In the last few months, we have added a few people to our Sea Grant team. And, we expect to be adding more in the near future. It’s exciting to see new members on our team. It's also great to see that some of our programs are growing. For example, oyster gardening has long been established in Alabama, but a program will be starting this summer in Mississippi. And, efforts to support oyster farming in both Alabama and Mississippi are growing support.
Here's a look at several newer members of our Sea Grant team and some information about the people we plan to bring on board soon.
Rusty Grice, an oyster aquaculture business specialist, is helping new oyster farmers navigate their way through permits and other requirements needed to begin an oyster farming business. He is also working to help established oyster farmers streamline their harvest reporting procedures and other administrative tasks. You can check out his webpage dedicated to oyster farming here.
Amanda Seymour is our new fiscal officer. She's in the office next to mine at the Gulf Coast Research Lab. Amanda manages Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant funds. She previously worked at The University of Southern Mississippi's Division of Marine Science at Stennis Space Center, Miss., where she served as the business manager and managed grants, contracts and department funds.
Tara Skelton is a new addition to Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant and the Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Outreach Team. She is an oil spill science communicator and provides communications services for the regional oil spill science outreach program, which has received funding in 2016 to continue its work for three more years.
Beth Walton, who did a lot of outreach for Alabama MarketMaker through Mississippi-Alabama sea Grant in the recent past, has been hired as the coordinator for the Gulf of Mexico Regional Shellfish Initiative. She will be working out of the Mobile, Alabama, office and the Ocean Springs, Mississippi, office. Her role will be to find goals common to stakeholders across all the Gulf states in promoting a critical clean water industry that supports the region’s environment, economy and culture.
Also, we are reviewing applications for an administrator for the Mississippi Oyster Gardening Program, and applications are being accepted for a national water extension liaison (who will be based at National Water Center on the campus of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa). We are also continuing our search for an attorney to serve as senior research counsel for the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Legal Program, and we soon will be making an announcement about a new fisheries extension specialist who will join our team!