Our Staff

Brad Warren, 2012, northern Puget Sound IMG_0719
Brad Warren, Director

Brad Warren grew up picking mussels off the rocks for picnics with his family and listening to his grandparents’ bittersweet recollections of fishing and home-canning Columbia River salmon. “By the time I was a kid, a lot of those mussels and salmon were gone. I guess you could say we found out why habitat matters.”

After more than 25 years as a fisheries journalist and consultant, in 2007 Brad founded Global Ocean Health, originally a joint ocean acidification (OA) initiative of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership and the National Fisheries Conservation Center. Now solely a program of NFCC, it helps seafood producers, resource-dependent communities and scientists to understand OA, document its consequences, and protect fishery resources and ecosystems.

Brad proposed and served on Washington State’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification, the first comprehensive initiative to confront OA. That effort has helped to spur similar initiatives in other states, expanding public investment and capacity for OA research, monitoring, adaptation, and pollution reduction. Brad was appointed in 2013 to the newly formed Ocean Acidification International Reference User Group, an advisory body to multilateral agencies addressing OA.

Brad began working as a journalist covering fisheries and natural resource management in 1980. Among other publications, he was a correspondent and editor for National Fisherman from 1981 to 1996, and later became editor and publisher of Pacific Fishing (1996-2004). He has served as an advisor and consultant on resource management to the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service, the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization, and for industry, tribal, and conservation groups.

Brad can be reached at Brad@globaloceanhealth.org.

Julia in Florida

Julia Sanders, Deputy Director

Julia’s earliest and fondest memories, and the source of her love of the ocean, is fishing with her dad in the Gulf of Mexico. She remembers the excitement of waking up with the sky still dark and heading for a boat; breathing in the salty air just as the sun rose across the water. Those trips were times of deep bonding with the sea.

In her youth, Julia moved from Florida to Seattle and continued to love being near the ocean. Early in her professional career, she went on to work for Pacific Fishing magazine, a commercial fishing trade publication. She was attracted to the tight-knit fishing community and became a member of the Norwegian Commercial Club. She saw first-hand the ties between fishery health and the economy and the livelihoods of many people and communities.

She then worked for Dockside magazine, which focused more on the recreational boating lifestyle. Seeing a need in the community, she moved on to focus on helping boating and fishing companies directly as a marketing consultant. In 2009, Brad Warren asked her to join Global Ocean Health in helping to fight ocean acidification. Since then, she has performed a spectrum of roles, including countless volunteer hours.

Julia is currently Editor of the Ocean Acidification Report, which reaches over 7,500 people in over 100 countries, and writes most of the content. She also oversees much of the day to day work of GOH, conducting projects, grant writing, and giving countless presentations on ocean acidification, sea level rise, and carbon policy. Julia is thrilled to see ocean acidification finally getting some major media attention, and is hopeful for the future of fisheries and those that rely on them. She has done contract work for the Ocean Conservancy, the Packard Foundation, and the Tulalip Tribes.

Julia can be reached at julia@globaloceanhealth.org.


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Amy Grondin, Outreach Specialist

In 1993, Amy took a job on a commercial fishing boat in Alaska, “just to see what it was all about.” Little did she know the experience would change her life; she was hooked! Amy recognizes that as a fisherman she is a part of the marine foodweb, from microscopic plankton to breaching whales and all species in between. This direct connection to the sea got her involved in ocean acidification outreach. Foremost in her mind is to make sure people realize that OA affects the entire ocean and not just shellfish.

Originally from Maine, a curiosity about places that were “away” brought Amy to the West Coast, but it was fishing for salmon that has kept her here. For the last 21 years she has worked seasonally in Alaska on buyer/processor vessels and as a salmon fisherman. When not fishing, Amy works as a consultant in commercial fisheries outreach and sustainable seafood issues. She often coordinates workshops and events bringing stakeholders together as well as assisting the working waterfront in building productive relationships with marine researchers.

Eleven years ago Amy moved to Port Townsend, Washington and between fishing seasons shifted from working in the restaurant industry to commercial fisheries outreach. Her 22 years in the restaurant industry gave her an extensive knowledge of food systems and a passion for food from local and regional sources.

Somewhere along the way Amy realized that many of the challenges faced by fishermen translate directly to those faced by farmers. Increasingly her work involves bringing fishermen and farmers together to consider common challenges they face as small-scale food producers trying to survive in an industrial food system. Additionally, she often acts as a liaison between researchers, fishermen, farmers, chefs, and writers seeking sustainable food sources as well as information on the science and politics of food. On or off the water, working to keep our oceans healthy and fisheries sustainable is a constant in Amy’s life.

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Alexis Valauri-Orton, Communications & Research Contributor

Alexis was born and raised in Seattle and harbors a lifelong love of all things marine. Whether searching for crabs under rocks or exploring planktonic gene expression in the lab, she has always loved learning about the ocean. In 2006, when she first heard about ocean acidification and its impacts on marine life, her fascination took on a sense of urgency that has shaped her life since.

From July 2012-2013, she traveled the world on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, investigating human narratives of ocean acidification in Norway, Hong Kong, Thailand, New Zealand, the Cook Islands, and Peru. Over that year, she traded her lab coat for a pair of gum boots, experiencing firsthand the role marine resources play in coastal communities. By studying acidification in such diverse communities, she discovered the importance of understanding and navigating the social structures that shape our vulnerabilities and responses to environmental issues. She witnessed time and again the need to build adaptive capacity in ocean-dependent communities, and is thrilled to be working for a group that does just that.

Alexis has a BS in Biology and Environmental Studies from Davidson College, in North Carolina. While there, she was awarded several grants and scholarships to fund environmental education projects.  She completed her honors thesis research on the effects of dichloroacetic acid (a common tap water contaminant) on lung cells and designed and taught a three-day curriculum for 8th graders investigating tap water pollution, treatment and the formation of byproducts.  She also won $10,000 in a national grant competition to retrofit campus exercise equipment to be energy generating.

Alexis contracted with the Suquamish Tribe as an OA outreach and communication specialist, and previously helped design an interdisciplinary OA curriculum while an intern at the Institute for Systems Biology. She also worked with other NGOs before her current role with The Ocean Foundation.  In her life apart from science, she is an avid musician and has managed large scale music events.