Dr. Tina Iamonte Armstrong (ENMB, PhD '99) received her bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences, with a focus on Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics from Cornell University. After her admittance into the MEES Program, Tina pursued her dissertation research under Dr. Brian Bradley and received a 1999 Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship award. She spent her fellowship year in NOAA's National Oceans Service in the National Center for Coastal Ocean Service (NCCOS), where she contributed to efforts at predicting coastal ocean responses to natural and anthropogenic change. Armstrong focused her doctoral research to the use of protein expression signatures as a biomarker of anthropogenic stressors on aquatic organisms. Upon matriculation, Tina also received an advanced certificate in Policy Science. Following her fellowship, Dr. Armstrong worked for Lockheed Martin as senior manager of environmental remediation for a number of years. Dr. Armstrong was also Lockheed Martin's point person for cleanup efforts in Tallevast. It was her job to hire outside consultants, review their findings and make recommendations to Lockheed Martin's management about the kinds of cleanup activities that should be undertaken in Tallevast. Prior to joining Lockheed Martin in 2005, Dr. Armstrong was an ecological risk assessor for Tampa-based Blasland, Bouck & Lee, Inc., which gave her the opportunity to see how many different companies responded to pollution problems associated with industrial sites across the Eastern Seaboard. Currently, Dr. Armstrong is a Principal Scientist and Project Manager at ARCADIS U.S. where she specializes in strategic environmental management and environmental risk assessment.


Richard Arnold (MS '92) began working at the United States Naval Academy in back in 1987 as an Oceanographic Technician. Upon completing his teacher certification program, he accepted a position as a science teacher at John Hanson Middle School in Waldorf, Maryland. During his tenure, he completed a Masters program while conducting research in biostratigraphy at the Horn Point Environmental Laboratory in Cambridge, Maryland under Dr. William Dennison. Upon matriculation, Arnold spent another year working in the Marine Sciences including time at the Cape Cod National Seashore and aboard a sail training/oceanographic vessel headquartered in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. In 1993, Arnold joined the faculty at the Casablanca American School in Casablanca, Morocco, teaching college prepatory Biology and Marine Environmental Science. During that time, he began presenting workshops at various international education conferences focusing on science teaching methodologies. In 1996, he and his family moved to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he was employed as a middle and high school science teacher at the American International School. In 2001, Arnold was hired by International School Services to teach middle school mathematics and science at the International School of Kuala Kencana in West Papua, Indonesia. In 2003, he accepted a similar teaching position at the American International School of Bucharest in Bucharest, Romania. Mr. Arnold was selected as an Educator Astronaut by NASA in May 2004. In February 2006 he completed Astronaut Candidate Training that included scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in Shuttle and International Space Station systems, physiological training, T-38 flight training, and water and wilderness survival training. Upon completion of his training, Arnold was assigned to the Hardware Integration Team in the Space Station Branch working technical issues with JAXA hardware. He will work various technical assignments until assigned to a spaceflight. NASA Astronaut Corp typically assembles a new astronaut class every one to three years. Mr. Arnold and his classmates were chosen from 2,882 applicants. Married with two kids, Mr. Arnold enjoys with his family hobbies such as running, fishing, reading, kayaking, bicycling, ornithology, paleontology and guitar. Mr. Arnold is a member of the following organizations: National Science Teachers Association, International Technology Education Association, and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. He has also been the recipient of various grants for extended studies in marine science.


Dr. Ann Barse (MS '88; PhD '94) is currently an Associate Biology Professor at Salisbury University, MD. Her academic specialties are Invertebrate Zoology, Parasitology and Ecology. Dr. Barse's research interests include fish parasite ecology; gill parasites of Fundulus spp. Anguillicola crassus infections in American eels, Anguilla rostrata Capsalidae (Monogenea) associations with Istiophorid fishes. She also finds time to serve as an advisor for the Dual Degree Program for Biology and Environmental/Marine Sciences.  Find out more about Ann's work by clicking here.

Ernest Clarke (MS '99) has had a varied career since his degree under Dr. Andrew Balwin. After a stint at the Starr Ranch Audubon Sanctuary in southern California as Biological Educator, moved on to become manager of the Cano Palmo biological station in a remote area of Costa Rica. Currently Ernie works with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.


Ms. Sara Gottlieb (ENVSC. MS '98) was awarded a Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship in 1997 where she worked in the office of Representative Steven LaTourette of Ohio, co-chair of the Great Lakes Task Force and in the office of Senator John Glenn. Since completing her fellowship in 1997 and graduating from MEES in 1998 (working with Dr. Joseph Mihursky), she lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico where she was a data manager and principle investigator on multiple projects related to monitoring endangered fish species in the Rio Grande and San Juan River. The projects that Sara worked on, coordinating a fantastic field crew, were contracted by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Sara also worked closely with the New Mexico Department Game and Fish. In 2005, Sara re-located to Atlanta, Georgia where she has been working for the past year at the Center for Geographic Information Systems at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Sara was awarded two contracts here to develop tools for managing coastal resources for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Coastal Resources Division. Currently Sara is a Conservation Planner at The Nature Conservancy, where she has worked on projects related to the South Atlantic coastal and marine ecosystems as well as developing plans to restore longleaf pine across the southeastern U.S.  She is involved in the Lake Claire Cohousing Community and the Rock Creek Watershed Alliance. She has one daughter, Sadie.

Melissa Ederington Hagy (MS '95) has worked in environments as diverse as Lake Onandaga, NY, the Everglades, the San Francisco Bay-Delta, Pensacola Bay and Mobile Bay while working at the Academa of Natural Sciences Benedict Estuarine Research Center, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, and most recently at the University of West Florida all since graduating from the MEES Program under Dr. H. Rodger Harvey. Her work in science has built on her research expertise in organic geochemistry developed while a student allowing her to have gained a broader experience in other laboratory and field methods and data management. Melissa and her husband Jim have three daughters, born in 2000, 2002 and 2006. Melissa started a part time career as a fitness instructor while a student at Chesapeake Biological Laboratory and has continued with that to date. 


Jennifer (Harman) Fetcho (CHEM, MS '96) received her BS in Chemistry from the College of Charleston, SC in 1993. She entered the MEES Program in 1994 and completed her masters degree under the guidance of Dr. Joel Baker in 1996. Currently, Jen is a support Chemist for Dr. Cathleen Hapeman where Jen plans and conducts field projects in collaboration with ARS-Tifton, GA labs, University of Florida in Homestead, FL, and the National Park Service in Biscayne National Park to investigate air and water quality and agrochemical fate and transport in Southern Florida. Jen also manages a large-scale field project at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center where she investigates the environmental impacts of various vegetable production systems on water, air, and soil quality, by examining the fate, transport, and transformation of agro-chemicals within the environment.

 Dr. John Heidelberg  (PhD '97) is an Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Southern California and at the Wrigley Institute of Environmental Studies.  Prior to moving to California, John was at The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR).  John works on both the USC UPC campus in Los Angeles and the Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island.  John's research interests are the located within the field of microbial genomics.  Specifically, he is studying the metabolic potential of common and abundant marine bacteria by sequencing these organisms' DNA.  John is also currently serving as Senior Editor for The ISME Journal: Multidisciplinary Journal of Microbial Ecology  


Dr. Karla Heidelberg   (PhD '99) is an Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California (USC) in the Department of Biological Sciences and the Wrigley Institute of Environmental Studies.  Karla has labs on both the USC UPC campus in Los Angeles and the Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island.  Her group researches the genetic, biochemical, and metabolic properties of naturally occurring prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbial assemblages by pairing contemporary genomic technologies with more traditional lab and field approaches.  Current research programs focus on microbial consortia from hypersaline environments, a variety of marine environments, and soil communities.  For more information on Karla and the K. Heidelberg lab, click here.  


Dr. Julie E. Keister (MEES, MS '96), received a Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography, College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, at Oregon State University after her MEES degree working with Dr. Edward Houde and Dr. Denise Breitburg. While a Biological Oceanographer and Zooplankton Ecologist with NOAA, her research focused on the physical and biological processes that effect abundances and distributions of zooplankton in coastal ecosystems.  Currently Julie is an Assistant Professor in the School of Oceanography at the University of Washington. Her research focuses on a variety of problems in biological oceanography and zooplankton ecology, particularly those related to how climate-driven environmental change interact with biological processes to control zooplankton biogeography, diversity, community structure, and abundance. In her spare time, Julie enjoys hiking, backpacking, snow boarding, ultimate Frisbee, floor hockey, soccer, watching movies and reading.  Find out more about Julie's work on her website.

Mi Ae Kim (MEES, MS '95) Since her graduation in 1995 under Dr. Patrick Kangas, Mi Ae has worked for The Nature Conservancy in Virginia, Public Affairs Management in San Francisco, Surface Water Resources Inc. in Sacramento, National Ocean Service, and National Marine Fisheries Service in Silver Spring where she has been working with the Endangered Species Act. Mi Ae helped to establish a non-profit organization call the “Beaverdam Creek Watershed Watch Group”. The Beaverdam Creek Watershed Watch Group (BCWWG) is a citizen's organization dedicated to the preservation and environmental health of a subwatershed of the Anacostia River. The Beaverdam Creek watershed is located northeast of Washington D.C. near the towns of Greenbelt, Beltsville, and College Park, Maryland. Most of the watershed lies in the boundaries of the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. The Anacostia River, a tributary of the Potomac River, flows through Washington, D.C., while the Potomac flows into Chesapeake Bay. To support Mi Ae's fight in locally preserving environmental health, or for more information on BCWWG, click here. When not busy meeting the demands of her career, Mi Ae spends time with her daughter while trying to meet the challenges that face a working mom.


Dr. Joan Maloof (ENVSC, MS '91; PhD '99) studied with Dr. Gian Gupta at UMES for her Master's degree and with Dr. David Inouye at UMCP for her Doctorate. During her doctoral studies, she researched the pollination biology of a rare plant growing near the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Colorado. Currently she is an Associate Professor at Salisbury University's Department of Biology. A naturalist, Joan specializes in native plant identification, plant-animal interactions, and forest ecology. Joan was instrumental in developing the new Environmental Issues major (BA) offered at Salisbury University. She is also a member of the Henson Seminar Committee, the Advisory Committee on Buildings and Grounds Salisbury University Forum, Citizens Advisory Council for Chesapeake Forest Lands, and the campus representative for Civic Engagement: Stewardship of Public Lands. In the summer of 2005, Dr. Maloof released her first book titled "Teaching the Trees: Lessons from the Forest" (University of Georgia Press). The resulting mix of scientific lore and acute observation allows Joan to profile each tree in the forests near her Maryland home and explore its relationship with the surrounding plants, insects, birds, mammals, fungi and people who rely on it. An ancestor of Joan's had been Maria Mitchell (1818-1889), America's first female astronomer. Similarly, Joan supports Maria's idea that "we especially need imagination in science. It is not all logic, but it is somewhat beauty and poetry."  Find out more about Joan's research and teaching by clicking here.


Dr. Jennifer Zelenke Merrill (PhD '99) received her B.S. in Environmental and Forest Biology from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse in 1993. She enrolled in the MEES program the summer after graduating and became a student of Jeffrey Cornwell at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) Horn Point Laboratory where her research was focused on two water quality maintenance functions of tidal freshwater marshes, burial of particulate nutrients and denitrification. In 1999, Jen received a Knauss Fellowship award that allowed her to serve as a staff member in the office of U.S. Senator Carl Levin, who replaced Senator John Glenn as Democratic chair of the Great Lakes Task Force. The Task Force covers both the Senate and House and is a bipartisan subset of the Northeast-Midwest Coalition. While she served her NOAA Knauss Fellow, she lectured at the University of Maryland, and worked as a project manager at Maryland Sea grant. Dr. Merrill was the Senior Program Officer at the Ocean Studies Board (OSB) from 2000 to 2005. She is currently directing a study reviewing the impact of new review procedures of the National Sea Grant Program. She also serves as the OSB staff contact for ICSU's Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research.


Jill Stevenson (FISH, MS '97) while still a student in the MEES Program under Dr. David Secor, Jill received a 1997 Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Award. During her fellowship year, she worked for NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service, in the Office of Sustainable Fisheries, Division of Highly Migratory Species, with several researchers, including Richard Surdie. Jill first came to the University of Maryland when she received summer fellowship in Maryland Sea Grant's Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program, funded by the National Science Foundation, and awarded to outstanding students studying marine and environmental science. Stevenson spent her 1991 undergraduate fellowship at Horn Point Laboratory (HPL), working with scientist Jeff Cornwell on sediments and biogeochemistry. After successfully defending her master's thesis on Atlantic sturgeon, Jill went on to work for NOAA, and then became the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Deputy Director of Fisheries. In 2003, Jill took maternity leave from MD DNR and remains at home as a stay-at-home mom.

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Dr. Judith Stribling (MEES, Ph.D. '94) is a Professor of Biology at Salisbury University (SU), where she is also the coordinator of the collaborative Dual Degree Program in Biology-Environmental/Marine Science with the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Director of the SU Wicomico River Creekwatcher Program. She is active in the local environmental community, with the Friends of the Nanticoke River, a citizens' organization, and Nanticoke Watershed Alliance, a bi-state consortium of 36 Delaware and Maryland governmental, business and citizens' groups that promotes community involvement in protection of the river. Judith's professional and research interests focus on watershed and tributary nutrient monitoring and management and wetlands (their biogeochemistry, restoration, and monitoring). She has also been a member of the Advisory Committee for the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and a member of the Science Advisory Panel for Assateague Island National Seashore and worked as a consultant to the Maryland Department of the Environment in an assessment of wetland management. Judith is married to David Gooch, and they have one child, Nicholas. They live on Maryland's Eastern Shore in Bivalve, where they spend as much time as they can fishing and sailing.

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Richard Takacs (MS '92) is a Restoration Specialist with the Habitat Restoration Division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s National Marine Fisheries Service based at the Restoration Center, and working with the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office. The objective of the Restoration Center is to bring together citizens, organizations, industry, students, landowners, and local, state, and federal agencies to restore habitat around the coastal United States. The program funds projects directly as well as through partnerships with national and regional organizations. Since 1996, this program has funded more than 900 restoration projects, among them living shorelines projects. Rich has worked on living shorelines permitting, design, and implementation, and currently manages the NOAA-Chesapeake Bay living shoreline restoration grant program.


Dr. Adel M. Talaat, M.V.Sc. (ENMB, PhD '98) is an Associate professor in the Department of Pathobiological Sciences at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin. During his Ph.D. work in the MEES Program under Dr. Renate Reimschuessel, he developed a novel model for studying mycobacterial infections using the goldfish, Carassius auratus and Mycobacterium marinum. That model served as a surrogate model to human infections with M. tuberculosis and helps in screening a large number of mycobacterial mutants in a relevant model of infection. Dr. Talaat's research uses innovative approaches to understand bacterial pathogenesis on a genome-wide scale to generate useful therapies (drugs and vaccines). Currently, his lab is working on the functional genomics of M. tuberculosis and M. avium ss. paratuberculosis. In particular, Dr. Talaat's lab is using array differential gene expression (ADGE) profiling generated by spotted DNA-micro arrays to understand gene expression that underlies the disease process and the nature of host-pathogen interactions. For example, his research identified a genomic island within M. tuberculosis that is expressed exclusively inside animals during infection. Dr. Talaat has been using gene-targeted mutational analysis to determine the importance of such genes in bacterial survival during infection. In addition, he is testing such genes as vaccine candidates using genetic immunization protocol and different animal models of infection. Lean more about Dr. Talaat's work here.

Lori Thiele (ECOL, MS '99) In collaboration with The Humane Society of the United States, Lori studied the effectiveness of immunocontraception for controlling urban-suburban white-tailed deer populations for her research under Dr. Lowell Adams. Following work as an animal control officer with the Prince George's County Animal Shelter, Lori moved to Humane Wildlife Solutions, an arm of the Humane Society of the United States.


Haluk Tuncer (MS '88. & PhD '91) under the guidance of Dr. Reginal Harrell gained a vast experience in aquaculture and fisheries and has used this knowledge to become the owner of the second largest fry producer in Turkey, Akuvatur Mediterranean Fishes Co.  Akuvatur also cultures some valuable Mediterranean fish which no other European companies are able to produce.  See for more on the company, its processes and its products.