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Meet NOAA's Habitat Conservation Team

July 10, 2020

Meet some of the Habitat Conservation team and learn more about their work.


Meet members of NOAA's Habitat Conservation Team and get better acquainted with their work. Explore the staff profiles below to learn more about their current projects and what they find meaningful about their role in conserving habitat.

Meet Zuzy Abdala, Program Analyst

Zuzy Abdala is a Program Analyst in Silver Spring, Maryland, contracting for Earth Resources Technology, Inc. She works to evaluate the impact of the technical assistance that the NOAA Restoration Center provides to its partners.

Learn more about Zuzy's work

Zuzy Abdala stands in front of a glacier while conducting research in Antartica
Zuzy conducted research off the coast of Antarctica during graduate school. Credit: Zuzy Abdala.

Meet Susan-Marie Stedman, Policy Analyst

Susan-Marie Stedman is a Policy Analyst in Silver Spring, Maryland. She has been with NOAA for 28 years and has seen amazing changes in the complexity of our work and diversity in the workforce.

Learn more about Susan-Marie's work

Susan-Marie Stedman at the Cape Cod salt marsh and tidal creek
Susan-Marie at the Cape Cod salt marsh and tidal creek that inspired her to become a marine biologist. Credit: NOAA Fisheries.

Meet Terill Hollweg, Marine Habitat Resource Specialist

Terill Hollweg is a Marine Habitat Resource Specialist in Seattle, Washington. She works with the NOAA Restoration Center to restore habitat in the Pacific Northwest region. 

Learn more about Terill's work

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Meet Laurel Jennings, Marine Habitat Resource Specialist

Laurel Jennings works as a Marine Habitat Resource Specialist with the NOAA Restoration Center. Laurel first started at NOAA in 2005 as a NOAA Corps officer and began working with the NOAA Restoration Center in 2007. 

Learn more about Laurel's work


Meet Renee Eaton, GIS Developer

Renee is a GIS Developer for NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation, working to transform the way people look at habitat policy and restoration efforts through spatial mapping and analysis.

Learn more about Renee's work


Meet Ian Zink, Marine Habitat Resource Specialist with NOAA’s Deepwater Horizon Restoration Program

Ian brings more than a decade of experience, including work in Florida’s Everglades, to restoring the Gulf of Mexico after Deepwater Horizon.

Learn more about Ian's work


Meet Carlo Canasa, IT Support Specialist

Carlo Canasa is an IT Support Specialist for NOAA's Office of Habitat Conservation. He has worked with NOAA for over 5 years and currently works Habitat’s Operations, Management, and Information division in Silver Spring, MD. Carlo works with the IT team to support and fulfill the critical technological needs across the Office of Habitat on a daily basis.

Learn more about Carlo's work


Meet Polly Hicks, Policy, Planning, and Communications Supervisor

Polly Hicks is the Policy, Planning, and Communications Supervisor for the NOAA Restoration Center, a division of the Office of Habitat Conservation. She has been with NOAA for 15 years. She recently relocated to NOAA Headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, after spending more than a decade at the Restoration Center’s Office in Seattle, Washington.

Learn more about Polly's restoration work


Meet Julie Reichert-Nguyen, Natural Resources Specialist

Julie Reichert-Nguyen is a natural resources specialist with the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office in Annapolis, Maryland. She focuses on climate issues in collaboration with the Chesapeake Bay Program. Julie has been with NOAA for just under a year.

Learn more about Julie's work

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Julie Reichert-Nguyen enjoys spending time out in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Meet Bjorn Lake, National Fish Passage Engineer

National Fish Passage Engineer Bjorn Lake has worked with NOAA for five years. He currently works at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

Learn more about Bjorn's work

Bjorn Lake.jpg

Meet Heather Coleman, Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program Coordinator

Heather Coleman is the Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Coordinator. She has worked for NOAA's Office of Habitat Conservation in Silver Spring, Maryland for four years.

Learn more about Heather's work


Meet Temi Oyewole, Funds Management Specialist

Temi Oyewole is a Funds Management Specialist for NOAA's Office of Habitat Conservation. She has worked with NOAA for over 15 years and currently works in the Operations, Management and Information Office in Silver Spring MD. Temi works with the Finance and Budget team to coordinate and track procurement and contractual actions.

Learn more about Temi's work


Temi Oyewole with oysters.

Meet NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office 2020 Summer Interns

The NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office (NCBO), in partnership with the Chesapeake Research Consortium, is hosting five interns. Learn more about what they are doing this summer.

Learn more about the interns' interest and work


NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office 2020 summer interns (clockwise from lower left): Kerry Mason, Hadley Menk, Shalom Fadullon, Brooke Goggins, Isabel Whaling.

Meet Lani Watson, Marine Habitat Resource Specialist for NOAA's Office of Habitat Conservation

Lani Watson is the Marine Habitat Resource Specialist for NOAA's Office of Habitat Conservation in Honolulu, Hawaii. She has been with NOAA for 21 years. 

Learn more about Lani's work

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Lani Watson (first on left) with partners from TNC Hawaii and Mālama Maunalua in Maunalua Bay. Credit: TNC Hawaii.

Meet Mel Landry, Marine Habitat Resource Specialist

Mel Landry, in NOAA’s Restoration Center, leads projects restoring habitat in Louisiana. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill impacted natural resources here, and barrier islands and marsh are disappearing at an alarming rate.

Learn more about Mel's work

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Mel Landry (third from left) joined federal and state trustee partners at an event dedicating the newly restored Queen Bess Island in Louisiana.

Meet Carl Alderson, Mid-Atlantic Restoration Coordinator


Carl Alderson is the Mid-Atlantic Restoration Coordinator for NOAA's Office of Habitat Conservation. He has worked with NOAA for 17 years. He currently serves as the Mid-Atlantic Restoration Coordinator for NOAA's Office of Habitat Conservation at J.J. Howard Marine Sciences Laboratory in Sandy Hook Highlands, New Jersey. For the past decade, Carl has been restoring habitat for American shad and other migrating fish in the northeastern U.S.

Learn more about Carl's work


Carl Alderson (left) with Dr. Olaf Jensen of the Rutgers University Dept.of  Marine and Coastal Sciences inserting a PIT tag (tracking device) into the abdomen of an American Shad on its migratory spawning route up the Raritan River in NJ.

Meet Jay Lazar, Physical Scientist and Field Program

Jay Lazar is a Physical Scientist and Field Program Coordinator with the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office in the Office of Habitat Conservation in NOAA Fisheries. He has been with NOAA for 6 years and currently works in the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office, Annapolis, Maryland. He works to restore sustainable populations and ecologically valuable habitat for the native Eastern oyster in the Chesapeake Bay.

Learn more about Jay's work


Jay Lazar introduces a NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office summer intern to how to handle and measure a blue crab.

Meet Bart Merrick, Education Coordinator

Bart Merrick has worked with NOAA for nearly 10 years. He is the Education Coordinator for NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office’s Environmental Science Training Center in Oxford, Maryland. He works on oyster restoration and educates others about the importance of Chesapeake Bay habitat. 

Learn more about Bart's work 


Bart Merrick prepares a demonstration for an Environmental Science Training Center workshop for educators.

Meet Robin Peuser, Supervisory Program Analyst

Robin Peuser works as a Supervisory Program Analyst in NOAA Fisheries’ Office of Habitat Conservation. She has been with NOAA for 14 years and currently works at NOAA Headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. A big part of her work is helping others understand the value of habitat.

Learn more about Robin's work


Robin Peuser pauses in front of the NOAA campus in Silver Spring, Maryland.


Meet Eric Hutchins, Habitat Restoration Biologist

Eric Hutchins is a Habitat Restoration Biologist who is passionate about showing people of all ages the importance of the habitat they live in and around.. He has worked on more than 50 dam removal projects during his 22 years in habitat restoration.

Learn more about Eric's work


Habitat restoration biologist Eric Hutchins shows tiny eels to children.

Meet Andrew Larkin, Senior Program Analyst 

Andrew Larkin works as a Senior Program Analyst for the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office. He has worked for NOAA for almost 23 years. His office is located at the NOAA Office of Coast Survey Atlantic Hydrographic Branch building in Norfolk, Virginia. Currently he is leading a stakeholder workgroup to complete implementation of an oyster restoration blueprint for the Lynnhaven River in Virginia Beach.

Learn more about Andrew's work


Andrew Larkin joins a group as they plant the last few ceremonial spat-on-shell oysters marking the completion of oyster restoration in Virginia’s Lafayette River.

Last updated by Office of Habitat Conservation on September 14, 2021

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