Sanctuary Research Staff consist of a Coordinator and Specialists. The Research Program also relies heavily on the work done by California Sea Grant Fellows, graduate students, interns, and volunteers. Learn more about their backgrounds and research interests.
Research Coordinator/SIMoN Program Director
Dr. DeVogelaere oversees the Sanctuary's Research Program. This includes facilitating collaboration among over 20 research institutions in the region, providing technical information to decision makers and the Sanctuary staff, and initiating research on resource management issues. Dr. DeVogelaere is also leading the effort to develop the Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN), a critical program that assesses how populations of marine organisms and habitats are changing through time.
He has been directly involved in a wide variety of research projects, ranging in habitats from the deep sea to estuaries. His past work experience includes being an elected official as Commissioner for the Moss Landing Harbor District and Research Coordinator for the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from the University of California at Berkeley, a Master of Science degree in Marine Science from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, and a Doctorate degree in Biology from the University of California at Santa Cruz.
SIMoN Ecosystem Scientist
As the Ecosystem Scientist for the Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN), Jennifer Brown is responsible for developing and coordinating ecosystem assessments at both local and regional levels. These ecosystem models and condition reports help address resource management needs for integrated monitoring information. Additionally, Jennifer provides science support for the Marine Protected Areas MBNMS Action Plan through the development of data summaries and resource assessments.
Jennifer has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from University of California at Los Angeles and a Doctorate Degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of California at Santa Cruz. Her research focused on evaluating the relative value of nearshore ecosystems at nursery grounds for juvenile flatfish. Other past projects focused on the Monterey Bay area include: 1) A Review of Marine Zones in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary which is part of the National Marine Sanctuary Conservation Series, 2) A plan for monitoring the fish assemblage in Elkhorn Slough prepared for the Elkhorn Slough National Research Reserve, and 3) a review of the Special Status Species that reside in or transit through the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
As a Research Specialist, Erica Burton works on marine research issues such as ecosystem characterization, marine protected areas, and submerged cultural resources. She also spends time at sea collecting scientific data and information. Several projects include characterization of the Davidson Seamount, monitoring and characterization of deep-water fish and invertebrate assemblages, and biological characterizations at shipwreck sites. Erica also provides programatic support to the Research Activity Panel, and on the evaluation of MBNMS research permits.
Erica earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marine Biology at Long Beach State University, and a Master of Science Degree in Marine Science at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. Her graduate research focused on age, longevity, and growth determination of fishes, including radiometric age determination of the giant grenadier, bocaccio rockfish, Atlantic tarpon, and Atlantic sturgeon.
SIMoN Web Developer
Scott works with the technical infrastructure of the Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN). Using cutting-edge web technology, he is responsible for building and maintaining the SIMoN website, interfaces used to enter and manage monitoring information, and the SIMoN database.
Upon earning a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from San Jose State University, Scott worked as a software and quality assurance engineer for various software companies in Silicon Valley. Much of his development work utilized the latest web technologies to deliver interactive and dynamic content over the internet.
Scott is also a SCUBA instructor and has an MA in Exercise Physiology. He spent four summers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium teaching kids basic SCUBA skills and educating them about local marine life. Along with his work with SIMoN, Scott currently teaches a number of fitness and SCUBA-related courses at a local community college.
Chad has been with the Sanctuary since 2002, and is responsible for the collection, analyses and dissemination of spatial data for the Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN) and MBNMS. These data help integrate past and present monitoring programs within the Sanctuary and are the foundation of decision making tools such as interactive maps that are made available to the general public. He is also a NOAA Divemaster and an active participant in subtidal research, including kelp forest and invasive species monitoring and underwater photography and videography. Additionally, he produces short outreach films and has produced significant content for the Sanctuary Exploration Center. Chad was instrumental in developing “SeaPhoto”, an iOS app that features imagery and life history content of the MBNMS. Chad earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marine Biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Master of Science Degree in Marine Science from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. His academic research focused on kelp forest ecology and subtropical ecological dynamics and genetics in the Gulf of California.
SIMoN Senior Scientist
As one of the scientists for the Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN), Steve is responsible for developing SIMoN's research and monitoring program. The scientific goals of SIMoN are to: (1) integrate existing monitoring programs within the Sanctuary; (2) initiate new monitoring programs to address important gaps of knowledge; and (3) disseminate monitoring data in a timely fashion to resource managers, researchers, educators, and the general public.
Steve has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from UCLA, a Master of Science in Biology from California State University Long Beach, and a Doctorate in Biology from UC Santa Cruz. Though he has several interests in marine ecology, his scientific research has focused on invasion biology, kelp forest ecology, and marine invertebrate natural history, with an emphasis on marine gastropods.
The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary has participated in the California Sea Grant Fellowship program, an education opportunity for graduate students interested in marine resources and how they are managed in California.
Click here to visit the SIMoN website and learn more about the history of the sanctuary's past Fellows, their educational background, examples of projects they completed while at the sanctuary and the jobs they pursued after their Fellowship.