Board of Directors

Todd Steiner

Executive Director

Todd Steiner is an ecologist and the founder and executive director of Turtle Island Restoration Network, an ocean advocacy and research NGO with offices in California, Texas and Hawaii.

Brock Cahill

Board Member

Brock is the founder of SeaChange Agency and an underwater cinematographer.

Gail Yamamoto Seymour

Board Member

Gail Yamamoto Seymour is an environmental scientist with a long and outstanding career in natural resource conservation for the State of California, most recently as California Department of Fish and Wildlife Senior Environmental Supervisor for Watershed Restoration and the Fisheries Restoration Grant Program in the nine county San Francisco Bay Area. In 2018 she retired from State government service.

Carole Allen

Emeritus Director

Carole Allen is the founder and director of Help Endangered Animals - Ridley Turtles (HEART).

Deb Castellana

Board Member

Deb Castellana is the Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Sylvia Earle Alliance / Mission Blue, where she is responsible for strategic planning and forming new alliance relationships to generate cooperative programs and projects to increase ocean conservation.

Teri Shore

Treasurer

Environmentalist Teri Shore has championed winning campaigns to protect the natural world for more than two decades.

Staff

Todd Steiner

Executive Director

Todd Steiner is an ecologist and the founder and executive director of Turtle Island Restoration Network, an ocean advocacy and research NGO with offices in California, Texas and Hawaii.

Joanie Steinhaus

Ocean Program Director

Joanie Steinhaus attended Houston Community College in Houston Texas studying Animal Health Management and Veterinary Technology.

Audrey Fusco

Nursery Manager & Restoration Ecologist

Audrey focuses on utilizing native plants to enhance habitat for wildlife and works with all aspects of revegetation of SPAWN’s riparian restoration projects.

Jess Holland

Jess Holland

Development Manager

Meet Jess Holland: Experienced fundraising pro passionate about giving joy. With USOPC, U.S. Ski & Snowboard, Habitat for Humanity background. Enjoys travel, hiking, skiing, and sports. Holds B.S. from Penn State & M.S.A. from Central Michigan.

Rena Guillory

Membership Specialist

Meet Rena, a Galveston native with degrees in Mass Communications, French, and English. With skills in hospitality, PR, and education, she expertly oversees donor gifts, ensuring seamless operations in our Galveston office.

Ayano Hayes

Watershed Biologist

Ayano strives to protect and restore the natural environment through action, education, and connection.

Maggie Sager + Gulf of Mexico Program Coordinator

Maggie Sager

Gulf of Mexico Program Coordinator

Maggie grew up in Austin, TX, spending all of her time outdoors swimming, kayaking, and hiking. She graduated from the University of Tampa with a degree in Environmental Science, focused on Marine Biology. She has always been passionate about promoting marine and environmental conservation through outreach, action, and restoration.

Elizabeth Purcell

Environmental Policy Coordinator

Elizabeth, hailing from a South Jersey barrier island, cherishes the ocean and outdoors. A graduate in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, she now pursues a Master's in Marine Policy at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Her downtime? Exploring nature's wonders through hiking.

Tricia Himebaugh

Communication and Media Marketing Specialist

Native of North Texas, Groves-raised Trish' revels in Texas Gulf Coast activities. A globetrotter, she adores tropical destinations and champions conservation through communication and community support. 🌊

Nyna Hong

Watershed Biologist

Nyna Hong graduated from California State University, Chico in Environmental Science. Nyna interned was a Habitat Restoration Intern from March-December 2023. Nyna enjoys traveling, surfing, and hopes to aid in restoring and preserving damaged habitats.

Preston Brown

Preston Brown

Director of Conservation

Preston Brown is a watershed biologist and Director of Conservation with Turtle Island Restoration Network’s Salmon Protection And Watershed Network (SPAWN) where his work is focused on developing and facilitating stream restoration projects and administrating salmonid population monitoring programs.

Interns

Kait Vargas with hatchling

Kait Vargas

Gulf of Mexico Intern

Kait Vargas is a conservationist that specializes in human-wildlife conflict reduction and conservation education. She is a Texas A&M University graduate with a B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences. As a daughter of Colombian immigrants, she emphasizes the importance of amplifying minority voices in the climate justice movement. Kait has been volunteering at zoos, aquariums, and local wildlife rehabilitation centers across Texas since she was 15. She spent her last year of undergrad at Texas Sea Grant, where she studied interactions between sea turtles and recreational fisheries. Kait conducted outreach to raise awareness for incidental sea turtle capture across the Coastal Bend Area and co-authored a publication of her findings.

Laikyn Galvan photo

Laikyn Galvan

Gulf of Mexico Intern

Laikyn Galvan is an undergraduate student pursuing her B.S. in Marine Biology at Texas A&M University at Galveston. She is actively involved in several organizations at A&M Galveston and has taken part in beach cleanups along the Galveston coast. Laikyn's primary interests lie in the health of marine mammals and the human impacts on these creatures. Her career goal is to become a veterinary technician specializing in marine animals. Alongside her academic pursuits, she is passionate about spreading awareness and advocating for environmental conservation.

Science and Policy Advisory Board

César Peñaherrera, Ph.D

César Peñaherrera is an Ecuadorian Marine Biologist specialized in Quantitative Marine Science (QMS) and currently serves as the Academic Director at Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador – Manabí.

Myra Finkelstein, Ph.D

Myra Finkelstein is a David H. Smith Conservation Fellow at the University of California Santa Cruz whose research focuses on human impacts on marine ecosystems.

Kevin Weng, Ph.D

Kevin Weng is an Associate Professor at College of William & Mary Virginia Institute of Marine Science where he studies the impact of fisheries on sharks and other marine species.

Kerstin Forsberg

Kerstin Forsberg is the Founder and Director of Planeta Océano, a growing marine conservation non-profit based in Lima, Peru.

Jonathan R. Green

Jonathan R. Green

Jonathan R. Green is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society of London as well as a notable photographer.

Wallace J. Nichols, Ph.D

Wallace J. Nichols is a Research Associate at California Academy of Sciences and founder/co-director of Ocean Revolution, an international network of young ocean advocates and author nearly 100 publications on ocean ecology

William Loftus, Ph.D

William Loftus is the President of Aquatic Research & Communication, LLC, which involves different institutions and agencies to restore fish communities via sampling techniques and communication of scientific issues

George Shillinger, Ph.D

George Shillinger is the Executive Director of Upwell. He has worked in environmental conservation since 1986.

Boris Worm, Ph.D

Boris Worm is a Biology Professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He is a Marine Research Ecologist whose lab includes students and postdoctoral fellows studying the causes, consequences of change, and conservation of marine biodiversity.

Mark Stabb, Ph.D

Mark Stabb is a professional engineer, small business owner, environmental conservationist and long time scuba divemaster.

Mariano Castro

Mariano Castro is a Costa Rican lawyer with an LLM in public international law from Leiden University, and current candidate for a Mphil in Conservation Leadership in Cambridge University.

Elpis Joan Chávez

Elpis Joan Chávez is a wildlife biologist whose work focuses on shark ecology. She has worked as a research coordinator and scientific consultant for organizations from Mexico, Costa Rica, and USA, including Turtle Island Restoration Network.

Dr. Alex Hearn

Dr. Alex Hearn is Turtle Island’s Ecuador Representative. Previously he worked as Turtle Island as Director of Conservation Science in early 2013. Previously, he worked at the Charles Darwin Foundation in the Galapagos Islands (2002-8) and was Project Scientist in the Dept. of Wildlife Fish & Conservation Biology at UC Davis (2008-13).