Chris Oliver, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Marine Fisheries Management in a Revised Governance System

As NOAA Fisheries’ Assistant Administrator, Oliver oversees the management and conservation of recreational and commercial fisheries including aspects of marine aquaculture, the preservation and maintenance of safe sources of seafood, and the protection of marine mammals, marine protected species, and coastal fisheries habitat within the U.S. exclusive economic zone. He also manages an agency with a strong presence nationally with 3,200 people in five regional offices, six science centers, and 24 labs and fish stations in 15 states and U.S. territories. Oliver most recently served as executive director of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, a position he held for 16 years. He had been with the council since 1990, also serving as a fisheries biologist and then deputy director. Originally from Rockport, Texas, Oliver was also a research associate at Texas A&M University from 1987 to 1990, working with federal and state agencies on management issues associated with Gulf of Mexico shrimp fisheries, giving him both personal and professional experience with fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Fisheries Science, both from Texas A&M. Oliver enjoys many outdoor activities and is an avid hunter and fisherman.


Mamie A. Parker, MA Parker & Associates

Continuing Our Diversity and Inclusion Work with Courage, Conflict, and Resilience

Mamie Parker, Ph.D., is president and founder of a public speaking and executive coaching business with clients such as the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, Bureau of Land Management, Defense Language Institute, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Maryland Department of Labor, and the Department of the Interior. Parker recently retired from the USFWS after working approximately 30 years and holding numerous positions, most recently as assistant director, Fisheries and Habitat Conservation. She is recognized as the first African-American to serve as a USFWS regional director and the head of the nation’s inland fisheries program, including the National Fish Hatchery system. Parker’s successes have been recognized by her induction into the Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame by Governor Mike Huckabee, and by the service’s distinguished Ira Gabrielson Award, given to one outstanding leader in the service each year. She has been awarded the Department of Interior Silver Award presented by the Secretary, and was a recipient of the Presidential Rank Award, presented by the White House to the top 1% of outstanding Senior Executive Service employees. She also received the Emmeline Moore Prize for diversity from the American Fisheries Society. Parker serves on the Brown Advisory Sustainability Board and the board of directors of the Virginia chapter of The Nature Conservancy, Student Conservation Association, Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment, National Wildlife Refuge Association, and Defenders of Wildlife.


Bonnie McCay, Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey

Perils and Promises of Participatory Fisheries Management, or What Good Are Foxes in the Henhouse?

Bonnie McCay, Ph.D., is a retired professor from Rutgers University, where she taught in a curriculum that focused on human dimensions of environmental issues and policy. Her courses were often on fisheries because that is her research specialty. When she was a graduate student in anthropology, she found herself on a remote island off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, and studied the ways people tried to sustain their fishery livelihoods and communities against the vagaries of nature and vicissitudes of markets and policy. When she became a professor at Rutgers, she brought this interest to the fishing communities of New Jersey and the larger East Coast, and later to other regions of the world, including Mexico. She has published on the ways fishing people become engaged with the challenges of fisheries management, how cooperatives function, the consequences of individual transferable quotas, and the effects of climate change. She served on the Scientific and Statistical Committee of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council for many years, is a member of the National Academy of Science, and received the Award of Excellence of the American Fisheries Society in 2013.  


Christine O’Connell, Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University

Making Your Science Count

Christine O’Connell, Ph.D., is an expert in the field of science communication, policy, and engagement. She provides strategic direction to grow non-profit and academic organizations, research initiatives, and environmental and community campaigns. She was the founding associate director at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University, where she helped create and build the center and its curriculum to international acclaim. She led the growth of many of the Alda Center’s flagship programs and under her direction the Alda Center’s workshop program trained thousands of scientists worldwide to be more effective communicators. She received her B.S. from Cornell University, and Ph.D. in marine and atmospheric sciences at Stony Brook University. She currently teaches and builds research and curriculum initiatives at the Alda Center and is an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. Her research focuses on best practices in science communication, environmental communication, science policy, and women in STEM.