Libby Jewett, Ph.D.

Director, NOAA Ocean Acidification Program

Dr. Libby Jewett became the founding Director of the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program in May 2011, and has been busy ever since building, organizing and steering the NOAA OAP enterprise. As a founding member of NOAA's Ocean Acidification Steering Committee, convened first in 2007, Jewett co-led NOAA-wide meetings of scientists and policymakers to conceive and develop NOAA's first comprehensive ocean acidification research plan. She chairs the Ocean Acidification Interagency Working Group (under the Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology) where she helped develop an ocean acidification strategic research plan for the nation. She is co-chair of the Executive Council of the newly formed Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network. Prior to becoming Director, she directed the only two national competitive hypoxia research funding programs as program manager for the Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research in NOAA's National Ocean Service. Jewett earned a Ph.D. in Biology with a focus on Marine Ecology at the University of Maryland, a Master of Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, and a B.A. at Yale University.


Dwight Gledhill, Ph.D.

Deputy Director, NOAA Ocean Acidification Program

Dr. Gledhill serves as the Deputy Director of the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program office in Silver Spring, MD. Previously he was an associate scientist with the UM/RSMAS Cooperative Institute of Marine & Atmospheric Sciences (CIMAS) with NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory Ocean Chemistry Division where he advanced ocean acidification research primarily related to monitoring and understanding the process of ocean acidification within coral reef ecosystems. He was instrumental in establishing the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) Atlantic Ocean Acidification Test-bed (AOAT) in La Parguera, Puerto Rico, and recently another test-bed within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. He also has worked on the development of a satellite-based ocean acidification data synthesis product for the Greater Caribbean Region that scales up discrete ship-based observations of surface ocean carbonate chemistry. The model produces synoptic monthly fields of carbonate chemistry including aragonite saturation state and CO2 partial pressure that can be used to track regional and seasonal changes in carbonate chemistry related to ocean acidification and can be accessed at NOAA Coral Reef Watch. Gledhill has also been contributor to numerous strategic planning documents related to ocean acidification within NOAA including leading the development of the Southeast/GOM Regional Strategic Plan on ocean acidification and CRCP OA science plan. Gledhill received his M.S. and  Ph.D. from the Department of Oceanography at Texas A&M University in 2005 where he primarily investigated carbonate mineral kinetics in complex electrolyte solutions as well the sediment biogeochemistry associated with methane clathrates in the Northern Gulf of Mexico.


Jennifer Bennett-Mintz, M.S.

Education and Outreach Coordinator

Jenn Bennett-Mintz currently coordinates education and outreach for NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Program from Hollings Marine Laboratory in Charleston, SC. Here she serves as a liason between the research, education and stakeholder communities.  In this role she get to fuse her passions for science, communication and people while translating current ocean acidification research in a way that is relevant and understood by a variety of audiences using diverse delivery formats.

She earned her B.S. in marine biology at University of California Santa Cruz. After years working as an educator on watercraft, in aquaria, nature’s classroom and more traditional teaching settings she returned to the east coast to obtain an M.S. in marine biology from College of Charleston. Her thesis research focused on polar phytoplankton physiology and biogeochemistry, which afforded her the opportunity to do fieldwork in the Ross Sea of Antarctica. Upon graduation she was awarded the John D. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship, and first began working with NOAA’s Ocean Acidification program at the intersection of science and policy.

When first coming on board with the program in 2012 she worked closely with scientists nationally to coordinate the program’s research and monitoring efforts, while also developing the newly founded program’s outreach and education endeavors. She now focuses on understanding and using effective practices for communicating about ocean acidification to the public and stakeholders and shares these practices with educators, communicators, scientists and students. A surfer and outdoor adventurer, she spends as much time exploring the ocean and mountains as she can.


Shallin Busch, Ph.D.

NOAA/NMFS Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Dr. Shallin Busch is an ecologist with NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Program and Northwest Fisheries Science Center (Seattle, Washington).  For the Ocean Acidification Program, Shallin staffs the Interagency Working Group on Ocean Acidification, coordinates the Program’s biological impacts research, and is the point person for the Program’s activities on the US West Coast.  Her research at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC) focuses on how ocean acidification may impact North Pacific ecosystems, and she uses laboratory experiments and ecosystem modeling as tools to develop understanding. In 2014, Shallin was stationed at NOAA’s headquarters, where, in addition to working for the Ocean Acidification Program, she worked for the National Marine Fisheries Service’s Office of Science and Technology and helped to draft the Fishery Service’s Climate Science Strategy. In 2012, she served on the Washington State Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification. Shallin received an undergraduate degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University and a doctorate in Zoology from the University of Washington, and was a National Research Council postdoctoral fellow at the NWFSC.


Erica Ombres, Ph.D.

Program manager

Dr. Erica Ombres is the grants officer and program manager for the OAP.  She manages the OAP’s competitive grant portfolio and also manages the review of all internally funded projects. She works to create partnerships with other line offices and programs within NOAA to enhance OAP’s mission. She earned her Bachelors degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona. She went on to receive her MS and PhD in Marine Science at the University of South Florida in 2013. Her Masters thesis focused on using metabolic indicators as proxies for ecological data in multiple different rockfish species. Her dissertation research focused on  seasonality and latitudinal gradients in metabolism, physiology, and stable isotopes in the Antarctic krill.


Staff news

Shallin Busch was awarded NOAA Employee of the Month for July 2016 for her dedication to the Interagency Working Group on Ocean Acidification (IWG).  Congratulations, Shallin!

Congratulations to Beth Turner and OAP Deputy Director Dwight Gledhill for receiving the Department of Commerce Bronze Medal Award!  This award was received for their critical leadership of the Northeast Coastal Acidification Network (NECAN) that provided authoritative scientific information to regional stakeholders.