The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: What Can We Learn from this Disaster?
Audra Livergood was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She earned a bachelor’s degree
in Sociology with a minor in Environmental Studies from the University of Florida
and a master’s degree in Marine Affairs and Policy from the University of Miami’s
Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. During graduate school, Audra
worked part-time as an Environmental Educator at the Biscayne Nature Center, Miami-Dade
Community College’s Environmental Center, and the Miami Seaquarium, where she taught
lessons for students and adults on seagrass ecology, native flora and fauna, water
conservation, Everglades ecology, and marine mammals. Audra also had a teaching
assistantship at a local marine magnet school, where she assisted with their outreach
Prior to graduate school, Audra lived in Costa Rica and studied Spanish. She was
also an AmeriCorps volunteer in the Pacific region. As an AmeriCorps volunteer,
Audra worked on a variety of community service projects such as tutoring at under-served
schools in San Diego, CA; constructing elk exclosures for a U.S. Geological Survey
biologist in Pt. Reyes, CA; creating fuel breaks for the National Forest Service
in central CA; and renovating a women’s shelter in Hawaii. After her AmeriCorps
service, Audra spent several months in Belize as an intern at the Hol Chan Marine
Reserve, where she assisted the Reserve with reef fish surveys to assess species
composition, relative abundance, and biomass. As an undergraduate, Audra spent a
semester on South Caicos Island in the Turks and Caicos Islands, where she studied
tropical marine ecology, marine resource management, and natural resource economics.
Audra got her start with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in
2001 as a John A. Knauss Sea Grant Fellow with the National Marine Fisheries Service’s
(NMFS) Community-based Restoration Program (CRP). During her fellowship, Audra managed
the CRP’s partnership with Restore America’s Estuaries. She also worked on a publication
entitled, “A National Strategy to Restore Coastal and Estuarine Habitat.” Currently,
Audra is a Marine Resource Manager with NMFS’ Protected Resources Division. She
works collaboratively with other federal agencies to develop conservation measures
in order to protect threatened and endangered marine species.
Will Underwood is the Stewardship Coordinator at the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Moss Point, MS. As the stewardship coordinator, Will directs the wise use and management of land resources within the boundaries of the Reserve. He is responsible for long term monitoring of resources, land acquisition activities, as well as restoration of degraded habitats. He has a background in wildlife biology and advocates for the return of prescribed fire to Reserve properties. Will has a strong interest in the natural history of the habitats of the Southeastern U.S. and enjoys botanizing and photographing plants in the various habitats represented on the Reserve.
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