Rebecca L. Shuford Named Director of New York Sea Grant
General - Press Release

June 17, 2019, Stony Brook, NY - The New York Sea Grant (NYSG) Board of Governors and Stony Brook University (SBU) Provost Michael Bernstein are pleased to announce the appointment of Rebecca L. Shuford, Ph.D., as Director of the NYSG Institute. Becky will begin to serve as the new director on June 17, 2019.

Becky is a New York (NY) native, originally from Brooklyn, and has a life-long history with and love for NY’s coastal ecosystems and communities. She is thrilled to be joining NYSG and to be returning “home” to work with partners across the State and within each of NY’s coastal ecosystems. including the Great Lakes, Hudson River Estuary, Long Island Sound, and Atlantic Ocean.

“The opportunity to serve as Director of NYSG is truly a homecoming for me," says Shuford. "I am eager to meet, learn from and work with all of our coastal partners, constituencies and communities on topics of mutual interest and importance and to collectively bring ‘Science to the Shore.’”

Prior to appointment as Director of NYSG, Becky worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Silver Spring, MD, where she managed a portfolio of challenging, high-profile programs focused on the science, management, conservation and sustainable use of trust coastal and marine resources using an ecosystem-based approach to management. This included developing and directing NOAA’s Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (IEA) program and leading NOAA’s Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) program, among other responsibilities.

Becky holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Biology from Cornell University as well as a Masters and a Ph.D. in Marine Science from the University of South Carolina. Her graduate degrees focused on the biology and life-history of yellowfin tuna in the Atlantic, and her doctoral work was conducted at a French research lab in Brest, France.

Becky's interest in fisheries oceanography was sparked while, between her undergraduate and graduate education, working for the National Audubon Society. During that time, she had the opportunity to go fishing off the coast of Montauk with the director of the oceans program. Becky also interned at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, where she worked on coastal conservation and restoration efforts, further informing her interests.

Following her graduate studies, Becky earned the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship and served as a Foreign Affairs Fellow in the Office of International Affairs for NOAA Fisheries. She then served as a Research Assistant Professor and fisheries oceanographer as a member of the Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing System based at the University of South Carolina, before joining NOAA’s Integrated Ocean Observing System Program as an Oceanographer.

Becky is preceded by Katherine Bunting-Howarth, Ph.D., J.D., who has served as Interim Director of NYSG from June 2018 to June 2019, following the retirement of William Wise, Director of NYSG from 2013 to 2018.

“The NYSG Team is thrilled to have Dr. Shuford at the helm," says Bunting-Howarth. "Her background and expertise will enhance our diversity and strengthen our ability to provide our stakeholders with relevant and timely programming and research.”

More Info: New York Sea Grant

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York (SUNY), is one of 33 university-based programs under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program.

Since 1971, NYSG has represented a statewide network of integrated research, education and extension services promoting coastal community economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness and understanding about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

Through NYSG’s efforts, the combined talents of university scientists and extension specialists help develop and transfer science-based information to many coastal user groups—businesses and industries, federal, state and local government decision-makers and agency managers, educators, the media and the interested public.

The program maintains Great Lakes offices at Cornell University, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Oswego and the Wayne County Cooperative Extension office in Newark. In the State's marine waters, NYSG has offices at Stony Brook University in Long Island, Brooklyn College and Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC and Kingston in the Hudson Valley.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly. Our program also produces an occasional e-newsletter,"NOAA Sea Grant's Social Media Review," via its blog,

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