About

Our Team

The Arctic Ice Project is made up of a highly accomplished team, bringing together top scientists, experienced leadership and a world class advisory board.

Tom Light

Executive Director

tlight@arcticiceproject.org

Tom Light

Executive Director

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Tom Light

Tom Light

Executive Director

Tom oversees the leadership team to advance the organization’s strategic vision, goals, and objectives.He helps set the strategic direction and represents the organization and its work to potential funders and adopters. 

Tom has nearly 20 years of experience in the investment banking and non-profit sector, where he has spent the last 7 years working exclusively in the climate action sector. 

As a climate finance leader, Tom was a founding member of WaterEquity, the first-ever impact investment fund manager with an exclusive focus on climate change adaptation with solutions to the global water crisis. Serving as the sole Managing Director, he scaled the firm from the start-up phase to a mature organization with multiple funds under management. 

Tom’s prior experience also includes executive-level positions at UBS Investment Bank and serving as the senior-most leader responsible for the Grameen Foundation’s impact investment strategy in the capacity first as a fund manager and later as the Head of the Capital Management & Advisory Center.

He received his BA with honors from the University of Michigan in Quantitative Economics, holds an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

When he’s not at work, Tom enjoys parent teaching at his son’s preschool, marathon running, kayaking in the bay and watching his favorite telenovelas from Colombia. He is an annoying University of Michigan football fan (Go Blue!) and credits his spiritual upbringing for guiding him towards the social sector later in life.

Dr. Leslie Field

Founder and CTO

lfield@arcticiceproject.org

Dr. Leslie Field

Founder and CTO

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Dr. Leslie Field

Dr. Leslie Field

Founder and CTO

Leslie has been working since 2006 to slow climate devastation to make time for the world to transition at full speed to sustainable fuels and energy solutions.

She earned BS and MS degrees in Chemical Engineering from MIT, and her MS and PhD in Electrical Engineering with a MEMS specialization from UC Berkeley, where she won the Sam Silver award.  She’s an inventor with 58 issued U.S. patents who has worked at who has worked at HP Labs and Agilent Labs.  At HP, she was the Micromechanics Project Leader, and she earned the Technical Achievement Award. She has also founded two technical MEMS consulting companies; MEMS Insight and SmallTech Consulting.

At Arctic Ice Project, Leslie focuses on the technical side of the organization. In her role, Leslie ensures that all field research (starting with establishing collaborations and permissions, and proceeding through the modeling, testing, deployment, monitoring and assessment using advanced instrumentation and post-analysis) is successful in generating the needed answers on the performance, and the ecosystem and biological safety of the solution. Leslie continues to assure the team engages with cutting-edge climate science and technologies so Arctic Ice Project is at the forefront of climate work concerning the evolving polar climate. She seeks out and builds key partnerships with scientists worldwide, and helps the team fuel collaborations, publish in academic and technical journals, and present at technical and non-technical conferences.

Additionally, Leslie is an Adjunct Lecturer at Stanford University, where she has been teaching a highly-rated annual seminar class on “Engineering, Entrepreneurship and Climate Change” since 2011.

She’s a devoted mother and loves hiking, wildflower gardening, and painting, as well as singing with her family in Schola Cantorum, a semi-professional community chorus.

Dr. Danielle Chamberlin

Dr. Danielle Chamberlin

Technical Director

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Dr. Danielle Chamberlin

Dr. Danielle Chamberlin

Technical Director

Danielle Chamberlin, Principal of Chamberlin Consulting, holds a PhD and MS in Materials Science from UC Berkeley and an S.B. Degree in Materials Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Danielle has deep knowledge in optics and in particular light scattering of particles, having led downconverter R&D at Lumileds from 2009-2019 and R&D of the Spectroscopy and Particle Analysis Division of Agilent from 2007-2009.  Danielle also brings expertise in technical project management, having led over 50 projects from concept to manufacturing release and managing yearly development budgets of over $10M. She is the recipient of numerous awards ranging from Best Senior Thesis at MIT to Illumineer of the Year in 2019.  She holds 15 patents awarded and pending on topics ranging from optical particle measurement to microLED fabrication.

Danielle is passionate about nature and the environment (of course!), and in her free time loves singing in my choir, hiking, playing board games, and solving escape rooms.

Alexander Sholtz


Principal Engineer

asholtz@arcticiceproject.org

Alexander Sholtz


Principal Engineer

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Alexander Sholtz

Alexander Sholtz

Principle Engineer

Alex grew up locally, but attended college at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. There he studied materials science and engineering, led the mock trial team, and got his first real taste of the cold. After graduating in December of 2014 he was interested in applying his engineering knowledge to environmental issues and found a perfect fit at Arctic Ice Project, where the began work in August of 2015. Since then he has become Arctic Ice Project’s Principle Engineer and primarily works designing and implementing field tests of AIP trial solutions. He enjoys that the job requires such a wide range of skills from mechanical engineering to writing software to materials science, and (when possible) getting to travel to beautiful and remote locations. In his spare time Alex enjoys backpacking, photography, fishing, foraging, and cooking.

Heather Becker

Director, Accounting & HR
hbecker@arcticiceproject.org

Heather Becker

Director, Accounting & HR

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Heather Becker

Heather Becker

Director, Accounting & HR

Heather brings energy, focus and deep experience across a broad range or organizational disciplines. Cum Laude at Master’s Degree level, with 22+ years in human resources, accounting and entrepreneurial leadership, Heather delivers a proven strategic mindset and a talent for execution. Operational excellence and productivity in a non-profit is mission critical to ensure maximum utilization of every dollar donated to the purpose that it was intended for. Heather ensures we target as much funding as possible to where it’s needed - in the field and in the lab, and provides absolute transparency on the source, use and progress in the effective deployment of financial funds.

 Heather is a product of a deeply environmental background, raised on the mantra of recycling long before it became fashionable, and continues to strive to make a positive difference on this planet, appreciating its beauty and pristine environment. She has been in love with the ocean since early childhood, in large part to Jacques-Yves Cousteau and him exposing an entire universe barely discovered on our own planet.  She brings her two boys up in the same way - loving and understanding the beauty and complexities that is our collective home. This passion, her knowledge and her experience all reinforce her diligence in making sure AIP’s financial rigor is a benchmark for non-profit reporting.

 Heather actively supports 4Ocean, Cape Clasp, Ocean Conservancy, Arctic Ice Project, World Wildlife Org and multiple other environmental endeavors. In Heather’s free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors, biking, hiking, traveling, reading and spending time with her family.

 

M. Jordan Payne

Website and Social Media

jpayne@arcticiceproject.org

M. Jordan Payne

Website and Social Media

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Jordan Payne

Jordan Payne

Website and Social Media

Jordan is a creative professional with an activist bent. A degree in Environmental Studies and Humanities from Whitman College serves as the foundation for his work. With the professional goal of serving as a connective tissue between climate organizations and the public, he brings essential environmental concerns into the public eye in a digestible and attractive manner. He uses his background in corporate social media management, journalism, design, and photography to assist and elevate small environmentally-oriented organizations. An occasional columnist for the environmental publication Mountain Journal and a freelance creative, he is more concerned with the vision of the organizations he works with than the exact position he finds himself in. He understands that to fight climate change, we need an intersectional and out of the box approach. 

He grew up surrounded by the cohesive network of Peninsula Open Space preserves on the San Francisco peninsula, giving him an immense and early appreciation for conservation efforts and the push to avoid the planetary collapse we are currently facing. Jordan spends his free time backpacking, surfing, writing articles and fiction, volunteering with the Sunrise Movement and painting.

Robert Moss

Fundraising and Outreach

rmoss@arcticiceproject.org

Robert Moss

Fundraising and Outreach

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Robert Moss

Robert Moss

Fundraising and Outreach

Avid environmentalist, outdoorsman and strong team leader across multiple disciplines, Robert brings creativity, energy and teamwork to everything he does. At the Arctic Ice Project, Robert is responsible for critical fund raising, partnership development and funding operations. He and his team collaborate with the board of directors, environmental groups, corporations, private equity and venture firms and the general public to ensure Arctic Ice’s mission in slowing global warming is clearly communicated, understood and supported by a broad range of public and private champions.

Having travelled the world after graduating in Environmental Science from Eckerd College in Florida, Robert focused on an environmental career including wetlands and mountain park restoration, controlled fire management in forestry and multiple other projects in environmental protection and restoration. Outside of work, he is an avid photographer, skier, scuba diver, water polo player and backpacker. Robert is one of the good guys, with the experience, commitment and passion to help us all save the Arctic, and ultimately our home.

Steve Payne

Partner and co-founder, Architect Partners

Steve Payne

Partner and co-founder, Architect Partners

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Steve Payne

Steve Payne

Partner and co-founder, Architect Partners

Steve met Leslie when their kids were in school together, and has been on the Arctic Ice Project Board of Directors since 2012.

Steve has been a high-tech operating executive, a venture capitalist and an investment banker in Silicon Valley for over two decades. He co-founded Architect Partners, a tech M&A advisory firm, in 2009 and prior to that was Managing Partner of the Ignite Group, a trans-Pacific venture capital partnership with funds in Silicon Valley and Tokyo. Earlier, he was EVP Product Development and Marketing at SegaSoft. Two bubbles ago, Steve left management consulting to head product marketing for a Kleiner Perkins/Sequoia Capital startup. He has been a Director on private and non-profit boards and mentors startup CEOs via the CleanTech Open, the Global Social Venture Competition and the Harvard New Venture Competition.

Steve holds a BS in Engineering and Public Policy from Washington University in St. Louis and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. 

Steve races sailboats on the San Francisco Bay, cycles throughout the Santa Cruz mountains and follows his two kids to ultimate frisbee and lacrosse competitions around the country.

Dr. Steve Zornetzer

Fmr Associate Director, NASA Ames Research Center

Steve Zornetzer

Fmr Associate Director, NASA Ames Research Center

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Dr. Steve Zornetzer

Dr. Steve Zornetzer

Fmr Associate Director, NASA Ames Research Center

Steve and his wife, Lynn, live in Sunnyvale, CA.  Steve serves as the Vice-Chair, Board of Directors, Arctic Ice Project and as a member of its Scientific Advisory Board.  He retired from NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley where he served as the Associate Center Director for Research and Technology. Steve was recognized for his contributions to NASA by receiving the Presidential Meritorious Rank Award in 2001 and the Presidential Distinguished Rank Award in 2008 from President Bush. In 2010 he received NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal. While at NASA, Steve conceived of and led the team responsible for building, Sustainability Base, one of the greenest buildings in the Federal Government. Before joining government service, Steve was a faculty member at the University of California, Irvine. He has nearly 100 journal publications and has published 3 books. 

 Steve is an avid hiker and environmentalist. His concern for the world, his three grandchildren, and the world they will inherit motivates him to do what is possible to slow global warming now. Steve believes strongly we must quickly marshal the concerted efforts of science and society to effectively implement measures to protect future generations and the planet from what otherwise will be a more dangerous and unforgiving environment.

Carol Sontag

Clinician, Palo Alto Unified School District

Carol Sontag

Clinician, Palo Alto Unified School District

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Carol Sontag

Carol Sontag

Clinician, Palo Alto Unified School District

Carol Sontag is a governing board member at Arctic Ice Project, where she supports and shares her hope that we can make a positive impact on our climate.  Carol has served the Arctic Ice Project through her work in development and communications.  She was part of the 2018 team that helped retrieve data in the Arctic at Utviaquik, AK . She has worked for over 12 years as a Diabetes Nurse Clinician at Palo Alto Unified School District, caring for elementary school students with Type I Diabetes. Prior to this, her career was devoted to clinical research management at UCSF where she was responsible for the Hypertension Clinical Trials site and at the Palo Alto Center for Pulmonary Disease Prevention where she coordinated Smoking Cessation clinical trials. Her concerns about the environment include the desire to make sure that we have a planet that is habitable and healthy for future generations. She is an environmentalist and a wilderness and outdoor enthusiast who has taken her respect for nature and transformed it into her work towards preserving our climate. 

Carl Hekkert

Head of Finance, SymphonyAI

Carl Hekkert

Head of Finance, SymphonyAI

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Carl Hekkert

Carl Hekkert

Head of Finance, SymphonyAI

As a Board Member and Audit Committee Chair, Carl is responsible for reviewing financial processes and financial reporting for the Arctic Ice Project. 

Before joining Arctic Ice Project, Carl was a Board Member and Treasurer of Sustainable Silicon Valley. Carl also served on the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s Environment Committee. 

Carl is currently the Head of Finance and HR for SymphonyAI in Los Altos, CA, where he works to integrate best-in-class finance and people processes across the SaaS and AI portfolio. SymphonyAI is a $1 Billion private equity group focused on integrating AI and data platforms across industry verticals in retail, healthcare, industrial, media and financial services. www.symphonyAI.com

Carl is an adjunct professor at William Jessup University in San Jose, CA in their Master of Business Administration program. 

Carl earned his master’s degree in Culture from Regent College in Vancouver, BC, Canada and a BS in Business Administration from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA. 

Carl is an active CPA in California. 

Jennifer Dulski

CEO and founder, Rising Team

Jennifer Dulski

CEO and founder, Rising Team

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Jennifer Dulski

Jennifer Dulski

CEO and founder, Rising Team

Jennifer Dulski has a wide range of leadership experience including executive roles at Facebook, Google and Yahoo!, and founder, CEO and president roles at early stage and scaling startups. She is currently CEO and founder of Rising Team, a company that provides tools, training and community to help managers build happier and more successful teams.

She has deep board experience across public and private companies and non-profit organizations. In addition to the Arctic Ice Project, she currently serves on the boards of WW, formerly Weight Watchers (NASDAQ: WW) and the Change.org Foundation.

Dulski writes about leadership for LinkedIn Influencers, Fortune and Forbes and serves as a lecturer in management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Her first book, Purposeful, about how each of us can be a movement starter is a Wall Street Journal Bestseller.

She joined the Arctic Ice Project board because she believes the climate crisis is the most important issue of our time, and that AIP can make a critical difference in helping us find solutions to protect the planet.

Dr. Leslie Field

CTO and Founder, Arctic Ice Project

Dr. Leslie Field

CTO and Founder, Arctic Ice Project

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Dr. Leslie Field

Dr. Leslie Field

Founder and CTO

Leslie has been working since 2006 to slow climate devastation to make time for the world to transition at full speed to sustainable fuels and energy solutions.

She earned BS and MS degrees in Chemical Engineering from MIT, and her MS and PhD in Electrical Engineering with a MEMS specialization from UC Berkeley, where she won the Sam Silver award.  She’s an inventor with 58 issued U.S. patents who has worked at who has worked at HP Labs and Agilent Labs.  At HP, she was the Micromechanics Project Leader, and she earned the Technical Achievement Award. She has also founded two technical MEMS consulting companies; MEMS Insight and SmallTech Consulting.

At Arctic Ice Project, Leslie focuses on the technical side of the organization. In her role, Leslie ensures that all field research (starting with establishing collaborations and permissions, and proceeding through the modeling, testing, deployment, monitoring and assessment using advanced instrumentation and post-analysis) is successful in generating the needed answers on the performance, and the ecosystem and biological safety of the solution. Leslie continues to assure the team engages with cutting-edge climate science and technologies so Arctic Ice Project is at the forefront of climate work concerning the evolving polar climate. She seeks out and builds key partnerships with scientists worldwide, and helps the team fuel collaborations, publish in academic and technical journals, and present at technical and non-technical conferences.

Additionally, Leslie is an Adjunct Lecturer at Stanford University, where she has been teaching a highly-rated annual seminar class on “Engineering, Entrepreneurship and Climate Change” since 2011.

She’s a devoted mother and loves hiking, wildflower gardening, and painting, as well as singing with her family in Schola Cantorum, a semi-professional community chorus.

Dr. Gary Wolff, P.E.

Environmental Engineer and Resource Economist

Dr. Gary Wolff, P.E.

Environmental Engineer and Resource Economist

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Dr. Gary Wolff, P.E.

Dr. Gary Wolff, P.E.

Environmental Engineer and Resource Economist

Dr. Gary Wolff is an environmental engineer and resource economist with vast experience in the private, public, non-profit, and academic sectors.

His formal training was at Stanford University (M.S., 1984) and University of California at Berkeley (M.S., 1995, Ph.D., 1997).  His career has included service in the private, public, non-profit, and academic sectors. He founded and later sold a consulting engineering firm specializing in solid waste management and recycling. He served on the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board and the California State Water Resources Control Board, appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger and confirmed by the California Senate.  

He has taught resource economics at the graduate level and was the Principal Economist at the Pacific Institute for Studies in Environment, Development, and Security.  He has served on several non-profit or government boards and advisory commissions, including as Chair of WaterKeepers of Northern California (now San Francisco BayKeeper).

Dr. Gary Wolff, P.E.

Dr. Gary Wolff, P.E.

Environmental Engineer and Resource Economist

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Dr. Gary Wolff, P.E.

Dr. Gary Wolff, P.E.

Environmental Engineer and Resource Economist

Dr. Gary Wolff is an environmental engineer and resource economist with vast experience in the private, public, non-profit, and academic sectors.

His formal training was at Stanford University (M.S., 1984) and University of California at Berkeley (M.S., 1995, Ph.D., 1997).  His career has included service in the private, public, non-profit, and academic sectors. He founded and later sold a consulting engineering firm specializing in solid waste management and recycling. He served on the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board and the California State Water Resources Control Board, appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger and confirmed by the California Senate.  

He has taught resource economics at the graduate level and was the Principal Economist at the Pacific Institute for Studies in Environment, Development, and Security.  He has served on several non-profit or government boards and advisory commissions, including as Chair of WaterKeepers of Northern California (now San Francisco BayKeeper).

Professor Robert Dunbar

Professor Robert Dunbar

Polar Expert

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Professor Robert Dunbar

Professor Robert Dunbar

Rob Dunbar, whose research interests span climate change, marine ecology, oceanography, glaciology, and conservation science, heads a Stanford research group that works on past, present, and future climate change and its impacts on oceanic and coastal environments.

He is the W.M. Keck Professor of Earth Sciences and a Senior Fellow of the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford. He works regularly with governments as well as the United Nations and several NGO’s to help develop and implement solutions to environmental and resource problems. Dunbar is an experienced field scientist and has led over 70 research expeditions and cruises since 1980, with the majority to ice covered regions of the Antarctic. He has studied the impact of sea ice on local and regional climate as well as unique microbial communities that exist within and beneath sea ice. In 2016, he was awarded the Medal for Antarctic Research by the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR). Dunbar is an avid nature photographer and mountain climber.

Pam Hirtzer

Pam Hirtzer

International Biotechnology Expert

Q
Pam Hirtzer

Pam Hirtzer

Pam’s career is in biotechnology where she works with young companies to take novel compounds from research into pharmaceutical development and clinical trials. Pam was last the associate director of pharmaceutical development for Elan Pharmaceuticals in South San Francisco. At Elan, Pam’s group was responsible for providing timely development – solve the problems and know which ones needed to be solved; regulatory compliance and information – make drugs that are safe for patients; and clinical trial supplies – making sure seriously ill patients in clinical trials have their drugs on time. For the past 15 years, Pam has been a consultant, and has worked with over thirty companies on numerous drugs, often embedded within or managing projects for multiple years. She has extensive experience in technical operations, managing projects against budgets, risks, corporate and most important, patient needs; and working internationally and with high performing technical groups composed of multiple experts. This early space in development is so special: across these biotech companies, again and again, she sees teams that work with passion and dedication so that we can save the world, one person at a time. The shared passion makes both the people and the work incredibly rewarding, so it’s no surprise she ended up working with the Arctic Ice Project.

Professor Lars H. Smedsrud

Professor Lars H. Smedsrud

Polar Physical Oceanographer

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Professor Lars Smedsrud

Professor Lars Smedsrud

Professor Smedsrud from the University in Bergen, Norway, is an innovative Polar physical oceanographer with a broad international network. He has many months of field-work experience from Svalbard, the Barents Sea, the Arctic Ocean and Antarctica, and have authored a large number of well-cited peer-reviewed papers, of which several were cited in the last IPCC report(s). He has worked with field observations, laboratory experiments, theoretical scaling as well as column, regional, and fully coupled climate models. Smedsrud leads a network for polar researchers at the University in Bergen and is a professor II at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS). He is a member of the Scientific Steering Group in CliC (Climate and the Cryosphere) and World Climate Research Programme, is one of the coordinators in Arctic ECRA (European Climate Research Alliance) and was the Fulbright US-Norway Arctic Chair for 2019-2020. He has given a number of invited talks at several workshops and conferences. Smedsrud has a broad scientific interest and love cooperating with researchers in other fields. He has as an enthusiastic drive for teaching, observations, simple models and communicating climate dynamics. Growing up in a mountain town inland Norway he grew up with a love for snow and skiing and has a continued enthusiasm for all polar and cryospheric research. Professor Lars H. Smedsrud. Here pictured close to the Norwegian Research station Troll in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica, during fieldwork in December 2010.

Anthony W. W Strawa, Ph.D.

Dr. Anthony Strawa

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Anthony W. W Strawa, Ph.D.

Anthony W. W Strawa, Ph.D.

Dr. Strawa retired from NASA where he was an Atmospheric Scientist specializing in the effects of aerosols (particles in the air) on climate and air quality and a manager for over 30 years. He presently consults with several non-profits on climate, air quality, and energy issues. He is Chief Scientist for Sustainable Silicon Valley and a commissioner on the San Jose Clean Energy Advisory Commission. He received a PhD in Aeronautical Engineering from Stanford University in 1986 and a BS degree from the US Air Force Academy in 1973. He flew as a Weapons Systems Officer on F-4 Phantom aircraft for 7 years while in the Air Force. He taught Environmental Science at Santa Clara University, lead the Diocese of San Jose Green Initiative and is a Catholic Climate Ambassador. He has over 50 peer-reviewed publication and has spoken extensively in various venues on air quality and climate issues.

Dr. Mimmi Throne-Holst

Dr. Mimmi Throne-Holst

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Dr. Mimmi Throne-Holst

Dr. Mimmi Throne-Holst

Dr. Throne-Holst is the Research Director for the Department for Climate and Environment at SINTEF Ocean in Trondheim, Norway. She holds a PhD in microbiology from the University of Lund, Sweden. Her main research interests are in how different stressors, including climate change effects marine life and development of marine environmental technology to mitigate adverse effects. She is passionate about the sustainable development of the ocean economy and always try to see the big picture across environmental, economic and social interest. In that respect Throne-Holst enjoys working interdisciplinary and her department is comprised of scientists, engineers and technicians spanning fields from biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and oceanography to economics and political sciences. The department also has extensive laboratory facilities and long experience in field work, development of marine environmental models and conducting sustainability analyses.