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Staff

Kevin Smith - Executive Director

As Executive Director, Kevin handles the primary responsibilities of organizational management. Kevin implements the CCMP through a close relationship with the Management Conference (including Board, IC, CAC, and partners). The Executive Director supervises staff and plans, and implements budgets and carries out the daily supervision of managing all operations of the organization.

Kevin joined the MCBP after spending the past 34 years at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. He spent most of his career in the field of aquatic and habitat restoration—much of it on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Kevin graduated from the University of Maryland with degrees in Resource Conservation and Fish and Wildlife Management. His previous work includes working for the North American Wildfowl Trust on waterfowl habitat enhancement.

Dr. Roman Jesien - Science Coordinator

As the Science and Restoration Director, Roman provides the technical lead for science-related programs and projects throughout the bays. Roman supports local and regional committees—such as the Coastal Fisheries Advisory Committee and Recreation & Navigation Advisory Committee—and provides his expertise and assistance at the state and federal level to agencies regarding water quality science, and habitat restoration related activities.

Since 2002, Roman has provided in-house scientific expertise to the Maryland Coastal Bays. He currently serves as chairman of the Coastal Advisory Fishery Committee and is a member of the Science and Technical Advisory Committee, the Maryland DNR Working Waterfront Commission, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Advisory Panel for Black Sea Bass, and is on the Science Panel for the Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership.

Roman’s previous work includes serving on the faculty at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore where he taught undergraduate classes at the Dual Degree Marine Science Program with Salisbury University and served on the graduate faculty for the University of Maryland. Roman holds a B.S. degree from Villanova University, M.S. in Natural Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, and a Ph.D. in Marine Estuarine Environmental Science from the University of Maryland.

Sandi Smith - Outreach and Marketing Coordinator

As the Outreach and Marketing Coordinator, Sandi provides the lead for public outreach events, and works in close coordination with the Education Coordinator.

Sandi is responsible for cultivating individual, community, and corporate outreach programs including trash clean-ups, community service programs, community science programs, and marine debris projects. She is a First Responder for the National Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Stranding Program and volunteers for wildlife rescue, transport, and rehab organizations.

Sandi has a diverse business background from promoting offshore fishing to marketing the area as a golf destination and loves connecting with her community. She has lived in the coastal bays watershed for over 40 years and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism with a minor in Public Relations and Photography from the University of Maryland. Sandi joined the program in 2008 as a full time employee. She was a member of the Citizen Advisory Committee prior to employment. Her father was one of the first water quality monitors when the program first started.

Liz Wist - Education Coordinator

As the Education Coordinator, Liz provides vision and leadership for Maryland Coastal Bay Program’s education and public involvement initiatives. Liz is responsible for the development, creation, and evaluation of environmental education programs. Within these programs, she designs curriculum, leads interpretive programs and summer camps, mentors seasonal staff, and provides professional development for educators. Liz is also responsible for organizing and facilitating MCBP community engagement opportunities such as Discover Your Watershed, Bay Day, and Living Local with local and state partners.

Liz joined the Maryland Coastal Bay Programs in January of 2017. A Berlin native, Liz left her hometown to obtain her B.A. in Environmental Studies from Eckerd College, and her M.S. in Environmental Studies with a concentration in environmental education and interpretation from UNC-Wilmington. Liz previously worked as a naturalist at an outdoor school in Texas, as an ocean educator for MarineQuest, and as a crew chief for the Ocean City Beach Patrol.

Steve Farr - Watershed Coordinator

As the Watershed Coordinator, Steve tracks and manages the implementation projects that are the responsibility of the Maryland Coastal Bays Program as listed in the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan. He also assists in the coordination and tracking of federal, state, and local governments with activities that are impacting the coastal bays. Steve conducts research and identifies resources and administrative steps that are needed for project completion, in consultation with the program director.

Steve joined the Maryland Coastal Bays Program in 2017. Prior to joining the crew, Steve spent the past ten years as Development Director at Assateague Coastal Trust, where he managed all fundraising activities, and assisted with outreach communications and administrative functions. Before moving to the Eastern Shore from the D.C area in 2007, Steve spent 25+ years at the public affairs consulting firm APCO Worldwide where he managed their strategic corporate philanthropy practice area. Steve is a graduate of Yale University where he earned his B.A. in 1983.

Carly Toulan - Environmental Scientist

As an Environmental Scientist, Carly manages and recruits volunteers for several citizen science programs including the oyster gardening program, volunteer water quality, and horseshoe crab monitoring. Carly is responsible for collecting, analyzing, and reporting on all water quality data, and assisting in the development of our annual report card. Additionally, she collaborates with other science team members on several projects including population surveys, tern raft monitoring, wetland assessments, restoration planning and implementation, and property maintenance.

Carly joined the Maryland Coastal Bays Program as an Environmental Scientist intern after graduating in 2019 from the University of Maryland Baltimore County with a B.S. in Geography and Environmental Science. After her internship she briefly worked as a Jr. Coastal Resource Scientist at the Oyster Recovery Partnership before landing a permanent position as an Environmental Scientist with MCBP. She recently obtained an M.S. in Wildlife Conservation and Management from Unity College and wrote her master’s research paper on the impacts of island loss on colonial nesting bird populations in the Maryland Coastal Bays.

Billy Weiland - Environmental Scientist

As an Environmental Scientist, Billy is responsible for carrying out MCBP’s wetland assessments. Weiland also works with MCBP environmental staff in the collection and analysis of field data, where he researches and participates in numerous topics such as anadromous fish sampling, horseshoe crab surveys, annual stream and water quality sampling, and monitoring MCBP’s numerous properties.

Billy joined the Maryland Coastal Bays Program as an Environmental Scientist during the summer of 2022. He graduated from Salisbury University with a B.Sc. in Earth and Atmospheric Science in 2010 before earning his M.Sc. in Geology from UNC Wilmington in 2012. Billy comes to MCBP with five years experience in water quality monitoring management, as well as experience with wetland delineations, and beach and bathymetric survey projects.

Kim Abplanalp  - Bird Habitat Coordinator

As the Bird Habitat Coordinator, Kim’s focus will be on colonial nesting waterbirds in the five inland bays.  She is the lead for the population census in the coastal bays in coordination with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.  Kim will continue her work in collaboration with Maryland Coastal Bays Program, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Audubon as a researcher and photographer for the floating artificial island Common Tern project.

Kim received her Bachelor’s Degree (BALS,) from the University of Delaware.  Kim comes to Maryland Coastal Bays with nine years of experience as research assistant for the University of Florida, studying the behavior of horseshoe crabs in Lewes, DE.  As an avid birder, her work there made her innately aware of the interconnectedness of all living things.

Wes Schoellkopf - Seasonal Science Technician

As a Seasonal Technician for the bird conservation team, Wes’s primary responsibilities include assisting the Common Tern Nesting Platform project, and collecting data for the five-year Maryland waterbird census in cooperation with MD Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Heritage Program. He started volunteering with MCBP in the summer of 2022 on the tern raft project, heightening his interest in coastal bird ecology. He then began working with MCBP as a General Program Intern, assisting the science, education, and bird habitat teams, as well as the administrative specialist before being offered a full-time position for this summer.

Wes Schoellkopf is a senior at Salisbury University studying General Biology with an interest in avian conservation. Studying in Lakeland, FL initiated his interest in the beauty and diversity of ornithology. He returned to Maryland to continue his studies closer to his hometown, an area of extreme ecological importance that he fell in love with at a young age.

René Schoellkopf - Administrative Specialist

Originally from NY, where she received a degree in Biology and Math, Rene moved to the Eastern Shore 34 years ago.

She has worked as a computer programmer for IBM in North Carolina, with Old Pro Golf in Ocean City, as a stay-at-home mom to 3 kids, and for the last 15 years, as an art teacher for grades 5-8 at The Salisbury School. As an Administrative Specialist for MD Coastal Bays, Rene will manage finances and maintain all records for the program, as well as manage various grants and funding from EPA.

Kelsey Poisal - Chesapeake Conservation and Climate Corps Member

Welcome to Kelsey Poisal as our Chesapeake Conservation and Climate Corps Member for the next year!
In 2022, she graduated from Salisbury University with dual degrees in Environmental Studies and Biology. After graduation, she worked with the MDNR on freshwater mussel surveys and biological stream surveys. For the past ten months she worked at Assateague State Park as a member of the Maryland Conservation Corps, participating in conservation projects, environmental education, and care of the ambassador animal collection. Although she is originally from Carroll County, these past few years on the shore have sparked her passion for local wildlife and ecosystems. She’s particularly interested in bivalves and birds of prey. She’s excited to explore the coastal bays this year and participate in a wide range of research projects!

Ellen Turnbaugh - Education Program Manager

As the Education Program Manager, Ellen supports and provides meaningful opportunities for our watershed residents and visitors to gain a deep understanding of their surrounding environment, with the ultimate goal of inspiring environmentally responsible decision making. Ellen specifically is in charge of leading the annual High School WETLANDS leadership retreat, MCBP’s mini-grant program, the OC Estuary Explorers summer camp, and a pilot education program for local undergraduates and graduates geared towards translating research into usable k-12 lessons.

Ellen graduated from the University of Vermont with a B.S. in Elementary Education in 2019. She has worked as an interpretive ranger intern in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and an environmental educator for Nature’s Classroom. Recently, she spent 3 years in Ohio as a program director for an outdoor education school and summer camp. She is excited to be in the Eastern Shore and explore the Coastal Bays! See less

Brooke Eckert - Program and Communications Coordinator

As the Program and Communications Coordinator at MCBP, Brooke fosters healthy water, land, and communities through outreach, engagement, and restoration. She works towards securing funding for restoration projects, as well as assisting with project implementation and management.

Brooke received her bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech in Environmental Studies and Global Development. Her career path has taken her from teaching English in Spain, to leading outdoor educational experiences for students on remote islands in the Chesapeake Bay, to working in the environmental restoration field. She is inspired to kindle, restore, and preserve the magic of wild places to ensure future generations live in a world where enchantments are waiting, just around the next bend in the marsh.

Contribute Online

Become a member of the Coastal Bays Foundation and donate online securely through PayPal. Your financial contribution will go toward protecting our watershed, its habitat, and wildlife. The Maryland Coastal Bays Program Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit; all donations are tax deductible.