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ABSI Leadership & Partners

Leadership Team

Sandra Brooke

Principal Investigator 
Website

Joel Trexler

Co-Principal Investigator 
Website

Gary Ostrander

Professor of Medicine
Department of Biomedical Sciences

Partners

Jeff Blair, with Facilitated Solutions, LLC, has been retained by the Pew Charitable Trusts through the Florida Wildlife Federation, Inc, to provide independent third-party neutral facilitation for the ABSI Community Advisory Board. Jeff designed the Consensus Solutions Process used by the CAB, and led the Assessment Process that included interviewing stakeholders and providing recommendations for CAB membership and representation.

Blair has over 30 years of experience in assessing and analyzing complex issues and facilitating processes designed to build consensus between stakeholder interests. He specializes in facilitation and process design for complex consensus-building initiatives. He has worked with federal, state, local government, non-governmental organizations, and private sector representatives to design and implement collaborative approaches to consensus-building, planning, rulemaking, and dispute resolution with an emphasis on stakeholder participation in the planning, design, implementation, and monitoring of policy in more than 190 projects and over 2500 meetings.

Jeff Blair was a part of a very successful NSF-supported OysterFutures project team that worked with Maryland stakeholders to develop a management and restoration plan for the Choptank and Little Choptank Rivers of the Chesapeake Bay. In addition, Jeff led the facilitation team for The Nature Conservancy supported Pensacola Bay System Stakeholder Working Group’s development of the Oyster Fisheries and Habitat Management Plan for the Pensacola Bay System.

Hydrodynamic Modeling

The ABSI modeling team building the physical models for this project consists of Dr. Steve Leitman (L) and Dr. Steve Morey (R).  Leitman  (FSU) is an environmental scientist who has worked in the Apalachicola basin for over 40 years for federal and state government organizations as well as for several NGO's on projects related to flow, dredging, and water management. He also has expertise in the areas of natural systems conservation, restoration and hydrologic modeling.  Dr. Morey (Florida A&M University School of the Environment) is a physical oceanographer with expertise modeling hurricanes and climate variability on marine and estuarine systems. His research interests include studies of shelf processes including coastal upwelling and estuarine connectivity, circulation in the Gulf of Mexico, and the interaction between physical processes and marine ecosystems.

FWC - Apalachicola Bay Restoration (National Fish & Wildlife Foundation Award)

The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission's (FWC) restoration project, funded by the NFWF's Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, is being conducted in partnership with FSU through the ABSI project. With common interests in coordinating with local stakeholders, understanding causes of decline, and restoring the ecosystem of the Apalachicola Bay System, this project will implement up to 1,000 acres of oyster reef restoration in Apalachicola Bay. Key players in this initiative are Jim Estes (Deputy Director of FWC's Marine Fisheries Management) (L), who has 34 years of experience conducting research and managing freshwater and marine fisheries, and Ed Camp (University of Florida Fisheries & Aquatic Sciences (R) an interdisciplinary scientist who focuses on the ecology and human dimension aspects of managing fisheries & aquaculture.