Mission: To serve Monmouth University and the public interest as a forum for research, education, and collaboration in the development and implementation of science-based policies and programs that support stewardship of healthy, productive, and resilient coastal ecosystems and communities.
Tony MacDonald is currently the director of the Urban Coast Institute (UCI) at Monmouth University and was previously the Executive Director of the Coastal States Organization (CSO) from 1998-2005. CSO, based in Washington, DC, represents the interests of the Governors of the United States’ 35 coastal states and territories on coastal and ocean policy matters.
Prior to joining CSO, Mr. MacDonald was the special counsel and director of Environmental Affairs at the American Association of Port Authorities, where he represented the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) at the International Maritime Organization on negotiations on the London Convention. Tony has also practiced law with a private firm in Washington, DC working on environmental and legislative issues, and served as the Washington, DC environmental legislative representative for the Mayor of the City of New York.
Jim Nickels is the Marine Scientist for the Urban Coast Institute. Jim obtained his M.S. in Environmental Studies from Montclair State University and has 25 years of academic and professional experience in designing, implementing, and directing a variety of marine and inland water field research and sampling programs. He has managed and operated research vessels, scientific crews, and associated equipment. His expertise includes survey work in fisheries, plankton, benthic organisms, sediment, water quality, mitigation, and geophysics. He has an extensive background in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), use and integration of Global Positioning System (GPS), and real-time mapping and data logging. He has held the position of Vice President at Aqua Survey Inc., and as Director of Marine Operations at the New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium.
Ryan Orgera has a PhD in Environmental Geography from Louisiana State University in 2012, and received his BA and MA in Romance Languages from University of South Florida. While at LSU, Ryan served as Assistant Project Manager for Research at the Disaster Science & Management Center. Ryan was awarded a prestigious Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship and worked for the past year at the office of U.S. Senator Bill Nelson of Florida.
Ryan will help translate and apply the best available science and tools to assist communities recover from Superstorm Sandy and take actions to become more resilient to future coastal hazards, the impacts of sea level rise and changing climate. Ryan will work to enhance the capacity of the UCI and NJSGC’s extension program by improving public understanding of community hazard mitigation and making climate resilience science, data products, information, and decision support tools more accessible.