Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary
Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary
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Meet the Staff

Staff members may be contacted by writing:
Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary
10 Ocean Science Circle
Savannah GA 31411
calling (912) 598-2345 or faxing (912) 598-2367.

Staff direct phone numbers and e-mail addresses are included below:


Jody Patterson, Administrative Assistant.; 912-598-2431

Jody Patterson

Joining Gray's Reef in February 2009 as an administrative volunteer, Jody's ambition is to encourage environmental conservation through increased community involvement in our conservation efforts. A native of SC and recent transplant from Atlanta, her background is in workers compensation insurance and accounting; however she decided a pursuit of one of her life's passions in environmental conservation was a more worthwhile calling. Jody is an organic gardener, naturalist and community volunteer for numerous local organizations. She began working for Gray's Reef in June 2009 as the Administrative Assistant and Volunteer Coordinator and has since begun development of multiple volunteer programs aimed at increasing community involvement and support for our conservation objectives. Jody also manages the administrative office, supports all aspects of programs, coordinates travel and public events, and smiles frequently because she loves her job.

Budget and Information Technology

Debbie Meeks, Financial & IT Coordinator / Webmaster.; 912-598-2434

Debbie Meeks

Debbie Meeks serves as Financial and IT Coordinator and Webmaster for Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary. She joined the staff in June 2005. As Financial Coordinator, she is responsible for providing operations support for all financial operations of the organization, along with procurement, and monitoring of sub-awards. As IT Coordinator, Debbie is responsible for the maintenance and security of the work stations, server and network infrastructure in the Gray's Reef offices. As the Gray's Reef Webmaster, she is responsible for the design, development and maintenance of the organization's website. Debbie's prior information technology experience locally includes 15 years with Union Camp as a Systems Analyst and Project Manager and two years with H.O. Systems as a software developer for wireless communications. Debbie, who moved to Savannah in 1984, is a Georgia native. She holds a BBA in Finance and Banking/Accounting from Valdosta State University, a Microcomputer Specialist Degree from Savannah Technical College, and has completed work towards a MS in Computer Science. Debbie also has experience as an entrepreneur, having co-owned and managed The Monogram Place, a custom embroidery and monogram business/retail shop.


Sarah Fangman, Southeast, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Region, Program Coordinator;
Gray's Reef, Acting Deputy Superintendent &
Gray's Reef Acting Science Coordinator.; 912-598-2428

Sarah Fangman

Sarah Fangman is the Program Coordinator for the Southeast Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Region and works out of the Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary headquarters. Originally from Minneapolis, Minn, Sarah moved to Vermont to complete her Bachelors of Science in Environmental Studies and Biology at Middlebury College. She completed her Master of Science in Marine Affairs at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. During the completion of her Masters, Sarah had an internship with NOAA and then was awarded a place in NOAA's Presidential Management Fellowship Program. She has worked with NOAA ever since. She is also a NOAA Advanced Working Diver and Divemaster, and has been a certified diver since college.

George Sedberry, Southeast, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Region, Sanctuary Science Coordinator &
Gray's Reef, Acting Superintendent.; 912-598-2439

George Sedberry

George Sedberry grew up on the Chesapeake Bay, where he completed a B.S. degree in Biology at Old Dominion University, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Marine Science at the College of William and Mary. He is currently Sanctuary Science Coordinator for the Southeast Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Region of the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. From 2007-2013, he was Superintendent of Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary, and prior to joining NOAA's sanctuary program, he spent 27 years at the Marine Resources Research Institute in Charleston SC, as Assistant Director and Senior Marine Scientist. His interests and experience are in the biology, conservation and management of marine fishes, as well as deep-sea biology and coral-reef ecology. Most of his research has concentrated on reefs of subtropical and temperate waters off the southeastern U.S., including Gray's Reef, but he has conducted research on Marine Protected Areas in Belize and Madeira, and on population biology of fishes from the North and South Atlantic, Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas, and the western South Pacific. He served on the Marine Protected Areas Advisory Panel and the Snapper/Grouper Assessment Panel of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC), the board of the Southeast Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence and is past president of the SC Marine Educators Association. He was a member of the US National Committee for the recently-completed International Census of Marine Life, and he currently serves on the Scientific and Statistical Committee of the SAFMC. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the College of Charleston, University of South Carolina, and Skidaway Institute of Oceanography and has authored over 100 publications on marine fishes and ecosystems.

Education and Outreach

Amy Rath, Communications and Outreach Coordinator.; 912-598-2397

Amy Rath

Amy Rath is the Communications and Outreach Coordinator for Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary. Originally from Savannah, Georgia, her passion for the natural environment and sense of adventure led her to Alaska where she enjoyed a rewarding and adventurous life and career for nearly a decade.
While in Alaska, she obtained a B.S. degree in Geography and Geology and she is now completing a M.S. degree in Natural Resource Management and Geography with the University of Alaska. Amy joins the Sanctuary team with a diverse marine research and science communications background that enables her to interpret science and disseminate information to the public for generating awareness of and stewardship for Gray's Reef.
Outside of work, she can often be found mucking around the intertidal or paddling through a salt marsh.


LTJG Jared Halonen, NOAA Corps, and
Vessel Operations Officer.; 912-598-2432

Jared Halonen

LTJG Jared Halonen is the new Vessel Operations Coordinator at Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary. He was previously stationed in Pearl Harbor, HI aboard NOAA Ship HI`IALAKAI. Jared was born and raised in Battle Creek, MI. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science in Geological Sciences and Oceanography in 2008. Jared continued his academic pursuits at the University of Delaware's College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment where he completed his Masters of Science in Oceanography in the spring of 2011. His research focused on the effects of historical morphological change on sediment accumulation in Newark Bay, New Jersey.

Captain Todd Recicar, Marine Operations Coordinator.; 912-598-2383

Todd Recicar

Todd Recicar is the Vessel Captain for Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary. He started full time with Gray's Reef in June of 2007. After receiving a BS in Biology at Florida State University, he completed two Marine Education Internships; one at Newfound Harbor Marine Institute in Big Pine Key, Florida and the second at the University of Georgia's Marine Education Center and Aquarium in Savannah. After the completion of these internships, he worked as a research technician at the University of Georgia's Shellfish Research Laboratory in 1999. Prior to becoming a Gray's Reef employee he worked for 5 1/2 years as second mate on the 92 foot Research Vessel Savannah which is operated by the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography. Todd is a NOAA Working Diver and carries a 100GT USCG license.

Resource Protection

Becky Shortland, Resource Protection Coordinator.; 912-598-2381

Becky Shortland

Becky Shortland serves as the Resource Protection Coordinator for Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary overseeing the Sanctuary Advisory Council, marine resource protection actions and other management plan related activities. Becky joined the sanctuary in 1998. Prior to Gray's Reef Becky was Vice President for Coastal Programs with The Georgia Conservancy. She grew up in Swarthmore, PA, but has lived in Savannah, Georgia for the past 32 years learning about and enjoying the coastal and marine environment.

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