Dr. Chris Simoniello, Texas A&M University Research Scientist and GCOOS Outreach and Education (O/E) Manager, is one part scientist, one part educator, one part adventure-seeker and one part coach. Too many parts? Not when they are integrated. She received a B.S. in Biological Sciences and Certificate in Marine Science from Florida International University, 1988, while competing in three Division 1 sports. Her love of learning and action led to conducting herpetological studies in Everglades National Park, working in analytical chemistry for the Drinking Water Research Center, Miami, and researching bears, birds, seals and otters for the Fish and Wildlife Service, Alaska, following the Exxon Valdez oil spill. She completed her Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography at the University of South Florida in 2003 and has conducted ship-based research in the area of physiological ecology from the Arctic to the Southern Ocean.
Before joining GCOOS, Simoniello developed a regional O/E program for the Office of Naval Research-funded IOOS testbed, the Southeast Atlantic Coastal Ocean Observing System. She has been engaged in leadership roles spanning the United Nations, NOAA, the U.S. IOOS and the Gulf of Mexico Alliance. Locally, she chairs the City of St. Petersburg Program for Public Information committee and participates on the City’s Local Mitigation Strategies team.
Among her accolades are the Antarctica Service Medal of the United States, a National Oceanographic Partnership Program Excellence in Partnering Award for the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network project, Business Partner of the Year recognition from the Pinellas Education Foundation, and four EPA Gulf Guardian awards. Simoniello is committed to creating dynamic mechanisms to nurture innovation and the scientific processes critical to better understanding our world and provide an adventurous call to action for our future ocean leaders.