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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.  

Erich Pacheco

Director

Erich Pacheco

Director

Erich Pacheco

  • Director Ocean Health Index

    Conservation International

  • Email Erich

Erich is the Director for the Ocean Health Index , where he is responsible for collaborating with multiple international stakeholders to support decision-making on the sustainable use of ocean and coastal resources. His primary focus is on creating and implementing strategies for the development of independent ocean health assessments.

An avid SCUBA diver, hiker, and traveller, Erich has dedicated his life to working on natural resource management, which has taken him from his native Venezuela to California, Guinea, Mali, Cuba, and Papua New Guinea.

Prior to joining the Ocean Health Index team, Erich worked as a consultant at the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Programme in Papua New Guinea on the nexus between ecosystems and the livelihoods of coastal communities. And, he worked on sustainable food security initiatives in West Africa with farmer cooperatives, first as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guinea and later as a technical coordinator for a USAID program in Mali.

Erich earned a master’s degree in ocean and coastal resource management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, and his bachelor’s degree from the University of California in natural resource economics and international relations. He is fluent in English, Spanish and French, and in his spare time volunteers with the Sierra club and plays softball and disc golf. He currently resides in Washington, DC.

Ben Halpern

Lead Scientist

Ben Halpern

Lead Scientist

Ben Halpern

  • Lead Scientist, Ocean Health Index

    National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS)

  • Email Ben Halpern

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

Project Scientist

JulIa Stewart Lowndes

Project Scientist

JulIa Stewart Lowndes

  • Project Scientist, Ocean Health Index

    National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS)

  • Email JulIa

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, Ocean Health Index

    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!

Erin O'Reilly

Comms Coordinator

Erin O'Reilly

Comms Coordinator

Erin O'Reilly

  • Communications Coordinator

    National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis

  • Email Erin

Erin O’Reilly is the Communications Coordinator for the Ocean Health Index, showcasing the importance of the OHI framework to various audiences and sharing stories of its impact. She is interested in the role effective communication plays in connecting science and policy in order to sustainably manage our oceans. 

Erin earned her master's degree from the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management where she specialized in coastal and marine resources management with a focus in strategic environmental communications. Her master's thesis group project focused on ecosystem health and effective public engagement strategies for large-scale marine reserves in the Pacific.

When she is not designing products, filming, or performing ocean policy analyses, she enjoys swimming, scuba diving, hiking, cooking, and spending time at the beach.