Island building nature trails. Eventually, Robert was welcomed into the Heal the Bay family as an Education and Outreach Associate, where he educates and inspires young people to be stewards of their environment!

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(310) 393-6149

natalie rizzo

Natalie Rizzo

Aquarist

Despite growing up in the midwest, Natalie has always had an inexplicable love for the ocean. So, after graduating from DePaul University, Natalie embarked on a year-long exploration of Australian marine life. This made her realize she could never live in a land-locked state again. After establishing a home base in coastal California, she jumped on a multitude of jobs and volunteer opportunities continuing her passion for environmental education along with animal rescue and rehabilitation. At Heal the Bay Aquarium, Natalie is part of the aquarist team that assists in keeping inhabitants healthy, the tanks looking beautiful and spreading knowledge about our sharks in weekly shark talks! In her free time, Natalie collects animal socks, plays volleyball, and explores Los Angeles with her Bearded Dragon, Belanus.

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(310) 393-6149

Heal the Bay Communications

Talia Walsh

Communications Director

Talia oversees Heal the Bay’s communications strategy. She mobilizes people to advocate for clean, sustainable water from summit to sea. Her work encompasses branding, public relations, digital marketing, advertising, partnerships and campaign activations that connect communities and organizations in Los Angeles County with the natural environment. She earned her B.S. in Communication and Rhetorical Studies from Syracuse University. In her free time, you can find her hiking, camping, making/experiencing art, clamoring over new Emoji and enjoying live music. Fun fact: She was once a Park Ranger in Rhode Island!

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Alex Choy

Communications Manager

Alex is helping to build Heal the Bay’s voice as the Communications Manager. She graduated from UCLA with a degree in Geography and Environmental Studies, and her professional passion lies in blending visual media and sustainability. Her personal passions include working on creative projects, thrifting, and being a plant mom!

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Heal the Bay Programs

Nancy Shrodes

Associate Director, Policy and Outreach

Nancy inspires thousands of Angelenos by managing Heal the Bay’s Speakers Bureau program. Her passion for ocean conservation earned her an Environmental Science degree with a focus in marine biology from Tufts University. Prior to joining Heal the Bay, Nancy ran a grassroots campaign office that was instrumental in banning plastic bags in L.A. Look for Nancy on the beach volleyball courts.

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Emely Garcia

Beach Programs Manager

Emely is passionate about environmental conservation, marine protection, and connecting people with the outdoors. She earned her Bachelor’s in Environmental Science and Management with a focus in Policy and Planning from Humboldt State University. Before joining the Heal the Bay team, she worked closely with the Sierra Club and LA Nature for All advocating for the protection of our San Gabriel Mountains and San Gabriel River. At Heal the Bay, Emely manages all Beach Programs that are open to the public. If you’re interested in being a part of a Nothing but Sand Beach Cleanup, getting involved with Adopt-a-Beach with your team, or volunteering on Coastal Cleanup Day feel free to reach out to Emely!

On her spare time, you can find her painting nature inspired art work, trail running, and planning her next National Park camping trip!

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Danielle Furuichi

Outreach Coordinator

After graduating from Indiana University, Danielle further developed her passion for environmental justice and the ocean as a volunteer at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium. Danielle helps execute beach and creek cleanups, educates the community on the health of our watersheds and oceans, and engages high school students through Club Heal the Bay. On the weekends you can catch her rock climbing, hiking, and surfing!

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Heal the Bay Science & Policy

Dr. Katherine Pease

Science and Policy Director

Katherine assesses the water quality and biological health of greater L.A.’s watersheds and assists stakeholder groups with policy recommendations. Katherine studied Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Barnard College and earned a Ph.D. from UCLA, where she wrote her dissertation on the impacts of invasive crayfish on native frog tadpoles in the Santa Monica Mountains. Katherine is passionate about freshwater ecosystems and loves to explore L.A.’s wilderness.

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Annelisa Moe

Water Quality Scientist

Annelisa helps to keep L.A. water clean and safe by advocating for comprehensive and science-based water quality regulation and enforcement. Before joining the team at Heal the Bay, she worked with the Regional Water Quality Control Board in both the underground storage tank program and the surface water ambient monitoring program. Annelisa completed her master’s degree in geological sciences at CSU Northridge. In her free time she enjoys caving, canyoneering and scuba diving.

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Emily Parker

Coastal and Marine Scientist

Emily works to keep our oceans and marine ecosystems healthy and clean by advocating for strong legislation and enforcement both locally and statewide. She focuses on plastic pollution, marine protected areas, sustainable fisheries, and climate change related issues. Before arriving at Heal the Bay, Emily earned a M.A.S in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, where she conducted research on sea turtle conservation in El Salvador. When not advocating for ocean rights, Emily can almost always be found on the shore catching a wave or soaking up some L.A. sunshine.

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Luke Ginger

Water Quality Scientist

Luke fights for the environment’s rights by advocating for water quality regulation and enforcement. But he’s also looking out for the humans who go to the beaches, rivers, and streams by managing the Beach Report Card, River Report Card, and NowCast programs. Before joining Heal the Bay, he worked as an U.S. Environmental Protection Agency compliance consultant for small businesses. He has a B.S. in Biology from The University of St. Thomas and a M.S. in Biology from Miami University. Although Luke does not consider what he does at Heal the Bay “work,” when he’s not in the office he is hiking in the National Parks or hanging out on the beach.

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Lucy Rieves

Water Quality Modeler

Lucy uses environmental and historical bacteria data to create the NowCast models for Heal the Bay, and makes the weekly Beach Report Card grades using recent bacterial data from coastal California counties. She studied Applied Mathematics, Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, and Geographic Information Systems at the University of Colorado in Boulder, where she worked on projects modeling Avalanche risk in the Colorado backcountry and assessing future risk of crop loss with the National Center for Atmospheric Research climate models. Lucy loves exploring and quantifying trends and relationships occurring in the natural world and producing means to improve public health by increasing awareness, as well as any outdoor recreation opportunities!

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Frankie Orrala

Angler Outreach Program Manager

Frankie manages the Angler Outreach Program, overseeing a multilingual team of five. He also develops partnerships with the Spanish-speaking community and acts as Heal the Bay’s Spanish media liaison. Before joining Heal the Bay, Frankie was a Fishing Observer for the Ecuadorian National Fishing Institute in the Galapagos Islands. He holds a bachelor’s degree in marine biology from the University of Guayaquil.

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Oscar Torres

Angler Outreach Team

Driven by his zeal for the Southern California coast and his passion for informing and empowering communities, Oscar speaks with anglers and fishermen and instructs them about pollution and health risks from fishing L.A.’s piers. Oscar’s main interests are environmental and human health and sustainable fisheries.