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:
George Sedberry, Sanctuary Superintendent
George Sedberry joined Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary as Superintendent in June 2007. Since obtaining a Ph.D. in Marine Science from the College of William and Mary, George has conducted research on hard bottom reefs off the southeastern U.S., including Gray's Reef, on Marine Protected Areas in Belize and Madeira, and on population biology of fishes from the North and South Atlantic, Caribbean Sea, Mediterranean Sea and the western South Pacific. He has served on the Marine Protected Areas Advisory Panel and the Snapper/Grouper Assessment Panel of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, on the U.S. National Committee for the Census of Marine Life, and several additional scientific, advisory and education committees. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the College of Charleston, the University of South Carolina, the University of New England and the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography. He has authored over 80 scientific publications on marine fishes and ecosystems.
Jody Patterson, Administrative Assistant
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
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.
Greg McFall, Deputy Sanctuary Superintendent /
Greg currently works as the Research Coordinator for Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary in Savannah, Georgia, where he coordinates scientific investigations into the ecology and oceanography of hard-bottom reefs. He worked for seven years with Dr. Joe Pawlik in the Chemical Ecology Laboratory of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington where he studied the ecology of tropical sponges. He served as the Assistant Science Director for UNCW's National Undersea Research Center for a year after receiving a M.S. degree from UNCW's Marine Biology program.
Prior to graduate work, he obtained a B.S. degree in Biology from West Virginia University. Greg spent five years as a commercial diver before attending college and was trained as a US Navy Diver while serving in the military. He grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas and graduated High School in Duncanville, Texas, and always enjoyed spending lots of time in and around the water.
Sarah Fangman, Southeast, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Region, Program Coordinator
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.
Education and Outreach
Cathy Sakas, Education Coordinator
Cathy serves as Education Coordinator of NOAA Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary coming aboard in October 1998. In that capacity she creates educational programs and products for use in the classroom as well as conducts workshops to help educators better prepare to teach ocean science in their classrooms. Cathy also teaches programs via distance learning television about Gray's Reef, North Atlantic Right Whales, the National Marine Sanctuary Program, the Altamaha River Watershed, and Manatees to middle and high school students throughout the state of Georgia as well as to many other states across the country. She also facilitates the Education and Outreach Steering Committee of the Southeastern US Implementation Team of the North Atlantic Right Whale Recovery Plan. Additionally she manages a program wide effort to passively record underwater sounds at each of the 14 sites within the National Marine Sanctuary Program. So far her favorite jobs at Gray's Reef besides her regular education duties have involved being a NOAA scientific diver and a certified pilot of a one-person submersible called DeepWorker 2000. In September 2001 she became an Aquanaut spending nine days in the underwater habitat called Aquarius with three other scientists and two technical staff. Cathy holds a B.S. in Biology and an M.ED. in Science from Armstrong-Atlantic State University in Savannah, Georgia.
Chris is happy to be assigned to Gray's Reef for his 3 year shore tour. As Vessel Operations Coordinator he works with Chief Scientists to schedule the vessels for their operational needs. He also accounts for the marine operations budget and maintenance of the vessels. Chris is a NOAA Working Diver looking forward to some exciting diving at Gray's Reef. Originally from Lowell, Massachusetts, Chris joined the U.S. Air Force after high school and traveled to various bases around the world as an aircraft mechanic. After his Air Force tour he attended college at UMASS Boston and received a BS degree in Geography with a GIS Certificate. While attending college, Chris found his love for the water by working as a deck hand for a tug and oil response team in Boston harbor. After college Chris joined the Vermont Army National Guard and served as a crew chief on Blackhawk helicopters. He deployed to Iraq with the 101st Airborne Medavacs and ironically found out about NOAA while operating in the desert. After his Iraq tour, Chris returned to Boston to work on the water again and acquired his 100GT USCG License. Chris joined the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps and has enjoyed his career learning new and exciting aspects of the marine environment.
Captain Todd Recicar, Marine Operations Coordinator
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.
Becky Shortland, Resource Protection Coordinator
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.
Noelle is a Gray's Reef Intern working on the Fish Acoustic Tagging Project. Noelle is
also working toward her Master of Science in Marine Sciences at Savannah State University. Her thesis involves
identifying the environmental factors that are influencing acoustic signal transmission of the same type of
transmitters used in the tagging project. Later she will work on analyzing the fish detection data recorded for
the project. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA in 2010. She
hails from Oxford, CT but enjoys living in Savannah.
Michelle is a Dr. Nancy Foster Scholar participating in a research collaboration with
Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary. She will be producing maps delineating egg and larval dispersal for reef
fish that spawn off South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Satellite-tracked drifters released at spawning locations
during spawning periods provide spatial and temporal information on the transport of eggs and larvae with the
influence of currents. This information will help us better understand the connectivity and settlement of
different reef species in and around the GRNMS and other locations with the influence of currents.
Michelle is currently pursuing an M.S. in Marine Biology at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne,
Florida. Her graduate research is a cooperative study with fishermen to gather information on spawning
characteristics of snapper species (family Lutjanidae) off Florida's east coast. Before starting her graduate work
at Florida Tech, She earned a B.S. at the University of Florida in Wildlife Ecology & Conservation, and minored in
Fisheries & Aquatic Sciences. Michelle grew up in Islamorada, Florida (Florida Keys), where her daily activities on
the water, including fishing, snorkeling, and SCUBA diving, fostered her interests in fisheries and habitat
management and conservation.