Meet Our Team

The Gulf of Mexico Coastal Training Program is the first regional, voluntary training program working with NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserve system. Our multi-agency collaboration serves as a model partnership for other regions to follow throughout the nation and world. Our fiscal sponsor is Weeks Bay Foundation and our Gulf Reserve Partners include:

Each Reserve houses a Coastal Training Program that identifies local issues and training needs. Scroll down to meet our team of Coastal Training Coordinators who are leading this innovative regional effort to improve the health and resilience of the Gulf of Mexico and coastal communities. Check out some of our fun photos from the field, and contact one of our Coastal Training Program Coordinators below to plan your next workshop.

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Kelly Dunning Mission-Aransas Reserve Coastal Training Program Coordinatorkelly-dunning-photo.png

Kelly Heber Dunning holds a PhD in Natural Resources from MIT, an MS in Environmental Management from Oxford, and did her undergraduate at the University of Florida. Her interests include the resilience of coastal ecosystems and communities. Kelly has 8 years of experience working all over the world in environmental management and sustainable development including in the Congo Basin, East Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the EU. In her spare time she loves college sports, Southern cooking, and fishing. Contact Kelly

Dana Sjostrom – Mission-Aransas Reserve Coastal Training Program Coordinator

Dana is the Coastal Training Program Coordinator for the Mission-Aransas Reserve, which is managed by the University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransaheadshot Dana Sjostroms, Texas. Dana’s role focuses on bridging science and management communities, providing training opportunities to coastal resource managers, decision-makers, elected officials, and other stakeholders along the Coastal Bend. Dana brings a combination of education and science-based skills to her role in coastal training with the Reserve, drawn from experience with formal classroom education, outdoor environmental education, curriculum development, and science-based field and lab work. She holds her Bachelor of Science in Evolutionary Biology from the University of Alberta and her MS degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Contact Dana

Anita Grove Apalachicola Reserve Coastal Training Program Coordinator

Anita Grove graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Geography with a minor in Anthropology from Florida State University. She also completed extensiAnita Grove update photove graduate studies work at the Cooperstown Program of Museum Studies in New York and Non-profit Leadership at FSU. Anita worked for twelve years at the Florida Department of State, Museum of Florida History, first in Education, Collections, and then in Public Relations. For the past 17 years Anita served as the Executive Director of the Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce, a 400+ nonprofit membership organization dedicated to helping small businesses with an emphasis on sustainable tourism and seafood. Anita was instrumental in gaining national press coverage for Franklin County’s unique blend of natural and cultural resources that differentiates Franklin County from other coastal destinations. Contact Anita

Jessica McIntosh Rookery Bay Reserve Coastal Training Program Coordinatorjessica mcintosh

Jessica is the Coastal Training Program Coordinator at the Rookery Bay Research Reserve in Naples, Florida. She earned her Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Ecology from the University of Florida, with a thesis on the ecology of invasive lionfish in the Caribbean. During her graduate program, Jessica lived in Little Cayman, BVI, for a 16-month education internship at the Central Caribbean Marine Institute. Here she became passionate about sharing scientific research with stakeholders in engaging and accessible formats.  She was a Park Services Specialist in the Florida Keys at Long Key State Park from 2014-2016. With the Florida Park Service, Jessica coordinated volunteers, developed educator training workshops, managed exotic plant infestations, and networked with the South Florida environmental professional community. She looks forward to using her interdisciplinary experience to facilitate collaboration and develop new programs at Rookery Bay. Contact Jessica

Margo Posten Grand Bay Reserve Coastal Training Program Coordinator
Margo CtP reg shot 2
Margo is the Coastal Training Program (CTP) Coordinator for the Grand Bay NERR, which is managed through a unique local, state and federal partnership with NOAA, the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office, Mississippi State University, The Nature Conservancy, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and the University of Southern Mississippi. Margo’s role includes organizing trainings and workshops to provide coastal decision-makers, local officials and staff, natural resource managers, and coastal scientists with the knowledge and tools they need to address critical resource management issues that are of concern to local communities. Margo has a Master of Marine Affairs from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology from the University of West Florida. Margo has gained valuable insight into the important connections between people and their coastal environments through past experiences at the Apalachicola NERR, a fishing community in the Bering Sea, and as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines. When not working to instill concepts of protection and conservation of our coastal environments Margo, along with her family, enjoys getting out into it!  Contact Margo

Mike Shelton Weeks Bay Reserve Coastal Training Program Coordinator
Michael is the Coastal Training/Watershed Program Coordinator at Weeks Bay NERR, a partnership between the Lands Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the National Estuarine Research Reserve System of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Since 2001, Mike has worked with agencies, decision-makers and residents for protection, restoration and planning for better use of water resources in the Weeks Bay watershed. Duties include technical and community education, water quality monitoring and research and assisting watershed stakeholders with on-the-ground pollution prevention and restoration projects. Mike earned a Masters Degree in Biology at Emory University. Prior to Weeks Bay, Mike managed the applications and environmental testing laboratory for an environmental engineering firm in Charlotte, North Carolina. Mike, wife Wendy and sons, James and Charlie live in Fairhope, Alabama. Contact Mike

Jacqueline RoseRegional Coordinator, Gulf of Mexico Coastal Training Program
Jacqueline works closely with the five Gulf Reserves and other public-private partners to identify local training needs, priority issues, and technical expertise in relevant fields of science and interdisciplinary studies, and coordinate Gulf-wide professional skills-building workshops that address common needs and provide communities with alternatives and solutions for a productive environment and prosperous coastal economy. Jacqueline earned a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and Latin American and Latino Studies from University of California Santa Cruz and conducted research on the relationship between marine protection and tourism at Lincoln University in New Zealand. Prior to coming to the Gulf, she worked at Smithsonian Marine Station in Fort Pierce, Florida and at Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Foundation on the Marine Protected Area Education and Outreach Initiative. As a TogetherGreen Fellow, she worked on water quality issues in the U.S. and internationally and is the Founder of SeaVibe Foundation.  Contact Jacqueline

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