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:
Gray's Reef Superintendent
Sarah Fangman is the Superintendent for Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary. She has been with the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries since 1998, first as Science Coordinator for the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and then as Program Coordinator for the Southeast Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Region. 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.
ENS Marybeth Head, NOAA Corps, and
Vessel Operations Officer
ENS Marybeth Head is the Vessel Operations Coordinator at Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary. She previously was stationed aboard the NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson, a hydrographic survey ship in Norfolk, VA. Marybeth is a PADI Divemaster and has her 50-ton USCG license. Prior to serving in NOAA Corps, she worked as an assistant dive safety officer and as a charter boat deckhand. Marybeth grew up in Applegate, Oregon and graduated from Oregon State University. There, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Fisheries and Wildlife with a specialization in Marine Ecology. She has been a big fan of sea critters for as long as she can remember!
Deputy Superintendent, State Programs
Chris Hines is the Deputy Superintendent for State Programs at Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary. After joining Gray's Reef as a volunteer in 2014, Chris served as the initial Executive Director of Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and as the part-time Partnership Development Manager for the sanctuary. A NOAA Diver, Chris has diverse experience in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, including four years at a nonprofit in Tanzania, a State Department fellowship, and four years in the corporate sector. Originally hailing from California, Chris received his B.S. in Business from Purdue University and M.S. in International Public Service from DePaul University.
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 Corporation as a Systems Analyst and Project Manager and two years with H.O. Systems as a software developer for wireless communications. She holds a BBA in Finance and Banking / Accounting from Valdosta State University, a Microcomputer Specialist Degree, and has completed work towards a MS in Computer Science. She also has experience as an entrepreneur, having co-owned and managed The Monogram Place, a custom embroidery and monogram business and retail shop. Debbie, a Georgia native, moved to Savannah in 1984, and became a certified diver the following year.
Events & Volunteer Coordinator
Jody Patterson is the Events and Volunteer Coordinator for Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary and has supported the site since 2009 through administrative operations, public outreach, volunteer engagement and education initiatives.
She pursues an interest in wilderness conservation and habitat protection through science interpretation, promoting sustainable practices, encouraging environmental stewardship and exploration of our ocean planet. She is a certified PADI Rescue Diver, NAI Interpretive Guide, and a marine technology instructor. Her prior professional experiences include almost two decades of accounting and fund administration for private industry resulting in a strong business background and work ethic. A native of Greenville, South Carolina, she enjoys living in the low-country these days on a salt marsh barrier island in Georgia where she practices permaculture gardening with her husband, two children, dogs, cats, chickens and honeybees.
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.
Communications and Public Outreach Coordinator
Michelle Riley joined Gray's Reef in 2015 and serves as the communications and public outreach coordinator. She worked in the international
humanitarian sector for almost 20 years, serving as external affairs director for the Lifeline Energy Foundation and as a communications officer for former U.S. President
Jimmy Carter at The Carter Center. A native of Galveston County, Texas, Michelle graduated from Pepperdine University in California and has lived in Savannah, GA for 12
years. She moved to Savannah to be near the ocean and thoroughly enjoyed volunteering for the Tybee Island Marine Science Center and The Dolphin Project.
Kimberly Roberson is the Research Coordinator for Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary. She began working with NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science's (NCCOS) Biogeography Branch in 2005 and joined the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries in 2016. Kim received her Bachelors of Science degree from Berry College in Rome, GA and her Master of Science degree from Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia where she conducted research on leatherback sea turtles, using genetics to explore connectivity between nesting populations and pelagic individuals. Prior to NOAA, Kim worked with the National Park Service in St. Croix, USVI, conducting research and implementing conservation measures on endangered and threatened species. She uses diving as a tool for research and has been a NOAA certified diver since 2005, a NOAA Divemaster since 2006 and served as the National Ocean Service Diving Officer for three years and Chair of the NOAA Diving Control and Safety Board for two years. Her early NOAA work had her diving, conducting fish counts and assessing the potential Research Area boundaries of Gray's Reef. Kim is originally from Tennessee and developed a love for the ocean during family vacations to the coast. She enjoys spending time outside, running, swimming, playing and exploring with her husband and two young sons.
Southeast, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Region,
Sanctuary Science Coordinator
George Sedberry is Sanctuary Science Coordinator for the Southeast Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Region of the Office of Marine Sanctuaries. 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., 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 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, the Marine Protected Areas Expert Workgroup and the Habitat and Environmental Protection Advisory Panel of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. He is an Adjunct Professor at the College of Charleston and the University of Georgia's Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, and has authored over 100 publications on marine fishes and ecosystems.
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.