NOAA has announced several staff changes at NMFS. The following new staff members replace former staff who have retired or moved on to new challenges over the past two years.
David Nichols joined the program in May 2016 as the Pacific Islands Regional Aquaculture Specialist. While his office is in Honolulu, David is responsible for working with industry and research partners to develop appropriate offshore technologies throughout the Pacific Islands Region including American Samoa, CNMI, Guam and Hawaii. A primary goal for the Region is to promote simplified regulatory processes in cooperation with state and other responsible federal agencies. David is currently leading the development of an Aquaculture Management Plan in the Pacific Islands Region. Prior to joining the aquaculture program, David was the NMFS Regional Endangered Species Act (ESA) Section 6 Coordinator and ESA Section 7 biologist.
Kevin Madley is the Aquaculture Coordinator for the Greater Atlantic Region, based in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Kevin works with federal and state agencies, industry, and members of the scientific, academic, and NGO communities on a variety of marine aquaculture issues. He has over 7 years of federal regulatory experience with NOAA Fisheries.
Mark A. Rath is serving as the Science Coordinator for the Office of Aquaculture. He acts as a liaison between government scientists, regulators, and the public, placing him in a unique position to bridge science and practice. Prior to joining NOAA in 2016, Mark worked in several sectors of the aquaculture industry including food and ornamental fish production, restoration, public aquariums, agricultural extension and aquatic research models.
Clete Otoshi is the new Program Coordinator for the Office of Aquaculture. His responsibilities include coordination of international research collaborations, project management, and budgeting. Prior to joining NOAA, Clete worked for 18 years managing the growout division of the Shrimp Program for Oceanic Institute in Hawaii, where he led research and development of indoor recirculating system technology for the production of marine shrimp.
Karen Pianka is the Aquaculture Fellow in NOAA Aquaculture Program. She is a recipient of the 2016 John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. Her marine policy research has focused on shellfish and seaweed aquaculture as an income diversification opportunity for commercial lobstermen, and her marine biology research has explored the development of ecologically friendly treatments for blister worms in Eastern oysters.