Dr. Lyza Johnston
… is a coral reef ecologist and founder of Johnston Applied Marine Sciences (JAMS). Dr. Johnston received her PhD in Marine Biology and Fisheries from the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science in 2011. Her dissertation focused on coral reef community and evolutionary ecology and population genetics. She moved to Saipan in 2013 and worked for the CNMI Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality for nearly five years before starting her own environmental consulting company in 2018. Her company, JAMS, is dedicated to providing scientific support services to local and federal governments as well as non-profits and other NGOs. Through her work with the local government and in the private sector, Dr. Johnston has led or collaborated on several major projects in the CNMI including long-term marine monitoring, thermal stress and bleaching monitoring using remote sensing, coral reef and seagrass resilience assessments, and most recently, the development and implementation of the Saipan Coral Nursery Pilot Project, the first ocean-based coral nursery in the CNMI.
… received her M.Sc from College of Charleston in 2017, her thesis modeled recreational fishing pressure on the blue crab fishery in South Carolina. During her master’s thesis, she held various research and teaching assistant positions while working as a tour operator and USCG captain. Kelsey worked at South Carolina Sea Grant before being accepted as a 2018-2020 NOAA Coastal Management Fellow in the CNMI. During her time as a Fellow, Kelsey worked with local government agencies and stakeholders to develop a pilot user carrying capacity for prime tourist sites in the CNMI. Now, as a Marine Biologist I with JAMS, Kelsey is excited to be a part of the public-private partnership implementing the Saipan Coral Nursery Pilot Project, the first ocean-based coral nursery in the CNMI.