Georgia Sea Grant
The Georgia Sea Grant and UGA Marine Extension Advisory Board provides a critical link to coastal stakeholders and emerging issues.

Advisory Board

Georgia Sea Grant College Program and the University of Georgia Marine Extension

Advisory Board Charter

Georgia Sea Grant and the University of Georgia Marine Extension work together to create research, outreach and education programs that promote the economic, cultural and environmental health of Georgia’s coast. Together, the organizations encourage citizens throughout the state to become good stewards of coastal and watershed resources.

Role of the Advisory Board

To ground coastal decision-making in the best available scientific knowledge and understanding, Georgia Sea Grant and UGA Marine Extension must draw upon Georgians for knowledge, advice and guidance. Our best source for this guidance is an active, well-informed and committed Advisory Board that:

  • provides input on emerging research needs, opportunities and priorities in coastal Georgia,
  • provides advice on strategic planning process,
  • helps create new connections, collaborations and partnerships, and
  • educates and informs local, state and national decision-makers on the importance and relevance of Georgia Sea Grant and UGA Marine Extension programs.


Composition of the Advisory Board

The Advisory Board consists of twenty members drawn from marine business, local government, schools and other educational facilities, NGOs, the planning and development community and state management agencies. The board has one face-to-face meeting per year. However, additional meetings may be convened as needed for other emerging issues. Individual members or smaller groups of members are often consulted to give advice in their area of expertise.

Advisory Board members are divided into two categories—representative and institutional. Representative members are drawn from a broad range of coastal and inland stakeholders. Institutional members represent institutions of higher education and local, state and federal institutional partners. These members serve four-year terms and are replaced by individuals who continue to represent those constituencies. Shorter or longer terms may be used infrequently to maintain balance within the committee.

Responsibilities of the Advisory Board Members

Members of the advisory board use their experience and knowledge for the benefit of Georgia’s coast by providing timely and relevant information to Georgia Sea Grant and UGA Marine Extension. Member responsibilities are as follows.

  1. Participate in-person in an annual meeting.
  2. Participate in teleconferences, plus any special meetings that may convene as needs emerge.
  3. Participate in standing and ad-hoc committees, as needed.
  4. Advise Director of Marine Outreach Programs, at any time.
  5. Inform and educate stakeholders about UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant, as appropriate.


Committee Operating Procedures

The following rules govern the operations of the Advisory Board.

  1. The committee elects a chair who works with the director to ensure that the business of the committee is conducted smoothly. Tasks include: providing timely advice, information and assistance to the director throughout the year; advising on the agenda and conduct of annual meetings and advising the director on the need, tasks and membership for subcommittees. The chair serves for a term of two years.
  2. The committee also elects a vice chair who provides assistance with the tasks assigned to the chair, presides at meetings in the absence of the chair and fulfills the duties of the chair in the event the chair is vacated. The vice chair serves for a term of two years.
  3. Members are encouraged to reach agreement on recommendations to Georgia Sea Grant and UGA Marine Extension, but consensus is not required. Diverse input is encouraged, and all recommendations and advice from the committee are given careful consideration.
  4. The committee is not required to vote on most issues. Where a vote is required, a quorum is a simple majority of the current membership. Changes to this charter require a two-thirds majority of those present. All other matters require a simple majority of those present.


Standing or ad hoc subcommittees may be formed by the chair and members to assist with planning and review functions, special initiatives or any other business requested by the director or deemed necessary by the Advisory Committee.

Advisory Board

  • Ellen Bauske – Program Coordinator at Extension Center for Urban Agriculture
  • Al Burns – Director at Coastal Regional Center
  • Ben Carswell – Director of Conservation at Jekyll Island Authority
  • Toby Carr - Assoc Vice President for Government Relations and Director of State Relations at UGA
  • Bill Demmond – C.O.O. at Inland Seafood
  • Todd Driver – District Environmental Health Director at Coastal Health District
  • Dionne Hoskins – NOAA Fisheries Biologist at Savannah State University
  • Cecil Jennings – Unit Leader & Research Fishery Biologist, Georgia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units
  • Laura Perry Johnson – Associate Dean of Extension at UGA
  • Charlie Phillips – Owner at CP Seafood
  • Doug Samson – Reserve Manager at Sapelo Island NERR
  • Jim Sanders – Director at Skidaway Institute of Oceanography
  • Susan Shipman – Former Director at Coastal Resources Division
  • Tom Thomson – Executive Director at Chatham County/Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission
  • John Wallace – Fisheries
  • Paul Wolff – City Councilman at Tybee Island
  • Spud Woodward – Director at Coastal Resources Division
  • Kim Morris-Zarneke – Manager of Education Programs at Georgia Aquarium