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This team develops scientific methods, communicates results to governments, marine managers, scientists and the public, manages current operations and directs future development of the Ocean Health Index project.  Ben Halpern and Steve Katona have been with the project since planning began in 2008.  The team gratefully acknowledges the individuals, foundations, organizations and corporations listed as Contributors and Sustaining Partners. This project would not exist without them.  

Ben Halpern

Lead Scientist

Ben Halpern

Lead Scientist

Ben Halpern

  • Lead Scientist, Ocean Health Index

    National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS)

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As lead scientist of the Ocean Health Index, Ben has guided the development and annual implementation of the Index since the inception of the project.  He coordinates a research team based at NCEAS that continues to improve and refine elements of the Index, and works closely with the broader team to support other assessment efforts.

Ben received his Ph.D in 2003 from UC Santa Barbara and held a joint post-doctoral fellowship at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) and the Smith Fellowship Program sponsored by The Nature Conservancy. Ben’s research has addressed questions that span from local to global scales, including spatial population dynamics, trophic interactions in community ecology, and the interface between ecology and human dynamics, with an ultimate focus on informing and facilitating conservation and resource management efforts in marine systems.

In addition to his role as lead scientist for the Ocean Health Index, Ben is also a professor of Marine Biology and Conservation Science at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at UC Santa Barbara, Director of the Center for Marine Assessment and Planning (CMAP), Chair in Marine Conservation at Imperial College London as part of the Grand Challenges in Ecosystems and the Environment program and a Senior Fellow at the World Conservation Monitoring Centre, a part of the United Nations Environment Programme.

During spare time, Ben likes to surf, hike, and travel the world. With two young kids, though, spare time is a rare commodity.

Julia stewart lowndes

Science Program Lead

Julia stewart lowndes

Science Program Lead

Julia stewart lowndes

  • Science Program Lead

    National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS)

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Julie is a marine biologist working to bridge science and resource management. In her role as project scientist for the Ocean Health Index, Julie facilitates the adaptation of the OHI+ assessment framework to smaller spatial scales relevant to marine policy. She leads trainings internationally and provides conceptual and technical support for independent OHI assessments.

Prior to joining the Index team, Julie completed her Ph.D dissertation at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station, researching potential effects of the Humboldt squid in the California Current System on coastal fisheries in a changing climate.

Julie likes cooking, baking, sewing, knitting, hiking, swimming, gardening, and planning the next adventure.

Websites: 
http://benhalpernlab.org/people/
http://juliastewart.org/
https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=qr9gICIAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=sra
Twitter: @juliesquid

Melanie Frazier

Project Analyst

Melanie Frazier

Project Analyst

Melanie Frazier

  • Project Analyst

    National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS)

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Melanie is a marine biologist and statistician who enjoys distilling complex data so it can better inform our understanding of systems and improve decision making. As an analyst for the Ocean Health Index, Melanie works to improve methods of assessing ocean health from both a conceptual and technological level.  

Melanie has a broad scientific background.  She worked at the US Environmental Protection Agency for 5 years devising better indicators of estuarine condition and developing effective monitoring protocols to prevent the spread of invasive species through ballast water discharges of ships.  She has a Ph.D from the University of Washington and a Master’s from Arizona State University where she studied how the environment effects the physiology, development, and evolution of organisms.

Melanie has been spending a lot of time exploring Flagstaff, AZ (where she just moved).  And, her favorite activity is hanging out with her family and friends!