Coastal Community Development
Monique Myers, California Sea Grant
Myers has 15 years of experience in coastal marine science and environmental education. "She has an excellent background to help us with natural resource concerns related to coastal community development," said Paul Olin, Director of the California Sea Grant Extension Program.
"She is also no stranger to Southern California and has earned a solid reputation as an engaging educator and highly capable researcher" Olin said.
Myers, who began her new post in early July and is based at the University of California Cooperative Extension office in Ventura County, said she is "excited at the prospect of helping to inform the public about research and working with the community to promote sustainable use of the Southern California coastal zone."
She is currently conducting a "needs assessment" to gather ideas for what needs to be done in the region and how this overlaps with her and Sea Grant's expertise.
At the moment, she says a few topics stand out as places where there are clear needs for multi-disciplinary approaches and outreach to stakeholder groups:
- Smart growth: reducing urban sprawl even in the face of continued new home construction.
- Ormond Beach wetland in Oxnard: helping to restore this rare large, open space in cooperation with state and nongovernmental groups.
- Clean Water Act: assisting people to implement and meet water quality standards set forth by the act.
- Invasive species control: protecting native stream communities from the spread of the New Zealand mudsnail.
Myers holds a doctorate in environmental science and engineering from UCLA (2003). Her thesis examined the potential to use public volunteers to help in monitoring the impact of marine protected areas on benthic communities. Immediately prior to accepting her position at California Sea Grant she was a postdoctoral fellow at UC Santa Barbara where she worked on an EPA project that investigated indicators of wetland health.
Her postdoctoral research at UCLA looked at factors that enhance the ability of Southern California wetlands to filter bacterial contamination. She has also been a program director for the USC and UCLA Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) and hopes to continue her interest in making marine science available to the public.