Board of Directors – Bios



Caitlyn McCrary is a communication specialist with NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management in Charleston, South Carolina on contract with The Baldwin Group. She designs outreach plans for a variety of data, tools, training, and resources for coastal professionals and uses social media, press releases, newsletters, and other communications tools to ensure these professionals have the information they need to be successful. She holds a master’s degree in coastal environmental management from Duke University and a Bachelor of Science in marine science from the University of South Carolina.
Caitlyn began her involvement with The Coastal Society in graduate school at Duke University. As president of the student chapter, she oversaw the execution of the Duke Triathlon, numerous Blue Drinks, and other student events. Upon graduating, she continued volunteering for the society as Communications Committee Chair. For the first partnership between the society and Restore America’s Estuaries, she was Summit planning co-lead and marketing lead. For Summit 2016, she was the program committee lead.

STEVEN MACLEOD (President Elect)

Steven MacLeod is an Environmental Scientist with Ecology and Environment, Inc. (E & E) in Buffalo, New York. Since 2011, he has primarily assisted clients along the U.S. Gulf and East Coasts with environmental assessments, coastal consistency analyses and permit applications for onshore and offshore natural gas and electric transmission lines, as well as renewable energy projects (wind, solar, marine hydrokinetic).

Before joining E & E, Steve was employed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in Tallahassee, Florida. As part of FDEP’s Bureau of Beaches and Coastal Systems, Steve coordinated the evaluation for local and federal shoreline protection projects such as beach nourishment and sand bypass operations primarily along the Atlantic Coast. He was also responsible for reviewing dredge/fill projects in intracoastal waterways and deepwater ports throughout the state, including analyses of potential impacts on water quality and biological resources.

Steve holds a B.S. in Physics from the University of Puget Sound and a M.S. in Oceanography (Coastal Zone Management) from the Florida Institute of Technology. He has been a member of The Coastal Society since 2004. As President-Elect, Steve will support the current efforts of the TCS board and officers to establish the Margaret A. Davidson Career Development Program as a mainstay of the Society. He will also encourage further committee initiatives to modernize and streamline TCS, e.g., through social media outreach and student chapter communications, to better serve our members and ultimately grow our TCS community in the years to come.


Avery Siciliano is a Corporate Responsibility Manager at the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices certification program. In this role, Avery fosters sustainable seafood supply chains by creating environmental and social accountability standards for farmed seafood. In addition, she works with aquaculture facilities across the globe to ensure human rights and environmental laws are being followed. Prior to her role at Best Aquaculture Practices, Avery worked as a research associate for ocean policy at the Center for American Progress and as a sustainable seafood fellow at Oceana in Washington, D.C. Her focus was on domestic and international marine affairs, especially sustainable fisheries management and coastal land use practices.

Avery holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Vassar College and a master’s degree in environmental economics and policy from Duke University. For her master’s project she developed a toolkit for project managers interested in creating blue carbon pilot projects. She has been involved with The Coastal Society for more than four years, first as President of the Duke University Student Chapter, then serving as a student liaison to the Board, and now as a Director on TCS Board. Avery is currently serving her first year as Secretary.

VANESSA MEER (Treasurer)

Vanessa Meer has an interdisciplinary background in coastal environments, green building (including LEED, LID strategies, and Brownfield redevelopment), and sustainable business practices. Her experience includes environmental and geotechnical engineering and project management at the multidisciplinary engineering firm, YU & Associates, where she worked on ecological assessments, remediation and transportation projects. She has trained professionals for their LEED AP and Green Associate exams and done independent consulting. Vanessa was also an adjunct professor at Berkeley College in Manhattan – where she taught environmental conservation, an associate at Green Drinks NYC – where she organized social networking events for environmental professionals, and Manager of Water, Energy, and Environmental Services at Living City Block Brooklyn Gowanus – where she supervised technical and managerial aspects of cutting-edge redevelopment ideas for block-scale sustainability measures along the Superfund Site of the Gowanus Canal and spearheaded community outreach activities.

Vanessa has been volunteering with The Coastal Society since she was a graduate student at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, taking on increasing leadership roles – first within the Education Committee and now, as Co-Chair of the Programs Initiative Committee. Vanessa has helped organize professional development events at the previous two TCS conferences. While Vanessa does not have formal accounting experience, she has dealt with financial aspects of project management at both YU & Associates and Living City Block – setting and tracking budgets, soliciting payments and making sure bills were paid on time – and has worked closely with accounting teams to ensure that project and company records were accurate and up to date. Vanessa is currently serving her second year as Treasurer.



Tom Bigford has been a Coastal Society member since 1976, when he was in graduate school at the University of Rhode Island. During his 43 years as a member he has served on the Board as Secretary, Director (3 terms), President (1 term), and the Society’s first Executive Director (3 years). He edited the Society’s Bulletin for 16 years, chaired the biennial conference in Boston in 1988, and edited the conference proceedings twice. Additionally, he has served for 18 years as the Society’s representative on the editorial board of its official journal, Coastal Management. Most recently he has been an active member of the Society’s Development Committee and its effort to launch “The Coastal Society’s Margaret A. Davidson Coastal Career Development Program” in late 2018. The TCS Best Student Paper and Best Student Poster awards are named in his honor and for his commitment to the next generation of coastal practitioners.

Tom is retired from his first career (38 years) with the Environmental Protection Agency (3 years) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (35 years). Throughout his federal career he worked in coastal and marine environmental protection offices in Massachusetts, Washington state, and Washington, DC. After his federal retirement, he was hired by the American Fisheries Society to establish a Policy Program; he retired from that position after nearly 4 years in early 2018. He currently focuses his energies on TCS activities, as the most recent past-President of the AFS Fish Habitat Section, and a member of the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation’s Policy Committee.

Tom received his bachelor’s degree in Fish Biology from Michigan State University, a Master’s of Science in Marine Ecology from the University of Rhode Island, and a Master’s of Marine Affairs also from URI. He is an Adjunct Instructor at Michigan State.


Dr. Kimberly (Lellis) Dibble is a Research Biologist with the USGS Southwest Biological Science Center, Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center in Flagstaff, Arizona. Her current research program investigates how dam management practices, specifically their impact on flow and water temperature, influence salmonid population dynamics in regulated rivers across the western United States. She also uses biochemical indicators to quantify the influence of anthropogenic and natural stressors on fish physiology, life history patterns, and food webs. While Kim currently works on inland fishery issues, she considers herself to be an ecosystem ecologist, working at the interface between freshwater, estuarine, and marine habitats used by fish and aquatic organisms.

Kim has a unique background in both applied science and public policy, having earned a MA in Marine Affairs in 2004 and a PhD in Biological and Environmental Science in 2012, both from the University of Rhode Island. Her master’s degree was focused on regulatory planning for new fishery development in the Arctic due to climate change. Shifting gears toward research, her doctoral studies were focused on quantifying the effects of tidal restrictions and plant invasions on energy flow through salt marsh food webs. She also investigated how salt marsh health influences the physiological condition of resident fish species inhabiting marshes spanning Rhode Island to Maine.

Kim has been a member of TCS since 2004 when she joined the society as a graduate student at the University of Rhode Island. Her involvement at the chapter level led to a post-graduate joint internship between TCS and the NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation. The TCS internship jump-started Kim’s career and eventually led to a permanent federal position as a Marine Habitat Resource Specialist. In this capacity she supported regulatory efforts to protect and restore coastal habitats while working on projects to ensure successful diadromous fish passage around hydropower dams. While working for NOAA she continued working with TCS, serving as an ex-officio Board Member and as co-chair of the Special Projects Committee. In this capacity she helped raise money for the TCS Coastal Resource Recovery Fundraiser to support habitat restoration and protection projects in the Gulf of Mexico stemming from the impacts of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. After a short hiatus, Kim joined the TCS Board in 2017 to dip her feet back into coastal issues and looks forward to using her experience to help shape the future of the organization.


Jeff Flood is a Coastal Planner with the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program in Richmond, Virginia. In this capacity, he works with several state agencies as well as regional and local governments to administer enforceable policies that protect coastal resources and foster sustainable development in the coastal areas of the Commonwealth. His principle duties include program review, policy formulation, grant proposal writing and administration, and providing technical assistance to local governments. Jeff also provides subject matter expertise on shellfish aquaculture and coastal habitat restoration, acquired from undergraduate internships, graduate research, and his previous position with Wetland Studies and Solutions, an environmental consulting firm in Virginia Beach.

Jeff holds a master’s degree in marine policy from the University of Delaware and a Bachelor’s of Science in marine biology from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Collectively, Jeff uses his interdisciplinary educational and professional background on a daily basis to work with both Federal and local government partners, bringing a unique perspective to TCS on how policy success stories at the local level can help inform state-wide and national initiatives.

Jeff began his involvement in TCS as a senior in high school when he attended the 2006 conference in St. Pete Beach, Florida – the first of many TCS conferences he would go on to participate in. At that conference, Jeff administered a career survey which he had developed with the help of current Board member Tom Bigford, then working for NOAA. The survey results and advice from numerous mentors over the years have been instrumental in directing Jeff’s coastal career path and he hopes to guide the development of the next generation of coastal professionals by helping to organize and participate in Margaret A. Davidson (MAD) career development workshops.


Kim Grubert works at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources as an ocean, climate, and data specialist in Maryland’s Coastal Zone Management program. Kim’s early interest in the environment led her to obtain a B.Sc. in environmental studies and international studies from the University of Kansas. After some time traveling and realizing her passion for protecting the ocean and coasts, she went on to pursue an M.E.M. in coastal environmental management from Duke University. Her graduate training led to a NOAA Coastal Management Fellowship in Maryland. Kim now works with federal, state, tribal, and local partners to protect and enhance the Maryland coastal zone. Her portfolio includes regional ocean planning and coordination, preparing Maryland for the impacts of climate change, strengthening the use of data in decision-making, and working to designate a national marine sanctuary. She began her involvement with The Coastal Society in 2014 as a graduate student at Duke University and served on the Communications Committee from 2015-2018. She is now the Co-Chair of the Chapters Committee and serves on the Margaret A. Davidson Coastal Career Development Program Committee.


Tricia Hooper first joined The Coastal Society in 2014 and is thrilled to serve on the Board of Directors. She is currently a member of the Professional Development Committee, and she was the lead organizer for the Margaret A. Davidson Coastal Career Development Workshop in Washington D.C in January 2019. She looks forward to continuing to enhance The Coastal Society’s career development program for all coastal students and young professionals.

In her own career, Tricia is a Policy Program Analyst supporting the NOAA Office for Coastal Management. In this role, she leads the office’s response to legislative and information requests from Congress and senior agency officials. She also works with the office’s policy team to implement a variety of federal grant programs, including the National Coastal Resilience Fund. For her efforts, Tricia was named a 2018 NOAA National Ocean Service Team Member of the year.

Tricia previously worked at the Natural Resources Defense Council, Duke Environmental Law and Policy Clinic, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. She a received a Master of Environmental Management from Duke University and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In her free time, Tricia enjoys traveling and spending time outdoors, especially swimming, hiking, and biking.


Jill Meyer is Division Director of Ocean and Coastal Services at Lynker Technologies, LLC, a small business specializing in professional, scientific and technical services with offices in Leesburg, Virginia, Kailua, HI, and Boulder, Colorado. Lynker offers expertise in marine-based fisheries research, coastal habitat conservation, operational coastal product delivery, and ecosystem-driven marine resources management. Prior to moving to Lynker earlier this year, Jill was Director of Natural Resource Management at CSS-Dynamac. Ms. Meyer has dedicated her 25 year professional career to coastal and marine conservation as a field scientist researching sea turtle nesting, wetlands, and water quality and later overseeing federal coastal conservation and fisheries program contracts.

Having grown up in the Great Lakes region, she had an early and deep connection to coastal and water resources that instilled a life-long dedication to coastal science and conservation. She holds a M.S. degree in Marine Science with a focus on resource management and policy from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. Her extensive technical experience covers coastal management and restoration, coastal field data collection and monitoring, coral reef conservation, fisheries management, and spill response and restoration. She has managed projects and directed administrative and financial operations in the private sector and for federal government contracts with agencies including National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), National Park Service (NPS), and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Ms. Meyer’s TCS involvement has grown from participant and presenter at conferences, to actively supporting TCS Coastal Career Days, and serving as the TCS Development Committee Co-Chair.


Alaurah Moss is a Coastal Scientist in Dewberry’s Virginia Beach office, specializing in coastal flood risk management. Alaurah is a resource for flood forecasting, coastal hazard analysis, FEMA flood risk modeling and mapping and wetland and coastal groundwater modeling. She also supports hurricane preparedness and response activities including supporting FEMA’s disaster response efforts by performing rapid floodplain delineation to expedite disaster relief and aid to impacted communities. Alaurah received a Master of Environmental Management degree focused in Water Resources Management from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University and her undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland in Environmental Science.

Alaurah recently joined The Coastal Society and is excited to serve on the TCS Board of Directors to bring a fresh perspective on emerging coastal issues. She plans on volunteering her time to support the Margaret A. Davidson Coastal Career Development Program, as she has a passion for providing mentorship to university students or young professionals on career advancement. As a TCS board member, she also aims to increase TCS member awareness and foster dialogue on coastal climate change issues and strategies to combat sea level rise and recurrent coastal flooding.