The members of our Eyes of the Reef team are dedicated and experienced marine conservationists and scientists. They donate their time and expertise to outreach, education, and report validation with Eyes of the Reef. They make EOR happen! Feel free to contact your local Island Coordinator for more information about our programs or if you have any questions.
Dr. Greta Smith Aeby- EOR Founder
Greta is a marine biologist focusing on understanding coral disease throughout the world. She was instrumental in developing Hawaii’s rapid response contingency plan (RRCP) and initiating the Eyes of the Reef program. The EOR is a critical component of the RRCP and she is happy to do her part to help Hawaii’s coral reef resources.
TBD – DAR RRCP Coordinator
The Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) will be hiring a RRCP coordinator to help implement the State’s Rapid Response Contingency Plan (RRCP) for events of coral bleaching, disease, and crown of thorns events. Aspects of the plan related to the Eyes of the Reef (EOR) program will also be under development. Reef response activities are also supported by the DLNR/DAR Aquatic Invasive Species team. More information on this program is available at: https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/ais/
Linda Preskitt – Technical Support/ Website Development
Linda is an algal biologist (M.S., University of Hawai’i Mānoa) and a marine conservation public educator. She spends much of her time teaching and speaking on coral reef issues with community members, groups, commercial operators and schools. She has been a research diver for 15 years and is currently a research diver with Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) and has worked on a wide range of projects around the Pacific with University of Hawaii, NOAA, USGS, and USF&WS. Linda developed the EOR website, training modules and informational materials.
Darla White – Maui Island Co-Coordinator
Darla’s personal goal is to further our understanding of the marine environment through research and education in order to promote conservation and longevity of these ecosystems. Darla has been a professional research diver for 12 years in Hawaii. Her experience and interests are wide ranging, including fishes (ecology, biology, and fisheries), coral reef ecology, climate change, marine disease, water quality (especially nutrient loading), harmful algal blooms, ciguatera (toxicity in fishes and toxin characterization), marine ecosystem monitoring, anthropogenic impact assessment, reef resilience and network marine reserves.
Donna Brown – Maui Island Co-Coordinator
Donna Brown is the Marine Option Program coordinator at University of Hawaii-Maui College and teaches Marine Biology and Oceanography. She has been a UH research diver since the 1900s when the reefs looked a lot better than they do now. She knows it is important to have many eyes watching for changes on the reefs and appreciates all the dedicated volunteers at Eyes of the Reef.
Scott Bacon – Kauai Island Coordinator
Scott’s passion is marine ecology and he enjoys learning about the amazing interactions and fragile balance of marine life in the underwater world. He loves to share fun information about some of the amazing things you will see underwater. Scott is currently the Director of Malama Na Apapa (A Marine Ecosystem Sustainability non-profit organization on Kauai), and an avid and experienced SCUBA diver spending many hours investigating and monitoring Kauai’s coral reefs. His current goal is to complete a Masters degree in Marine Science.
Lindsey Kramer – Hawai’i Island Co-Coordinator, Administrative Support
Lindsey has been working on coral reef conservation and management projects on the Big Island since 2007, including projects with the National Park Service, the University of Hawai’i at Hilo, and the Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR). She received her M.S. in marine science in 2005 and worked for several years researching and helping to restore threatened Acroporid corals in the Caribbean prior to her arrival on Hawai’i Island. Lindsey provides administrative support to EOR, and also helps field and respond to reports of coral bleaching, disease, predation and physical damage on Hawai’i Island.
Nikki Smith – Hawai’i Island Co-Coordinator
Nikki graduated from the University of Hawai’i at Hilo with a degree in Marine Science in 2013. Since then, she has been working on the ocean in West Hawai’i, including coral reef research projects with UH Hilo and the National Park Service, outreach for the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, as well as speaking about coral reef issues with community members. She currently works as a research diver and fishery biologist with the Division of Aquatic Resources in Kona. As the EOR Co-Coordinator for Hawai’i Island, she helps respond to reports of changes on Hawai’i Islands reefs, as well as conduct monitoring training courses for community members, and coordinate public outreach. She is excited to work with the community to better monitor and manage our ocean resources.
Ashley Pugh – Hawai’i Island Co-Coordinator
Ashley graduated from the University of Hawai’i at Hilo with a Masters degree in Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science in 2019. She also completed her bachelors degree in Marine Science at UH Hilo. Since 2013 she has assisted various marine research and monitoring projects around Hawaii Island with UH Hilo, and the National Parks Service, and in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument and Mariana Islands with NOAA. She is currently a part of the Division of Aquatic Resources team in Kona as a habitat and fish monitoring technician. She is excited to collaborate with community and partners to support the Eyes of the Reef Network efforts in monitoring and management of the ocean resources around Hawaii Island.
Jason Mehlinger- O’ahu Co-Coordinator
Jason has a passion for educating others in marine conservation and currently works as an Outreach Specialist for Hawaii’s Division of Aquatic Resources. He graduated from Hawaii Pacific University and worked for a time as a fish observer in the cold waters of Alaska. He returned to Hawaii and was part of DAR’s rapid response team where he saw, firsthand, the problems facing Hawaii’s reefs. He has been instrumental in continuing the education efforts of the EOR program on Oahu!
Megan Ross – O’ahu Co-Coordinator
Megan received her PhD from the University of Hawai’i and is an assistant professor at UH West Oahu where she continues to educate others in coral biology and ecology. She has been involved with EOR since its inception and now helps coordinate the program on O’ahu.