Changes at Gray’s Reef

chris-hines-headshot-1-wChris Hines is the new 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.

vicki-weeks-1-wVicki Weeks is the new executive director of the GRNMS Foundation.  Vicki graduated from Southern Illinois University with a degree in psychology. Shortly thereafter she began her love affair with the sea. She was the first female diver on Mel Fisher’s Treasure Salvors dive team in Key West, Fla. When her landlady tired of musket balls and pottery shards in lieu of rent, she became a SCUBA instructor, opened a dive shop and taught more than 400 people to dive.

Vicki went on to serve on the founding board of Reef Relief, a nonprofit organization that installed the first mooring buoys along the Florida Keys reef tract, as well as on the first advisory council for the Florida Keys Marine Sanctuary. She eventually became a nonprofit development consultant and served as the executive director for two healthcare organizations.

Since moving to Savannah, she has returned to her environmental roots, helping clients successfully build community support for environmental issues ranging from banning offshore drilling, to stronger EPA regulatory action on greenhouse gasses, to saving southern forests from clear-cutting by the wood pellet biofuels industry.

When not assisting environmental activists, she enjoys writing and has been published in regional and national magazines. Her first novel, Code of Honor, was released in 2015.

marybeth-head-1-wEnsign Marybeth Head is the new vessel operations coordinator at Gray’s Reef. She replaces Lieutenant Jared Halonen, who has been assigned to NOAA headquarters.

Marybeth was previously stationed aboard the NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson, a hydrographic survey ship in Norfolk, Va.  She is a PADI divemaster and has her 50-ton USCG license. Prior to NOAA Corps, she worked as an assistant dive safety officer and as a charter boat deckhand. Marybeth grew up in Applegate, Ore. and graduated from Oregon State University where 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!



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